Most of Sappho's poetry is now lost, and what is extant has survived only in fragmentary form, except for one complete poem: the " Ode to Aphrodite ". As well as lyric poetry, ancient commentators claimed that Sappho wrote elegiac and iambic poetry. Three epigrams attributed to Sappho are extant, but these are actually Hellenistic imitations of Sappho's style. Little is known of Sappho's life. She was from a wealthy family from Lesbos, though her parents' names are uncertain.
Payne, Lesbls 30 January Hot tranny on tranny action as blonde fucks hot Asian 7 months ago. No reliable portrait of Sappho's physical appearance has survived; all extant representations, ancient and modern, are artists' conceptions. Retrieved 17 June These elite poets tended to identify themselves Lesbox the worlds of Greek myths, gods, and heroes, as well as Lesbos have sex wealthy East, especially Lydia. Shemale asked girlfriend to use dildo for ass penetration 2 years ago.
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Lesbianism is the sexual and romantic desire between females.
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Lesbianism is the sexual and romantic desire between females. There are far fewer historical mentions of lesbianism than male homosexuality, due to many historical writings and records focusing primarily on men. The evidence about female homosexuality in the ancient Greek world is limited, with it being hardly mentioned in extant Greek literature.
At least among these Athenian men, the discussion and depiction of female homosexual activity seems to have been taboo. Nonetheless, there are a few references to female homosexuality in ancient Greek literature. Two poets from the archaic period, Sappho and Alcman , have been interpreted as writing about female homosexual desire.
Alcman wrote hymns known as partheneia , [note 1] which discuss attraction between young women. Though it is ambiguous, historians have considered the attraction in question to be erotic or sexual. For instance, in Sappho's Ode to Aphrodite , the poet asks Aphrodite for aid in wooing another woman.
In classical Athens, the idea of homosexual women is briefly mentioned in the Speech of Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium. In Greek mythology, the story of Callisto has been interpreted as implying that Artemis and Callisto were lovers. Female-female relationships or sexual activities were occasionally depicted on Greek art. An early example of this is a plate from archaic Thera, which appears to show two women courting.
Sappho is the most often mentioned example of an ancient Greek woman who may have actually engaged in female homosexual practices. Her sexuality has been debated by historians, with some such as Denys Page arguing that she was attracted to women, while others, such as Eva Stigers, arguing that the descriptions of love between women in Sappho's writings are not evidence for her own sexuality.
Similarly, some find evidence in Plutarch that Spartan women engaged in homosexual activities, though Plutarch wrote many centuries after classical Greece. For instance, she argues, in the girls' choirs that performed the partheneia of Alcman, homosexual relationships between the girls would have "flourished".
When Iphis' mother becomes pregnant, her husband declares that he will kill the child if it is a girl. She bears a girl and attempts to conceal her sex by giving her a name that is of ambiguous gender: Iphis. When the "son" is thirteen, the father chooses a golden-haired maiden named Ianthe as the "boy's" bride.
The love of the two girls is written sympathetically:. They were of equal age, they both were lovely, Had learned the ABC from the same teachers, And so love came to both of them together In simple innocence, and filled their hearts With equal longing. However, as the marriage draws ever closer, Iphis recoils, calling her love "monstrous and unheard of".
The goddess Isis hears the girl's moans and turns her into a boy. References to love between women are sparse. Phaedrus attempted to explain lesbianism through a myth of his own making: Prometheus , coming home drunk from a party, had mistakenly exchanged the genitals of some women and some men — "Lust now enjoys perverted pleasure.
It is quite clear that paiderastia and lesbianism were not held in equally good light, possibly because of the violation of strict gender roles. Seneca the Elder mentions a husband who killed his wife and her female lover and implies that their crime was worse than that of adultery between a male and female. The Babyloniaca of Iamblichus describes an Egyptian princess named Berenice who loves and marries another woman.
This novelist also states that such love is "wild and lawless". Another example of the gender-sexual worldview of the times was documented in Lucian 's Dialogues of the Courtesans , in which Megilla renames herself Megillus and wears a wig to cover her shaved head. She marries Demonassa of Corinth, although Megillus is from Lesbos. Her friend Leaena comments that "They say there are women like that in Lesbos, with faces like men, and unwilling to consort with men, but only with women, as though they themselves were men".
