Greek Elegiac Poetry Analysis

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In Greek Elegiac Poetry: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries BC, edited and translated by Douglas E. Gerber, several poems written by a Spartan citizen named Tyrtaeus give an inside look at the ideas behind Spartan society. It is apparent in these poems that men in the state were completely and utterly devoted to the defense of their civilization. While the United States Military is not quite the same as Spartan armies, many of the qualities Tyrtaeus describes in Spartan warriors are apparent in modern US military philosophy. Tyrtaeus’ poems show similarities to and evidence of Spartan warrior code in our military today, although at a much less extreme level. This paper will discuss these influences as well as differences between the two fighting forces. Honor has been a guiding feature in military organizations since the beginning of time. Defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a good name or public esteem” , honor…show more content…
The Spartans believed that the youngest men in the army should defend the older and more experienced military men especially well. Although their “knees are no longer nimble” , it is apparent that the Spartans valued the wisdom and experience that seniors brought to the battle field nearly as much as their fighting ability. Through rank structure, this notion holds true today in nearly every armed forces organization. The longer a member devotes his life to the organization, along with the achievement of certain qualifications, the higher rank he achieves. Each rank has fewer members than the last, presenting seniors with a sense of reverence from the junior personnel. While older Spartan warriors still took part in active fighting, seniors in the US military are usually assigned to advisory rolls to better apply their knowledge in their particular field of
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