Celebrating the Legacy of Sappho with Dr. Rioghnach Sachs

As part of our vibrant celebration of International Women's Day/Week, we were proud to host a facinating talk by Dr. Rioghnach Sachs, an Old Bancroftian, on the captivating poetry of Sappho.

Held on Thursday, 7th March, in room G02, the event drew in a number of students and staff, eager to delve into the works of one of the Classical Age’s most celebrated female writers.

Sappho, known for her lyrical poetry that resonated through the 6th century BCE from the island of Lesbos, has been dubbed “the Tenth Muse” by some of her ancient admirers. Her work, surviving in fragments, continues to enchant scholars and readers alike, offering a rare glimpse into the female perspective of her time.

Dr. Sachs, who is currently co-editing and contributing to a forthcoming publication titled Reinventing Sappho, shared insights from her chapter, ‘What Makes Sapphic Writing?’. Her talk, closely based on this work, explored the scholarly metaphors of genealogy, the winding thread, and the palimpsest as key elements in understanding Sapphic writing’s enduring appeal. Dr. Sachs’s work is part of a collaborative effort following a conference panel organised in Lyon, July 2022, at the Celtic Conference in Classics.

Reinventing Sappho promises to be a groundbreaking volume, examining the various ways in which Sappho’s persona and poetics have been reimagined through the ages—from Ancient Greece and Rome to the Renaissance, and into the realms of Modernism and Postmodernism. This collection of essays will feature a diverse range of approaches, including philology, translation, film theory, eco-criticism, and queer theory. Highlighted contributions will explore Sappho’s reception by figures such as British modernist Virginia Woolf, French Renaissance writer Christine de Pisan, and even in contemporary social media.

We extend our thanks to Dr. Rioghnach Sachs for her fantastic presentation and look forward to the publication of Reinventing Sappho.

Where Next


Visit Us

Contact Us