About the lesbian poets, About hermes, the god of fertility, and about the mysteries of Artemis in ancient mytilene

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The article finalizes the study of the erotic pre-wedding ritual of the mysteries of Artemis in ancient Mytilene. Comparative analysis of epigraphic, literary and new archaeological data shows that the Sapphic girls during this ritual seem to have sacrificed their virginity to the goddess Artemis (cf. Sapph. Fr. 99 (a–b), Fr. 114 Campbell; SEG XX 717, 84–97; IG XII (2) 255; Ps.-Aeschin. 10 etc.). In this case, the older girls in the course of these mysteries of Artemis seem to have acted as Hermes, the phallic deity of fertility (cf. Sapph. Fr. 141, Fr. 150 Campbell; TAM III/1 35, A1). New archaeological discoveries, made in Klopedi (North Lesbos), also testify in favor of this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-364
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018



  • Erotic poetry of Sappho
  • Mysteries of Artemis in ancient Mytilene
  • Poetry of Alcaeus
  • Pre-wedding rituals in Ancient Greece
  • pre-wedding rituals in Ancient Greece
  • poetry of Alcaeus
  • erotic poetry of Sappho
  • mysteries of Artemis in ancient Mytilene

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