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Listed 100 (total found 167) sub titles with search on: Biographies  for wider area of: "LACONIA Prefecture PELOPONNISOS" .

Biographies (167)



SPARTI (Ancient city) LACONIA
Agesandridas, the son of Agesander (comp. Thuc. i. 139), the commander of the Lacedaemonian fleet sent to protect the revolt of Euboea in B. C. 411, was attacked by the Athenians near Eretria, and obtained a victory over them. (Thuc. viii. 91, 94, 95.)


Hegesandridas or Agesandridas, (Hegesandridas, Xen.; Agesandridas, Thuc.), son of an Hegesander or Agesander, perhaps the same who is mentioned (Thuc. i. 139) as a member of the last Spartan embassy sent to Athens before the Peloponnesian war, was himself, in its twenty-first year, B. C. 411, placed in command of a fleet of two and forty ships destined to further a revolt in Euboea. News of their being seen off Las of Laconia came to Athens at the time when the 400 were building their fort of Eetionia commanding Peiraeeus, and the coincidence was used by Theramenes in evidence of their treasonable intentions. Further intelligence that the same fleet had sailed over from Megara to Salamis coincided again with the riot in Peiraeeus, and was held to be certain proof of the allegation of Theramenes. Thucydides thinks it possible that the movement was really made in concert with the Athenian oligarchs, but far more probable that Hegesandridas was merely prompted by an indefinite hope of profiting by the existing dissensions. His ulterior design was soon seen to be Euboea; the fleet doubled Sunium, and finally came to harbour at Oropus. The greatest alarm was excited; a fleet was hastily manned, which, with the gallies already at the port, amounted to thirty-six. But the new crews had never rowed together ; a stratagem of the Eretrians kept the soldiers at a distance, at the very moment when, in obedience to a signal from the town, the Spartan admiral moved to attack. He obtained an easy victory : the Athenians lost two and twenty ships, and all Euboea, except Oreus, revolted. Extreme consternation seized the city; greater, says the sober historian, than had been caused by the very Sicilian disaster itself. Athens, he adds, had now once again to thank their enemy's tardiness. Had the victors attacked Peiraeeus, either the city would have fallen a victim to its distractions, or by the recal of the fleet from Asia, every thing except Attica been placed in their hands. (Thuc. viii. 91, 94-96.) Hegesandridas was content with his previous success; and had soon to weaken himself to reinforce the Hellespontine fleet under Mindarus, after the defeat of Cynos-sema. Fifty ships (partly Euboean) were despatched, and were, one and all, lost in a storm off Athos. So relates Ephorus in Diodorus (xii. 41). On the news of this disaster, Hegesandridas appears to have sailed with what ships he could gather to the Hellespont. Here, at any rate, we find him at the opening of Xenophon's Hellenics; and here he defeated a small squadron recently come from Athens under Thymochares, his opponent at Eretria. (Xen. Hell. i. 1.1.) He is mentioned once again (lb. i. 3.17) as commander on the Thracian coast, B. C. 408.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Anaxibius (Anaxibios), was the Spartan admiral stationed at Byzantium, to whom the Cyrean Greeks, on their arrival at Trapezus on the Euxine, sent Cheirisophus, one of their generals, at his own proposal, to obtain a sufficient number of ships to transport them to Europe (B. C. 400. Xen. Anab. v. 1.4). When however Cheirisophus met them again at Sinope, he brought back nothing from Anaxibius but civil words and a promise of employment and pay as soon as they came out of the Euxine (Anab. vi. 1.16). On their arrival at Chrysopolis, on the Asiatic shore of the Bosporus, Anaxibius, being bribed by Pharnabazus with great promises to withdraw them from his satrapy, again engaged to furnish them with pay, and brought them over to Byzantium. Here he attempted to get rid of them, and to send them forward on their march without fulfilling his agreement. A tumult ensued, in which Anaxibius was compelled to fly for refuge to the Acropolis, and which was quelled only by the remonstrances of Xenophon (Anab. vii. 1.1-32). Soon after this the Greeks left the town under the command of the adventurer Coeratades, and Anaxibius forthwith issued a proclamation, subsequently acted on by Aristarchus the Harmost, that all Cyrean soldiers found in Byzantium should be sold for slaves (Anab. vii. 1.36, 2.6). Being however soon after superseded in the command, and finding himself neglected by Pharnabazus, he attempted to revenge himself by persuading Xenophon to lead the army to invade the country of the satrap; but the enterprise was stopped by the prohibition and threats of Aristarchus (Anab. vii. 2.5-14). In the year 389, Anaxibius was sent out from Sparta to supersede Dercyllidas in the command at Abydus, and to check the rising fortunes of Athens in the Hellespont. Here he met at first with some successes, till at length Iphicrates, who had been sent against him by the Athenians, contrived to intercept him on his return from Antandrus, which had promised to revolt to him, and of which he had gone to take possession. Anaxibius, coming suddenly on the Athenian ambuscade, and foreseeing the certainty of his own defeat, desired his men to save themselves by flight. His own duty, he said, required him to die there; and, with a small body of comrades, he remained on the spot, fighting till he fell, B. C. 388 (Xen. Hell. iv. 8.32-39).

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antisthenes, a Spartan admiral in the Peloponnesian war, was sent out in B. C. 412, in command of a squadron, to the coast of Asia Minor, and was to have succeeded Astyochus, in case the Spartan commissioners thought it necessary to deprive that officer of his command (Thuc. viii. 39). We hear of him again in B. C. 399, when, with two other commissioners, he was sent out to inspect the state of affairs in Asia, and announce to Dercvllidas that his command was to be prolonged for another year (Xen. Hellen. iii. 2.6). There was also an Athenian general of this name (Mem. iii. 4.1) .


Aracus (Arakos), Ephor, B. C. 409, (Hell. ii. 3.10) was appointed admiral of the Lacedaemonian fleet in B. C. 405, with Lysander for vice-admiral (epistoleus), who was to have the real power, but who had not the title of admiral (nauarchos), because the laws of Sparta did not allow the same person to hold this office twice (Plut. Lyc. 7; Xen. Hell. ii. 1.7; Diod. xiii. 100; Paus. x. 9.4). In 398 he was sent into Asia as one of the commissioners to inspect the state of things there, and to prolong the command of Dercyllidas (iii. 2.6); and in 369 he was one of the ambassadors sent to Athens (vi. 5.33, where Arakos should be read instead of Aratos).


Astyochus (Astuochos), succeeded Melancridas as Lacedaemonian high admiral, in the summer of 412, B. C., the year after the Syracusan defeat, and arrived with four ships at Chios, late in the summer (Thuc. viii. 20, 23). Lesbos was now the seat of the contest: and his arrival was followed by the recovery to the Athenians of the whole island. Astyochus was eager for a second attempt; but compelled, by the refusal of the Chians and their Spartan captain, Pedaritus, to forego it, he proceeded, with many threats of revenge, to take the general command at Miletus (31-33). Here he renewed the Persian treaty, and remained, notwithstanding the entreaties of Chios, then hard pressed by the Athenians, wholly inactive. He was at last starting to relieve it, when he was called off, about mid-winter, to join a fleet from home, bringing, in consequence of complaints from Pedaritus, commissioners to examine his proceedings. Before this (eti onta tote peri Mileton, cc. 36-42), Astyochus it appears had sold himself to the Persian interest. He had received, perhaps on first coming to Miletus, orders from home to put Alcibiades to death; but finding him in refuge with the satrap Tissaphernes, he not only gave up all thought of the attempt, but on receiving private intelligence of his Athenian negotiations, went up to Magnesia, betrayed Phrynichus his informant to Alcibiades, and there, it would seem, pledged himself to the satrap (cc. 45 and 50). Henceforward, in pursuance of his patron's policy, his efforts were employed in keeping his large forces inactive, and inducing submission to the reduction in their Persian pay. The acquisition of Rhodes, after his junction with the new fleet, he had probably little to do with; while to him, must, no doubt, be ascribed the neglect of the opportunities afforded by the Athenian dissensions, after his return to Miletus (cc. 60 and 63), 411 B. C. The discontent of the troops, especially of the Syracusans, was great, and broke out at last in a riot, where his life was endangered; shortly after which his successor Mindarus arrived, and Astyochus sailed home (cc. 84, 85), after a command of about eight months. Upon his return to Sparta he bore testimony to the truth of the charges which Hermocrates, the Syracusan, brought against Tissaphernes (Xen. Hell. i. 1.31).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Callicratidas, (Kallikratidas) was sent out in B. C. 406 to succeed Lysander as admiral of the Lacedaemonian fleet, and soon found that the jealousy of his predecessor, as well as the strong contrast of their characters, had left for him a harvest of difficulties. Yet he was not unsuccessful in surmounting these, and shewed that plain, straight-forward honesty may sometimes be no bad substitute for the arts of the supple diplomatist. The cabals of Lysander's partizans against him he quelled by asking them, whether he should remain where he was, or sail home to report how matters stood; and even those who looked back with most regret to the winning and agreeable manners of his courtly predecessor, admired his virtue, says Plutarch, even as the beauty of a heroic statue. His great difficulty, however, was the want of funds, and for these he reluctantly went and applied to Cyrus, to whom it is said that Lysander, in order to thwart his successor, had returned the sums he held; but the proud Spartan spirit of Callicratidas could not brook to dance attendance at the prince's doors, and he withdrew from Sardis in disgust, declaring that the Greeks were most wretched in truckling to barbarians for money, and that, if he returned home in safety, he would do his best to reconcile Lacedaemon to Athens. He succeeded, however, in obtaining a supply from the Milesians, and he then commenced against the enemy a series of successful operations. The capture of the fortress of Delphinium in Chios and the plunder of Teos were closely followed by the conquest of Methymna. This last place Conon attempted to save, in spite of his inferiority in numbers, but, arriving too late, anchored for the night at Hekatonnesoi. The next morning he was chased by Callicratidas, who declared that he would put a stop to his adultery with the sea, and was obliged to take refuge in Mytilene, where his opponent blockaded him by sea and land. Conon, however, contrived to send news to the Athenians of the strait in which he was, and a fleet of more than 150 sail was despatched to relieve him. Callicratidas then, leaving Eteonicus with 50 ships to conduct the blockade, proceeded with 120 to meet the enemy. A battle ensued at Arginusae, remarkable for the unprecedented number of vessels engaged, and in this Callicratidas was slain, and the Athenians were victorious. According to Xenophon, his steersman, Hermon. endeavoured to dissuade him from engaging with such superior numbers: as Diodorus and Plutarch tell it, the soothsayer foretold the admiral's death. His answer at any rate, me par hena einai tan Spartan, became famous, but is mentioned with censure by Plutarch and Cicero. On the whole, Callicratidas is a somewhat refreshing specimen of a plain, blunt Spartan of the old school, with all the guilelessness and simple honesty, but (it may be added) not without the bigotry of that character. Witness his answer, when asked what sort of men the Ionians were: "Bad freemen, but excellent slaves " (Xen. Hell. i. 6. 1-33; Diod. xiii. 76-79, 97-99; Plut. Lysand. 5-7, Pelop. 2, Apophthegm. Lacon; Cic. de Off. i. 24, 30). Aelian tells us (V. H. xii. 43), that he rose to the privileges of citizenship from the condition of a slave (mothon).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Cratesippidas (Kratesippidas), a Lacedaemonian, was sent out as admiral after the death of Mindarus, B. C. 410, and took the command at Chios of the fleet which had been collected by Pasippidas from the allies. He effected, however, little or nothing during his term of office beyond the seizure of the acropolis at Chios, and the restoration of the Chian exiles, and was succeeded by Lysander. (Xen. Hell. i. 1.32, 5.1 ; Diod. xiii. 65, 70)


