Telesilla of Argos, the Greek Lyric Poet who Defended Argos

Telesilla of Argos, the Greek Lyric Poet who Defended Argos

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Telesilla was a Greek lyric poet who lived in Argos in the fifth century BCE. Along with the famous poet Sappho, Telesilla was named as one of the Nine Female Lyric Poets of Greece, and is known for both her lyric poetry (even though only two lines survive) and for her courage as the defender of Argos against Sparta.

According to Plutarch, when Telesilla learnt that the Argive army was killed by Cleomenes I, King of Sparta, she got the women, youth, and elders of Argos to rise up in defence. According to one account, the women, directed by Telesilla, resolved to hold their city, manning the walls and hurling whatever they could at the Spartans, and drove Cleomenes back with fewer men than he started with! According to Pausanias, Cleomenes had three options; 1- to attack the city and be defeated by women, which would be the greatest disgrace, 2- to attack and defeat the women, which would be a dishonourable victory or 3- to leave and save his honour. Frustrated, Cleomenes chose the third option and withdrew his forces. Regardless of which story is true, Telesilla is remembered as both a talented artist and defender of Argos.

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Born in Miletus in Asia Minor, Aspasia (470-410 BCE) was an important figure in Classical Athens. While few sources can tell us how she immigrated to the city state, she was known as the partner of Pericles, a local statesman, and mother of Pericles the Younger. Plutarch recounts that her home in Athens was an intellectual center, where prominent writers and thinkers regularly gathered. She is said to have established a girls’ school, surpassing the limitations imposed on women.

Born into a wealthy Athenian family, Agnodice (c. 4th century BCE) was actually the first female midwife known to history. Her story is told by Roman author Gaius Julius Hyginus, who recounts that she studied medicine under Herophilus disguised as a man, as women were not allowed to practice medicine. She started practicing in Athens still disguised as a man, and specialized in helping women during labor, as men often refused to do this. In one instance she had to reveal to a patient that she was a woman in order to proceed. Jealous of her success among women, her male colleagues accused her of seducing women. She was even tried, and defended by the wives of leading statesmen of Athens, she was acquitted. Thanks to her, the law against female physicians practicing in Athens was overturned.


Telesilla of Argos

RESUMO Este artigo se debruça sobre as nove poetas mulheres da Grécia Antiga. Ao enfocar a poesia praticada por mulheres, busca ampliar a referência principal e mais impactante em nossa tradição, Safo, que é, sim, a única que conhecemos de uma era, mas não do mundo antigo helênico como um todo. Tal ampliação, com algumas novas traduções, permite refletir sobre a variedade de gêneros poéticos e da temática e linguagem elaboradas, mesmo se de modo limitado, já que as obras das nove Musas mortais estão preservadas em corpora fragmentados e exíguos. Dito isso, o percurso faz-se relevante à apreciação da presença feminina no cenário cultural da Hélade.

ABSTRACT This article focuses the nine women poets of ancient Greece. By doing so, it broadens the eyesight to women poets beyond the main reference, Sappho, the only one we know from the archaic era, but from the ancient Greek world. Thus, it allows us to reflect upon the variety of poetic gen-res, themes and language their poetry encompass, even if we are limited in what we may say by the fragmentary or paucity of texts preserved in the corpora of the nine mortal Muses. Nonetheless, such a review of them as proposed here, bringing forth some new translations of their poetry, is relevant to the appreciation of the presence of women in the cultural scene of ancient Greece.


References

      Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Telesilla". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.   This work in turn cites:
      , Herodotus iv.-vi., i. 336 foll. and notes. ii. 20, 8 , De Virtut. Mulierum, 8 , Stromata, iv. 19, p.𧌊 , Poetae Lyrici Graeci, iii.

    This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)


    Telesilla: Argive Woman, Warrior Poet

    “Beyond the theater is the shrine of Aphrodite. In front of the foundation is a stele on which Telesilla, a poet of lyric, is depicted. Her books are tossed near her feet while she looks at the helmet she holds in her hand as she is about to put it on her head. Telesilla was famous among women and especially honored for her poetry.

