Fragment 44 is a fragment of a poem by the archaic Greek poet Sappho, which describes the wedding of Hector and Andromache. It was preserved on a fragment of papyrus found at Oxyrhynchus The poem's meter is the glyconic with double dactylic expansion (gl2d) – each line is of the form "xx -uu -uu -uu- ux". In the Alexandrian edition of Sappho's poems, it was included in Book II.
The poem tells the story of the marriage of Hector and Andromache, which is mentioned in Book 22 of the Iliad, and may have been written for performance at a wedding. However, as early as 1966, some scholars had begun to question this belief, noting that the story of Hector and Andromache – culminating in the death of Hector and the enslavement of Andromache – is not particularly suitable for a wedding. Holt Parker describes the theory that the poem was intended as a wedding song as a "silly idea". Lawrence Schrenk argues that the poem specifically alludes to two scenes in the Iliad – firstly, Andromache's seeing Hector's body being dragged from the battlefield and the subsequent flashback to her wedding in Book 22, and secondly, the recovery of Hector's corpse in Book 24.
The poem has received relatively little scholarly attention, and many scholars consider it not to be one of Sappho's best works. However, Schrenk argues that the poem is more subtle than has often been appreciated.
- Rayor, Diane and Lardinois, André. Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2014. pg. 112.
- Voigt, E. M. Sappho et Alcaeus. Polak & Gennep: Amsterdam, 1971. pg. 18
- Campbell, David A. Greek Lyric I: Sappho and Alcaeus. Harvard University Press: Harvard, Massachusetts, 1982. pg. 53.
- Dale, Alexander. "Sapphica". Harvard Studies of Classical Philology: vol. 106, 2011. pg.58.
- Parker, Holt. "Sappho's Public World". n. 4. In Greene, Ellen (ed.). Woman Poets in Ancient Greece and Rome. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman OK, 2005.
- Schrenk, Lawrence P. "Sappho Frag. 44 and the 'Iliad'". Hermes: vol. 122, issue 2, 1994. p.145.
- Schrenk, Lawrence P. "Sappho Frag. 44 and the 'Iliad'". Hermes: vol. 122, issue 2, 1994. p.144.
- Schrenk, Lawrence P. "Sappho Frag. 44 and the 'Iliad'". Hermes: vol. 122, issue 2, 1994. p.149.