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Télésilla et les autres: femmes grecques et action guerrière

Castiglioni Maria Paola
Articolo Immagine
ISSN:
0300-340X
Rivista:
Rivista Storica dell’Antichità
Anno:
2021
Numero:
LI
Fascicolo:
Rivista Storica dell'Antichità N. LI/2021

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Telesilla and the others: Greek women and war action  

This paper analyses the episode, described by Plutarch (On the Bravery of Women), of the struggle against Spartans and their king Cleomenes by the women of Argos, under the lead of the poetess Telesilla after the battle of Sepeia. This account, considered by the historiographical tradition as an Argive patriotic legend, historically unfounded, could be inspired by the historical facts of the Greek women’s resistance against enemy armies during a siege or a battle inside the city walls. Women’s violence, particularly throwing roof tiles or stones, against men’s armies is actually well documented. Therefore, the Argive women’s war action to defend their city is not so unlikely.

Keywords: Telesilla, Greek women, War, Argos, Marpessa.