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Sappho and the Origins of Ancient Greek Astronomy

11 Nov 2014, 12:00 UTC
Sappho and the Origins of Ancient Greek Astronomy
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Terracotta head from a statueMetropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1922 (www.metmuseum.org) For a brief discussion of the possible relevance of this to Sappho click here.Today's guest blogger is Stuart Dean. Stuart has a B.A. (Tulane, 1976) and J.D. (Cornell, 1995) and is currently an independent researcher and writer living in New York City. Previously he worked in a variety of other capacities, including 15 years as a corporate attorney. Until now you could not find the name of the ancient Greek poet Sappho in any discussion in print or online regarding ancient Greek astronomy. Such a discussion is long overdue and I think it is best to let Sappho herself begin it: Sunset/Moonrise “As when down goes the sun/the rosyfingered moon” Line final ‘sun’ followed by line final ‘moon’ is in effect a ‘visual rhyme,’ implying a scan of the evening sky, looking west then east, with the knowledge that the moon reflects the sun’s light. Her characterization of the moon as ‘rosyfingered,’ a word otherwise frequently used to describe the sun at dawn, further buttresses the ‘moonlight reflecting sunlight’ reading. Evening Star/Morning Starp;Until now you could not find the name of the ancient Greek poet Sappho in any ...

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