In the Second Messenian War (B.C. 648-631) the Spartans being hard pressed sent to Delphi for advice. The oracle instructed them to apply to Athens for a leader, which they did ; but the Athenians, sympathising with the Messenians though unwilling to disobey the god, sent Tyrtaeus, a lame man and a schoolmaster. But his warlike odes roused the Spartans to a pitch of martial ardour which ensured their success and vindicated the authority of the god. See Grote, History of Greece , ii. p. 188 sq.
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