Greek civilization is full of mystery and teachings. There are several Greek historians, poets, and sculptors who let us take a peek back in history. According to Web.com Reviews, Sappho was one such figure who left her mark metaphorically and literally in the form of her wonderful poems. The history of Sappho herself is also mysterious since we don’t know a lot about her, except her marvelous poems.
- Sappho’s origin – Sappho family is known to belong to the aristocratic class of Lesbos (if your brain is making connections, it may be on the right path), a sizable Greek island. The family was believed to be living in the city of Mytilene and Sappho had quite an influence in the local community. According to Alcaeus, a fellow poet, and Sappho’s friend, “violet-haired, pure, honey-smiling” could be one of the many ways to describe Sappho. Through her poetry and teachings, Sappho may have attracted a lot of female students and established a school with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love as its presiding deity.
- Sappho’s sexuality – While there is no concrete evidence of Sappho’s sexuality, she has definitely, many believed her to be a lesbian. Moreover, the word lesbian itself was derived from her place of birth, the Greek island of Lesbos. In Sappho’s poems, we often find great patterns and appreciation for many people, of both genders. Moreover, homoeroticism wasn’t a taboo in Greek culture and love for the same gender was often viewed in the same light as its heterosexual alternative.
Maybe Sappho’s network and community of young women had driven a lot of historians and fans of her poems to identify her as a lesbian. However, there were equally, if not more intense all-male societies in Sparta and Athens. There is no doubt that Sappho’s poem may have established her as an early figure of lesbian literature. But the fact is that there is no solid proof to conclude anything.
- Sappho’s legacy – Sappho along with another eminent group of Greek artists and poets stood out from the antiquated roots of planets, stars, and the cosmos as the subject. Instead, her work revolved around intricate human connections, feelings, love, heartbreaks, and passion. Her poems have a distinct clarity and explain with vivid detail about the aforementioned subjects in simple language. Moreover, the poems weren’t recitational but needed to be sung to music. So, they were essentially lyrical in nature.
It is a shame that her poems and literature were repressed during the medieval period due to her reputation for homoeroticism and sensuality. Fortunately, her work saw a resurgence since 1896 when ancient texts were found in a dump at Oxyrhynchus.
Web.com Reviews believes that Sappho deserves her position among the eminent figures who immortalized Greek literature through their marvelous work. While her death is also shrouded in mystery, one legend says that due to her love for Phaon, a sailor, she threw herself off the Leucadian Rock to end her life.