The Works of Anacreon and Sappho





de Beer Eb 1713 A


London: Printed for E. Curll; and A. Bettesworth


Greek lyric poetry was composed to be accompanied by the music of a lyre, hence the name. Sappho (d. ca. 570 BC), from the island of Lesbos, is possibly the most famous female poet, though her work comes to us only in fragments. Her poetry is characteristically emotional and passionate and speaks of life and love. Raphael immortalised Sappho in his painting Parnassus (1511), alongside other great poets of both ancient and contemporary times, such as Homer and Dante. Anacreon (582-485 BC), also a lyric poet whose work remains in fragments, wrote ‘elegant, light, fanciful’ love poetry and is known for his drinking songs. The Star Spangled Banner’s original tune is taken from an 18th century drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven.


Cabinet 10 Bettesworth.jpg


___, “The Works of Anacreon and Sappho,” | OUR Heritage, accessed September 27, 2022,