A long time ago, I translated all of Sappho's poems. In doing so, I had to reconstruct some parts of the texts, and do some amateur level criticism. One example of such work lies in the poem sometimes referred to as in the question title, whose first line goes
φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν (That [man] seems to me equal to the gods). The second stanza goes:
Καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν. τό μ’ ἦ μάν
Καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν.
Ὠς γὰρ εὔιδον βροχέως σε, φώνας
οὖδεν ἔτ’ ἴκει,
Or rather, this is the version I like best. The other version has line 3 read:
ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ' ἴδω βρόχε', ὤς με φώνας
(and l. 4 with εἴκει). Now the reasons I prefer the reading given first are two:
- I do not like that tmesis. For some reason, it feels unnecessary to split the verb in two and put that pronoun in the middle for syllable quantity. Of course, another solution to this (which is my invention) would be
ἐσϝίδω, with a digamma for the quantity. This doesn't address the other reason though.
- Catullus's version of this has
aspexi, which is indicative, and not some form of subjunctive.
Trouble is, the only source I found with this reading is Wharton, which has no critical apparatus or commentary, whereas everywhere else I see the second reading (e.g. Bibliotheca Augustana, The complete poems of Sappho, Edmonds and Campbell). So I was wondering: why did Wharton put this version forward, and what is experts' opinion about how likely this is to have been the original version?
Cox's edition of Sappho was formerly on the English Wikisource, and is another edition with
εὔιδον, and also seems to have no critical apparatus and no comments on this reading.
This edition of Longinus On the sublime reports the text as:
that is with
ἔς σ' ἴδω, and adds this critical note:
It is Longinus's work following a Paris manuscript.
PS: Little self-advertising
I have recently opened a blog where, among other things, I will post, very very slowly, all of my work on Sappho. For now, the only Sappho I've posted is precisely this poem, alongside Catullus's version. Any views and/or comments are welcome!