    But a greater story about her comes from when the Argives were bested by Kleomenes the son of Alexandrides and the Lakedaimonians. Some Argives died during the battle itself and however many fled to the grove of Ares died there too—at first they left the grove under an armistice but they realized they were deceived and were burned with the rest in the grove. As a result, Kleomenes led the Spartans to an Argos bereft of men.

    But Telesilla stationed on the wall of the city all the slaves who were unable to bear arms because of youth or old age and, after collecting however many weapons had been left in homes or in the shrines, she armed all the women at the strongest age and once she had armed herself they took up posts were the army was going to attack.

    When the Spartans came near and the women were not awestruck by their battle-cry but waited and were fighting bravely, then the Spartans, because they reasoned that if they killed the women the victory would be ill-rumored even as their own defeat would come with great insult, yielded to the women.

    The Pythian priestess had predicted this contest earlier in the prophecy relayed by Herodotus who may or may not have understood it (6.77):

    But when the female conquers the male
    And drives him away and wins glory for the Argives,
    It will make many Argive women tear their cheeks.

    These are the words of the oracle on the women’s accomplishment.”

    ὑπὲρ δὲ τὸ θέατρον ᾿Αφροδίτης ἐστὶν ἱερόν, ἔμπροσθεν δὲ τοῦ ἕδους Τελέσιλλα ἡ ποιήσασα τὰ ᾄσματα ἐπείργασται στήλῃ· καὶ βιβλία μὲν ἐκεῖνα ἔρριπταί οἱ πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, αὐτὴ δὲ ἐς κράνος ὁρᾷ κατέχουσα τῇ χειρὶ καὶ ἐπιτίθεσθαι τῇ κεφαλῇ μέλλουσα. ἦν δὲ ἡ Τελέσιλλα καὶ ἄλλως ἐν ταῖς γυναιξὶν εὐδόκιμος καὶ μᾶλλον ἐτιμᾶτο ἔτι ἐπὶ τῇ ποιήσει. συμβάντος δὲ ᾿Αργείοις ἀτυχῆσαι λόγου μειζόνως πρὸς Κλεομένην τὸν ᾿Αναξανδρίδου καὶ Λακεδαιμονίους, καὶ τῶν μὲν ἐν αὐτῇ πεπτωκότων τῇ μάχῃ, ὅσοι δὲ ἐς τὸ ἄλσος τοῦ ῎Αργου κατέφευγον διαφθαρέντων καὶ τούτων, τὰ μὲν πρῶτα ἐξιόντων κατὰ ὁμολογίαν, ὡς δὲ ἔγνωσαν ἀπατώμενοι συγκατακαυθέντων τῷ ἄλσει τῶν λοιπῶν, οὕτω τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους Κλεομένης ἦγεν ἐπὶ ἔρημον ἀνδρῶν τὸ ῎Αργος. Τελέσιλλα δὲ οἰκέτας μὲν καὶ ὅσοι διὰ νεότητα ἢ γῆρας ὅπλα ἀδύνατοι φέρειν ἦσαν, τούτους μὲν πάντας ἀνεβίβασεν ἐπὶ τὸ τεῖχος, αὐτὴ δὲ ὁπόσα ἐν ταῖς οἰκίαις ὑπελείπετο καὶ τὰ ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν ὅπλα ἀθροίσασα τὰς ἀκμαζούσας ἡλικίᾳ τῶν γυναικῶν ὥπλιζεν, ὁπλίσασα δὲ ἔτασσε κατὰ τοῦτο ᾗ τοὺς πολεμίους προσιόντας ἠπίστατο. ὡς δὲ <ἐγγὺς> ἐγίνοντο οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες οὔτε τῷ ἀλαλαγμῷ κατεπλάγησαν δεξάμεναί τε ἐμάχοντο ἐρρωμένως, ἐνταῦθα οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, φρονήσαντες ὡς καὶ διαφθείρασί σφισι τὰς γυναῖκας ἐπιφθόνως τὸ κατόρθωμα ἕξει καὶ σφαλεῖσι μετὰ ὀνειδῶν γενήσοιτο ἡ συμφορά, ὑπείκουσι ταῖς γυναιξί. πρότερον δὲ ἔτι τὸν ἀγῶνα τοῦτον προεσήμηνεν ἡ Πυθία, καὶ τὸ λόγιον εἴτε ἄλλως εἴτε καὶ ὡς συνεὶς ἐδήλωσεν ῾Ηρόδοτος·