Gylippus, (Gulippos), son of Cleandridas, was left, it would seem, when his father went into exile (B. C. 445) to be brought up at Sparta. In the I8th year of the Peloponnesian war, when the Lacedaemonian government resolved to follow the advice of Alcibiades, and send a Spartan commander to Syracuse, Gylippus was selected for the duty. Manning two Laconian galleys at Asine, and receiving two from Corinth, under the command of Pythen, he sailed for Leucas. Here a variety of rumours combined to give assurance that the circumvallation of Syracuse was already complete. With no hope for their original object, but wishing, at any rate, to save the Italian allies, he and Pythen resolved, without waiting for the further reinforcements, to cross at once. They ran over to Tarentum, and presently touched at Thurii, where Gylippus resumed the citizenship which his father had there acquired in exile, and used some vain endeavours to obtain assistance. Shortly after the ships were driven back by a violent gale to Tarentum, and obliged to refit. Nicias meanwhile, though aware of their appearance on the Italian coast, held it, as had the Thurians, to be only an insignificant privateering expedition. After their second departure from Tarentum, they received information at Locri, that the investment was still incomplete, and now took counsel whether they should sail at once for their object, or pass the straits and land at Himera. Their wisdom or fortune decided for the latter; four ships, which Nicias, on hearing of their arrival at Locri, thought it well to send, and which perhaps would have in the other case intercepted them, arrived too late to oppose their passage through the straits. The four Peloponnesian galleys were shortly drawn up on the shore of Himera; the sailors converted into men-at-arms; the Himeraeans induced to join the enterprise; orders dispatched to Selinus and Gela to send auxiliaries to a rendezvous; Gongylus, a Corinthian captain, had already conveyed the good news of their approach to the now-despairing Syracusans. A small space on the side of Epipolae nearest to the sea still remained where the Athenian wall of blockade had not vet been carried up; the line was marked out, and stones were lying along it ready for the builders, and in parts the wall itself rose, half-completed, above the ground. (Thuc. vi. 93, 104, vii. 1-2.)
  Gylippus passed through the island collecting reinforcements on his way, and giving the Syracusans warning of his approach, was met by their whole force at the rear of the city, where the broad back of Epipolae slopes upward from its walls to the point of Labdalum. Mounting this at Euryelus, he came unexpectedly on the Athenian works with his forces formed in order of battle. The Athenians were somewhat confounded; but they also drew up for the engagement. Gylippus commenced his communications with them by sending a herald with an offer to allow them to leave Sicily as they had come within five days' time, a message which was of course scornfully dismissed. But in spite of this assumption, probably politic, of a lofty tone, lie found his Syracusan forces so deficient in discipline, and so unfit for action, that he moved off into a more open position; and finding himself unmolested, withdrew altogether, and passed the night in the suburb Temenites. On the morrow he reappeared in full force before the enemy's works, and under this feint detached a force, which succeeded in capturing the fort of Labdalum, and put the whole garrison to the sword. (Thuc. vii. 2, 3.)
  For some days thenceforward he occupied his men in raising a cross-wall, intended to interfere with the line of circumvallation. This the Athenians had now brought still nearer to completion: a night enterprise, made with a view of surprising a weak part of it, had been detected and baffled; but Nicias, in despair, it would seem, of doing any good on the land side, was now employing a great part of his force in the fortification of Plemyrium, a point which commanded the entrance of the port. At length Gylippus, conceiving his men to be sufficiently trained, ventured an attack; but his cavalry, entangled amongst stones and masonry, were kept out of action; the enemy maintained the superiority of its infantry, and raised a trophy. Gylippus, however, by openly professing the fault to have been his own selection of unsuitable ground, inspired them with courage for a fresh attempt. By a wiser choice, and by posting his horse and his dartmen on the enemy's flank, he now won the Syracusans their first victory. The counterwork was quickly completed; the circumvallation effectually destroyed; Epipolae cleared of the enemy; the city on one side delivered from siege. Gylippus, having achieved so much, ventured to leave his post, and go about the island in search of auxiliaries. (Thuc. vii. 4-7.)
  His return in the spring of B. C. 413 was followed by a naval engagement, with the confidence required for which he and Hermocrates combined their efforts to inspire the people. On the night preceding the day appointed, he himself led out the whole land force, and with early dawn assaulted and carried successively the three forts of Plemyrium, most important as the depot of the Athenian stores and treasure, a success, therefore, more than atoning for the doubtful victory obtained by the enemy's fleet (Thuc. vii. 22, 23). The second naval fight, and first naval victory, of the Syracusans, the arrival and defeat on Epipolae of the second Athenian armament, offer, in our accounts of them, no individual features for the biography of Gylippus. Nor yet does much appear in his subsequent successful mission through the island in quest of reinforcements, nor in the first great naval victory over the new armament,-- a glory scarcely tarnished by the slight repulse which he in person experienced from the enemy's Tyrsenian auxiliaries (Thuc. vii. 46, 50, 53). Before the last and decisive sea-fight, Thucydides gives us an address from his mouth which urges the obvious topics. The command of the ships was taken by other officers. In the operations succeeding the victory he doubtless took part. He commanded in the pre-occupation of the Athenian route; when they in their despair left this their first course, and made a night march to the south, the clamours of the multitude accused him of a wish to allow their escape: he joined in the proclamation which called on the islanders serving in the Athenian host to come over; with him Demosthenes arranged his terms of surrender; to him Nicias, on hearing of his colleague's capitulation, made overtures for permission to carry his own division safe to Athens; and to him, on the banks of the Asinarus, Nicias gave himself up at discretion; to the captive general's entreaty that, whatever should be his own fate, the present butchery might be ended, Gylippus acceded by ordering quarter to be given. Against his wishes, the people, whom he had rescued, put to death the captive generals,--wishes, indeed, which it is likely were prompted in the main by the desire named by Thucydides, of the glory of conveying to Sparta such a trophy of his deeds; yet into whose composition may also have entered some feelings of a generous commiseration for calamities so wholly unprecedented. (Thuc. vii. 65-69, 70, 74, 79, 81-86.)
  Gylippus brought over his troops in the following summer. Sixteen ships had remained to the end; of these one was lost in an engagement with twentyseven Athenian galleys, which were lying in wait for them near Leucas; the rest, in a shattered condition, made their way to Corinth. (Thuc. viii. 13.)
  To this, the plain story of the great contemporary historian, inferior authorities add but little. Timaeus, in Plutarch (Nic. 19), informs us that the Syracusans made no account of Gylippus ; thinking him, when they had come to know his character, to be mean and covetous; and at the first deriding him for the long hair and small upper garment of the Spartan fashion. Yet, says Plutarch, the same author states elsewhere that so soon as Gylippus was seen, as though at the sight of an owl, birds enough flocked up for the war. (The sight of an owl is said to have the effect of drawing birds together, and the fact appears to have passed into a proverb.) And this, he adds, is the truer account of the two; the whole achievement is ascribed to Gylippus, not by Thucydides only, but also by Philistus, a native of Syracuse, and eyewitness of the whole. Plutarch also speaks of the party at Syracuse, who were inclined to surrender, as especially offended by his overbearing Spartan ways; and to such a feeling, he says, when success was secure, the whole people began to give way, openly insulting him when he made his petition to be allowed to take Nicias and Demosthenes alive to Sparta. (Nic. 21, 28.) Diodorus (xii. 28), no doubt in perfect independence of all authorities, puts in his mouth a long strain of rhetoric, urging the people to a vindictive, unrelenting course, in opposition to that advised by Hermocrates, and a speaker of the name of Nicolaus. Finally, Polyaenus (i. 42) relates a doubtful tale of a device by which he persuaded the Syracusans to entrust him with the sole command. He induced them to adopt the resolution of attacking a particular position, secretly sent word to the enemy, who, in consequence, strengthened their force there, and then availed himself of the indignation at the betrayal of their counsels to prevail upon the people to leave the sole control of them to him.
  For all that we know of the rest of the life of Gylippus we are indebted to Plutarch (Nic. 28 ; Lysand. 16, 17) and Diodorus (xiii. 106). He was commissioned, it appears, by Lysander, after the capture of Athens, to carry home the treasure. By opening the seams of the sacks underneath, he abstracted a considerable portion, 30 talents, according to Plutarch's text; according to Diodorus, who makes the sum total of the talents of silver to be 1500, exclusive of other valuables, as much as 300. He was detected by the inventories which were contained in each package, and which he had overlooked. A hint from one of his slaves indicated to the Ephors the place where the missing treasure lay concealed, the space under the tiling of the house. Gylippus appears to have at once gone into exile, and to have been condemned to death in his absence. Athenaeus (vi.) says that he died of starvation, after being convicted by the Ephors of stealing part of Lysander's treasure; but whether he means that he so died by the sentence of the Ephors or in exile, does not appear.
  None can deny that Gylippus did the duty assigned to him in the Svracusan war with skill and energy. The favour of fortune was indeed most remarkably accorded to him; yet his energy in the early proceedings was of a degree unusual with his countrymen. His military skill, perhaps, was not much above the average of the ordinary Spartan officer of the better kind. Of the nobler virtues of his country we cannot discern much: with its too common vice of cupidity he lamentably sullied his glory. Aelian (V. H. xii. 42; comp. Athen. vi.) says that he and Lysander, and Callicratidas, were all of the class called Mothaces, Helots, that is, by birth, who, in the company of the boys of the family to which they belonged, were brought up in the Spartan discipline, and afterwards obtained freedom. This can hardly have been the case with Gylippus himself, as we find his father, Cleandridas, in an important situation at the side of king Pleistoanax: but the family may have been derived, at one point or another, from a Mothax. (Comp. Muller, Dor. iii. 3.5.) The syllable Gul- in the name is probably identical with the Latin Gilvus.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Cnemus (Knemos), the Spartan high admiral (nauarchos) in the second year of the Peloponnesian war, B. C. 430, made a descent upon Zacynthus with 1000 Lacedaemonian hoplites; but, after ravaging the island, was obliged to retire without reducing it to submission. Cnemus was continued in his office of admiral next year, though the regular term, at least a few years subsequently, was only one year. In the second year of his command (B. C. 429), he was sent with 1000 hoplites again to co-operate with the Ambracians, who wished to subdue Acarnania and to revolt from Athens. He put himself at the head of the Ambracians and their barbarian allies, invaded Acarnania, and penetrated to Stratus, the chief town of the country. But here his barbarian allies were defeated by the Ambracians, and he was obliged to abandon the expedition altogether. Meantime the Peloponnesian fleet, which was intended to co-operate with the land forces, had been defeated by Phormio with a far smaller number of ships. Enraged at this disaster, and suspecting the incompetency of the commanders, the Lacedaemonians sent out Timocrates, Brasidas, and Lycophron to assist Cnemus as a council, and with instructions to prepare for fighting a second battle. After refitting their disabled vessels and obtaining reinforcements from their allies, by which their number was increased to seventy-five, while Phormio had only twenty, the Lacedaemonian commanders attacked the Athenians off Naupactus, and though the latter at first lost several ships, and were nearly defeated, they eventually gained the day, and recovered, with one exception, all the ships which had been previously captured by the enemy. After this, Cnemus, Brasidas, and the other Peloponnesian commanders formed the design of surprising Peiraeeus, and would probably have succeeded in their attempt, only their courage failed them at the time of execution, and they sailed to Salamis instead, thereby giving the Athenians notice of their intention. (Thuc. ii. 66, 80-93; Diod. xii. 47, &c.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Batrachus (Batrachos), a Lacedaemonian sculptor and architect of the time of Augustus. Pliny (H. N. xxxvi. 5. s. 14) relates, that Batrachus and Sauras (Frog and Lizard), who were both very rich, built at their own expense two temples in Rome, one to Jupiter and the other to Juno, hoping they would be allowed to put their names in the inscription of the temples (inscriptionem sperantes). But being denied this, they made the figures of a frog and a lizard in the convolutions of the Ionic capitals (in columnarum spiris, comp. Thiersch, Epoch. Anm.) That this tale is a mere fall founded on nothing but the appearance of the two figures on the columns, scarcely needs to be remarked.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Agathinus, 1st ce. AD

SPARTI (Ancient city) LACONIA
Agathinus (Agathinos), an eminent ancient Greek physician, the founder of a new medical sect, to which he gave the name of Episynthetici. He was born at Sparta and must have lived in the first century after Christ, as he was the pupil of Athenaeus, and the tutor of Archigenes. He is said to have been once seized with an attack of delirium, brought on by want of sleep, from which he was delivered by his pupil Archigenes, who ordered his head to be fomented with a great quantity of warm oil. He is frequently quoted by Galen, who mentions him among the Pneumatici. None of his writings are now extant, but a few fragments are contained in Matthaei's Collection, entitled XXI Veterum et Clarorum Medicorum Graccorum Varia Opuscula, Mosquae, 1808, 4to. The particular opinions of his sect are not exactly known, but they were probably nearly the same as those of the Eclectici.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Constantine Palaeologos

MYSTRAS (Byzantine settlement) PELOPONNISOS
, , 1404 - 1453
  CONSTANTINE XI PALAEOLOGOS (1404-1453) , also called Dragases, last Byzantine emperor, was born in 1404 in Mistra, the son of Emperor Manuel II. He was trained as a soldier, and in 1441 conquered the peninsula of Morea in Greece, which had been under the Frankish principality of Achaia, a state established by the Crusaders.
  Constantine later occupied Boeotia. In 1446, however, the Turkish ruler Murad II reconquered these lands.
  The Turks had begun their invasions of the Balkans nearly a century before, and now began to close in on Constantinople.
  Constantine was crowned emperor on Jan. 6, 1449, succeeding his brother, John VIII. A little less than four years later, on Dec. 12, 1452, the union of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches was proclaimed in Constantinople in the presence of the papal legate and the Patriarch Gregory.
  Constantine had been a strong advocate of this union, but the people generally opposed it, and riots ensued. The popular insistence on Byzantine religious autonomy furthered the estrangement between eastern and western Roman Christendom and weakened Byzantine resistance to the Turks. The Turkish sultan, Mehmed II, advanced on Constantinople, sacked the country around it and, after a determined siege, captured the city on May 29, 1453.
  Constantine was killed in the final assault.

