I see that Sappho Campbell 15 has two sources: P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 1, and P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 3. The matching Edmonds is n. 37, which only keeps the last, more complete stanza, and thus does not include fr. 3. I really wish I had a scan of the papyrus to see why the nu in καυχάσαντο is uncertain, since that uncertainty is what a different reconstruction (that of Campbell) has to base itself on, and I'd like to know if that nu could be a iota and allow for Campbell's reading or if that reading should be doffed in favor of Edmonds'. I was, however, unable to find any scan of fragments in the P.Oxy. 1231 group online. That word is a real mystery: Grenfell-Hunt have it as καυχασα̣ν̣το, Campbell as καυχάσ[α]ιτο (suddenly, a lacuna, and a certain iota?!), and Edmonds as καυχάσαντο. Can anybody chime in on this or maybe get ahold of an image of the papyrus to maybe-possibly upload it here / send it to me? Not expecting to get ahold of it myself since, if it's not online, maybe the institution conserving the fragment has reason to not want it online (whatever those may be…) I also would really like to know why Edmonds has certain letters where the Grenfell-Hunt transcription has lacunas (as in, the papyrus didn't have those letters at all, they'd be out of the fragment's border), but I'd have to ask him, since I guess nobody else would know. So I'll concentrate on the following question:

On what basis is fr. 3 put together with fr. 1?

Grenfell-Hunt's note doesn't say a word about this, and I am at a loss for reasons.

  • A recent British Library 'Medieval and Earlier' blog showed a Psappho fragment. Post a comment with your question; give it a try. – Hugh Jul 14 '17 at 16:53
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    @Hugh for the record, if you were referring to this, the scan there is already in my possession, and is P.Oxy. 7. – MickG Jul 14 '17 at 17:05
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    Also, according to here, the P.Oxy. I'm after is at the Bodleian library, Oxford, whereas here it says P.Oxy. 7 is at the British Library, London, so I guess there is no point trying the comment route: [cont.] – MickG Jul 14 '17 at 17:08
  • [cont.] wrong institution. Is there any Bodleian library blog I can try to comment on? – MickG Jul 14 '17 at 17:08
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    Maybe I should wait till this is back online and then have a look at it. – MickG Jul 14 '17 at 17:10

If you're serious about Sappho, you need to work with the following editions:

Campbell 1982 (reprinted with corrections in 1990); Lobel and Page 1963 and, of course, Voigt 1971.

For instance, all the editions listed above have, in line 10,

"καυχάϲ[α]ιτ̣ο" (iota with a dot - Alex B.).

cf. Obbink 2016a - this is one of the leading papyrologists of our time, Dirk Obbink:

enter image description here

Working with papyri and their scans alone is not enough in the 21st century - a serious scholar must study what is known as "critical apparatus." For example, in Voigt 1971 we can see the following (and your answer is there, by the way!):

enter image description here

Edmonds passed away in 1958, so we can't ask him; that being said, this is what Campbell wrote in the Preface to the 1982 edition:

"J. M. Edmonds’ three volumes of Lyra Graeca have given useful service since their appearance some fifty years ago, but the time has come to replace them. Much new material has been unearthed; and Edmonds’ version of the papyrus texts was spoiled by his excessive eagerness to fill the gaps (p. vii; emphasis mine - Alex B.).

  • So I take it that this is open for debate, because the letter is uncertain and both completions are supportable. But there is still an uncertain alpha vanishing into a lacuna, perhaps it was half cut away? And finally, the fragments were put together on the basis of λίμενος joining together, but already L-P showed that this way the ἄμ of ἄμβροτε would not fit the lacuna between the two papyrus fragments, so in the end the two should probably not be put together, right? – MickG Aug 8 '17 at 22:10

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