    ἀλλ’ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια τὸν ἄρρενα νικήσασα
    ἐξελάσῃ καὶ κῦδος ἐν ᾿Αργείοισιν ἄρηται,
    πολλὰς ᾿Αργείων ἀμφιδρυφέας τότε θήσει.

    τὰ μὲν ἐς τὸ ἔργον τῶν γυναικῶν ἔχοντα τοῦ χρησμοῦ ταῦτα ἦν·

    Plutarch, On the Virtues of Women 245d-f6 reports a version of this tale the Suda (s.v. Telesilla) likely takes its account from Pausanias.

    “Telesilla, a poetess. On a stele her books are tossed around and she has placed a helmet on her head. And When the Lakedaimonians slaughtered the Argives who had fled to a shrine and were heading to the city to sack it, then Telesilla armed the women of the right age and set them against where they were marching. When the Lakedaimonians saw this, they turned back because they believed it shameful to fight against women whom it would be inglorious to conquer but a great reproached to be defeated by….” [the oracle is listed next”

    Τελέσιλλα, ποιήτρια. ἐπὶ στήλης τὰ μὲν βιβλία ἀπέρριπτε, κράνος δὲ τῇ κεφαλῇ περιέθηκε. καὶ γὰρ ὅτε Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοὺς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοῦ ῎Αργους καταφυγόντας διέφθειρον καὶ πρὸς τὴν πόλιν ᾔεσαν ὡς αἱρήσοντες, τότε Τελέσιλλα τὰς ἐν ἡλικίᾳ γυναῖκας ὁπλίσασα ὑπήντησεν οἷ προσῄεσαν. ὅπερ ἰδόντες οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἐς τοὐπίσω ὑπέστρεψαν, αἰσχρὸν νομίσαντες γυναιξὶ πολεμεῖν, ἃς καὶ τὸ νικᾶν ἄδοξον καὶ ἡττᾶσθαι μέγα ὄνειδος. ἐς τοῦτο καὶ ὁ χρησμὸς πεπλήρωτο, ᾿Αργείοις λέγων· ἀλλ’ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια τὸν ἄρρενα νικήσασα ἐξελάσῃ καὶ κῦδος ᾿Αργείοισιν ἄρηται, πολλὰς ᾿Αργείων ἀμφιδρυφέας τότε θήσει.

    The extant fragments of Telesilla are not much to work with (each line is a separate fragment:


    Telesilla: Argive Woman, Warrior Poet

    “Beyond the theater is the shrine of Aphrodite. In front of the foundation is a stele on which Telesilla, a poet of lyric, is depicted. Her books are tossed near her feet while she looks at the helmet she holds in her hand as she is about to put it on her head. Telesilla was famous among women and especially honored for her poetry.

    But a greater story about her comes from when the Argives were bested by Kleomenes the son of Alexandrides and the Lakedaimonians. Some Argives died during the battle itself and however many fled to the grove of Ares died there too—at first they left the grove under an armistice but they realized they were deceived and were burned with the rest in the grove. As a result, Kleomenes led the Spartans to an Argos bereft of men.

    But Telesilla stationed on the wall of the city all the slaves who were unable to bear arms because of youth or old age and, after collecting however many weapons had been left in homes or in the shrines, she armed all the women at the strongest age and once she had armed herself they took up posts were the army was going to attack.

    When the Spartans came near and the women were not awestruck by their battle-cry but waited and were fighting bravely, then the Spartans, because they reasoned that if they killed the women the victory would be ill-rumored even as their own defeat would come with great insult, yielded to the women.

