(I adore Sappho, so I’m always keen to read what others have to say in her regard)
A two line fragment of Sappho’s poetry (S.120) reads:
But I am not one to keep venting my anger:
Rather I let some things in my heart go unspoken
Sappho’s word choices here make this as difficult as any of her fragments to appreciate in translation. Yet, not only do those choices make attribution of this fragment to Sappho secure, they also manifest her importance in an area for which she rarely receives attention: early Greek medical thinking. One reason her importance in that regard is largely unnoticed is that Western medicine in general has abandoned its own tradition, retaining only the nomenclature and some of the symbolism of early Greek medicine.
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