April 9th, 2015
Episode 449 of 515 episodes
The Greek poet Sappho was born in the late 7th century BC and spent much of her life on the island of Lesbos. In antiquity she was famed as one of the greatest lyric poets, but the bulk of her work was lost to posterity. The fragments that do survive, however, give a tantalising glimpse of a unique voice of Greek literature. Her work has lived on in other languages, translated by such major poets as Ovid, Christina Rossetti and Baudelaire. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Edith Hall, Professor of Classics at King's College, London; Margaret Reynolds, Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London and Dirk Obbink, Professor of Papyrology and Greek Literature at the University of Oxford and fellow and tutor at Christ Church, Oxford.