Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Overpowered by a Single Woman: The Spartans vs. The Courage of Telesilla

 If you ask where she’s from,

Her homeland was Argos.

If you ask what her name was

Her noble name was Telesilla.

If you want to know her skillset or her courage

I’m embarrassed to tell you.

The Muse can tell you about her skills,

The Spartans can tell you about her courage.

For it’s embarrassing to say that Sparta

Was overcome by  single woman

Even though it’s Spartan custom

To always tell the truth.  

--Michele Marullo, Epith. Telesillae; Contantinopalitani Epigrammaton,  Book 4  

Si patriam, patria est Argos. Si nomina quaeris

Scire, Telesillae nobile nomen erat,

At si artes animosque, vetat pudor hiscere de me.

Musa sed has dicent hos lacedaemonii.

Nam quis pudeat Sparten cessisse puellae

Vera tamen fari mos Lacedaemoniis.


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