    The Pythian priestess had predicted this contest earlier in the prophecy relayed by Herodotus who may or may not have understood it (6.77):

    But when the female conquers the male
    And drives him away and wins glory for the Argives,
    It will make many Argive women tear their cheeks.

    These are the words of the oracle on the women’s accomplishment.”

    ὑπὲρ δὲ τὸ θέατρον ᾿Αφροδίτης ἐστὶν ἱερόν, ἔμπροσθεν δὲ τοῦ ἕδους Τελέσιλλα ἡ ποιήσασα τὰ ᾄσματα ἐπείργασται στήλῃ· καὶ βιβλία μὲν ἐκεῖνα ἔρριπταί οἱ πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, αὐτὴ δὲ ἐς κράνος ὁρᾷ κατέχουσα τῇ χειρὶ καὶ ἐπιτίθεσθαι τῇ κεφαλῇ μέλλουσα. ἦν δὲ ἡ Τελέσιλλα καὶ ἄλλως ἐν ταῖς γυναιξὶν εὐδόκιμος καὶ μᾶλλον ἐτιμᾶτο ἔτι ἐπὶ τῇ ποιήσει. συμβάντος δὲ ᾿Αργείοις ἀτυχῆσαι λόγου μειζόνως πρὸς Κλεομένην τὸν ᾿Αναξανδρίδου καὶ Λακεδαιμονίους, καὶ τῶν μὲν ἐν αὐτῇ πεπτωκότων τῇ μάχῃ, ὅσοι δὲ ἐς τὸ ἄλσος τοῦ ῎Αργου κατέφευγον διαφθαρέντων καὶ τούτων, τὰ μὲν πρῶτα ἐξιόντων κατὰ ὁμολογίαν, ὡς δὲ ἔγνωσαν ἀπατώμενοι συγκατακαυθέντων τῷ ἄλσει τῶν λοιπῶν, οὕτω τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους Κλεομένης ἦγεν ἐπὶ ἔρημον ἀνδρῶν τὸ ῎Αργος. Τελέσιλλα δὲ οἰκέτας μὲν καὶ ὅσοι διὰ νεότητα ἢ γῆρας ὅπλα ἀδύνατοι φέρειν ἦσαν, τούτους μὲν πάντας ἀνεβίβασεν ἐπὶ τὸ τεῖχος, αὐτὴ δὲ ὁπόσα ἐν ταῖς οἰκίαις ὑπελείπετο καὶ τὰ ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν ὅπλα ἀθροίσασα τὰς ἀκμαζούσας ἡλικίᾳ τῶν γυναικῶν ὥπλιζεν, ὁπλίσασα δὲ ἔτασσε κατὰ τοῦτο ᾗ τοὺς πολεμίους προσιόντας ἠπίστατο. ὡς δὲ <ἐγγὺς> ἐγίνοντο οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες οὔτε τῷ ἀλαλαγμῷ κατεπλάγησαν δεξάμεναί τε ἐμάχοντο ἐρρωμένως, ἐνταῦθα οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, φρονήσαντες ὡς καὶ διαφθείρασί σφισι τὰς γυναῖκας ἐπιφθόνως τὸ κατόρθωμα ἕξει καὶ σφαλεῖσι μετὰ ὀνειδῶν γενήσοιτο ἡ συμφορά, ὑπείκουσι ταῖς γυναιξί. πρότερον δὲ ἔτι τὸν ἀγῶνα τοῦτον προεσήμηνεν ἡ Πυθία, καὶ τὸ λόγιον εἴτε ἄλλως εἴτε καὶ ὡς συνεὶς ἐδήλωσεν ῾Ηρόδοτος·

    ἀλλ’ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια τὸν ἄρρενα νικήσασα
    ἐξελάσῃ καὶ κῦδος ἐν ᾿Αργείοισιν ἄρηται,
    πολλὰς ᾿Αργείων ἀμφιδρυφέας τότε θήσει.

