The Female Military Speech in the Portuguese Historiography of the XVIth. Century

Abstract: This paper examines how sixteenth century Portuguese historiography adapted a type of discourse that already had some examples in Roman historiography: the female military harangue. In particular, we identify the narrative contexts which favour its occurrence, its discursive typology and most recurrent argumentative topics and their relationship to the previous rhetorical tradition and also to the coeval historical framework. Finally, we also verify the functions that these discourses play in the historical works to which they belong. The protagonists of these speeches are the women of Diu, who, in the sieges of 1538 and 1546, helped by work and words of encouragement, to defeat the attacks of the Turks to that citadel. How the Portuguese were looked at by the "Other" in the elaborate harangue of the queen of Ternate, clear example of the assimilation of military rhetoric by the Renaissance Portuguese historians, is considered.

Key Words: Military harangue; female discourse, Portugal, sixteenth century; rhetorica, historiography.


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