This text is cited Apr 2003 from the Laconian Professionals URL below, which contains image.

Famous families

Mavromichalis Family


Fighters of the 1821 revolution


, , ; - 1822

Krevatas Panagiotis

, , 1785 - 1822

Petroulakis Dimitrios

, , 1800 - 1870



SPARTI (Ancient city) LACONIA
A Lacedaemonian, general of Achaean League, bribed by Oropians, impeached but acquitted, envoy at Rome, general of Lacedaemonians, takes poison.


Acrotatus (Akrotatos). The son of Cleomenes II. king of Sparta, incurred the displeasure of a large party at Sparta by opposing the decrce, which was to release from infamy all who had fled from the battle, in which Antipater defeated Agis, B. C. 331. He was thus glad to accept the offer of the Agrigentines, when they sent to Sparta for assistance in B. C. 314 against Agathocles of Syracuse. He first sailed to Italy, and obtained assistance from Tarentum; but on his arrival at Agrigentum he acted with such cruelty and tyranny that the inhabitants rose against him, and compelled him to leave the city. He returned to Sparta, and died before the death of his father, which was in B. C. 309. He left a son, Areus, who succeeded Cleomenes. (Diod. xv. 70, 71; Paus. i. 13.3, iii. 6.1, 2; Plut. Agis, 3)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Alcidas Alcidas(Alkidas), was appointed, B. C. 428, commander of the Peloponnesian fleet, which was sent to Lesbos for the relief of Mytilene, then besieged by the Athenians. But Mytilene surrendered to the Athenians seven days before the Peloponnesian fleet arrived on the coast of Asia; and Alcidas, who, like most of the Spartan commanders, had little enterprise, resolved to return home, although he was recommended either to attempt the recovery of Mytilene or to make a descent upon the Ionian coast. While sailing along the coast, he captured many vessels, and put to deaths all the Athenian allies whom he took. From Ephesus he sailed home with the utmost speed, being chased by the Athenian fleet, under Paches, as far as Patmos (Thuc. iii. 16, 26-33). After receiving reinforcements, Alcidas sailed to Corcyra, B. C. 427; and when the Athenians and Corcyraeans sailed out to meet him, he defeated them and drove them back to the island. With his habitual caution, however, he would not follow up the advantage he had gained; and being informed that a large Athenian fleet was approaching, he sailed back to Peloponnesus (iii. 69-81). In B. C. 426, he was one of the leaders of the colony founded by the Lacedaemonians at Heracleia, near Thermopylae (iii. 92).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Amompharetus (Amompharetos), commander of the Pitanata lochus in the Spartan army, who refused to march previously to the battle of Plataea (B. C. 479) to a part of the plain near the city, as Pausanias ordered, because he thought that such a movement was equivalent to a flight. He at length changed his mind when he had been left by the other part of the army, and set out to join Pausanias. He fell in the battle which followed, after distinguishing himself by his bravery, and was buried among the Irenes (Herod. ix. 53-57, 71, 85; Plut. Aristid. 17).


Anchimolius (Anchimolios), the son of Aster, was at the head of the first expedition sent by the Spartans to drive the Peisistratidae out of Athens; but he was defeated and killed, about B. C. 511, and was buried at Alopecae in Attica. (Herod. v. 63.)

Brasidas ( ? -422 BC)

Brasidas. The most distinguished Spartan in the first part of the Peloponnesian Wa. In B.C. 424, at the head of a small force, having effected a dexterous march through the hostile country of Thessaly, he gained possession of many of the cities in Macedonia that were subject to Athens; his greatest acquisition was Amphipolis. In 422, with only a handful of helots and mercenary troops, he gained a brilliant victory over Cleon, who had been sent with a powerful Athenian force to recover Amphipolis. Brasidas was slain in the battle. He was buried within the city, and the inhabitants honoured him as a hero by yearly sacrifices and by games.
  Thucydides praises alike the eloquence and the liberality and wisdom of Brasidas, and Plato compares him to Achilles.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Brasidas, son of Tellis, the most distinguished Spartan in the first part of the Peloponnesian war, signalized himself in its first year (B. C. 431) by throwing a hundred men into Methone, while besieged by the Athenians in their first ravage of the Peloponnesian coast. For this exploit, which saved the place, he received, the first in the war, public commendation at Sparta; and perhaps in consequence of this it is we find him in September appointed Ephor Eponymus. (Xen. Hell. ii. 3.10) His next employment (B. C. 429) is as one of the three counsellors sent to assist Cnemus, after his first defeat by Phormion ; and his name is also mentioned after the second defeat in the attempt to surprise the Peiraeeus, and we may not improbably ascribe to him the attempt, and its failure to his colleagues. In 427 he was united in the same, but a subordinate, capacity, with Alcidas, the new admiral, on his return from his Ionian voyage; and accompanying him to Corcyra he was reported, Thucydides tells us, to have vainly urged him to attack the city immediately after their victory in the first engagement. Next, as trierarch in the attempt to dislodge Demosthenes from Pylos (425), he is described as running his galley ashore, and, in a gallant endeavour to land, to have fainted from his wounds, and falling back into the ship to have lost in the water his shield, which was afterwards found by the Athenians and used in their trophy. Early in the following year we find him at the Isthmus preparing for his expedition to Chalcidice (424), but suddenly called off from this by the danger of Megara, which but for his timely and skilful succour would no doubt have been lost to the enemy. Shortly after, he set forth with an army of 700 helots and 1000 mercenaries, arrived at Heracleia, and, by a rapid and dexterous march through the hostile country of Thessaly, effected a junction with Perdiccas of Macedon. The events of his career in this field of action were (after a brief expedition against Arrhibaeus, a revolted vassal of the king's) the acquisition, 1st. of Acanthus, effected by a most politic exposition of his views (of which Thucydides gives us a representation), made before the popular assembly; 2nd. of Stageirus, its neighbour; 3rd. of Amphipolis, the most important of all the Athenian tributaries in that part of the country, accomplished by a sudden attack after the commencement of winter, and followed by an unsuccessful attempt on Eion, and by the accession of Myrcinus, Galepsus, Aesyme, and most of the towns in the peninsula of Athos ; 4th. the reduction of Torone, and expulsion of its Athenian garrison from the post of Lecythus. In the following spring (423) we have the revolt of Scione, falling a day or two after the ratification of the truce agreed upon by the government at home-a mischance which Brasidas scrupled not to remedy by denying the fact, and not only retained Scione, but even availed himself of the consequent revolt of Mende, on pretext of certain infringements on the other side. Next, a second expedition with Perdiccas, against Arrhibaeus, resulting in a perilous but most ably-conducted retreat: the loss, in the meantime, of Mende, recaptured by the new Athenian armament; and in the winter an ineffectual attempt on Potidaea. In 422, Brasidas with no reinforcements had to oppose a large body of the flower of the Athenian troops under Cleon. Torone and Galepsus were lost, but Amphipolis was saved by a skilful sally, - the closing event of the war,- in which the Athenians were completely defeated and Cleon slain, and Brasidas himself in the first moment of victory received his mortal wound.
  He was interred at Amphipolis, within the walls - an extraordinary honour in a Greek town - with a magnificent funeral, attended under arms by all the allied forces. The tomb was railed off, and his memory honoured by the Amphipolitans, by yearly sacrifices offered to him there, as to a hero, and by games. (Paus. iii. 14.1; Aristot. Eth. Nic. v. 7; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Brasideia.) Regarding him as their preserver, they transferred to him all the honours of a Founder hitherto paid to Hagnon. Pausanias mentions a cenotaph to him in Sparta, and we hear also (Plut. Lysander, 1) of a treasury at Delphi, bearing the inscription, " Brasidas and the Acanthians from the Athenians." Two or three of his sayings are recorded in Plutarch's Apophthegmata Laconica, but none very characteristic. Thucydides gives three speeches in his name, the first and longest at Acanthus; one to his forces in the retreat, perhaps the greatest of his exploits, from Lyncestis; and a third before the battle of Amphipolis. His own opinion of him seems to have been very high, and indeed we cannot well overestimate the services he rendered his country. Without his activity, even the utmost temerity in their opponents would hardly have brought Sparta out of the contest without the utmost disgrace. He is in fact the one redeeming point of the first ten years; and had his life and career been prolonged, the war would perhaps have come to an earlier conclusion, and one more happy for all parties. As a commander, even our short view of him leads us to ascribe to him such qualities as would have placed his above all other names in the war, though it is true that we see him rather as the captain than the general. To his reputation for " justice, liberality, and wisdom," Thucydides ascribes not only much of his own success, but also the eagerness shewn for the Spartan alliance after the Athenian disasters at Syracuse. This character was no doubt mainly assumed from motives of policy, nor can we believe him to have had any thought except for the cause of Sparta and his own glory. Of unscrupulous Spartan duplicity he had a full share, adding to it a most unusual dexterity and tact in negotiation; his powers, too, of eloquence were, in the judgment of Thucydides, very considerable for a Spartan. Strangely united with these qualities we find the highest personal bravery; apparently too (in Plato's Symposium he is compared to Achilles) heroic strength and beauty. He, too, like Archidamus, was a successful adaptation to circumstances of the unwieldy Spartan character: to make himself fit to cope with them he sacrificed, far less, indeed, than was afterwards sacrificed in the age of Lysander, yet too much perhaps to have permitted a return to perfect acquiescence in the ancient discipline. Such rapidity and versatility, such enterprise and daring, were probably felt at Sparta (comp. Thuc. i. 70) as something new and incongruous. His successes, it is known, were regarded there with so much jealousy as even to hinder his obtaining reinforcements. (Thuc. iv. 108.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Argileonis, mother of Brasidas

Argileonis, mother of Brasidas. When the ambassadors from Amphipolis brought the news of his death, she asked if he had behaved bravely; and on their speaking of him in reply as the best of the Spartans, answered, that the strangers were in error; Brasidas was a brave man, but there were many better in Sparta. The answer became famous, and Argileonis is said to have been rewarded for it by the ephors. (Plut. Lyc. 25, Apophth. Lac.)


