Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Luvian Sapphic?

Among the sacred Luvian songs of Istanuwa is a section (KBo 4.11 Vo. 47-9) following the paragraph which opens When they came from steep Wilusa (with translation by Watkins):

tappaši=tar tapala
tappaši=tar tapala
lammaur titiyāla
alinan ḫaltittari maššaninzi

[There in heaven...
There in heaven...
"Gods of..." is called out.]
The interpretation is unclear, according to Watkins, 1995, page 150, and he only mentions it in a discussion of the particle tar. But he remarks on the structure of three rhyming seven-syllable lines, followed by an eleven-syllable line, and says that the final line "even scans mechanically as a tolerably good Sapphic".


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