Sappho and Ancient Greek Literature: Biography of a Poet with Leoni Thanasoula - Context Travel

Sappho and Ancient Greek Literature: Biography of a Poet with Leoni Thanasoula


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Join scholar Leoni Thanasoula to discover the life and work of Greek lyrical poet Sappho. Known to all of Hellenistic society in her time, Sappho remains an enigmatic figure in the world of literature. Most of her prolific output has been lost, and much conjecture surrounds her writing and her life. In this seminar, we will explore the women, the poet, and the legends that she has inspired.

“…the most beautiful thing on black earth… is whatsoever a person loves”

Ancient Greek lyrical poet Sappho is a legendary figure for the power of her verses and the life we believe she led. While not much historical evidence remains, scholars are left with fragments of her story to decipher. Even since antiquity, myth, imagination, literature, and art have created a plethora of narrations about her personality.

Sappho was born on the island of Lesvos in the seventh century B.C. to an aristocratic family. During a period of social turmoil, she was exiled to Sicily at a very young age. When she returned to her island, she was already an honored poet. Descended from Homer’s epic tradition, the great poet’s masculine, heroic world will serve as an anti-mirror to reflect the world and soul of women and their encounters with the divine. Strong emotions, virtues, and values interleaf between the natural and the divine sphere, expressed with clarity, simplicity, and enchanting lyricism. The nature of Lesvos springs out of her written tesserae blooming, inviting, celebrating.

Led by a historian and biographer, Leoni P. Thanasoula, this interactive seminar will focus on the main biographical questions about the most ambiguous female poetic voice and the essence of her poetry. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of Sappho’s world both as depicted in historical sources as well as represented in her poetry.

Leoni Thanasoula studied history and Hellenic culture and holds an M.A. in Classics and Museology. She works as a consultant in autobiography and family history as well as cultural heritage. As a researcher, she has worked in London, Jerusalem, and Egypt. Currently, she is writing her second book: Sappho in contemporary Greek arts.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
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L
L.H.
Nice intro to Sappho

Interesting nicely illustrated overview of Sappho's life and work. I would have liked to hear a little more of her actual poetry. However this served as a good introduction and jumping off point to explore her work.

S
S.T.

Very thorough coverage of the subject and visuals! A poetic presentation.

E
E.
Sappho

Good background and visuals.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
L.H.
Nice intro to Sappho

Interesting nicely illustrated overview of Sappho's life and work. I would have liked to hear a little more of her actual poetry. However this served as a good introduction and jumping off point to explore her work.

S
S.T.

Very thorough coverage of the subject and visuals! A poetic presentation.

E
E.
Sappho

Good background and visuals.