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Sappho the greek poet One of the great Greek lyrists and few known female poets of the ancient world Sappho was born some time between 630 and 612 BC She was said to be small and dark in appearance Sapphos home was the city of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos She was born of a noble family the child of Skamandronymos and Cleis She also was an aristocrat who married a prosperous merchant Kerhylas of Andros and she had a daughter whom she also named Cleis Her wealth afforded her with the opportunity to live her life as she chose and she chose to spend it studying the arts on the isle of Lesbos In the seventh century BC Lesbos was a cultural center Sappho spent most her time on the island though she also traveled widely throughout Greece She was exiled for a time around 600 BC because of political activities in her family and she spent this time in Sicily By this time she was known as a poet and the residents of Syracuse were so honored by her visit that they erected a statue to her She was a prolific writer and her work was collected into nine books around the third century BC Unfortunately her work was deemed obscene by the Church and most of it was burned Most of them were lost and Sappho was known only through quotations in other ancient writers until 1900 when considerable fragments of her work began to be found on papyrus in Egypt and so only a few hundred lines of her poetry remain In her lifetime she invented a 21-string lyre which she used to accompany herself when she sang her poems She also founded a thiasos a society of women bound by religious and secular oaths Her Sapphic stanza which consists of three long lines and one short one was greatly emulated by later poets such as Horace and
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