    τὰ μὲν ἐς τὸ ἔργον τῶν γυναικῶν ἔχοντα τοῦ χρησμοῦ ταῦτα ἦν·

    Plutarch, On the Virtues of Women 245d-f6 reports a version of this tale the Suda (s.v. Telesilla) likely takes its account from Pausanias.

    “Telesilla, a poetess. On a stele her books are tossed around and she has placed a helmet on her head. And When the Lakedaimonians slaughtered the Argives who had fled to a shrine and were heading to the city to sack it, then Telesilla armed the women of the right age and set them against where they were marching. When the Lakedaimonians saw this, they turned back because they believed it shameful to fight against women whom it would be inglorious to conquer but a great reproached to be defeated by….” [the oracle is listed next”

    Τελέσιλλα, ποιήτρια. ἐπὶ στήλης τὰ μὲν βιβλία ἀπέρριπτε, κράνος δὲ τῇ κεφαλῇ περιέθηκε. καὶ γὰρ ὅτε Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοὺς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοῦ ῎Αργους καταφυγόντας διέφθειρον καὶ πρὸς τὴν πόλιν ᾔεσαν ὡς αἱρήσοντες, τότε Τελέσιλλα τὰς ἐν ἡλικίᾳ γυναῖκας ὁπλίσασα ὑπήντησεν οἷ προσῄεσαν. ὅπερ ἰδόντες οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἐς τοὐπίσω ὑπέστρεψαν, αἰσχρὸν νομίσαντες γυναιξὶ πολεμεῖν, ἃς καὶ τὸ νικᾶν ἄδοξον καὶ ἡττᾶσθαι μέγα ὄνειδος. ἐς τοῦτο καὶ ὁ χρησμὸς πεπλήρωτο, ᾿Αργείοις λέγων· ἀλλ’ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια τὸν ἄρρενα νικήσασα ἐξελάσῃ καὶ κῦδος ᾿Αργείοισιν ἄρηται, πολλὰς ᾿Αργείων ἀμφιδρυφέας τότε θήσει.

    The extant fragments of Telesilla are not much to work with (each line is a separate fragment:


    Telesilla: Argive Woman, Warrior Poet

    “Beyond the theater is the shrine of Aphrodite. In front of the foundation is a stele on which Telesilla, a poet of lyric, is depicted. Her books are tossed near her feet while she looks at the helmet she holds in her hand as she is about to put it on her head. Telesilla was famous among women and especially honored for her poetry.

    But a greater story about her comes from when the Argives were bested by Kleomenes the son of Alexandrides and the Lakedaimonians. Some Argives died during the battle itself and however many fled to the grove of Ares died there too—at first they left the grove under an armistice but they realized they were deceived and were burned with the rest in the grove. As a result, Kleomenes led the Spartans to an Argos bereft of men.

    But Telesilla stationed on the wall of the city all the slaves who were unable to bear arms because of youth or old age and, after collecting however many weapons had been left in homes or in the shrines, she armed all the women at the strongest age and once she had armed herself they took up posts were the army was going to attack.

    When the Spartans came near and the women were not awestruck by their battle-cry but waited and were fighting bravely, then the Spartans, because they reasoned that if they killed the women the victory would be ill-rumored even as their own defeat would come with great insult, yielded to the women.

    The Pythian priestess had predicted this contest earlier in the prophecy relayed by Herodotus who may or may not have understood it (6.77):

    But when the female conquers the male
    And drives him away and wins glory for the Argives,
    It will make many Argive women tear their cheeks.

    These are the words of the oracle on the women’s accomplishment.”

