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Let Us Obey. The Rhetoric of Spartan Identity in Tyrtaeus 2W

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image of Mnemosyne

This paper examines the construction of a civic we-identity in the fragments of Tyrtaeus’ Eunomia, focusing on fr. 2 and the strategies by which the poet sought to create a salient we-identity predicated on obedience to the Herakleidai/kings of Sparta and on a past history shared by speaker and audience. I end the paper with a comparison of Herakleid descent in fr. 2 with that in fr. 11 to demonstrate how the rhetorical presentation of identity shifts depending on performance context and poetic genre.

Affiliations: 1: University of Calgary, Dept. of Classics and Religion


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