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Context: I'm designing an engagement ring for my partner, who has expressed her love of both Sappho's fragment #146 ( "Μήτ’ ἔμοι μέλι μήτε μέλισσα"/"For me neither the honey nor the bee" ) and of 17th century poesy rings (example). I would like to design an engagement ring which has engraved on its inner surface a personal reply to Sappho's fragment: "Thou art for me/ Both the honey and the bee". How might this be translated into Sappho's Greek? Thank you for your time!

1 Answer 1


Basically we just need to replace the "neither ... nor" with an "and", and add "you [are]". The result might look like this:

σὺ ἔμοι μέλι καὶ μέλισσα

This does, however, destroy the Sapphic meter. If you care about that, you could make a couple of slight changes as follows:

σύ γ᾽ ἔμοι μέλι καὶ σὺ μέλισσα

This version preserves the lyric meter of the original (xx -uu-uu-u). There isn't a difference in meaning between the two versions except that the second repeats the "you": "You to me [are] honey and you [are] the bee".

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