The Rhetoric of cohesion: allusions to Homeric heroes in Tyrtaeus’ poetry.




Romney, Jessica

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Tyrtaeus, a Spartan poet of the early Archaic period, composed his martial exhortations in order to address growing tensions between elites and non-elites of preclassical, and thus pre-militaristic, Sparta during the Second Messenian War. His poetry is filled with allusions to Homeric heroes and heroic concepts that interact with archaic institutions and thought. This thesis seeks to examine those interactions and to discern how Tyrtaeus uses the heroes Hector, Odysseus, and Achilles in his exhortations to encourage men to stand and fight and not to retreat from battle. This study also uses modern theories of cohesion in order to provide a framework for Tyrtaeus’ appeals to social ties among the soldiers and for his models of reciprocal relations between the πόλις and the soldiers, both of which he uses to overcome the tension between the elites and non-elites and create a single, cohesive group.



Tyrtaeus, heroes, elites, Sparta