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Tyrtaeus (; ''Tyrtaios''; fl. mid-7th century BCE) was a Greek elegiac poet from Sparta. He wrote at a time of two crises affecting the city: a civic unrest threatening the authority of kings and elders, later recalled in a poem named ''Eunomia'' ('Law and Order') where he reminded citizens to respect the divine and constitutional roles of kings, council, and ''demos''; and the Second Messenian War, during which he served as a sort of 'state poet', exhorting Spartans to fight to the death for their city. In the 4th century BCE, when Tyrtaeus was an established classic, Spartan armies on campaign were made to listen to his poetry, and the ''Suda'' states that he wrote 'martial songs', probably referring to the chants escorting armed dances and processions during some Spartan festivals.
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