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2. Poetry

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In this module, we think about Sappho's poetic output, focusing in particular on the different kinds of poetry that Sappho composed – both in terms of the metre and the intended performance context.


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.


Since being awarded the Hellenic Foundation Prize for her Oxford doctorate (1988), Edith has held posts at Cambridge, Oxford, Durham and London Universities. She has published twenty books. She is Co-Founder and Consultant Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama at Oxford and Chairman of the Gilbert Murray Trust. She has won funding for research from the AHRB, the AHRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, and has just been awarded a Humboldt Research Prize. She appears regularly on BBC Radio, and has acted as consultant to professional productions of ancient drama at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Northern Broadsides, Theaterkombinat and other professional companies.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

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

MLA style

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

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