Megillus seduces Leaena, who feels that the experience is too disgusting to describe in detail. In another dialogue ascribed to Lucian, two men debate over which is better, male love or heterosexuality. One man protested that if male affairs were legitimized, then lesbianism would soon be condoned as well, an unthinkable notion. The apocryphal Apocalypse of Peter describes the punishment of lesbians and gay men in Hell : . And other men and women being cast down from a great rock fell to the bottom, and again were driven by them that were set over them, to go up upon the rock, and thence were cast down to the bottom and had no rest from this torment.
And these were they that did defile their bodies behaving as women: and the women that were with them were they that lay with one another as a man with a woman. The canonical New Testament usually mentions homosexuality in only general terms i. In medieval Europe, the Christian Church took a stricter view of same-sex relations between women. Penitentials , developed by Celtic monks in Ireland, were unofficial guidebooks which became popular, especially in the British Isles.
These books listed crimes and the penances that must be done for them. For example, " The several versions of the Paenitentiale Theodori , attributed to Theodore of Tarsus , who became archbishop of Canterbury in the 7th century, make special references to lesbianism.
The Paenitentiale states, "If a woman practices vice with a woman she shall do penance for three years". The authors of most medieval penitentials either did not explicitly discuss lesbian activities at all, or treated them as a less serious sin than male homosexuality. The Old French legal treatise Li livres de jostice et de plet c. It prescribed dismemberment on the first two offences and death by burning for the third: a near exact parallel to the penalty for a man, although what "dismemberment" could mean for a medieval woman is unknown.
There exist records of about a dozen women in the medieval period who were involved in lesbian sex, as defined by Judith Bennett as same-sex genital contact. All of these women are known through their involvement with the courts, and were imprisoned or executed. In the early fifteenth century, a Frenchwoman, Laurence, wife of Colin Poitevin, was imprisoned for her affair with another woman, Jehanne.
She pleaded for clemency on the grounds that Jehanne had been the instigator and she regretted her sins, and was freed to return home after six months imprisonment. She was declared the victim of a "diabolical obsession" and placed in the convent's prison for the last 35 years of her life. In the medieval Arab world, lesbianism [note 3] was considered to be caused by heat generated in a woman's labia , which could be alleviated by friction against another woman's genitalia.
Between and Maimonides , one of the foremost rabbis in Jewish history, compiled his magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah. It is the only Medieval-era work that details all of Jewish observance, and as regarding lesbianism states: .
For women to be mesollelot [women rubbing genitals against each other] with one another is forbidden, as this is the practice of Egypt, which we were warned against: "Like the practice of the land of Egypt A man married a man, and a woman married a woman, and a woman married two men. Therefore, [one who does this] is not forbidden to the priesthood because of harlotry, and a woman is not prohibited to her husband by this, since it is not harlotry.
But it is appropriate to administer to them lashings of rebellion [i. And a man should be strict with his wife in this matter, and should prevent women known to do this from coming to her or from her going to them. Female homoeroticism, however, was so common in English literature and theatre that historians [ who?
In early modern England, female homosexual behaviour became increasingly culturally visible. Some historians, such as Traub, have argued that this led to increasing cultural sanctions against lesbian behaviours.
The literature of the time attempted to rationalise some women's lesbian activities, commonly searching for visible indications of sapphic tendencies. Despite the onlookers' failure to see anything unusual about the woman, the lion identified her as "no true Virgin". For instance, there was probably a lesbian subculture amongst dancers and prostitutes in eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Paris, and in eighteenth-century Amsterdam.
Laws against lesbianism were suggested but usually not created or enforced in early American history. In , John Cotton proposed a law for Massachusetts Bay making sex between two women or two men a capital offense, but the law was not enacted. However, in in Plymouth Colony , Sarah White Norman and Mary Vincent Hammon were prosecuted for "lewd behavior with each other upon a bed"; their trial documents are the only known record of sex between female English colonists in North America in the 17th century.
