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3. Poetics

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the distinctive features of Sappho's poetry, focusing in particular on her metre, her diction, and the content of her poetry.


In this course, Professor Edith Hall (King's College, London) explores the poetry of Sappho. In the first module, we think about some of the myths surrounding Sappho before focusing on what we actually know about when and where she lived, her family background, and the possible performance context(s) for her poetry. In the second module, we think about Sappho's poetic output, before turning in the third module to focus on what was distinctive about Sappho's poetry – her metre, her diction, and the kinds of subjects she was interested in. Finally, in the fourth module, we think about what Sappho can tell us about love and relationships in Archaic Greece – especially relationships between women.


Edith Hall is Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University. Her research focuses on ancient Greek literature and cultural history. Some of her major publications include Inventing the Barbarian: Greek Self-Definition through Tragedy (OUP, 1989), Greek Tragedy: Suffering Under the Sun (OUP, 2010), Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind (Norton, 2014), and Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life (Penguin, 2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Hall, E. (2018, August 15). Sappho - Poetics [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Hall, E. "Sappho – Poetics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,