A new reconstruction is proposed of the final strophe of Sapph. fr. 31 V., which accounts for the translation by Catullus and gives Sappho’s celebrated poem a mythos and a gnome, as one would have expected from a poem composed for the thiasos. Two hitherto ignored close imitations in Nicander’s Alexipharmaca and Nonnus’ Paraphrase show that the symptoms described are those of a bad sickness (negative love), and that the poem has a clear epithalamic destination, as imagined by Wilamowitz.
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