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Nossis (marble bust by F. Jerace)
Native name Νοσσίς
Born Epizephyrean Locris
Died Epizephyrean Locris
Resting place Unknown
Occupation Poet
Language Greek
Nationality Roman peregrina
Ethnicity Italiot Greek
Citizenship Locrian
Years active c. 300 BCE
Children Melinno (presumed)

Nossis (Greek: Νοσσίς) was an ancient Greek woman epigrammist and poet, c. 300 BCE, who lived in southern Italy, at Locri. Her epigrams were inspired by Sappho, whom she claims to rival.[1]

Twelve epigrams of hers (one of which is perhaps spurious) survive in the Greek Anthology.

Meleager of Gadara, in his Garland, includes her among the most distinguished Greek singers. Antipater of Thessalonica ranks her among the nine poets who deserved the honor to compete with the Muses.

Nossis states in her work that her mother was named Theuphila, the daughter of Cleouchas. In another epigram, she mentions that she had a daughter named Melinna,[2] who is possibly the poet Melinno.


  1. ^ Snyder, Jane McIntosh. The Women and the Lyre. (1991. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale). See Anthologia Graeca 7:718.
  2. ^ William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London: Murray (1849), "Melinno"

Further reading[edit]

  • Skinner, Marilyn B. "Aphrodite Garlanded: Erôs and Poetic Creativity in Sappho and Nossis". in Rabinowitz, Nancy Sorkin and Auranger, Lisa. Among Women: From the Homosocial to the Homoerotic in the Ancient World. University of Texas Press, Austin. 2002.
  • Barra Bagnasco, M. 1990. “Nuovi documenti sul culto di Afrodite a Locri Epizefiri.” PP 45: 42–63.
  • Barra Bagnasco, ed. 1992. Locri Epizefiri IV: Lo scavo di Marasà Sud. Il sacello tardo arcaico e la “casa dei leoni.” Florence.
  • Barra Bagnasco. 1996. “Il culto extramuraneo di Afrodite.” In E. Lattanzi et al., eds. 27–29.
  • Bowman, L. 1998. “Nossis, Sappho and Hellenistic Poetry.” Ramus 27.1: 39–59.
  • Dillon, M. 2002. Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion. London and New York.
  • Gigante, M. 1974. “Nosside.” PP 29: 22–39.
  • Gow, A. S. F., and D. L. Page, eds. 1965. The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams. 2 vols. Cambridge.
  • Gutzwiller, K. J. 1998. Poetic Garlands: Hellenistic Epigrams in Context. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London.
  • Lattanzi, E., et al., eds. 1996. Santuari della Magna Grecia in Calabria. Naples.
  • MacLachlan, B. C. 1995. “Love, War and the Goddess in Fifth-Century Locri.” AncW 26.2: 205–23.
  • Prückner, H. 1968. Die lokrischen Tonreliefs. Mainz am Rhein.
  • Redfield, J. M. 2003. The Locrian Maidens: Love and Death in Greek Italy. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
  • Skinner, M. B. 1989. “Sapphic Nossis.” Arethusa 22: 5–18.
  • Skinner, M. B. 1991. “Nossis Thêlyglôssos: The Private Text and the Public Book.” In S. B. Pomeroy, ed., Women’s History and Ancient History. Chapel Hill and London: 20–47.
  • Skinner, M. B. 2001. “Ladies’ Day at the Art Institute: Theocritus, Herodas, and the Gendered Gaze.” In A. Lardinois and L. McClure, eds., Making Silence Speak: Women’s Voices in Greek Literature and Society. Princeton, N.J., 201–22.
  • Sourvinou-Inwood, C. 1978. “Persephone and Aphrodite at Locri: A Model for Personality Definitions in Greek Religion.” JHS 98: 101–21.

External links[edit]