As some of you will definitely know, I have been grappling with Sappho for a long time. Lately, I have come to an impasse in a couple places, where I have said all I can without a specific reference I don't have access too. I don't know why I thought asking for those references in a question was inappropriate, but anyways I asked in CONLOQVIVM. The second request I posted yesterday, and JI encouraged me to post a question… so here I am.

I will give background for both requests. Feel free to skip to the list at the end of the post.

Number 1

Related questions are 1 and 2. A little backstory.

  • At some point, I googled my way to this Italian Sappho anthology, where I first found the text in questions 1 and 2 linked above;
  • As I am wont to do, I tried to retrace every letter in the text back to an LP fragment, and identified LP 86 60 65 66(c) and 67(a) as the sources. However, that left out two line endings;
  • I asked about those in question 1, and the question stayed unanswered;
  • I somehow (perhaps via the anthology's biblio) found this article which starts the combination. I think this was also uploaded to Academia.edu recently;
  • Thanks to question 2 or its Quora analog, I got an Academia.edu link for Una Mitra per Cleis in English translation from @NickNicholas, and I found the complete text, realizing, in bits, how much the text had been mangled by the anthology (see below for more);
  • Again in Una Mitra per Cleis, I was referenced to the Enzo Puglia 2007 article I'm requesting.

OK, so here's how this combination went.

  • Eduard Fraenkel suggested LP 86 and LP 60 should be joined, because they produce a development of the song that parallels many Greek prayers including Sappho's own Hymn to Aphrodite (LP 1);
  • Lobel-Page and Voigt said "Nah, not buying that";
  • Campbell said "Welp, I'm following those two editions, so those two fragments stay split";
  • Ferrari said "Guys, guys! The joining is very likely, and there is another fragment, LP 65, with the frustulum that is LP 66(c) already basically joined to it, that joins nicely into the combo, and strengthens the parallel! L. 1 of LP 86 may be from another poem, because, if we supposed there was no lacuna between it and LP 60, the paragraphoi make the line count such that that would be an odd line";
  • Puglia, in Per la ricomposizione del quarto libro dei canti di Saffo (POxy. 1787), published in 2007 at an event in Rome, said "Yeah, good job Ferrari… but did you notice that LP 67(a) also fits in nicely? Oh and by the way, remember P.Oxy. 1787 fr. 3, whose second column gave us LP 61-63? Well, P.Halle 3, the source of LP 60, joins in nicely with that, which implies there are 5 lines between LP 86 and LP 60, thus making that famous first line definitely part of our combo… unless we want to exclude the following line as well, but that fits in with the parallel. Oh, and joining LP 67(a) with LP 65 means l. 1 if the latter and the penultimate line of the former have letters split between them, with a combined reading of οὐδὲν πόλυ . . [, the two vestiges possibly giving πά[σασθ'";
  • Ferrari, Una Mitra per Cleis, agreed wholeheartedly, and printed that combined text with perhaps some extra supplements, and ideas for supplements in the translation;
  • The anthology didn't get the combined reading memo, eliminated the last line of LP 67(a) and completed the resulting hole as they pleased, didn't get the fr. 3 col. i joining memo outside the line endings, and mangled not just the supplement that's the object of question 2, but also another one in the line before, and turned ἀμφιβάσκει near the end into the unmetrical ἀμφιβιβάσκει, plus bracketing errors both in the Greek and in the translation.

I tried to figure out how the combination with fr. 3 col. i gave the lacuna's length, and the likely joint explained in my answer to question 1 implies that yes, a couple lines of LP 60 were completed, as appears in Ferrari/'s book but not in the anthology, but doesn't produce the line ends or the lacuna's length as far as I can tell. So the only way to figure that out would be to read the article by Puglia, hence my first request.

