Bibliotheca Augustana reports a fragment in book 1 of Sappho which, it says, is from P. Oxy. XV (1922) nr. 1787 fr. 9, and reads:

]ο δέρκεν ἐπώμοσσ[
]ν ἔτι, τὰν παῖδα δε[
]βρ[.]ταν κἀγχερριθ[έτ-
. . . . ]εν[ . . . . ]παρε[δωκ-

That particular papyrus fragment is apparently skipped by both Voigt and Lobel-Page, and I couldn't find the text anywhere in Lobel-Page Sappho, and there doesn't seem to be a P.Oxy. 1787 section in Lobel-Page Alcaeus. So I'm wondering: why is this fragment not in Lobel-Page? And why does my image of P.Oxy. 1787 (now unfindable if not in part) say "8&9 missing"?

2 Answers 2


At least one authority thinks your fragment is in fact Pindar: this turns up in the Snell/Maehler Teubner edition of Pindar, as fragment 52wi of the Paians. See http://www.poesialatina.it/_ns/Greek/testi/Pindarus/Fragmenta01.html

Luckily, we can see the Teubner on Google Books: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=rWAgAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA68&dq=δέρκεν&hl=el&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3ztnHo5TdAhVCIIgKHW0mD60Q6AEIWjAH#v=onepage&q=δέρκεν&f=false

The app.font. says "Π^26 fr. 87 (olim P. Oxy. 1787 fr. 9)". Fragment 52wh is also "Π^26 fr. 86 (olim P. Oxy. 1787 fr. 8)".

I don't have the full book, to tell you what Π^26 is, but clearly it's a reconstruction of a book of Pindar's from papyri, and scholars have been at work gathering fragments into that reconstruction.

... No, strike that: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=mXdzAAAAIAAJ&q=π26+pindar&dq=π26+pindar&hl=el&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3u9qdpZTdAhWO-mEKHbZ2BMw4ChDoAQg0MAI , snippet from the Teubner edition:

Π^26: nondum edita, cf. Lobel P. Oxy. 26, p. 31

So Lobel has gone through Oxyrhynchus, worked out that a hundred-odd fragments from Oxyrhynchus are Pindar, and published his handiwork in Vol. 26 p. 31 of the Oxyrhynchus volumes. But noone had put together all the fragments he has gathered together into a single published source as of 1997.

P. Oxy. 1787 was published in vol. 15, in 1922. Vol. 26, when Lobel published that Π^26 was a thing, came out in 1961. Since Lobel decided this was a fragment of Pindar, he did not include it with the other fragments of P. Oxy. 1787 which he thought were Sappho (already published in 1955). And since Lobel had deemed that P. Oxy. 1787 fr. 8 and 9 henceforth belong to his Π^26, sometime between 1922 and 1955, they've been withdrawn from the online publication of P. Oxy. 1787 ("8&9 missing"; "olim" = "formerly" P. Oxy. 1787 fr. 9).

Papyrology. The more I learn about it, the dodgier it seems. :-)

I think I've tracked this down in an online catalogue; assuming Π^26 is "Snell P26", which is reasonable: https://www.trismegistos.org/ldab/text.php?tm=62564

Publication: P. Oxy. 75 5039 (Maehler, Herwig; 2010; transcription); P. Oxy. 26 2442 (Lobel, Edgar; 1961; transcription)

  • Here is P.Oxy. 5039. The top-right-most fragment has a line 2 that looks like ]ϹÁΝΑΤ̣ . [, which more or less matches the safopoemas version of the papyrus fragment άθανά[τ, so I guess that is it.
    – MickG
    Sep 7, 2018 at 8:49
  • 1
    Let's see if I can recognize fragment 9 too. Nope. Damn.
    – MickG
    Sep 7, 2018 at 8:51
  • Actually, scratch that. P.Oxy. 2442, image 2, fr. 86 is olim P.Oxy. 1787 fr. 8. Time to find olim fr. 9. UPDATE It's numbered 87.
    – MickG
    Apr 28, 2019 at 16:39

Perhaps because there is no evidence that this is Sappho.

  • 1
    Which begs the question: what evidence is there for the other P.Oxy. 1787 fragments to be Sappho when some are even more in tatters? I mean, I can think of three sources of evidence: 1. content, 2. being on the same roll, 3. meter. Number 1 clearly doesn't apply to the more tattery fragments where no intelligible word is found. Number 2... I'd expect it to be the reason why these are all P.Oxy. 1787. Number 3... hmm. The meter can't be made out very clearly here, but ll.2l 2-3 seem like they could be ionic, while l. 3 has three longs in a row so it couldn't be. (continues in next comment)
    – MickG
    Aug 22, 2018 at 6:43
  • Maybe this has something to do with this fragment not being in LP and Voigt?
    – MickG
    Aug 22, 2018 at 6:44

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