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Headword: Phaôn
Adler number: phi,89
Translated headword: Phaon
Vetting Status: high
They say [sc. his name] in reference to those who are desirable but arrogant. For they say that Phaon was loved by Sappho, as well as by many others -- not Sappho the poetess, but a[nother] Lesbian[1] -- and when she was rejected, she threw herself from the Leucadian rock.[2]
Greek Original:
Phaôn: phasin epi tôn erasmiôn kai huperêphanôn. tou gar Phaônos erasthênai phasi sun pollois kai Sapphô, ou tên poiêtrian, alla Lesbian, kai apotunchanousan rhipsai heautên apo tês Leukados petras.
= Photius phi100 Theodoridis, itself taken to come from Pausanias the Atticist (phi4). Also in several of the paroemiographers.
[1] For the supposed distinction, in fact untenable, between Sappho the poetess from Lesbos and Sappho the musician from Lesbos see sigma 107 and sigma 108 respectively. In the latter Phaon comes from Mytilene, as does Sappho herself; and other sources call him a ferryman.
[2] The "Leucadian rock" was the SW promontory -- Cape Leucatas -- of the island of Leucas (in the Ionian sea), which has a sheer, 2000-foot drop. See generally Strabo 10.2.9, quoting a fragment of Menander (fr.258 Koerte-Thierfelder, from the Leucadia) which alludes to this story.
M.R. Lefkowitz, "Critical stereotypes and the poetry of Sappho," Greek, Roman & Byzantine Studies 14 (1973) 113-123, at 116
G. Nagy, "Phaethon, Sappho's Phaon, and the white rock of Leucas," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 77 (1973) 141-3
Keywords: biography; comedy; daily life; gender and sexuality; geography; poetry; proverbs; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 19 December 2001@00:57:06.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augemented keywords; added note and bibliography) on 19 December 2001@03:26:42.
David Whitehead on 19 December 2001@03:28:24.
Catharine Roth on 19 December 2001@11:40:54.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics; cosmetics) on 13 February 2005@19:37:09.
David Whitehead (another note; tweaking) on 4 December 2013@06:30:36.


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