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Roman Receptions of Sappho$
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Thea S. Thorsen and Stephen Harrison

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829430.001.0001

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The Newest Sappho (2016) and Ovid’s Heroides 15

The Newest Sappho (2016) and Ovid’s Heroides 15

(p.249) 13 The Newest Sappho (2016) and Ovid’s Heroides 15
Roman Receptions of Sappho

Thea S. Thorsen

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Ovid’s Heroides 15, also known as Epistula Sapphus, appears singularly receptive to the sequence of poems that have recently been recovered in the newest Sappho papyrus, which belongs to a Roman-period copy of an Alexandrian edition of Sappho. Among the most striking similarities is the sustained combination of love and personal desire on the one hand and issues concerning family and autobiography on the other, which has become apparent with the recovered sequence of Sappho poems and which—uniquely in a post-Sapphic context—is also found in Heroides 15. The chapter shows how Heroides 15 displays striking similarities with a number of these fragments, concerning both general aspects and specific details.

Keywords:   Sappho, papyri, Ovid, Heroides 15, love, family, goddess of love

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