    ὑπὲρ δὲ τὸ θέατρον ᾿Αφροδίτης ἐστὶν ἱερόν, ἔμπροσθεν δὲ τοῦ ἕδους Τελέσιλλα ἡ ποιήσασα τὰ ᾄσματα ἐπείργασται στήλῃ· καὶ βιβλία μὲν ἐκεῖνα ἔρριπταί οἱ πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, αὐτὴ δὲ ἐς κράνος ὁρᾷ κατέχουσα τῇ χειρὶ καὶ ἐπιτίθεσθαι τῇ κεφαλῇ μέλλουσα. ἦν δὲ ἡ Τελέσιλλα καὶ ἄλλως ἐν ταῖς γυναιξὶν εὐδόκιμος καὶ μᾶλλον ἐτιμᾶτο ἔτι ἐπὶ τῇ ποιήσει. συμβάντος δὲ ᾿Αργείοις ἀτυχῆσαι λόγου μειζόνως πρὸς Κλεομένην τὸν ᾿Αναξανδρίδου καὶ Λακεδαιμονίους, καὶ τῶν μὲν ἐν αὐτῇ πεπτωκότων τῇ μάχῃ, ὅσοι δὲ ἐς τὸ ἄλσος τοῦ ῎Αργου κατέφευγον διαφθαρέντων καὶ τούτων, τὰ μὲν πρῶτα ἐξιόντων κατὰ ὁμολογίαν, ὡς δὲ ἔγνωσαν ἀπατώμενοι συγκατακαυθέντων τῷ ἄλσει τῶν λοιπῶν, οὕτω τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους Κλεομένης ἦγεν ἐπὶ ἔρημον ἀνδρῶν τὸ ῎Αργος. Τελέσιλλα δὲ οἰκέτας μὲν καὶ ὅσοι διὰ νεότητα ἢ γῆρας ὅπλα ἀδύνατοι φέρειν ἦσαν, τούτους μὲν πάντας ἀνεβίβασεν ἐπὶ τὸ τεῖχος, αὐτὴ δὲ ὁπόσα ἐν ταῖς οἰκίαις ὑπελείπετο καὶ τὰ ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν ὅπλα ἀθροίσασα τὰς ἀκμαζούσας ἡλικίᾳ τῶν γυναικῶν ὥπλιζεν, ὁπλίσασα δὲ ἔτασσε κατὰ τοῦτο ᾗ τοὺς πολεμίους προσιόντας ἠπίστατο. ὡς δὲ <ἐγγὺς> ἐγίνοντο οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες οὔτε τῷ ἀλαλαγμῷ κατεπλάγησαν δεξάμεναί τε ἐμάχοντο ἐρρωμένως, ἐνταῦθα οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, φρονήσαντες ὡς καὶ διαφθείρασί σφισι τὰς γυναῖκας ἐπιφθόνως τὸ κατόρθωμα ἕξει καὶ σφαλεῖσι μετὰ ὀνειδῶν γενήσοιτο ἡ συμφορά, ὑπείκουσι ταῖς γυναιξί. πρότερον δὲ ἔτι τὸν ἀγῶνα τοῦτον προεσήμηνεν ἡ Πυθία, καὶ τὸ λόγιον εἴτε ἄλλως εἴτε καὶ ὡς συνεὶς ἐδήλωσεν ῾Ηρόδοτος·

    ἀλλ’ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια τὸν ἄρρενα νικήσασα
    ἐξελάσῃ καὶ κῦδος ἐν ᾿Αργείοισιν ἄρηται,
    πολλὰς ᾿Αργείων ἀμφιδρυφέας τότε θήσει.

    τὰ μὲν ἐς τὸ ἔργον τῶν γυναικῶν ἔχοντα τοῦ χρησμοῦ ταῦτα ἦν·

    Plutarch, On the Virtues of Women 245d-f6 reports a version of this tale the Suda (s.v. Telesilla) likely takes its account from Pausanias.

    “Telesilla, a poetess. On a stele her books are tossed around and she has placed a helmet on her head. And When the Lakedaimonians slaughtered the Argives who had fled to a shrine and were heading to the city to sack it, then Telesilla armed the women of the right age and set them against where they were marching. When the Lakedaimonians saw this, they turned back because they believed it shameful to fight against women whom it would be inglorious to conquer but a great reproached to be defeated by….” [the oracle is listed next”

