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However, the papyrus tradition suggests that this may not have been the case: a series of papyri published in 2014 contains fragments of ten consecutive poems from Book I of the Alexandrian edition of Sappho, of which only two are certainly love poems, while at least three and possibly four are primarily concerned with family.Whatever its make-up, the Alexandrian edition of Sappho probably grouped her poems by their metre: ancient sources tell us that each of the first three books contained poems in a single specific metre.Beyond her poetry, she is well known as a symbol of love and desire between women.Ancient tradition held that Sappho's appearance was "small and dark".

The earliest of these is a fragmentary biography written on papyrus in the late third or early second century BC, These ancient authors do not appear to have believed that Sappho did, in fact, have sexual relationships with other women, and as late as the tenth century the Suda records that Sappho was "slanderously accused" of having sexual relationships with her "female pupils".In 1959, Denys Page, for example, stated that Sappho's extant fragments portray "the loves and jealousies, the pleasures and pains, of Sappho and her companions;" and he adds, "We have found, and shall find, no trace of any formal or official or professional relationship between them, ...no trace of Sappho the principal of an academy." and despite scholars' best attempts to find one, Yatromanolakis argues that there is no single performance context to which all of Sappho's poems can be attributed.One ancient tradition tells of a relation between Charaxus and the Egyptian courtesan Rhodopis.Herodotus, the oldest source of the story, reports that Charaxus ransomed Rhodopis for a large sum and that Sappho wrote a poem rebuking him for this.

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