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Sappho, Corinna and Colleagues in Ancient Rome. Tatian’s Catalogue of Statues (Oratio ad Graecos 33-4) Reconsidered 1)

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Abstract In his Oratio ad Graecos Tatian claims to have seen Sappho’s statue among a number of other female figures in Rome, which, according to a passage in Pliny the Elder, seem to have been in the Portico of Pompey. This article examines how difficulties in the scholarly reception of Tatian’s Oratio ad Graecos continue to obstruct a fuller picture of the role of female figures such as Sappho in late Republican and Augustan Rome. Furthermore, by bringing fresh archaeological evidence into the discussion of Tatian’s text and pointing out previously ignored philological connections between Oratio ad Graecos and late Republican and Augustan literature, the article refines the image of a woman like Sappho in Ancient Rome.

Affiliations: 1: The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of History and Classical Studies 7491 Trondheim Norway


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