    Τελέσιλλα, ποιήτρια. ἐπὶ στήλης τὰ μὲν βιβλία ἀπέρριπτε, κράνος δὲ τῇ κεφαλῇ περιέθηκε. καὶ γὰρ ὅτε Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοὺς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοῦ ῎Αργους καταφυγόντας διέφθειρον καὶ πρὸς τὴν πόλιν ᾔεσαν ὡς αἱρήσοντες, τότε Τελέσιλλα τὰς ἐν ἡλικίᾳ γυναῖκας ὁπλίσασα ὑπήντησεν οἷ προσῄεσαν. ὅπερ ἰδόντες οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἐς τοὐπίσω ὑπέστρεψαν, αἰσχρὸν νομίσαντες γυναιξὶ πολεμεῖν, ἃς καὶ τὸ νικᾶν ἄδοξον καὶ ἡττᾶσθαι μέγα ὄνειδος. ἐς τοῦτο καὶ ὁ χρησμὸς πεπλήρωτο, ᾿Αργείοις λέγων· ἀλλ’ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια τὸν ἄρρενα νικήσασα ἐξελάσῃ καὶ κῦδος ᾿Αργείοισιν ἄρηται, πολλὰς ᾿Αργείων ἀμφιδρυφέας τότε θήσει.

    The extant fragments of Telesilla are not much to work with (each line is a separate fragment:


    Wednesday’s Wise Women … An Ancient Greek Lyric Poet

    to the white-robed women of Tanagra
    and the city delighted greatly
    in my voice, clear as the swallow’s.

    Corinna an Ancient Greek lyric poet, was born, it is believed in May some years before her pupil Pinder who was born 522 BC. She was the daughter of Acheloodorus and Procastia from Thebes or Tanagra. She was one of four female poets we know something of living in the Classical Age. First Myrtis ‘… and sweet-voiced Myrtis all craftswoman of immortal pages’ it is thought that she was the teacher of Corinna. Then, Praxilla and Telesilla survive in a few scattered lines. All earned considerable reputations during their times and after. Plutarch, c. 46 – 120 AD, a Greek historian, biographer and essayist referring to fine deeds of women writes of Telesilla the poetess who urged the women to fight against the Cleomenes for the possession of Argos. Eusebius sings the praises of the Lyric poet Praxilla (Blundell 1995)
    It is said that Corinna defeated Pindar in poetry competitions and as a result Pindar called her a sow. It was suggested by Pausanias (a geographer of the 2nd century AD) that her success was due to her beauty and her use of the local Boetician dialect different to the Doric of Pindar’s poems. Corinna was critical of Pindar’s work she described them as being ere embellishment with rare words, paraphrases, melodies and rhythms. In revenge he wrote the famous song ‘Shall we sing of Ismenus or gold-distaffed Mekia or Cadnus or the holy race of sown men or dark-snooded Thebe or the all daring might of Heracles or the glorious honour of Dionysus …’ When he showed it to Corinna she laughed and said that one should sow with the hand not the whole sack. For Pindar had mixed together different myths into one song.
    As the only lyric poet of Thebes, Corinna’s tomb is placed in conspicuous part of the city and Pausanias says in his Description of Greece in the the gymnasium there is a painting of her tying her hair back in a ribbon to mark the victory she won over Pindar. (Campbell 1992)
    It is sad that little of her work survives but it not surprising as most modern research shows that women’s achievements have been overlooked in a continued male dominated society.

    Blundell, S. (1995). Women in ancient Greece London British Museum.

    Campbell, D. A. (1992). Greek lyric : 4. Bacchylides, Corinna, and others. London, Harvard University Press.


    Book Review: “The Firebrand” by Marion Zimmer Bradley

    Fans of The Mists of Avalon will not be disappointed by Marion Zimmer Bradley’s lesser-known novel about the Trojan War, The Firebrand. With the priestess and prophetess Kassandra as her main character, Bradley paints a striking picture of life in Troy during the Greek siege. Kassandra is much maligned by her royal family for her prophecies of doom, and is seen as an outsider despite being a princess, daughter of King Priam. And despite her role as priestess to the Sun God Apollo, she is haunted by doubts about the powers and motives — and even the very existence — of the gods and goddesses.