Chalcideus (Chalkiseus), the Spartan commander, with whom, in the spring and summer of B. C. 412, the year after the defeat at Syracuse, Alcibiades threw the Ionian subject allies of Athens into revolt. He had been appointed commander (evidently not high-admiral) during the previous winter in the place of Melanchridas, the highadmiral on occasion of the ill omen of an earthquake ; and on the news of the blockade of their ships at Peiraeeus, the Spartans, but for the persuasions of Alcibiades, would have kept him at home altogether. Crossing the Aegaean with only five ships, they effected the revolt first of Chios, Erythrae, and Clazomenae; then, with the Chian fleet, of Teos; and finally, of Miletus, upon which ensued the first treaty with Tissaphernes. From this time Chalcideus seems to have remained at Miletus, watched by an Athenian force at Lade. Meanwhile, the Athenians were beginning to exert themselves actively, and from the small number of Chalcideus' ships, they were able to confine him to Miletus, and cut off his communication with the disaffected towns; and before he could be joined by the high-admiral Astyochus (who was engaged at Chios and Lesbos on his first arrival in Ionia), Chalcideus was killed in a skirmish with the Athenian troops at Lade in the summer of the same year (412 B. C.) in which he had left Greece. (Thuc. viii. 6, 8, 11, 17, 24.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Ischagoras, commanded the reinforcements sent by Sparta in the ninth year of the Peloponnesian war, B. C. 423, to join Brasidas in Chalcidice. Perdiccas, as the price of his new treaty with Athens, prevented, by means of his influence in Thessaly, the passage of the troops. Ischagoras himself, with some others, made their way to Brasidas, but how long he staid is doubtful; in B. C. 421 we find him sent again from Sparta to the same district, to urge Clearidas to give up Amphipolis, according to the treaty, into the hands of the Athenians. (Thuc. iv. 132, v. 21.)


A Lacedaemonian, son of Aristocritus, defeats Athenian fleet under Antiochus at Ephesus, wins over Cyrus, receives money from Cyrus, captures Athenian fleet at Aegospotami, puts 4000 Athenians to the sword, proposes to destroy Athens, entrusts government of Athens to a cabal, establishes decemvirates, makes Spartans avaricious, intrigues in favour of Agesilaus, incites Lacedaemonians against Artaxerxes, warned by Ammon to raise siege of Aphytus, slain in attacking Haliartus, his tomb, statues at Olympia, Ephesus, and Delphi, figures of eagles and Victories dedicated by Lysander, his justice, his friends act as traitors.

Lysander (Lusandros), of Sparta, was the son of Aristocleitus or Aristocritus, and, according to Plutarch, of an Heracleid family. Aelian and Athenaeus tell us that he rose to the privileges of citizenship from the condition of a slave (mothon), and Muller thinks that lie was of a servile origin, as well as Callicratidas and Gylippus; while Thirlwall supposes them to have been the offspring of marriages contracted by fieemen with women of inferior condition, and to have been originally in legal estimation on a level with the mothones, or favoured helot children, who were educated in their master's family together with his sons (Plut. Lys. 2; Paus. vi. 3; Ael. V. H. xii. 43; Athen. vi. p. 271, f; Muller, Dor. iii. 3. 5; Thirlwall's Greece, vol. iv. p. 374; Mitford's Greece, ch. xx. sect. 2, note 4).
  In B. C. 407, Lysander was sent out to succeed Cratesippidas in the command of the fleet, the Spartans, as it would appear, having been induced to appoint him, partly because his ability marked him as fit to cope with Alcibiades, partly that they might have the advantage of his peculiar talents of supple diplomacy at the court of Cyrus the Younger (Comp. Cic. De Off. i. 30, De Senect. 17). Having increased his fleet to seventy ships by reinforcements gathered at Rhodes, Cos, and Miletus, he sailed to Ephesus; and, when Cyrus arrived at Sardis, he proceeded thither, and so won upon the prince as to obtain from him an increase in the pay of the sailors; nor could Tissaphernes, acting doubtless under the instructions of Alcibiades, succeed in his efforts to induce Cyrus even to receive an Athenian embassy. Lysander fixed his head-quarters at Ephesus, of the later prosperity and magnificence of which he is said by Plutarch to have laid the foundation, by the numbers he attracted thither as to a focus of trade. After his victory at Notium over Antiochus, he proceeded to organise a number of oligarchical clubs and factions in the several states, by means of the men who seemed fittest for the purpose in each; and the jealousy with which he regarded Callicratidas, his successor in B. C. 406, and the attempts he made to thwart and hamper him, may justify the suspicion that his object, in the establishment of these associations, was rather the extension of his own personal influence than the advancement of his country's cause. His power and reputation among the Spartan allies in Asia were certainly great, for, in a congress at Ephesus, they determined to send ambassadors to Lacedaemon requesting that Lysander might be appointed to the command of the fleet, an application which was supported also by Cyrus. The Lacedaemonian law, however, did not allow the office of admiral to be held twice by the same person; and, accordingly, in order to comply with the wish of the allies, without contravening the established custom, Aracus was sent out, in B. C. 405, as the nominal commander-in-chief, while Lysander, virtually invested with the supreme direction of affairs, had the title of viceadmiral. Having arrived at Ephesus with 35 ships, he assembled from different quarters all the available navy of Lacedaemon, and proceeded to build fresh gallies besides. For this purpose, as well as for the pay of the men, he was again furnished with money by Cyrus, who, being soon after summoned to court by his father Dareius, even intrusted Lysander with authority over his province, and assigned to him the tribute from its several cities. Thus amply provided with the means of prosecuting the war, Lysander commenced offensive operations. Sailing to Miletus, where he had excited the oligarchical faction to attack their opponents in defiance of a truce between them, he pretended to act as mediator, and, by his treacherous professions, induced the majority of the popular party to abandon their intention of fleeing from the city. Having thus placed themselves in the power of their enemies, they were massacred, and Lysander's faction held undisputed ascendancy in Miletus. Thence he proceeded to Cedreae, on the Ceramic gulf, which he took by storm, and sold the inhabitants for slaves. He then directed his course to the Saronic gulf, over-ran Aegina and Salamis, and even made a descent on the coast of Attica, where he was visited by Agis, then in command at Deceleia, and had an opportunity of exhibiting to the Spartan army an appearance of supremacy by sea. But, when he heard that the Athenian fleet from Samos was in chace of him, he sailed away to the Hellespont. Here he took Lampsacus by storm, and soon after the Athenian navy, of 180 ships, arrived, and stationed itself opposite Lampsacus at Aegos-potami. Within a few days from this time the unaccountable rashness and negligence of the Athenian commanders, with the single exception of Conon, enabled Lysander to capture all their fleet, saving eight ships, which escaped with Conon to Cyprus, and the Paralus, which conveyed to Athens the tidings of the virtual conclusion of the war and the utter ruin of her fortunes. Lysander then sailed successively to Byzantium and Chalcedon, both of which opened their gates to him. The Athenian garrisons he permitted to depart, on condition of their going to Athens; and the same course he adopted with all the Athenians whom lie found elsewhere; his object being to increase the number of mouths in the city, and so to shorten the siege. Sailing from the Hellespont with 200 ships, he proceeded to the south, establishing in the several states on his way oligarchical governments, composed of his own partisans--members of the political clubs he had already taken so much care to form--and thus everywhere, except for a time at Samos, the friends of Athens and democracy were overborne. He settled also in their ancient homes a remnant of the Aeginetans, Scionaeans, and Melians who had been driven out by the Athenians (comp. Thuc. ii. 27, v. 32, 116), and he then sailed to the mouth of the Peiraecus, and blockaded it with 150 allies. He had previously sent notice of his approach to Agis and to the Spartan government, and the land-forces of the Peloponnesian confederacy had entered Athens under Pausanias, and encamped in the Academy (comp. Schneider, ad Xen. Hell. ii. 2. 8). In the spring of 404 Athens capitulated, and Lysander, sailing into the Peiraeeus, began to destroy the long walls and the fortifications of the harbour to the sound of joyful music, and (according to Plutarch) on the 16th of Munychion, the very day of the Greek victory over the fleet of Xerxes at Salamis.
  The several accounts of the events immediately ensuing are not very consistent with each other. From Xenophon, it would appear (Hell. ii. 3. 3; comp. Thirlwall's Greece, vol. iv. p. 174, note 2), that Lysander did not quit Athens for Samos before the establishment of the thirty tyrants; but it seems more probable that, as we gather from Lysias and Diodorus, he sailed forthwith to Samos, to reduce it, before the complete demolition of the Athenian walls, but soon returned to Athens to support the oligarchical party in the contemplated revolution (Lys. c. Eratosth.; Diod. xiv. 4). Accordingly, we find him sternly quelling the ex pression of popular discontent at the proposal to subvert democracy, by declaring that the Athenians could no longer appeal to the treaty of capitulation, since they had themselves infringed it by omitting to throw down their walls within the appointed time. All opposition was thus overborne, and the creatures of Sparta were put in possession of the government. Plutarch tells us that Lysander, having thus settled matters in Athens, went to Thrace; but this, perhaps, is only a mis-placed reference to his expedition to Byzantium before-men-tioned. It seems nearly certain that he returned immediately to Samos. The island capitulated after a short siege, and the conqueror sailed home in triumph with the spoils and trophies of the war. The introduction of so much wealth into Sparta called forth the censure of many, as tending to foster corruption and cupidity--an opinion which the recent case of Gylippus might be thought to support,--and it required all the efforts of Lysander and his party to defeat a proposal for dedicating the whole of the spoil to the Delphic god, instead of retaining it in the public treasury. As it was, a number of statues were erected at Delphi, and other offerings made there, as well as at Sparta and Amyclae, in commemoration of Lysander's victories and the close of the struggle with Athens. (See Paus. iii. 17, 18, x. 9; Athen. vi.)
  Lysander was now by far the most powerful man in Greece, and he displayed more than the usual pride and haughtiness which distinguished the Spartan commanders in foreign countries. He was passionately fond of praise, and took care that his exploits should be celebrated by the most illustrious poets of his time. He always kept the poet Choerilus in his retinue; and his praises were also sung by Antilochus, Antimachus of Colophon, and Niceratus of Heracleia. He was the first of the Greeks to whom Greek cities erected altars as to a god, offered sacrifices, and celebrated festivals (Plut. Lys. 18; Paus. vi. 3.14, 15; Athen. xv.; Hesych. s. v. Lusandria). Possessing such unlimited power, and receiving such extraordinary marks of honour from the rest of Greece, A residence at Sparta, where he must have been under restraint, could not be agreeable to him. We accordingly find that he did not remain long at Sparta, but again repaired to Asia Minor, where he was almost adored by the oligarchical clubs he had established in the Greek cities. But his excessive power, and the homage that was paid to him everywhere, awakened the envy and jealousy even of the kings and ephors in Sparta. When, therefore, Pharnabazus sent ambassadors to Sparta to complain of Lysander having plundered his territory, the ephors recalled him to Sparta, and at the same time, to make him feel their power, they put to death his friend and colleague Thorax, for having money in his private possession. Alarmed at these indications of hostility, Lysander hastened to Pharnabazus and prayed him to give him an exculpatory letter for the Spartan government; but the Persian satrap, while he promised compliance with his request, craftily substituted another letter in place of the one he had promised, in which he repeated his former complaints. This letter, which Lysander carried himself to Sparta, placed him in no small difficulty and danger (Plut. Lys. 20; Polyaen. vii. 19). Fearing to be brought to trial, and anxious to escape from Sparta, he obtained, with great trouble, permission from the ephors to visit the temple of Zeus Ammon, in Libya, in order to fulfil a vow which he pretended to have made before his battles. But the attempts of Thrasybulus and of the democratical party to overthrow the oligarchical government which had been established at Athens, soon recalled him to Sparta, where he seems to have again acquired his wonted influence; for, although the government refused to send an army to the support of the oligarchs, they appointed Lysander harmost, allowed him to raise troops, advanced a hundred talents from the treasury, and nominated his brother Libys admiral, with a fleet of forty ships. As soon, however, as Lysander had left Sparta, the party opposed to him again obtained the upper hand; and the king, Pausanias, who was his bitterest enemy, concerted measures, in conjunction with three of the ephors, to thwart his enterprise, and deprive him of the glory which he would acquire from a second conquest of Athens. Under pretence of raising an army to co-operate with Lysander, Pausanias marched into Attica; but soon after his arrival at the Peiraeces the Spartan king made terms with Thrasybutlus and his party, and thus prevented Lysander from again establishing the oligarchical government. (Plut. Lys. 21; Xen. Hell. ii. 4. 28, &c.; Lys. c. Eratosth.)
  From this time Lysander continued in obscurity for some years. He is again mentioned on the death of Agis II. in B. C. 398, when he exerted himself to secure the succession for Agesilaus, the brother of Agis, in opposition to Leotychides, the reputed son of the latter. In these efforts he was successful, but he did not receive from Agesilaus the gratitude he had expected. He was one of the members of the council, thirty in number, which was appointed to accompany the new king in his expedition into Asia in B. C. 396. Lysander had fondly hoped to renew his intrigues among the Asiatic Greeks, and to regain his former power and consequence in that country; but he was bitterly disappointed: Agesilaus purposely thwarted all his designs, and refused all the favours which he asked; and Lysander was so deeply mortified that he begged for an appointment to some other place. Agesilaus sent him to the Hellespont, where he did the Greek cause some service, by inducing Spithridates, a Persian of high rank, to revolt from Pharnabazus, and join the Spartans. (Plut. Lys. 23, 24, Agesil. 7, 8; Xen. Hell iii. 4. 7, &c.)
  Lysander soon afterwards returned to Sparta, highly incensed against Agesilaus and the kingly form of government in general, and firmly resolved to bring about the change he had long meditated in the Spartan constitution, by abolishing hereditary royalty, and throwing the throne open to all the Heracleidae, or, according to some accounts, to all the Spartans without exception. He is said to have got Cleon of Halicarnassus, to compose an oration in recommendation of the measure, which he intended to deliver himself; and lie is further stated to have attempted to obtain the sanction of the gods in favour of his scheme, and to have tried in succession the oracles of Delphi, Dodona, and Zeus Ammon, but without success. Plutarch indeed relates, on the authority of Ephorus, a still more extraordinary expedient to which he had recourse, but which also failed (Plut. Lys. 24, &c., Ages. 8; Diod. xiv. 13; Cic. de Divin. i. 43). Of the history of these events, however, we know but little (Comp. Thirlwall's Greece, vol. iv. Appendix 4, "On Lysander's Revolutionary Projects"). He does not seem to have ventured upon any overt act, and his enterprise was cut short by his death in the following year. On the breaking out of the Boeotian war in B. C. 395, Lysander was placed at the head of one army, and the king Pausanias at the head of another. The two armies were to meet in the neighbourhood of Haliartus; but as Pausanias did not arrive there at the time that had been agreed upon, Lysander marched against the town, and perished in battle under the walls, B. C. 395. His body was delivered up to Pausanias, who arrived there a few hours after his death, and was buried in the territory of Panopeus in Phocis, on the road from Delphi to Chaeroneia, where his monument was still to be seen in the time of Plutarch. Lysander died poor, which proves that his ambition was not disgraced by the love of money, which sullied the character of Gylippus and so many of his contemporaries. It is related that after his death Agesilaus discovered in the house of Lysander the speech of Cleon, which has been mentioned above, land would have published it, had lie not been persuaded to suppress such a dangerous document. (Plut. Lys. 27, &c.; Xen. Hell. iii. 5. 6, &c.; Diod. xiv. 81; Paus. iii. 5. 3, ix. 32. 5.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Lives, by Plutarch


