Quotes by Tyrtaeus

About Tyrtaeus:

Tyrtaeus is known especially for political and military elegies, exhorting Spartans to support the state authorities and to fight bravely against the Messenians, who had temporarily succeeded in wresting their estates from Spartan control. His verses mark a critical point in Spartan history, when Spartans began to turn from their flourishing arts and crafts and from the lighter verses of poets like Alcman (roughly his contemporary), to embrace a regime of military austerity: "life in Sparta became spartan". Some modern scholars believe that Tyrtaeus helped to precipitate and formulate this transition but others see no real evidence for this and some even question the authenticity of his few surviving verses—an origin in fifth or fourth century Athens has sometimes been suggested. Traditional accounts of his life, on which we rely for biographical details, were almost entirely deduced from his poetry or were simply fiction, as for example an account by Pausanias of his supposed transformation from a lame, stupid school teacher in Athens to the mastermind of Spartan victories against the Messenians.

Author Bio

  • NameTyrtaeus
  • DescriptionGreek lyric poet
  • CountryAncient Greece
  • ProfessionPoet; Writer