Sappho at the Bodleian

After it seems years of being invisible behind large boards, the main Bodleian library in Oxford has suddenly reappeared with a brand new foyer cafe etc and an exhibition called “Marks of genius” with some amazing exhibits – a first folio of Shakespeare, a section of the Magna Carta andmany more. Among the exhibits is a papyrus containing fragments of Sappho as in this rather bad photo below.

 

I don’t know what poems on the papyrus but this is one of Sappho’s poems.

Ο]ἰ μὲν ἰππήων στρότον οἰ δὲ πέσδων
οἰ δὲ νάων φαῖσ᾽ ἐπὶ γᾶν μέλαιναν
ἔ]μμεναι κάλλιστον ἔγω δὲ κῆν᾽
ὄττω τὶσ ἔπαται.

Some say an army of horsemen, some an army of foot soldiers is the most beautiful thing onthe earth. I say is is that thing whatever someone loves.

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