“Charaxus Arrived with a Full Ship!” The Poetics of Welcome in Sappho's Brothers Song and the Charaxus Song Cycle

Classical Antiquity 37 (2):236-266 (2018)

By analyzing the parallels between Sappho's Brothers Song and archaic Greek songs of welcome, especially Archilochus fr. 24 West, this essay offers a new interpretation of the Brothers Song. It clarifies that ἔλθην in the first preserved stanza represents an original aorist indicative. The chatterer repeats over and over a welcome song that begins, “Charaxus arrived with a full ship.” The rest of the song continues to engage with the welcome song tradition, anticipating the welcome song that will celebrate Charaxus' return to Mytilene, when and if that occurs. By pointing beyond itself to other, real or notional, songs about Charaxus, the Brothers Song also demonstrates Sappho's nonlinear method of storytelling that relies on her audiences' imaginations.
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DOI 10.1525/ca.2018.37.2.236
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References found in this work BETA

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter.A. W. James, Homer & N. J. Richardson - 1976 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 96:165-168.
Studies in Greek Elegy and Iambus.P. Walcot & M. L. West - 1976 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 96:194-194.
Sophokles and the Mysteries.Richard Seaford - 1994 - Hermes 122 (3):275-288.

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