Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis
1 P. Oxy. 1800 fr. 11
[Σαπφὼ τὸ μὲν γένος] ἦν Λε[σβία, πόλεως δὲ Μιτ]υλήνης, [πατρὸς δὲ Σκαμ]άνδρου, κα[τὰ δέ τινας Σκα]μανδρωνύ[μου· ἀδελφοὺς δ᾿] ἔσχε τρεῖς, [Ἐρ][γυιον καὶ Λά]ριχον, πρεσβύ[τατον δὲ Χάρ]αξον, ὃς πλεύσας ε[ἰς Αἴγυπτον] Δωρίχαι τινι προσ[νεχθε]ς κατεδαπάνησεν εἰς ταύτην πλεῖστα. τὸν δὲ Λάριχον <νέον> ὄντα μᾶλλον ἠγάπησεν. θυγατέρα δ᾿ ἔσχε Κλεῒν ὁμώνυμον τῆι ἑαυτῆς μί. κ[α]τηγόρηται δ᾿ ὑπ᾿ ἐν[ί]ω[ν] ὡς ἄτακτος οὖ[σα] τὸν τρόπον καὶ γυναικε[ράσ]τρια. τὴν δὲ μορφὴν [εὐ]καταφρόνητος δοκεῖ γε[γον]α[ι κα] δυσειδεστάτη[[ν]], [τ]ὴν μὲν γὰρ ὄψιν φαιώδης [ὑ]πῆρχεν, τὸ δὲ μέγεθος μικρὰ παντελῶς. τὸ δ᾿ αὐτὸ [συ]μβέβηκε καὶ περὶ τὸν [ . . . . . ]ν2 ἐλάττω [. .] γεγον<ότ>α [ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]. η
1 Oxyrhynchus papyrus (late 2nd or early 3rd c. a.d.)On Sappho
Sappho1 was a Lesbian by birth, of the city of Mytilene. Her father was Scamander or, according to some, Scamandronymus,2 and she had three brothers, Erigyius, Larichus and Charaxus, the eldest, who sailed to Egypt and associated with one Doricha, spending large sums on her; Sappho was more fond of the young Larichus.3 She had a daughter Cleis,4 named after her own mother. She has been accused by some of being irregular in her ways and a woman-lover. In appearance she seems to have been contemptible and quite ugly, being dark in complexion and of very small stature.5 The same is true of (Alcaeus?) who was smallish6 . . .
- 1G. Zuntz, ‘On the Etymology of the Name Sappho’ (Mus. Helv. 8 (1951) 12–35), argued that her name was Asianic.
- 2Cf. schol. Pl. Phdr. 235c, Tz. Prol. de Com. Gr. 2. 8.
- 3See fr. 203.
- 4See frr. 98b. 1, 132.
- 5So Max. Tyr. 18. 7, schol. Luc. Imag. 18 (‘like a nightingale’), Ov. Her. 15. 31–6; Socrates called her ‘beautiful’ (Pl. Phdr. 235b) because of the beauty of her lyrics (Max. l.c.).
- 6Or ‘smaller than . . .’