Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wild Women of the World - Cross Dressing in Ancient Greece

(taken from "Uppity Women of Ancient Times" by Vicki Leon)

Sickly as a child, Telesilla was told by an oracle to learn music. This she did and also became a poet. She became famous for her poetry in her hometown of Argos, near Sparta in southern Greece. In the fifth century BC, the army from her town was destroyed by the Spartans. Since the Spartans knew that the town of Argos was now defenseless, they then headed to Argos with pillage on their minds. Telesilla gathered the slaves and old people to guard the city walls, while she and the women put on battle gear and drove away the Spartans. Thereafter, the citizens in gratitude celebrated Telesilla and their triumph annually by donning men's garb.

My question for you today is - how come the Spartans who had such a reputation for fighting could be defeated by a bunch of women?

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