Macarius (Makarios), a Spartan, was one of the three commanders of the Peloponnesian force which was sent to aid the Aetolians in the reduction of Naupactus, B. C. 426, which however was saved by Demosthenes with the aid of the Acarnanians. Macarius took part in the expedition against Amphilochian Argos, in the same year, and was slain at the battle of Olpae. (Thuc. iii. 100-102, 105-109.)



Diophantus. Of Lacedaemon, is quoted by Fulgentius (Mythol. i. 1) as the author of a work on Antiquities, in fourteen books, and on the worship of the gods. Whether he is the same as the geographer, Diophantus, who wrote a description of the northern countries (Phot. Bibl. Cod. 250), which is also quoted by Stephanus of Byzantium (s. v. Abioi), or the Diophantus who wrote a work politika (Steph. Byz. s. v. Libustinoi), cannot be decided.

Historic figures


SPARTI (Ancient city) LACONIA
Antalcidas (Antalkidas), the Spartan, appears to have been one of the ablest politicians ever called forth by the emergencies of his country, an apt pupil of the school of Lysander, and, like him, thoroughly versed in the arts of courtly diplomacy. His father's name, as we learn from Plutarch (Artar), was Leon-the same, possibly, who is recorded by Xenophon (Hell. ii. 3.10) as Ephor eponumos in the fourteenth year of the Peloponnesian war. At one of the most critical periods for Sparta, when, in addition to a strong confederacy against her of Grecian states assisted by Persian money, the successes of Pharnabazus and Conon and the restoration of the long walls of Athens appeared to threaten the re-establishment of Athenian dominion, Antalcidas was selected as ambassador to Tiribazus, satrap of western Asia, to negotiate through him a peace for Sparta with the Persian king, B. C. 393 (Hell. iv. 8.12. Such a measure would of course deprive Athens and the hostile league of their chief resources, and, under the pretext of general peace and independence, might leave Sparta at liberty to consolidate her precarious supremacy among the Greeks of Europe. The Athenians, alarmed at this step, also despatched an embassy, with Conon at its head, to counteract the efforts of Antalcidas, and deputies for the same purpose accompanied them from Thebes, Argos, and Corinth. In consequence of the strong opposition made by these states, Tiribazus did not venture to close with Sparta without authority from Artaxerxes, but he secretly furnished Antalcidas with money for a navy, to harass the Athenians and their allies, and drive them into wishing for the peace. Moreover, he seized Conon, on the pretext that he had unduly used the king's forces for the extension of Athenian dominion, and threw him into prison. Tiribazus was detained at court by the king, to whom he had gone to give a report of his measures, and was superseded for a time in his satrapy by Struthas, a warm friend of Athens. The war therefore continued for some years; but in B. C. 388 the state of affairs appeared to give promise of success if a fresh negotiation with Persia were attempted. Tiribazus had returned to his former government, Pharnabazus, the opponent of Spartan interests, had gone up to the capital to marry Apama, the king's daughter, and had entrusted his government to Ariobarzanes, with whom Antalcidas had a connexion of hospitality (xenos ek palaiou). Under these circumstances, Antalcidas was once more sent to Asia both as commander of the fleet (nauarchos), and ambassador (Hell. v. 1.6, 28.) On his arrival at Ephesus, he gave the charge of the squadron to Nicolochus, as his lieutenant (epistoleus), and sent him to aid Abydus and keep Iphicrates in check, while he himself went to Tiribazus, and possibly proceeded with him 1 to the court of Artaxerxes on the more important business of his mission. In this he was completely successful, having prevailed on the king to aid Sparta in forcing, if necessary, the Athenians and their allies to accede to peace on the terms which Persia, acting under Spartan influence, should dictate. On his return however to the seacoast, he received intelligence that Nicolochus was blockaded in the harbour of Abydus by Iphicrates and Diotimus. He accordingly proceeded by land to Abydus, whence he sailed out with the squadron by night, having spread a report that the Chalcedonians had sent to him for aid. Sailing northward, he stopped at Percope, and when the Athenians had passed that place in fancied pursuit of him, he returned to Abydus, where he hoped to be strengthened by a reinforcement of twenty ships from Syracuse and Italy. But hearing that Thrasybulus (of Colyttus, not the hero of Phyle) was advancing from Thrace with eight ships to join the Athenian fleet, he put out to sea, and succeeded by a stratagem in capturing the whole squadron (Hell. v. 1.25-27; Polyaen. ii. 4, and Schneider in loc. Xen.). He was soon after joined by the expected ships from Sicily and Italy, by the fleet of all the Ionian towns of which Tiribazus was master, and even by some which Ariobarzanes furnished from the satrapy of Pharnabazus. Antalcidas thus commanded the sea, which, together with the annoyance to which Athens was exposed from Aegina (Hell. v. 1. 1-24), made the Athenians desirous of peace. The same wish being also strongly felt by Sparta and Argos (see the several reasons in Xen. Hell. v. 1.29), the summons of Tiribazus for a congress of deputies from such states as might be willing to listen to the terms proposed by the king, was gladly obeyed by all, and the satrap then read to them the royal decree. This famous document, drawn up with a sufficient assumption of imperial majesty, ran thus: "Artaxerxes the king thinks it just that the cities in Asia should belong to himself, as well as the islands Clazomenae and Cyprus; but that the other Grecian cities, both small and great, he should leave independent, except Lemnos and Imbros and Scyros; and that these, as of old, should belong to the Athenians. But whichever party receives not this peace, against them will I war, with such as accede to these terms, both by land and by sea, both with ships and with money" (Hell. v. 1.31). To these terms all the parties concerned readily acceded, if we except a brief and ineffectual delay on the part of Thebes and the united government of Argos and Corinth (Hell. v. 1.32-34); and thus was concluded, B. C. 387, the famous peace of Antalcidas, so called as being the fruit of his masterly diplomacy. That the peace effectually provided for the interests of Sparta, is beyond a doubt (Hell. v. 1.36); that it was cordially cherished by most of the other Grecian states as a sort of bulwark and charter of freedom, is no less certain (Hell. vi. 3.9, 12,18, vi. 5.2; Paus. ix. 1).
  Our notices of the rest of the life of Antalcidas are scattered and doubtful. From a passing allusion in the speech of Callistratus the Athenian (Hell. vi. 3. 12), we learn that he was then (B. C. 371) absent on another mission to Persia. Might this have been with a view to the negotiation of peace in Greece (see Hell. vi. 3), and likewise have been connected with some alarm at the probable interest of Timotheus, son of Conon, at the Persian court? (See Diod. xv. 50; Dem. c. Timoth. p. 1191). Plutarch again (Ages.) mentions, as a statement of some persons, that at the time of the invasion of Laconia by Epaminondas, B. C. 369. Antalcidas was one of the ephors, and that, fearing the capture of Sparta, he conveyed his children for safety to Cythera. The same author informs us (Artax.), that Antalcidas was sent to Persia for supplies after the defeat at Leuctra, B. C. 371, and was coldly and superciliously received by the king. If, considering the general looseness of statement which pervades this portion of Plutarch, it were allowable to set the date of this mission after the invasion of 369, we might possibly connect with it the attempt at pacification on the side of Persia in 368 (Hell. vii. 1.27; Diod. xv. 70). This would seem indeed to be inconsistent with Plutarch's account of the treatment of Antalcidas by Artaxerxes; but that might perhaps be no overwhelming objection to our hypothesis. If the embassy in question took place immediately after the battle of Leuctra, the anecdote (Ages. 613, e.) of the ephoralty of Antalcidas in 369 of course refutes what Plutarch (Artax. 1022, d.) would have us infer, that Antalcidas was driven to suicide by his failure in Persia and the ridicule of his enemies. But such a story is on other grounds intrinsically improbable, and savours much of the period at which Plutarch wrote, when the conduct of some later Romans, miscalled Stoics, had served to give suicide the character of a fashionable resource in cases of distress and perplexity.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Echestratus (Echestratos), son of Agis I., and third of the Agid line of Spartan kings. In his reign the district of Cynuria on the Argive border was reduced. He was the father of Labotas or Leobotes, king of Sparta. (Paus. iii. 2.2; Herod. vii. 204).

Agesilaus I (died in 886 BC)

Agesilaus (Agesilaos), son of Doryssus, sixth king of the Agid line at Sparta, excluding Aristodemus, according to Apollodorus, reigned forty-four years, and died in 886 B. C. Pausanias makes his reign a short one, but contemporary with the legislation of Lycurgus. (Paus. iii. 2.3)

Archelaus, son of Agesilaus I. (885-826 BC).

