Published Jul 7, 2014

Jie Gu  

Jing Qin


BACKGROUND Sappho is an Ancient Greek poetess, whose poetry is well known in western literature and greatly impacts the development of Greek poetry. In the ancient world she was considered to be an equal footing with Homer, acclaimed as the “tenth muse”.

OBJECTIVE This work focuses on the characters of Sappho and her poetry and her impact on Greek literature as well as western culture. The purpose of the study is to help further understand the great poet and better enjoy her works, thus forming a brighter image of Sappho.

METHOD Based on the studies and books of some scholars like Margaret Williamson and Bliss Carman, this paper attempts to adopt a descriptive-analytical method to summarize and analyze Sappho’s identity and her poems, so as to provide a brighter image of this great poet.

CONCLUSION Among the Greek literature stands the great figure-Sappho. There is an inescapable fact that Sappho may have been the greatest poet who ever lived. In antiquity, Sappho was commonly regarded as the greatest, or one of the greatest, of lyric poets. Today, Sappho has set a standard for poetry that has never been exceeded. The work of Sappho has been widely admired and imitated.



Greek Literature, Lyric Poetess, Female Homosexuality, Sapphic Meter

1. Barnard M. Sappho: A New Translation. California: University of California Press, 1986.

2. Williamson M. Sappho’s Immortal Daughters. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.

3. Greene E. Reading Sappho: Contemporary Approaches. California: University of California Press, 1999.

4. Carman B. Sappho One Hundred Lyrics. Public Domain Publications, 2009.

5. Freedman N. Sappho: The Tenth Muse. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

6. Roche P. Sappho, The Love Songs of Sappho. New York: Penguin Books, 1966, 1991.

7. Campbell DA. Greek lyric poetry: a selection of early Greek lyric, elegiac and iambic poetry, Bristol: Bristol Classical Press, 1982.
How to Cite
Gu, J., & Qin, J. (2014). Sappho – A Great Poetess of Ancient Greece. Science Insights, 9(1), 222–226. https://doi.org/10.15354/si.14.sc021
Original Article