Tyrtaeus (tərtēˈəs) [key], fl. 7th cent. B.C. at Sparta, Greek elegiac poet. Fragments of his martial elegies in Dorian Greek, which were written to spur Spartan soldiers to victory, are extant. An Athenian legend relates that Athens sent Tyrtaeus, a lame schoolmaster, to Sparta when Sparta needed help in war.
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