In my file of Sappho translations, the next-to-last fragment reads:

[–u–x κ]αδδέκεται μέλαινα
[–u– πόλλ]ων ἀχέων ἐπαύσθη
[–u–x] Ἀτρεϊδαι τελέσθη[ν

Sooner or later, it's going to end up on my blog, so I wanted to search for its sources. To my surprise, none of my sources (Greek Wikisource, Bibliotheca Augustana, Campbell, Edmonds, The Complete Poems of Sappho) seem to have it. I cannot find anything about it on the Internet: a Google search for l.1 and one for l.2 both revealed nothing. So does anyone recognize this fragment? What is this, where is this from, and is it really Sappho or is there debate about its authorship?


I haven't looked through safopoemas yet, but that is a long thing which I cannot do before dinner. I will afterwards, and will check back if I have any updates. It is anyway a good idea to have this thread pointing to safopoemas, should the fragment pop up in there, because this way anyone who happens to have somehow come across it knows somewhere it is present, and besides even if they have safopoemas they have no idea about sources or authorship debate, since safopoemas makes no mention of that.

3 Answers 3


It's an uncertain fragment, fr. 27.1 in Lobel & Page's Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, per the TLG. It comes from P.Vindob. 29777a.

It's on p. 454 of the Campbell's Loeb on Sappho and Alcaeus. If you have access to the Loeb Library Online, you can view it here.

πόλλ & Ἀτρε are not actually readable from the papyrus.

  • This is where I can view it. Loeb library? IIRC when I bump into that website I only get partial views of pages.
    – MickG
    Jul 2, 2017 at 22:21
  • I wonder if there is a scan of that papyrus online, and above all, how did I find my semi-complete, critical notation free version. But I fear the last question cannot be answered.
    – MickG
    Jul 2, 2017 at 22:23
  • @MickG I'm not sure if there's a picture online anywhere. LoebClassics.com hosts legal digitized Loeb volumes, the same series that you linked in the first comment, but actually published by Harvard. That Campbell Loeb is up to date, though, so you can see it on p. 454. I don't know how Scribd hasn't been taken down yet.
    – cmw
    Jul 2, 2017 at 22:29
  • 3
    The scans of the papyrus are available online - data.onb.ac.at/rec/RZ00008466
    – Alex B.
    Jul 2, 2017 at 23:32
  • @MickG The scans AlexB. linked to also show for sure that πόλλ is only a suggestion, though the third line in the picture is too faint to really read (to me at least).
    – cmw
    Jul 3, 2017 at 1:39

No, you are mistaken - you can easily find it in Campbell on page 454 (checked de visu). Campbell puts it with the fragments that are written in the Aeolic dialect but "there is no means of establishing whether the author was Sappho or Alcaeus."

Zoomable scans of the papyrus known as Vindob. 29777 are available from the Austrian National Library http://data.onb.ac.at/rec/RZ00008466

Its catalog entry is www.trismegistos.org/text/59081

  • Actually, I am not mistaken, only ambiguous: I meant Campbell didn't have it in the Sappho section. Since I had it as Sappho, I only looked there, because, if it's not Sappho, I couldn't be sure it would be found in Alcaeus or in that document at all. Indeed, after the other answer, I was looking through Alcaeus, with no success.
    – MickG
    Jul 2, 2017 at 21:40

Thanks to @AlexB's comment, I now have the scan of the papyrus from an online resource. I actually have two scans. I include one here:

enter image description here

The ink is terribly faint, but with some squinting I would transcribe it as follows:

]   ̣ Δ̣ΕΚΕΤ
]   ̣   ̣   ̣ỊT

I chose scan 2 at random, but looking at scan 1 better I see it has a whole lot more visible stuff! Picture:

enter image description here


]   ̣   ̣ΙΔẠΙΤΛ   ̣Υ̣Ϲ̣

What I see as ẠI in the third line might just be an A with the following T being an I (with what looks like an almost-invisible horizontal stroke). Also, my Ỵ is actually just the upper half of an ypsilon, and it may well be two very close epsilons.

I also seem to see a I in what would be the fourth line.

I'm guessing the two scans are the two sides (recto and verso) of the same two scraps of papyrus, one of which contains our fragment, while the other seems to be blank on the scan 2 side, and contains:

]ΑΝΟΜỌΡ̣Β̣   ̣
   ̣Α€ΛΛ̣ΑΦΙΧ€̣́Τ€   ̣

I wonder what this is…


The answer to «How did this end up in my file?» is Bibliotheca Augustana ἐξ ἀδήλων βιβλίων. I assumed it would be in μελῶν α' because it's evidently a Sapphic stanza (and it is weird how BA completes it with –s and ^s while putting it in "from unclear books": were poems not assigned to those books by meter?), so I only looked there and not in "unclear books".

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