Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg
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Pkogress of Egyptology.


No discovery of quite the first importance, and no great publication of
texts, has signalized the past year, and yet the general average of interest
in both departments has been maintained, and perhaps even passed. The
first place in all respects belongs to Berlin. Thence has issued the most
interesting literary publication of the year, and the most extensive
publication of non-literary documents; and there, according to report,
more than one literary papyrus of considerable size and importance has
lately found a home, to be given to the world in due course.

The literary publication just mentioned, which unquestionably holds
first rank in the harvest of the past year, is that of the fragments of
Sappho, edited by Dr. W. Schubart.1 The manuscript from which they
are taken is on vellum, and is regarded by the editor as having originally
been a roll; this, however, is improbable in itself, especially in view of
the fact that there is writing on both sides, and it is far more likely that
it was in the ordinary book form. The hand is a medium-sized sloping-
uncial, probably of the seventh century; the sixth, which the editor
regards as also possible, seems out of the question. The writing on One
side of the vellum has practically vanished; on the other there are remains
of three incomplete columns, containing portions of three odes (identifiable
as Sappho's from the occurrence of two of the known fragments, Bergk 46
and 49) in different metres. The metres are themselves noteworthy, since
they do not. occur elsewhere in the extant remains of Sappho; but the
chief interest of the fragments lies in the beauty of the poetry. Unlike
the Oxyrhynchus fragment, Avhich adds nothing to the Lesbian poetess'
fame, the new discovery contains lines and stanzas worthy to rank with
the best that we have of her, and we may say of them, as Meleager said of
Sappho's lyrics in general, (Baia fjbkv, aWa poha. Dr. Schubart, who has
had the assistance of Prof, von ^Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, has edited his
remarkable discovery with skill and success. Among the various criticisms
of the poems which have appeared since their first publication, the most
notable is that of Prof. JBlass, who has re-examined the MS. with
profitable results.2 Not the least satisfactory feature of the discovery is
the proof that Sappho's poems were extant as late as the seventh
century in the country which holds out the best prospects for the recovery
of her complete works.

Together with the Sappho, Dr. Schubart published a small papyrus
fragment, containing portions of two columns of lyric verse, with a scholion