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Tyrtaios of Sparta

Tyrtaios of Sparta was a Greek writer and elegiac poet. He was born in the 7th century BC (Sparta) and died in the 7th century BC (Sparta).

The place of birth of Tyrtaiod is not entirely clear, because in addition to Sparta, other sources mention Athens or Miletus. There are, however, Doricisms in his language, suggesting an origin in Sparta.

Tyrtaios was a composer of war songs and marches. These were used by Sparta during the Second Messenian War. He also composed a code of military and civic duties for Spartan citizens. He also wrote moralizing elegies.

In his works, Tyrtaios writes of the joy of the victors and the misfortune of the vanquished, or celebrates the heroic deaths of young warriors. According to him, being a Spartan also means belonging to the elite.

Of his works, only parts of 11 elegies have survived. He wrote in dactylic hexameter and pentameter.