The Brothers Poem

ἀλλ’ ἄϊ θρύλησθα Χάραξον ἔλθην

νᾶϊ σὺν πλήαι. τὰ μὲν̣ οἴο̣μα̣ι Ζεῦς

οἶδε σύμπαντές τε θέοι · σὲ δ’ οὐ χρῆ

ταῦτα νόησθαι,4


ἀλλὰ καὶ πέμπην ἔμε καὶ κέλεσθαι

πόλλα λί̣σσεσθαι̣ βασί̣λ̣η̣αν Ἤ̣ραν

ἐξίκεσθαι τυίδε σάαν ἄγοντα

νᾶα Χάραξον8


κἄμμ’ ἐπεύρην ἀρτ̣έ̣μεας. τὰ δ’ ἄλλα

πάντα δαιμόνεσσ̣ιν ἐπι̣τ̣ρόπωμεν·

εὔδιαι γ̣ὰρ̣ ἐκ μεγάλαν ἀήτα̣ν̣

αἶψα πέ̣λ̣ο̣νται.12


τῶν κε βόλληται βασίλευς Ὀλύμπω

δαίμον’ ἐκ πόνων ἐπάρωγον ἤδη

περτρόπην, κῆνοι μ̣άκαρες πέλονται

καὶ πολύολβοι·16


κἄμμες, αἴ κε τὰν κεφάλα̣ν ἀέρρ̣η

Λάρι̣χος καὶ δή ποτ’ ἄνη̣ρ γένηται,

καὶ μάλ’ ἐκ πόλλαν βαρ̣υθυ̣μίαν̣ κεν

αἶψα λύθειμεν.                                     ⊗20

    θρύλημι: to chatter, to keep talking about

    ναῦς νεῶς ἡ: ship

    πλέος -α -ον: full

    Ζεύς Διός ὁ: Zeus

    σύμπας -πασα -παν: all together, as a whole

    νόημι: to think about

    κέλομαι: to command, urge, tell; poetic for κελεύω

    λίσσομαι: to beg, pray to (+ acc.)

    βασίληα = βασίλεια ἡ: queen

    Ἥρα -ας ἡ: Hera

    ἐξικνέομαι: to arrive, reach

    τυίδε: (to) here

    σάος -α -ον: safe and sound

    ἀρτεμής -ές: safe and sound

    ἐπιτρέπω: to entrust, turn to

    εὐδία -ας ἡ: fair weather

    ἀήτης -ου : wind, gale

    αἶψα: quickly

    πέλομαι: to come into existence (here); to become, be (as in v. 15)

    Ὄλυμπος -ου ὁ: Mt. Olympus, home of the gods

    ἐπαρωγός -οῦ ὁ: helper;

    περιτρέπω: to divert, turn away from

    μάκαρ, μάκαιρα, μάκαρ: blessed, fortunate

    πολύολβος -ον: very wealthy, rich in blessings

    Λάριχος -ου : Larichos, Sappho's brother

    βαρυθυμία -ας ἡ: heaviness of heart, heart break, depression

    "1-3 stanzas are missing from the beginning of the poem.""Meter: Sapphic Stanzas

    – ᴗ – × | – ᴗ ᴗ – | ᴗ – ×

    – ᴗ – × | – ᴗ ᴗ – | ᴗ – ×

    – ᴗ – × | – ᴗ ᴗ – | ᴗ – ×

    – ᴗ ᴗ – ×"""

    ἄϊ: = ἀεί.  Θρύλησθα: 2nd sg. pres. act. ind.  Χάραξος ὁ: Charaxos, Sappho's brother.  ἔλθην: = λθεν. Obbink 2014 (42) suggests this infinitive expresses a wish (that C. should come). Ferrari 2014 (4) prefers to maintain the past tense of the aorist (that C. has arrived). Joshua Langseth (forthcoming) argues for "that C. has left," a reading that maintains the tense and best fits the poem's narrative. <sup>1</sup>

    πλήαι: > πλέος, dat. sg. fem., modifies νᾶϊ.  οἴομαι: “I believe,” a parenthetical aside.

    σὲ δ’ οὐ χρῆ: introduces a series of infinitives: νόησθαι . . . πέμπην . . . κέλεσθαι . . . λί̣σσεσθαι̣.  σὲ, the unknown addressee and subject of these infinitives contrasts with ἔμε, the speaker of the poem and object of πέμπην and κέλεσθαι.

    πέμπην: = πέμπειν, pres. act. inf.

    πόλλα: adverbial, “often,” “many times” (Langseth 5).  λί̣σσεσθαι̣: introduces an indirect command [JG1] ἐξίκεσθαι . . . Χάραξον, “to beg that Charaxos arrive . . .”

    7  σάαν: acc. sg. fem. modifies νᾶα, ship.  ἄγοντα: pres. act. partic., modifies Χάραξον. Note the interlocked word order.

    κἄμμ’ = κἄμμε = καί + ἄμμε = ἡμέας, “us,” acc.  ἐπεύρην: = ἐφευρίσκειν, pres. act. inf.  ἀρτ̣έ̣μεας: > ἀρτεμής -ές, acc. pl., modifies κἄμμ’.  τὰ δ’ ἄλλα πάντα: everything else (acc. pl. neut.)

    10  δαιμόνεσσ̣ιν: dat. pl. For the ending, see Smyth 250 D 2.  ἐπιτρόπωμεν: = ἐπιτρέπωμεν, hortatory subjunctive. “Let us entrust, turn over.”

    11  μεγάλαν ἀήτα̣ν̣: gen. pl.

    13  τῶν κε: “those of whom / whomever,” a partitive genitive based on κῆνοι in v. 15 (Ferrari 3). “They are blessed, those of whom the king of the gods wishes a helper god to divert from suffering.” For κε, see Obbink 44.  βόλλομαι: = βούλομαι.  Ὀλύμπω: = Ὀλύμπου

    14  ἐπάρωγον: in apposition with δαίμονα, a helper god, or god as a helper

    15  περτρόπην: = περιτρέπειν “to divert, turn away from,” pres. act. inf.  κῆνοι: = ἐκεῖνοι

    17  κἄμμες: = καί + ἄμμες = ἡμεῖς, “we also,” the subject of λύθειμεν in v. 20.  αἴ κε: αἴ: = εἰ, “if“ + κε introduces a future more vivid condition, with subjunctives in the protasis and an optative (+ κεν)  in the apodosis: “If Larichos lifts... and becomes... we may be freed....” See Munro κε for ἄν. See Smyth 2323-2326.  ἀέρρ̣η: > ἀείρω, to lift, raise up, 3rd sg. pres. act. subj. The expression " to lift up his head" has archaic parallels with our own idiom, meaning to have pride in oneself. The idea here seems to be that Larichos should be proud of his aristocratic roots. (Langseth 11)

    18  Λάριχος ὁ:  Larichos, Sappho's brother (Testimonia ...).  ἄνη̣ρ: here particularly, a grown man, a gentleman, a man of status.  γένηται: > γίγνομαι, 3rd sg. aor. mid. subj.

    19  μάλ’ ... πόλλαν: “very great”

    20  λύθειμεν: 1st pl. aor. pass. opt. from λύω. An optative in the apodosis expresses a wish.

     [JG1]An indirect command or statement or wish?

    article Nav