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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Macquire, K. (2021, May 05). Telesilla of Argos, the Greek Lyric Poet who Defended Argos. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2518/telesilla-of-argos-the-greek-lyric-poet-who-defend/
Macquire, Kelly. "Telesilla of Argos, the Greek Lyric Poet who Defended Argos." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 05, 2021. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2518/telesilla-of-argos-the-greek-lyric-poet-who-defend/.
Macquire, Kelly. "Telesilla of Argos, the Greek Lyric Poet who Defended Argos." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 05 May 2021. Web. 21 Sep 2021.