Close intimate relationships were common among women in the midth century. This was attributed to strict gender roles that led women to expand their social circle to other women for emotional support. These relationships were expected to form close between women with similar socioeconomic status. Though women developed very close emotional relationships with one another, marriage to men was still the norm. Yet there is evidence of possible sexual relationships to develop beyond an emotional level.
Documents from two African-American women use terms describing practices known as "bosom sex. Late 19th century and early 20th century saw the flourish of " Boston marriages " in New England. The term describes romantic friendship between two women, living together and without any financial support by men. Many lasting romantic friendships began at women's colleges. This kind of relationship actually predates New England's custom, there being examples of this in the United Kingdom and continental Europe since the 18th century.
The late 19th and early 20th centuries also saw an increase in lesbian visibility in France , both in the public sphere and in representations of lesbians in art and literature. Fin de siecle society in Paris included bars, restaurants and cafes frequented and owned by lesbians, such as Le Hanneton and le Rat Mort, Private salons, like the one hosted by the American expatriate Nathalie Barney , drew lesbian and bisexual artists and writers of the era, including Romaine Brooks , Renee Vivien , Colette , Djuna Barnes , Gertrude Stein , and Radclyffe Hall.
One of Barney's lovers, the courtesan Liane de Pougy , published a best-selling novel based on their romance called l'Idylle Saphique Many of the more visible lesbians and bisexual women were entertainers and actresses.
Some, like the writer Colette and her lover Mathilde de Morny , performed lesbian theatrical scenes in cabarets that drew outrage and censorship. Descriptions of lesbian salons, cafes and restaurants were included in tourist guides and journalism of the era, as well as mention of houses of prostitution that were uniquely for lesbians.
Toulouse Lautrec created paintings of many of the lesbians he met, some of whom frequented or worked at the famed Moulin Rouge. The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay LGBT community , [note 4] including lesbians, against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, , at the Stonewall Inn , located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan , New York City.
They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. Political lesbianism originated in the late s among second wave radical feminists as a way to fight sexism and compulsory heterosexuality. Sheila Jeffreys , a lesbian, helped to develop the concept when she co-wrote "Love Your Enemy? They argued that women should abandon support of heterosexuality and stop sleeping with men, encouraging women to rid men "from your beds and your heads.
The Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group definition of a political lesbian is "a woman identified woman who does not fuck men". They proclaimed men the enemy and women who were in relationships with them collaborators and complicit in their own oppression. Heterosexual behavior was seen as the basic unit of the patriarchy 's political structure, with lesbians who reject heterosexual behavior therefore disrupting the established political system.
When elected she was married in a heterosexual marriage. Lesbian feminism , which was most influential from the mids to the mids primarily in North America and Western Europe , encourages women to direct their energies toward other women rather than men, and often advocates lesbianism as the logical result of feminism.
As with Gay Liberation , the lesbian feminism understanding of the lesbian potential in all women was at odds with the minority-rights framework of the Gay Rights movement.
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Most of Sappho's poetry is now lost, and what is extant has survived only in fragmentary form, except for one complete poem: the " Ode to Aphrodite ". As well as lyric poetry, ancient commentators claimed that Sappho wrote elegiac and iambic poetry. Three epigrams attributed to Sappho are extant, but these are actually Hellenistic imitations of Sappho's style.
Little is known of Sappho's life. She was from a wealthy family from Lesbos, though her parents' names are uncertain. Ancient sources say that she had three brothers; the names of two of them, Charaxos and Larichos, are mentioned in the Brothers Poem discovered in She was exiled to Sicily around BC, and may have continued to work until around Later legends surrounding Sappho's love for the ferryman Phaon and her death are unreliable.
Sappho was a prolific poet, probably composing around 10, lines. Her poetry was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity , and she was among the canon of nine lyric poets most highly esteemed by scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria. Sappho's poetry is still considered extraordinary and her works continue to influence other writers.
Beyond her poetry, she is well known as a symbol of love and desire between women ,  with the English words sapphic and lesbian being derived from her own name and the name of her home island respectively.
There are three sources of information about Sappho's life: her testimonia , the history of her times, and what can be gleaned from her own poetry — although scholars are cautious when reading poetry as a biographical source.
