In conjunction with L. Rupprecht’s lecture “The Renaissance Sappho” on March 28, an exhibition in the Reading Room of the Gennadius Library showcases rare Renaissance editions of Sappho’s poetry.

The exhibition presents a selection of 17 rare editions of sapphic poetry from the collection of Joannes Gennadius covering the period from the 16th to the 18th century.

It starts with the “Hymn to Aphrodite” edited by Aldus Manutius in 1508; the poem is included in “De compositione verborum” of Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

The great classical publisher Henricus Stephanus (Henri Estienne, 1528-1598) was responsible for a larger edition of Sappho’s fragments, which he presented together with Pindar and seven other ancient Greek lyric poets, Sappho being the only woman in this collection.

A part of the exhibition is dedicated to the editions of Fulvio Orsini (1529-1600) who was to become the most important and influential classical scholar the Renaissance produced, and of Johann Christian Wolf (1689-1770), the eminent classicist and professor at the Hamburg Gymnasium.

The last part focuses on the works of three women of letters of three different eras: the Byzantine historian Anna Comnena (1083- c. 1153) in the Alexiad; Anne Le Fèvre Dacier (1647-1720), a distinguished classicist who translated Sappho’s poems in French; and the Canadian classicist and poet Anne Carson who in 2002 published an important modern translation of the surviving works of Sappho in English.

The exhibition will be open to the public until Saturday, the 13th of April:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm,

Thursday: 9.00am - 8.00pm,

Saturday: 9.00am-2.00pm,

Sunday: closed