There are apparently numerous versions of these lines. I only have access to two1 however: Edmonds':
[…]· ἀ γὰρ πόλυ περσκόπεισα
κάλλος ἀνθρώπων Ἐλένα τὸν ἄνδρα
[ὸς τὸ πὰν] σέβας Τροΐας ὄλεσσε
[…]· ἀ γὰρ πόλυ περσκέ̣θ̣ο̣ı̣σα
κ̣άλ̣λο̣ς [ἀνθ]ρώπων Ἐλένα [τὸ]ν ἄνδρα
κ̣αλλ[ίποι]σ̣' ἔβα 'σ Τροΐαν πλέοı̣[σα
Now that is a big difference, even outside lacunas. So I tried looking at Grenfell and Hunt's edition of P.Oxy. 1231, whence the poem mostly comes (see below for more), and found:
That seems to scream "Go Edmonds, screw Campbell". But let's look at the notes to the transcription. What I gather from them is:
- σκεδοισα and σκοπεισα are equally likely endings for l. 6, and since the notes only mention a «rather high stroke turning over» for the delta, I assume σκεθοισα would also be equally likely; so as far as P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 1 is concerned, Cambpell and Edmonds are equally likely right about that line;
- The other lines have no beginning in the papyrus at hand, so those must come from another papyrus, which we will discuss below;
- The notes don't even mention l. 9 (which is l. 21 in the papyrus), so this papyrus actually has a no-doubt λεσ in that line, whereas Campbell would have that as λεο, and read the doubtful sigma right afterwards as a doubtful iota;
- Neither the notes nor the transcriptions show any other P.Oxy. 1231 fragment that could contain beginnings for those lines.
So when Bonnaria states that P.Oxy. 1231 reads:
τ̣ὸν̣ [ ]ι̣στον
καλλ[ ]σ̣' ἔβα 'ς Τροΐαν πλέοı̣[
they are apparetly giving us a nice bit of bull… err, tauricopria. Or maybe they are mixing up papyri. There are two more papyri this poem comes from. One is PSI 123, 1-2, but that only gives the last line, τ' ἐξ ἀδοκή[τω], which gives no trouble. The second one is P.Oxy. 2166(a), published in volume XXI. Unfortunately, I can't find anything online about this: no images, no transcriptions. Campbell's critical notation suggests it must have read at least:
plus the first 5 letters of the following line and the first 2 of the one after that. This implies a papyrus conflict: l. 9 is different from one papyrus to the other, and doubtfulness cannot solve the problem. So we are faced with two options:
- Either we argue that the two are different poems, which seems viable if 2166(a) only has the little mentioned above (which could actually be even less, since we don't actually need it to read the σ̣εβαστροϊα part;
- Or we have to choose one or the other, and with what arguments do we point our finger at one and say "You're wrong!"?
So my question is: does anyone have access to anything that can shed light on what was actually on 2166(a), and/or to something pointing out extra margins of doubtfulness in 1231 to settle this dispute?
1I also have a couple slightly different versions (which basically only differ in the lacuna at v. 8), but I kept the above two as prototypical, and also because all others have no critical notation. Researching again only yielded The Complete Poems of Sappho, giving Cox's version as reading κρίννεν ἄριστον. Maybe safopoemas.doc contained other versions. But that's beside the point anyways, so I won't look into it.
PS If you're thinking of suggesting I buy the Voigt and/or Lobel-Page edition of Sappho, don't. I'm already thinking of getting them for Xmas.
UPDATE: The dream is dead, but I may manage to borrow Voigt from a library if I find a way to get it from Brera library to one closer to the places I usually frequent.
UPDATE 2: The Voigt dream is dead, but I did buy Lobel-Page, and it's soon gonna be brought to me from England. Lobel is the editor of P.Oxy. XXI, so having an edition of Sappho coauthored by him seems like a good chance of finding answers. Also, Mr. Weimer in the comments offered to check if his library has that volume and look at the pages that may be relevant to this poem and the Gongyla one, that is:
P. Oxy. XXI (1951) add. p. 125, 11(and perhaps also P.Oxy. 2292-2293) for the Gongyla poem;
P. Oxy. vol. 21, p. 122 [additional fragment of P.Oxy. 1231]for the poem at hand.
That would be great. And I found that on Amazon, but the cart had already been purchased and this book costs and needs shipping which would be free if it were in that cart, so that will have to wait at least till next Xmas.
1Unless of course 2166(a) is in that volume, which should start at 2292, meaning the numbering doesn't line up with the volumes.
Looking at Campbell again, I saw that P.Oxy. 2166(a) is said to be in
Ox. Pap. XXI, so yeah, for some reason, the volume starts with 2292 and contains 2166(a). As if Oxyrhynchus papyri numbering weren't already weird enough…