Archelaus (Archelaos), king of Sarta, 7th of the Agids, son of Agesilaus I., contemporary with Charilaus, with whom he took Aegys, a town on the Arcadian border, said to have revolted, but probably then first taken. (Paus. iii. 2 Plut. Lyc. 5; Euseb. Praep. v. 32)

Charilaus or Charillus

Charilaus, Charillus (Charilaos, Charillos), a king of Sparta, son of Polydectes, and 7th of the Eurypontids, is said by Plutarch to have received his name from the general joy excited by the justice of his uncle Lycurgus when he placed him, yet a new-born infant, on the royal seat, and bade the Spartans acknowledge him for their king (Plut. Lyc. 3; Paus. ii. 36; Just. iii. 2; Schol. ad Plat. Rep. x.). According to Plutarch, the reforms projected by Lycurgus on his return from his voluntary exile at first alarmed Charilaus for his personal safety; but he soon became reassured, and co-operated with his uncle in the promotion of his plans (Plut. Lyc. 5). Yet this is not very consistent with Aristotle's statement (Polit. v. 12), that an aristocratic government was established on the ruins of the tyranny of Charilaiis, which latter account again is still less reconcileable with the assertion of Plutarch, that the kingly power had lost all its substance when Lycurgus began to remodel the constitution. There is, however, much probability in the explanation offered as an hypothesis by Thirlwall. We hear from Pausanias that Charilaiis was engaged successfully in a war with the Argives, which had slumbered for two generations. He aided also his colleague Archelaus in destroying the border-town of Aegys, which they suspected of an intention of revolting to the Arcadians; and he commanded the Spartans in that disastrous contest with Tegea, mentioned by Herodotus (i. 66), in which the Tegean women are said to have taken up arms and to have caused the rout of the invaders by rushing forth from all ambuscade during the heat of the battle. Charilaus himself was taken prisoner, but was dismissed without ransom on giving a promise (which he did not keep), that the Spartans should abstain in future from attacking Tegea (Paus. iii. 2, 7, viii. 48).

Alcamenes (reign 779-742 BC)

Alcamenes (Alkamenes), king of Sparta, 10th of the Agids, son of Teleclus, commanded, according to Pausanias, in the night-expedition against Ampheia, which commenced the first Messenian war, but died before its 4th year. This would fix the 38 years assigned him by Apollodorus, about 779 to 742 B. C. In his reign Helos was taken, a place near the mouth of the Eurotas, the last independent hold most likely of the old Achaean population, and the supposed origin of the term Helot. (Paus. iii. 2.7, iv. 4.3, 5.3 ; Herod. vii. 204; Plut. Apophth. Lac.)

Anaxidamus (c. 668 BC)

Anaxidamus (Anaxidamos), king of Sparta, 11th of the Eurypontids, son of Zeuxidamus, contemporary with Anaxander, and lived to the conclusion of the second Messenian war, B. C. 668. (Paus. iii. 7.5)

Archidamus I. (c. 668 BC)

Archidamus I. (Archidamos), king of Sparta, 12th of the Eurypontids, son of Anaxidamus, contemporary with the Tegeatan war, which followed soon after the end of the second Messenian, in B. C. 668. (Paus. iii. 7.6, comp. 3.5)

Anaxander (c. 668 BC)

Son of Eurycrates, king of Sparta, invades Messenia, defeated by Aristomenes.

(Anaxandros), king of Sparta, 12th of the Agids, son of Eurycrates, is named by Pausanias as commanding against Aristomenes, and to the end of the second Messenian war, B. C. 668; but probably on mere conjecture from the statement of Tyrtaeus (given by Strabo, viii.), that the grandfathers fought in the first, the grandsons in the second. (Paus. iii. 3, 14.4, iv. 15.1, 16.5, 22.3; Plut. Apoplhth. Lac.)

Zeuxidamus I

Son of Archidamus, king of Sparta, father of Anaxidamus.

Ariston (c. 560-510 BC)

Son of Agesicles, king of Sparta, denies that Demaratus is his son.

Ariston, king of Sparta, 14th of the Eurypontids, son of Agesicles, contemporary of Anaxandrides, ascended the Spartan throne before B. C. 560, and died somewhat before (Paus. iii. 7), or at any rate not long after, 510. He thus reigned about 50 years, and was of high reputation, of which the public prayer for a son for him, when the house of Procles had other representatives, is a testimony. Demaratus, hence named, was borne him, after two barren marriages, by a third wife, whom he obtained, it is said, by a fraud from her husband, his friend, Agetus. (Herod. i. 65, vi. 61-66; Paus. iii. 7.7; Plut. Apophth. Lac.)

Anaxandrides (& Ariston) (560-520 BC)

Anaxandrides. Son of Leon, king of Sparta, contemporary with Croesus, father of Cleomenes, Dorieus, Leonidas, and Cleombrotus.

Anaxandrides. King of Sparta, 15th of the Agids, son of Leon, reigned from about 560 to 520 B. C. At the time when Croesus sent his embassy to form alliance with "the mightiest of the Greeks", i. e. about 554, the war with Tegea, which in the late reigns went against them, had now been decided in the Spartans' favour, under Anaxandrides and Ariston. Under them, too, was mainly carried on the suppression of the tyrannies, and with it the establishment of the Spartan hegemony. Having a barren wife whom he would not divorce, the ephors, we are told, made him take with her a second. By her he had Cleomenes; and after this, by his first wife Dorieus, Leonidas, and Cleombrotus (Herod. i. 65-69, v. 39-41; Paus. iii. 3). Several sayings are ascribed to him in Plut. Apophth. Lac. (where the old reading is Alexandridas). With the reign of Anaxandrides and Ariston commences the period of certain dates, the chronology of their predecessors being doubtful and the accounts in many ways suspicious; the only certain point being the coincidence of Polydorus and Theopompus with the first Messenian war, which itself cannot be fixed with certainty.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Cleomenes I (519-491 BC)

Cleomenes (Kleomenes), 16th king of Sparta in the Agid line, was born to Anaxandrides by his second wife, previous to the birth by his first of Dorieus, Leonidas, and Cleombrotus.He accordingly, on his father's death, succeeded, not later it would seem than 519 B. C., and reigned for a period of 29 years.
  In B. C. 519 we are told it was to Cleomenes that the Plataeans applied when Sparta, declining to assist them, recommended alliance with Athens (Herod. vi. 108). And not much later, the visit of Maeandrius occurred, who had been left in possession of Samos by the death of Polycrates, but had afterwards been driven out by the Persians with Syloson. Maeandrius twice or thrice in conversation with Cleomenes led the way to his house, where he took care to have displayed certain splendid goblets, and, on Cleomenes expressing his admiration, begged he would accept them. Cleomenes refused; and at last, in fear for his own or his citizens' weakness, went to the ephors and got an order for the stranger's departure (Herod. iii. 148).
  In 510 Cleomenes commanded the forces by whose assistance Hippias was driven from Athens, and not long after he took part in the struggle between Cleisthenes and the aristocratical party of Isagoras by sending a herald with orders, pointed against Cleisthenes, for the expulsion of all who were stained with the pollution of Cylon. He followed this step by coming and driving out, in person, 700 households, substituting also for the new Council of 500 a body of 300 partisans of Isagoras. But his force was small, and having occupied the acropolis with his friends, he was here besieged, and at last forced to depart on conditions, leaving his allies to their fate. In shame and anger he hurried to collect Spartan and allied forces, and set forth for his revenge. At Eleusis, however, when the Athenians were in sight, the Corinthians refused to proceed; their example was followed by his brother-king Demaratus; and on this the other allies also, and with them Cleomenes, withdrew. When in the acropolis at Athens, he is related to have attempted, as an Achaean, to enter the temple, from which Dorians were excluded, and to have hence brought back with him to Sparta a variety of oracles predictive of his country's future relations with Athens; and their contents, says Herodotus, induced the abortive attempt which the Spartans made soon after to restore the tyranny of Hippias (Herod. v. 64, 65, 69-76, 89-91).
  In 500, Sparta was visited by Aristagoras, a petitioner for aid to the revolted Ionians. His brazen map and his accompanying representations appear to have had considerable effect on Cleomenes. He demanded three days to consider; then enquired "how far was Susa from the sea". Aristagoras forgot his diplomacy and said, "three months' journey". His Spartan listener was thoroughly alarmed, and ordered him to depart before sunset. Aristagoras however in suppliant's attire hurried to meet him at home, and made him offers, beginning with ten, and mounting at last to fifty talents. It chanced that Cleomenes had his daughter Gorgo, a child eight or nine years old, standing by; and at this point she broke in, and said "Father, go away, or he will do you harm". And Cleomenes on this recovered his resolution, and left the room (Herod. vi. 49-51). This daughter Gorgo, his only child, was afterwards the wife of his halfbrother Leonidas: and she, it is said, first found the key to the message which, by scraping the wax from a wooden writing-tablet, graving the wood, and then covering it with wax again, Demaratus conveyed to Sparta from the Persian court in announcement of the intended invasion (Herod. vii. 239).
  In 491 the heralds of Dareius came demanding earth and water from the Greeks; and Athens denounced to Sparta the submission of the Aeginetans. Cleomenes went off in consequence to Aegina, and tried to seize certain parties as hostages. Meantime Demaratus, with whom he had probably been on bad terms ever since the retreat from Eleusis, sent private encouragements to the Aeginetans to resist him, and took further advantage of his absence to intrigue against him at home. Cleomenes returned unsuccessful, and now leagued himself with Leotychides, and effected his colleague's deposition (Herod. vi. 49-66). He then took Leotychides with him back to Aegina, seized his hostages, and placed them in the hands of the Athenians. But on his return to Sparta, he found it detected that he had tampered with the priestess at Delphi to obtain the oracle which deposed Demaratus, and, in apprehension of the consequences, he went out of the way into Thessaly. Shortly after, however, he ventured into Arcadia, and his machinations there to excite the Arcadians against his country were sufficient to frighten the Spartans into offering him leave to return with impunity. He did not however long survive his recall. He was seized with raving madness, and dashed his staff in every one's face whom he met; and at last when confined as a maniac in a sort of stocks, he prevailed on the Helot who watched him to give him a knife, and died by slashing (katachordeuon) his whole body over with it (Herod. vi. 73-75).
  His madness and death, says Herodotus, were ascribed by the Spartans to the habit he acquired from some Scythian visitors at Sparta of excessive drinking. Others found a reason in his acts of sacrilege at Delphi or Eleusis, where he laid waste a piece of sacred land (the Orgas), or again at Argos, the case of which was as follows. Cleomenes invaded Argolis, conveying his forces by sea to the neighbourhood of Tiryns; defeated by a simple stratagem the whole Argive forces, and pursued a large number of fugitives into the wood of the hero Argus. Some of them he drew from their refuge on false pretences, the rest he burnt among the sacred trees. He however made no attempt on the city, but after sacrificing to the Argive Juno, and whipping her priestess for opposing his will, returned home and excused himself, and indeed was acquitted after investigation, on the ground that the oracle predicting that he should capture Argos had been fulfilled by the destruction of the grove of Argus. Such is the strange account given by Herodotus (vi. 76-84) of the great battle of the Seventh (en tei Hebdomei), the greatest exploit of Cleomenes, which deprived Argos of 6000 citizens (Herod. vii. 148), and left her in a state of debility from which, notwithstanding the enlargement of her franchise, she did not recover till the middle of the Peloponnesian war. To this however we may add in explanation the story given by later writers of the defence of Argos by its women, headed by the poet-heroine Telesilla (Paus. ii. 20.7; Plut. Mor.; Polyaen. viii. 33; Suidas. s.v. Telesilla). Herodotus appears ignorant of it, though he gives an oracle seeming to refer to it. It is perfectly probable that Cleomenes thus received some check, and we must remember the Spartan incapacity for sieges. The date again is doubtful. Pausanias, (iii. 4.1-5), who follows Herodotus in his account of Cleomenes, says, it was at the beginning of his reign; Clinton, however, whom Thirlwall follows, fixes it, on the ground of Herod. vii. 148-9, towards the end of his reign, about 510 B. C.
The life of Cleomenes, as graphically given by Herodotus is very curious; we may perhaps, without much imputation on the father of history, suspect that his love for personal story has here a little coloured his narrative. Possibly he may have somewhat mistaken his character; certainly the freedom of action allowed to a king whom the Spartans were at first half inclined to put aside for the younger brother Dorieus, and who was always accounted half-mad (hupomrgoteros), seems at variance with the received views of their kingly office. Yet it is possible that a wild character of this kind might find favour in Spartan eyes. The occupation of the acropolis of Athens is mentioned by Aristophanes (Lysistr. 272).

Demaratus (510-491 BC)

Son of Aristo, king of Sparta, his feud with Cleomenes, his flight to Persia, support of Xerxes' accession.

