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Sappho has been constructed as many things: proto-feminist, lesbian icon and even - by the Victorians - chaste headmistress of a girls' finishing school. Yet ironically, as Page DuBois shows, the historical poet herself remains elusive. We know that Sappho's contemporary Alcaeus described her as 'violet, pure, honey-smiling Sappho'; and that the rhetorician and philosopher Maximus of Tyre saw her, perhaps less enthusiastically, as 'small and dark'. We also know that her 7th/6th century BCE island of Lesbos was riven by tyrannical and aristocratic factionalism and that she was probably exiled to Sicily. Much of the rest is speculative.
ISBN 13: 9781784533618 | ISBN 10: 1784533610
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