Testimonia is a term of art in ancient studies that refers to collections of classical biographical and literary references to classical authors. The testimonia regarding Sappho do not contain references contemporary to Sappho. Little is known about Sappho's life for certain.
Ten names are known for Sappho's father from the ancient testimonia ; [e] this proliferation of possible names suggests that he was not explicitly named in any of Sappho's poetry. No reliable portrait of Sappho's physical appearance has survived; all extant representations, ancient and modern, are artists' conceptions. A literary papyrus of the second century A. Sappho was said to have three brothers: Erigyius, Larichus, and Charaxus.
According to Athenaeus, Sappho often praised Larichus for pouring wine in the town hall of Mytilene, an office held by boys of the best families. One ancient tradition tells of a relation between Charaxus and the Egyptian courtesan Rhodopis. Herodotus, the oldest source of the story, reports that Charaxus ransomed Rhodopis for a large sum and that Sappho wrote a poem rebuking him for this.
According to the Suda , Sappho was married to Kerkylas of Andros. A tradition going back at least to Menander Fr. This is regarded as unhistorical by modern scholars, perhaps invented by the comic poets or originating from a misreading of a first-person reference in a non-biographical poem. Sappho probably wrote around 10, lines of poetry; today, only about survive.
Sappho's poetry was probably first written down on Lesbos, either in her lifetime or shortly afterwards,  initially probably in the form of a score for performers of Sappho's work.
Winkler argues for two, one edited by Aristophanes of Byzantium and another by his pupil Aristarchus of Samothrace. The Alexandrian edition of Sappho's poetry was based on the existing Athenian collections,  and was divided into at least eight books, though the exact number is uncertain. Even after the publication of the standard Alexandrian edition, Sappho's poetry continued to circulate in other poetry collections.
For instance, the Cologne Papyrus on which the Tithonus poem is preserved was part of a Hellenistic anthology of poetry, which contained poetry arranged by theme, rather than by metre and incipit, as it was in the Alexandrian edition.
The earliest surviving manuscripts of Sappho, including the potsherd on which fragment 2 is preserved, date to the third century BC, and thus predate the Alexandrian edition. According to legend, Sappho's poetry was lost because the church disapproved of her morals. Only approximately lines of Sappho's poetry still survive, of which just one poem — the "Ode to Aphrodite" — is complete, and more than half of the original lines survive in around ten more fragments.
Many of the surviving fragments of Sappho contain only a single word  — for example, fragment A is simply a word meaning "wedding gifts",  and survives as part of a dictionary of rare words. Until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, only the ancient quotations of Sappho survived. In , the first new discovery of a fragment of Sappho was made at Fayum. Most recently, major discoveries in the "Tithonus poem" and a new, previously unknown fragment  and fragments of nine poems: five already known but with new readings, four, including the " Brothers Poem ", not previously known  have been reported in the media around the world.
Sappho clearly worked within a well-developed tradition of Lesbian poetry, which had evolved its own poetic diction, meters, and conventions. Among her famous poetic forebears were Arion and Terpander. Sappho's poetry is known for its clear language and simple thoughts, sharply-drawn images, and use of direct quotation which brings a sense of immediacy.
These elite poets tended to identify themselves with the worlds of Greek myths, gods, and heroes, as well as the wealthy East, especially Lydia.
Traditional modern literary critics of Sappho's poetry have tended to see her poetry as a vivid and skilled but spontaneous and naive expression of emotion: typical of this view are the remarks of H. Rose that "Sappho wrote as she spoke, owing practically nothing to any literary influence," and that her verse displays "the charm of absolute naturalness. Today Sappho, for many, is a symbol of female homosexuality;  the common term lesbian is an allusion to Sappho, originating from the name of the island of Lesbos , where she was born.
In classical Athenian comedy from the Old Comedy of the fifth century to Menander in the late fourth and early third centuries BC , Sappho was caricatured as a promiscuous heterosexual woman,  and it is not until the Hellenistic period that the first testimonia which explicitly discuss Sappho's homoeroticism are preserved. The earliest of these is a fragmentary biography written on papyrus in the late third or early second century BC,  which states that Sappho was "accused by some of being irregular in her ways and a woman-lover".
