«È bello, è divino, per l’uomo onorato morir per la patria»

by Enrico Cerroni

The ancient Greek poet Tyrtaeus, who lived in the 7th century BC, is famous for his celebration of heroic death on the battlefield (fr. 10 W.). The appreciation he received in modern Italy began during the French Revolution and reached its acme in the 19h century, when his name was linked to the battles of the Risorgimento. A lot of translations sprang up before and after 1861, by many poets, politicians and scholars, such as Arcangeli, Cavallotti, Romagnoli. Against all expectations, for a long time Tyrtaeus was the most read and translated Greek lyric poet in Italy after Sappho.