Demaratus, (Demaratos), 15th Eurypontid, reigned at Sparta from about B. C. 510 to 491. Pausanias speaks of him as sharing with Cleomenes the honour of expelling Hippias (B. C. 510) (Paus. iii. 7.7), and Plutarch (de Virtut. Mul.) unites their names in the war against Argos. Under Telesilla, he says " the Argive women beat back Cleomenes (apekroudanto) and thrust out Demaratus" (e)ce/wdan), as if the latter had for a time effected an entrance. He had gained," says Herodotus (vi. 70), " very frequent distinction for deeds and for counsels, and had in particular won for his country, alone of all her kings, an Olympian victory in the four-horse chariot-race."
  His career, however, was cut short by dissensions with his colleague. In the invasion, by which Cleomeenes proposed to wreak his vengeance on Athens, Demaratus, who was joint commander, on the arrival of the army at Eleusis, followed the example of the Corinthians, and refused to cooperate any further. The other allies began now to move away, and Cleomenes was forced to follow. (Herodot. v. 75.) Henceforward we may easily imagine that his fury at his indignities, and their general incompatibility of teimper, would render the feud between them violent and obstinate. In B. C. 491 Cleomenes while in Aegina found himself thwarted there, and intrigued against at home, by his adversary, who encouraged the Aeginetans to insult him by refusing to acknowledge the unaccredited authority of a single king. Cleomenes returned, and set the whole of his vehement unscrupulous energy to work to rid himself of Demaratus, calling to llis aid Leotychides, next heir to the house of Procles, whom Demaratus had, moreover, made his enemy by robbing him of his affianced bride, Percalus, daughter of Cheilon. (Herodot. vi 61, 65.)
  The birth of Demaratus had been as follows :-- King Ariston had twice married without issue. While his secoid wife was still alive, either in anxiety for an heir or out of mere passion, he sought and by a curious artifice obtained as his third the wife of his friend Agetus, a woman of remarkable beauty. He enticed the husband into an agreement, that each should give the other whatever he asked; and when Agetus had chosen his gift, Ariston demanded in return that he should give him his wife. A son was born. Ariston was sitting in judgment with the ephors when the tidings were brought, and counting the months on his fingers, said in their presence, " It cannot be mine." His doubts, however, appeared no further : he owned the child, and gave it, in allusion to the public prayer that had been made by the Spartans for an heir to his house, the name of Demaratus. (Ibid. vi. 61-64.)
  The father's expression was now brought up against the son. Leotychides declared him on oath to be wrongfully on the throne; and, in the consequent prosecution, he brought forward the ephors, who had then been sitting with Ariston, to bear evidence of his words. The case was referred to the Delphian oracle, and was by it, through the corrupt interference of Cleomenes, decided for the accuser, who was in consequence raised to the throne. (Ibid. vi. 64-66.)
  Demaratus, some time after, was sitting as magistrate at the Gymnopaedian games. Leotychides sent his attendant to ask the insulting question, how it felt to be magistrate after being king. Demaratus, stung by the taunt, made a hasty and menacing reply; covered up his face, and withdrew home; sacrificed there, and taking the sacred entrails, sought his mother and conjured her to let him know the truth. She replied by an account which assuredly leaves the modern reader as doubtful as before, but gave him perhaps the conviction which she wished, that his father was either Ariston or the hero Astrabacus; and, in any case, he seems to have made up his mind to regain, by whatever means, his original rank. He went to Elis under pretext of a journey to Delphi, and here perhaps would have intrigued for support, had not the Spartans suspected and sent for him. He then retired to Zacynthus, and on being pursued thither, made his way into Asia to king Dareius. (Ibid. vi. 67-70.)
  At the court of Persia he was favourably received, and is said, by stating the Spartan usage, to have forwarded the claim of Xerxes to the throne to the exclusion of his brothers born before their father's accession: and on the resolution being taken of invading Greece, to have sent, with what intent or feeling Herodotus would not venture to determine, a message, curiously concealed, to his countrymen at Sparta, conveying the intelligence. (Ibid. vii. 3. 239.)
  Henceforward Demaratus performs in the story of Herodotus with high dramatic effect the part of the unheeded counsellor, who, accompanying the invasion and listened to by Xerxes, saw the weakness of those countless myriads, and ventured to combat the extravagant unthinking confidence of their leader. Thus at Doriscus, after the numbering of the army; thus at Thermopylae, when he explaiined that it was for battle the Spartans were trimming their hair; thus, after the pass was won, when Xerxes owned his wisdom, and he is said to have given the farsighted counsel of occupying Cythera And thus finally he, says the story, was with Dicaeus in the plain of Thria, when they heard the mystic Eleusinian cry, and saw the cloud of sacred dust pass, as escorting the assistant deities, to the Grecian fleet. (Ibid. vii. 101-105, 209, 234, 235, viii. 65.)
  Leaving the imagination of Herodotus and his informants responsible for much of this, we may safely believe that Demaratus, like Hippias before, accompanied the expedition in the hope of vengeance and restoration, and, probably enough, with the mixed feelings ascribed to him. Pausanias (iii. 7.7) states, that his family continued long in Asia; and Xenophon (Hell. iii. 1. § 6) mentions Eurysthenes and Procles, his descendants, as lords of Pergamus, Teuthrania, and Ilalisarna, the district given to their ancestor by the king as the reward of his service in the expedition. The Cyrean army found Procles at Teutthrania. (Xen. Anab. vii. 8. 17.) "To this family also," says Miiller (Dor. bk. i. 9.8), " belongs Procles, who married the daughter of Aristotle, when the latter was at Atarneus, and had by her two sons, Procles and Demaratus. (Sext. Empir. adv. Mathem. p. 518, ed. Col.") Plutarch's anecdote (Them. c. 29), that he once excited the king's anger by asking leave to ride through Sardis with the royal tiara, and was restored to favour by Themistocles, can only be said not to be in contradiction to the chronology. (Clinton, .F. H. ii.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Cleombrotus (480-479 BC)

Cleombrotus (Kleombrotos), son of Anaxandrides, king of Sparta, brother of Dorieus and Leonidas, and half-brother of Cleomenes (Herod. v. 41). He became regent after the battle of Thermopylae, B. C. 480, for Pleistarchus, infant son of Leonidas, and in this capacity was at the head of the Peloponnesian troops who at the time of the battle of Salamis were engaged in fortifying the isthmus (Herod. viii. 71). The work was renewed in the following spring, till deserted for the commencement of the campaign of Plataea. Whether Cleombrotus was this second time engaged in it cannot be gathered with certainty from the expression of Herodotus (ix. 10), "that he died shortly after leading home his forces from the Isthmus in consequence of an eclipse of the sun". Yet the date of that eclipse, Oct. 2nd, seems to fix his death to the end of B. C. 480, nor is the language of Herodotus very favourable to Thirlwall's hypothesis, according to which, with Clinton, he places it early in 479. He left two sons -the noted Pausanias, who succeeded him as regent, and Nicomedes (Thuc. i. 107).

Archidamus II (469-427 BC)

Agis II (reign 427-399 BC)

Agis II., the 17th of the Eurypontid line (beginning with Procles), succeeded his father Archidamus, B. C. 427, and reigned a little more than 28 years. In the summer of B. C. 426, he led an army of Peloponnesians and their allies as far as the isthmus, with the intention of invading Attica; but they were deterred from advancing farther by a succession of earthquakes which happened when they had got so far (Thuc. iii. 89). In the spring of the following year he led an army into Attica, but quitted it fifteen days after he had entered it (Thuc. iv. 2, 6). In B. C. 419, the Argives, at the instigation of Alciblades, attacked Epidaurus; and Agis with the whole force of Lacedaemon set out at the same time and marched to the frontier city, Leuctra. No one, Thucydides tells us, knew the purpose of this expedition. It was probably to make a diversion in favour of Epidaurus. At Leuctra the aspect of the sacrifices deterred him from proceeding. He therefore led his troops back, and sent round notice to the allies to be ready for an expedition at the end of the sacred month of the Carnean festival; and when the Argives repeated their attack on Epidaurus, the Spartans again marched to the frontier town, Caryae, and again turned back, professedly on account of the aspect of the victims. In the middle of the following summer (B. C. 418) the Epidaurians being still hard pressed by the Argives, the Laccdaemonians with their whole force and some allies, under the command of Agis, invaded Argolis. By a skilful manoeuvre he succeeded in intercepting the Argives, and posted his army advantageously between them and the city. But just as the battle was about to begin, Thrasyllus, one of the Argive generals, and Alciphron came to Agis and prevailed on him to conclude a truce for four months. Agis, without disclosing his motives, drew off his army. On his return he was severely censured for having thus thrown away the opportunity of reducing Argos, especially as the Argives had seized the opportunity afforded by his return and taken Orchomenos. It was proposed to pull down his house, and inflict on him a fine of 100,000 drachmae. But on his earnest entreaty they contented themselves with appointing a council of war, consisting of 10 Spartans, without whom he was not to lead an army out of the city (Thuc. v. 54, 57, &c.). Shortly afterwards they received intelligence from Tegea, that, if not promptly succoured, the party favourable to Sparta in that city would be compelled to give way. The Spartans immediately sent their whole force under the command of Agis. He restored tranquillity at Tegea, and then marched to Mantincia. By turning the waters so as to flood the lands of Mantineia, he succeeded in drawing the army of the Mantineans and Athenians down to the level ground. A battle ensued, in which the Spartans were victorious. This was one of the most important battles ever fought between Grecian states (Thuc. v. 71-73). In B. C. 417, when news reached Sparta of the counter-revolution at Argos, in which the oligarchical and Spartan faction was overthrown, an army was sent there under Agis. He was unable to restore the defeated party, but he destroyed the long walls which the Argives had begun to carry down to the sea, and took Hysiae (Thuc. v. 83). In the spring of B. C. 413, Agis entered Attica with a Peloponnesian army, and fortified I)eceleia, a steep eminence about 15 miles northeast of Athens (Thuc. vii. 19, 27); and in the winter of the same year, after the news of the disastrous fate of the Sicilian expedition had reached Greece, he marched northwards to levy contributions on the allies of Sparta, for the purpose of constructing a fleet. While at Deceleia he acted in a great measure independently of the Spartan government, and received embassies as well from the disaffected allies of the Athenians, as from the Boeotians and other allies of Sparta (Thuc. viii. 3, 5). He seems to have remained at Deceleia till the end of the Peloponnesian war. In 411, during the administration of the Four Hundred, he made an unsuccessful attempt on Athens itself (Thuc. viii. 71). In B. C. 401, the command of the war against Elis was entrusted to Agis, who in the third year compelled the Eleans to sue for peace. As he was returning from Delphi, whither he had gone to consecrate a tenth of the spoil, he fell sick at Heraea in Arcadia, and died in the course of a few days after he reached Sparta (Xen. Hell. iii. 2.21, &c. 3.1-4.) He left a son, Leotychides, who however was excluded from the throne, as there was sone suspicion with regard to his legitimacy. While Alcibiades was at Sparta he made Agis his implacable enemy. Later writers (Justin, v. 2 ; Plut. Alcib. 23) assign as a reason, that the latter suspected him of having dishonoured his queen Timaea. It was probably at the suggestion of Agis, that orders were sent out to Astyochus to put him to death. Alcibiades however received timely notice, (according to some accounts from Timaea herself) and kept out of the reach of the Spartans. (Thuc. viii. 12, 45; Plut. Lysand. 22. Agesil. 3)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Leotychides, son of Agis II.

