Hai tou Anakreontos ōdai kai ta tēs Sapphous kai ta tou Alkaiou Leipsana = Anacreontis Carmina cum Sapphonis, et Alcaei fragmentis

From Wythepedia: The George Wythe Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

by Anacreon, Sappho, and Alcaeus

Hai tou Anakreontos
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Author Anacreon, Sappho, and Alcaeus
Published Glasguae: Robertus et Andreas Foulis
Edition 1757
Language Greek and Latin
Volumes volume set
Desc. 8vo

Anacreon (582 BCE–485 BCE) was a Greek lyric poet born in Teos, an Ionian city on the coast of Asia Minor.[1] He likely moved to Thrace in 545 BCE with others from his city when it was attacked by Persians. He then moved to Samos, to Athens, and possibly again to Thessaly, seeking a safe place to write his poems as his patrons (including Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, and Hipparchus, brother of Athenian tyrant Hippias) kept being murdered.[2] It is unknown where Anacreon died,[3] though he lived to the unusually advanced age of 85.[4]

Few of Anacreon’s works survive, but those that do focus on wine, love (homosexual and heterosexual), and the overall pleasures of the legendary Roman symposium.[5] Anacreon used various techniques in his writings, including self-deprecation and irony.[6] The collection of miscellaneous Greek poems from the Hellenistic Age and beyond known as the Anacreontea[7] was “mistakenly labeled” with Anacreon’s name. Despite later appreciation for Anacreon’s true poems, his works were not appreciated during his lifetime.[8]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Anacreon, Sappho, et Alcaeus. Gr. Lat. 12mo." This was one of the titles kept by Thomas Jefferson. He did not sell it to the Library of Congress in 1815, but it may have been referenced in the 1829 catalog of books from Jefferson's estate. George Wythe's Library[9] on LibraryThing includes the title but does not suggest an edition. The Brown Bibliography[10] lists the 1757 Foulis edition published in Glasgow. Brown's choice is supported by a reference in W. Edwin Hemphill's dissertation,"George Wythe the Colonial Briton,"

A rather recent figure in the world of American letters boasted that he owned a rare 1757 edition of the odes of Anacreon, Sappho, and Alcaeus, which had once been in the library of George Wythe.[11]

The Wolf Law Library has been unable to find a copy of the 1757 edition.

See also


  1. " Ana'creon” in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, ed. by M.C. Howatson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid
  4. Marty Roth, "Anacreon’ and Drink Poetry; or, the Art of Feeling Very Very Good,” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 42, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 314.
  5. "Anacreon" in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. by John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).]
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Roth, "Anacreon’ and Drink Poetry; or, the Art of Feeling Very Very Good,” 317.
  9. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on January 13, 2020.
  10. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2015) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.
  11. William Edwin Hemphill, "George Wythe the Colonial Briton: A Biographical Study of the Pre-Revolutionary Era in Virginia," PhD diss., (University of Virginia, 1937): 40, citing John Esten Cooke, "George Wythe", Manuscript Biographies Collection, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library.