    Through Kassandra’s eyes, we see the great heroes of The Iliad not as Homer revealed them, but as perhaps a sister would have seen them. Hector is bold and something of a bully, as an older brother might be. Paris is arrogant and selfish, as a man who makes off with another man’s wife might be. There are echoes of The Mists of Avalon here the women – Helen, Andromache, and Kassandra — take the primary roles, while the men are the weaker characters.

    Achilles, one of the greatest heroes of Western literature, is seen in the novel for what he probably would have actually have been – a sociopath and a brute. While Homer seems to delight in Achilles’s quest for glory on the battlefield, Bradley shows us the atrocities the man committed for what they truly would have been – the actions of a man with no conscience or regard for human decency.

    With Kassandra’s role as a priestess, religion plays a major role in the novel. As with The Mist of Avalon, Bradley pays a great deal of heed to “the goddess” figure in her work. Through several of her characters, including the Amazon warrior queen and the queen of the city of Colchis, she asserts that the Goddess came before the Gods and that women ruled before men. This is Bradley’s signature theme, and plays out a bit more heavy-handedly in Firebrand than it does in The Mists of Avalon.

    The novel is incredibly well researched, drawing on not only The Iliad, but The Odyssey, The Orestia, The Trojan Women, The Aeneid, and much of traditional Greek mythology, as well. Fans of Greek history and mythology as well as Bradley’s other work will find much to enjoy in The Firebrand.

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    History of baskets

    • Even though Athenian women mostly get married by the age of fourteen to sixteen whereas Sparta women marry at the age of eighteen, each Athenian and Sparta’s marriage have been organized by their fathers.
    • Moreover, the ladies may even take roles in any sort of check that used power as the lads could.
    • While girls’s adoption of the veil supported the male ideology that advocated feminine subordination, veiling additionally endowed women with a certain diploma of authority by allowing them to say each respectability and assert their own place in the social hierarchy.
    • Yet they weren’t thought-about to be a member of their husbands’ households till they gave delivery to their first child.
    • Whether these photographs characterize an actual ritual is open to query, however they do counsel that ladies gathered in groups to have fun deities and cults outside of the official polis context.

    For the one in a position to see along with his mind is, by nature, the ruler and master, and the one capable of work along with her physique is, by nature, ruled and a slave” (Aristotle, Politics, 1252a). Here, Aristotle attributes the origin of the ruler-dominated relationship between men and women to the frequent advantage of each. This additionally further reinforces the notion that ladies were dependent upon their husbands and unable to reside on their own.

    I will discuss the delivery of daughters, their infancy and girlhood, their function in ritual and faith, and their preparation for marriage. is a Greek businesswoman. She was born in 1955 and became internationally identified for being the president of the bidding and organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. She was named one of many 50 most powerful ladies by Forbes magazine.

    “Women and Marriage in Ancient Rome,” Chapter 1 Jane Bingham,The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of The Roman World (Usborne, 2002), page 48. Rawson, Children and Childhood in Roman Italy, p. 128, citing Persius 2.70 and the associated scholion, and p. forty eight on Diana. Rome lacked the frilly puberty rites for ladies that were practiced in historical Greece (p. 145). A native of Argos, Telesilla (c. 510 BCE), was a distinguished lyric poet, thought-about one of the 9 Female Lyric Poets of Greece by Antipater of Thesalonike. As she was constantly sick as a younger lady, she consulted an oracle, who informed her to dedicate her life to the Muses.

    Again frequent to most ancient cultures where agriculture was crucial to the community, female fertility goddesses have been extremely essential and notably commemorated – Demeter and Persephone being essentially the most revered for the Greeks. …11 Now the Bereans have been extra noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they obtained the message with nice eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these teachings had been true.

    Greek Women’s Society of S.A. O “Taxiarchis” Inc.

    Women had been merely one thing attached to the family and had been effectively transferred from the administration of their fathers to the administration of their new husbands. As such, they were restricted in what they could do and even own. As with most areas of historic history, we are able to solely generalize from restricted available material in regards to the place of women in Archaic Greece.


    Watch the video: Argos: The Return of Agamemnon