Today, it is generally accepted that Sappho's poetry portrays homoerotic feelings:  as Sandra Boehringer puts it, her works "clearly celebrate eros between women". One of the major focuses of scholars studying Sappho has been to attempt to determine the cultural context in which Sappho's poems were composed and performed.
One longstanding suggestion of a social role for Sappho is that of "Sappho as schoolmistress". In , Denys Page, for example, stated that Sappho's extant fragments portray "the loves and jealousies, the pleasures and pains, of Sappho and her companions"; and he adds, "We have found, and shall find, no trace of any formal or official or professional relationship between them, Campbell in judged that Sappho may have "presided over a literary coterie", but that "evidence for a formal appointment as priestess or teacher is hard to find".
Even if Sappho did compose songs for training choruses of young girls, not all of her poems can be interpreted in this light,  and despite scholars' best attempts to find one, Yatromanolakis argues that there is no single performance context to which all of Sappho's poems can be attributed. Parker argues that Sappho should be considered as part of a group of female friends for whom she would have performed, just as her contemporary Alcaeus is. In antiquity Sappho's poetry was highly admired, and several ancient sources refer to her as the "tenth Muse".
Sappho's poetry also influenced other ancient authors. Skinner as an imitator of Sappho, and Kathryn Gutzwiller argues that Nossis explicitly positioned herself as an inheritor of Sappho's position as a woman poet.
Other ancient poets wrote about Sappho's life. She was a popular character in ancient Athenian comedy ,  and at least six separate comedies called Sappho are known.
From the fourth century BC, ancient works portray Sappho as a tragic heroine, driven to suicide by her unrequited love for Phaon. While Sappho's poetry was admired in the ancient world, her character was not always so well considered. In the Roman period, critics found her lustful and perhaps even homosexual.
By the medieval period, Sappho's works had been lost, though she was still known through later ancient authors such as Ovid. Her works began to become accessible again in the sixteenth century, first in early printed editions of authors who had quoted her. In Aldus Manutius printed an edition of Dionysius of Hallicarnassus, which contained Sappho 1, the "Ode to Aphrodite", and the first printed edition of Longinus' On the Sublime , complete with his quotation of Sappho 31, appeared in In , the French printer Robert Estienne produced an edition of the Greek lyric poets which contained around 40 fragments attributed to Sappho.
Like the ancients, modern critics have tended to consider Sappho's poetry "extraordinary". Housman in the twentieth, have been influenced by her poetry.
Tennyson based poems including "Eleanore" and "Fatima" on Sappho's fragment 31,  while three of Housman's works are adaptations of the Midnight poem , long thought to be by Sappho though the authorship is now disputed. It was not long after the rediscovery of Sappho that her sexuality once again became the focus of critical attention.
In the early seventeenth century, John Donne wrote "Sapho to Philaenis", returning to the idea of Sappho as a hypersexual lover of women. From the 19th century, Sappho began to be regarded as a role model for campaigners for women's rights, beginning with works such as Caroline Norton 's The Picture of Sappho. The discoveries of new poems by Sappho in and excited both scholarly and media attention. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Sappho disambiguation.
Most of Sappho's poetry is preserved in manuscripts of other ancient writers or on papyrus fragments, but part of one poem survives on a potsherd. Sappho's sexuality has long been the subject of debate. Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema 's Sappho and Alcaeus above portrays her staring rapturously at her contemporary Alcaeus; images of a lesbian Sappho, such as Simeon Solomon 's painting of Sappho with Erinna below , were much less common in the nineteenth century.
The most commonly used numbering system is that of E. Voigt, which in most cases matches the older Lobel-Page system. The Suda says that she was active during the 42nd Olympiad, while Eusebius says that she was famous by the 45th Olympiad. West comments on the translation of this word, "'Loveliness' is an inadequate translation of habrosyne , but I have not found an adequate one.
Sappho does not mean 'elegance' or 'luxury'". See n. The lyric age of Greece. Minerva Press. Barnstone, Willis ed. The Complete Poems of Sappho. Shambhala Publications. CS1 maint: extra text: authors list link Boehringer, Sandra In Hubbard, Thomas K.
A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. The Newest Sappho: P. Obbink and P. GC inv. Leiden: Brill. Bolling, George Melville