Number 2

In my Sappho work, I tried to be as complete as possible on everything, including testimonia. That is where I found P.Oxy. 2506. These are a bunch of fragments (over 50) all deemed part (I think) of a single scroll of commentaries on lives of poets. I have a bunch of images at my disposal, but what I'd like to know is a) WTF is up with all those fragments numbered with letters instead of numbers in the first image, and b) Why each fragment was or wasn't assigned to Sappho. I have found some articles that give partial answers, and I can see why each of those assigned to Sappho was assigned to Sappho, but I would like to know more. I believe at least part of the answers would probably be in the volume that published the papyri, which is vol. XXIX of The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Sadly, the online volumes stop at XV (which is why I had to have scans posted here from vol. XXI about P.Oxy. 2166(a). So here's request 2.

Request list

  1. Enzo Puglia, Per la ricomposizione del quarto libro dei canti di Saffo (POxy. 1787), 2007;
  2. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. XXIX, don't know by whom, possibly Lobel; I know vol. X was by Grenfell and Hunt, and I believe XV was by Lobel, hence why I suspect XXIX may be by Lobel.

Bonus question: Can anyone find an article by Lobel or otherwise which explains why the missing P.Oxy. 1787 fragments (fr. 8 and 9, and fr. 45 with what seemed to be a book 4 colophon) were dropped from Sappho, or why the missing P.Oxy. 1231 fragments were?


I formerly wrote vol. XIX, then realised it was actually XXIX. Oops. XIX was indeed edited by Lobel, commented @Draconis.

  • So, how do you expect us to share Puglia 2007 or the XIX volume with you? – Alex B. Sep 7 '19 at 17:20
  • @AlexB either by summarizing the relevant discussions, or by posting scans of them like you did with volume XXI (remember?). – MickG Sep 7 '19 at 17:50
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    The university library doesn't seem to have the article anywhere, but I've sent in a request for volume 19 (which is in fact edited by Lobel). You're looking in particular for fragment 2506? – Draconis Sep 7 '19 at 18:46
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    I'll have Puglia 2007 (a pdf-file) tomorrow, but I don't have time to read and summarize it, sorry. I could email the pdf to our mods to be forwarded to you, as long as our mods are willing to do it and it's ok with you. – Alex B. Sep 7 '19 at 20:18
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    @AlexB Or you could email it directly to michelegor@hotmail.com. – MickG Sep 7 '19 at 21:12

As announced in his comment, AlexB got ahold of Puglia 2007, sent it to the mods, and our tricipitous mod forwarded it to me. I read it, and I can now answer that part of this question.

So, with a lot of pretty solid arguments, the article proposes the following collage of P.Oxy. 1787 fragments (where 87(13) and 87(14) have swapped numbers):

enter image description here

From this, we can see the following:

  1. The famous mysterious line endings are actually from P.Halle, the leftmost fragment in the pic, and were missed by all previous transcribers;
  2. The joining of P.Halle with P.Oxy. 1787 fr. 3 is exactly as I guessed in my answer to the question of this question's body;
  3. Thanks to the topmost fragments, P.Halle must have lost three lines at its top, whence 5 lines reside between τύχοισα and the other fragment; or rather, at least 5.

The last missing bit is: "Why exactly five, and not, say, six?". Well, let's look at the other fragment that goes before this collage:

enter image description here

See that little protrusion at the bottom-right? It's empty. This means the last line of the fragment was the last of its column.

Now, we may say, "Why should we assume this fragment went immediately before the P.Halle lines?". Well, we have good reasons (cfr. history in the question body) to place it before said lines, and if we suppose a full other column between the two, the result is that we have a single poem that is way too long compared to the two whose lines are all partially preserved on fr. 3 and its ends 87(13)+87(14) – and we know those have no extra lines because they are between coronides. Therefore, the lacuna length is settled.

Moreover, we can also say that, after the last line of the collage 6.A.vi here, there were 6 lost lines, the line ending in ]ΗΡΟϹ on fr. 3, and then collage 6.A.v. Who knows where the poems split from each other…

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    I'm glad you received it! – Alex B. Sep 10 '19 at 1:35

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