Leotychides, was grandson of Archidamus II., and son of Agis II. There was, however, some suspicion that he was in reality the fruit of an intrigue of Alcibiades with Timaea, the queen of Agis, a suspicion which was strengthened (so Pausanias says) by some angry expressions of Agis himself, and also by Timaea's own language, according to Duris and Plutarch. Agis indeed before his death repented of what he had said on the subject, and publicly owned Leotychides for his son. On his father's demise, however, he was excluded from the throne on the above grounds, mainly through the influence of Lysander, and his uncle, Agesilaus II., was substituted in his room. (Paus. iii. 8 ; Duris, ap. Plut. Ages. 3; Plut. Alc. 23, Lysand. 22; Xen. Ages. 1, Hell. iii. 3. 1-4; Just. v. 2.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Agesilaus II (reign 398-361 BC)

Agesilaus II., son by his second wife, Eupolia, of Archidamus II., succeeded his half-brother, Agis II. as nineteenth king of the Eurypontid line; excluding, on the ground of spurious birth, and by the interest of Lysander, his nephew, Leotychides. His reign extends from 398 to 361 B. C., both inclusive; during most of which time he was, in Plutarch's words, "as good as thought commander and king of all Greece," and was for the whole of it greatly identified with his country's deeds and fortunes. The position of that country, though internally weak, was externally, in Greece, down to 394, one of supremacy acknowledged: the only field of its ambition was Persia; from 394 to 387, the Corinthian or first Theban war, one of supremacy assaulted: in 387 that supremacy was restored over Greece, in the peace of Antalcidas, by the sacrifice of Asiatic prospects : and thus more confined and more secure, it became also more wanton. After 378, when Thebes regained her freedom, we find it again assailed, and again for one moment restored, though on a lower level, in 371; then overthrown for ever at Leuctra, the next nine years being a struggle for existence amid dangers within and without.
  Of the youth of Agesilaus we have no detail, beyond the mention of his intimacy with Lysander. On the throne, which he ascended about the age of forty, we first hear of him in the suppression of Cinadon's conspiracy. In his third year (396) he crossed into Asia, and after a short campaign, and a winter of preparation, he in the next overpowered the two satraps, Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus; and, in the spring of 394, was encamped in the plain of Thebe, preparing to advance into the heart of the empire, when a message arrived to summon him to the war at home. He calmly and promptly obeyed; expressing however to the Asiatic Greeks, and doubtless himself indulging, hopes of a speedy return. Marching rapidly by Xerxes' route, he met and defeated at Coroneia in Boeotia the allied forces. In 393 he was engaged in a ravaging invasion of Argolis, in 392 in one of the Corinthian territory, in 391 he reduced the Acarnanians to submission; but, in the remaining years of the war, he is not mentioned. In the interval of peace, we find him declining the command in Sparta's aggression on Mantineia; but heading, from motives, it is said, of private friendship, that on Phlius; and openly justifying Phoebidas' seizure of the Cadmeia. Of the next war, the first two years he commanded in Boeotia, more however to the enemy's gain in point of experience, than loss in any other; from the five remaining he was withdrawn by severe illness. In the congress of 371 an altercation is recorded between him and Epaminondas; and by his advice Thebes was peremptorily excluded from the peace, and orders given for the fatal campaign of Leuctra. In 370 we find him engaged in an embassy to Mantineia, and reassuring the Spartans by an invasion of Arcadia; and in 369 to his skill, courage, and presence of mind, is to be ascribed the maintenance of the unwalled Sparta, amidst the attacks of four armies, and revolts and conspiracies of Helots, Perioeci, and even Spartans. Finally, in 362, he led his countrymen into Arcadia; by fortunate information was enabled to return in time to prevent the surprise of Sparta, and was, it seems, joint if not sole commander at the battle of Mantineia. To the ensuing winter must probably be referred his embassy to the coast of Asia and negotiations for money with the revolted satraps, alluded to in an obscure passage of Xenophon (Agesilaus, ii. 26, 27): and, in performance perhaps of some stipulation then made. he crossed, in the spring of 361, with a body of Lacedaemonian mercenaries into Egypt. Here, after displaying much of his ancient skill, he died, while preparing for his voyage home, in the winter of 361-60, after a life of above eighty years and a reign of thirty-eight. His body was embalmed in wax, and splendidly buried at Sparta.
  Referring to our sketch of Spartan history, we find Agesilaus shining most in its first and last period, as commencing and surrendering a glorious career in Asia, and as, in extreme age, maintaining his prostrate country. From Coroneia to Leuctra we see him partly unemployed, at times yielding to weak motives, at times joining in wanton acts of public injustice. No one of Sparta's great defeats, but some of her bad policy belongs to him. In what others do, we miss him; in what he does, we miss the greatness and consistency belongings to unity of purpose and sole command. No doubt he was hampered at home; perhaps, too, from a man withdrawn, when now near fifty, from his chosen career, great action in a new one of any kind could not be looked for. Plutarch gives among numerous apophthegmata his letter to the ephors on his recall : " We have reduced most of Asia, driven back the barbarians, made arms abundant in Ionia. But since you bid me, according to the decree, come home, I shall fellow my letter, may perhaps be even before it. For my comniand is not mine, but my country's and her allies'. And a commander then commands truly according to right when he sees his own commander in the laws and ephors, or others holding office in the state." Also, an exclamation on hearing of the battle of Corinth : "Alas for Greece! she has killed enough of her sons to have conquered all the barbarians." Of his courage, temperance, and hardiness, many instances are given : to these he added, even in excess, the less Spartan qualities of kindliness and tenderness as a father and a friend. Thus we have the story of his riding across a stick with his children; and to gratify his son's affection for Cleonymus, son of the culprit, he saved Sphodrias from the punishment due, in right and policy, for his incursion into Attica in 378. So too the appointment of Peisander. [A letter of his runs, " If Nicis is innocent, acquit him for that ; if guilty, for my sake; any how acquit him." From Spartan cupidity and dishonesty, and mostly, even in public life, from ill faith, his character is clear. In person he was small, mean-looking, and lame, on which last ground objection had been made to his accession, an oracle, curiously fulfilled, having warned Sparta of evils awaiting her under a linee sovereignty" In his reign, indeed, her fall took place, but not through him. Agesilaus himself was Sparta's most perfect citizen and most consummate general; in many ways perhaps her greatest man. (Xen. Hell. iii. 3, to the end, Agesilaus ; Diod. xiv. xv; Paus. iii. 9, 10; Plut. and C. Nepos, in vita ; Plut. Apophthegm.)

Agesilaus II (444/443-359): king of Sparta (400-359).
  Agesilaus was born in the Eurypontid family, one of the two royal dynasties of Sparta, in 444/443, as the second son of king Archidamus (477-426). Agesilaus' older brother was Agis, whose reign started in 426 and lasted until 400.
  Agis' normal successor would have been Leotychidas, who claimed to be Agis' son but was generally considered to be a child of Alcibiades, an Athenian politician who had stayed at Sparta as an exile. For some time, there was a lot of quarreling going on. Agesilaus objected to Leotychidas' reign, saying that he was a mere bastard; the prince replied by saying that there was an oracle that warned against a 'lame king' - and wasn't Agesilaus lame? The debate was concluded when Lysander, Sparta's best commander and a personal friend of Agesilaus, declared that the true meaning of the oracle had been that the 'lame king' was the king who was a bastard. So, in 400, Agesilaus was accepted as king by the Spartans.
  Of course, the new king had to pay a prize. Lysander was the proponent of a militant and aggressive foreign policy, and from now on Agesilaus had to follow this policy too. In the year of his accession, he sent a general named Thibron to what is now Turkey in order to protect the Greek towns against oppression by the Persian satrap Tissaphernes. The expeditionary force consisted of some 5,000 members of the Spartan alliance, 300 Athenians, and the 6,000 surviving Greek mercenaries of the army that had been used by the Persian pretender Cyrus the Younger to attack his brother, king Artaxerxes II Mnemon. Extra power was added to Thibron's force by an alliance with Egypt, which had once been a Persian satrapy but had recently become independent under Amyrtaeus, a new pharaoh.
  The size of the expeditionary force was considerable, but the army's movements were not well coordinated with that of the navy. Thibron and (after 399) his successor Dercyllidas wasted their time in Hellespontine Phrygia, fighting against the forces of satrap Pharnabazus. Finally, Dercyllidas' army moved to the south and invaded Caria, where it could have united with the Spartan navy and might have expelled the Persian navy from the Aegean, but now Pharnabazus and the satrap of Lydia, Tissaphernes, united their forces and lured the Spartans to the north. Shortly before the two armies joined battle, an armistice was concluded near Magnesia (397).
  The two governments might have concluded a peace treaty on the terms agreed by Dercyllidas and Tissaphernes: Sparta would evacuate Asia, and Persia would recognize the independence of the Greek towns in Ionia. However, during the negotiations, the Persians continued to build a large navy in Phoenicia, and king Agesilaus concluded that the Persian peace offer was not seriously meant. (In fact, it is possible that the navy was to be directed against Egypt.) Now, Agesilaus decided to invade Asia personally. Lysander would be his assistant. They took 8,000 soldiers with him.
  In the spring of 396, Agesilaus sacrificed at Aulis in Boeotia, praying for a safe crossing of the Aegean Sea. The site was well chosen: this was the place where, according to well-known legends, the Spartan king Agamemnon had once sacrificed before he went to Troy. Unfortunately, Agesilaus' sacrifice was soiled by the behavior of Boeotian cavalry men, and reinforcements that had been promised by Sparta's Greek allies did not turn up. The omens were bad.
  Nevertheless, Agesilaus' campaign started successfully. He first sailed to Ephesus and concluded a truce with satrap Tissaphernes, which gave him a free hand to attack Pharnabazus. Lysander did the job. (Tissaphernes agreed to the truce because he expected reinforcements.)   In the winter of 396/395, Agesilaus recruited extra soldiers among the Ionian Greeks, and in the spring, he defeated Tissaphernes in the neighborhood of Sardes. The spoils were very large, and Tissaphernes was killed by one Tithraustes, who was sent as the new satrap of Caria and Ionia. He was a clever diplomat, who paid a large amount of money to Agesilaus, under the condition that he went back to the north and attacked Pharnabazus.
  When Agesilaus was marching to the north again, he received new instructions from the Spartan government: he had to sail to and attack Caria -which was suffering from the change of satrap- and continue to the east, to Cilicia. This strategy made sense. It had been employed by the Athenians in the fifth century, and was a better way to expel the Persians from the Aegean region than fighting against the satraps of Hellespontine Phrygia and Caria/Ionia. Alexander the Great was to do the same thing in 333.
  Unfortunately, Agesilaus was unable to do this. He raided the satrapy of Pharnabazus (as he had promised to Tithraustes) and acquired large spoils. But the satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia did not come to terms, and therefore, the naval offensive had to be postponed. Agesilaus decided on a march to the interior of Asia along the Royal road. However, his progress was slow because he was unable to capture the towns - the Spartans were famous for their inability to conduct siege warfare. This gave the Persians opportunity to build up a new navy, and -even worse to the Spartan case- to find a capable admiral, the Athenian Conon.
  In 395, Conon and the Persian navy captured Rhodes, which was to be their base for operations in the Aegean Sea. (A large corn fleet that Egypt had sent to Sparta was captured, because its admiral did not know of the capture of Rhodes.) Next year, Conon was ready to strike. But so was Agesilaus, who had by now reached Gordium. However, the summer of 395 had seen several risings against the Spartan hegemony in the mainland of Greece, especially in Boeotia. This forced the Spartan government to recall Agesilaus in the spring of 394.
  We may speculate what would have happened if the Spartan hegemony in Greece had remained unchallenged. In that case, the situation would have been more or less identical to that of the year 333, when the Macedonian king Alexander the Great raided the interior of Asia and the Persian admiral Pharnabazus conducted operations in the Aegean Sea. The result was a Macedonian victory, and the same may have been true for Agesilaus. On the other hand, Alexander knew how to conduct a siege, something that the Spartan king did not.
  However this may be, Agesilaus was forced to return to the Greek mainland -he carried 1,000 talents of loot with him- where he defeated the Boeotians on August 14, 394, near Coronea.
  By now, the so-called Corinthian War had started: Sparta had to fight against the Boeotians, Corinthians, Athenians, and the Persian navy. They had gathered at Corinth to invade the Peloponnese, but the Spartans had defeated the invaders in June or July. Agesilaus' victory at Coronea was a further Spartan success. Twenty-three years were to pass until a Greek army dared to oppose the Spartans.
  In 392-390, Agesilaus was the most important Spartan general in an inconclusive war that concentrated on the region surrounding Corinth. In 389, he was fighting in Acarnania in the west, which he forced into surrender. However, the Spartans were unable to break their opponents' strength, and the enemy coalition was incapable of pushing back the Spartans. Both sides used mercenaries, which marked the beginning of a professionalisation of the conduct of war.
  Meanwhile, Conon and the Persian navy were master of the Aegean Sea and ravaged the coasts of the Peloponnese. Persian gold sponsored Thebes and Corinth. The Spartans understood that Persia was their real enemy, and opened negotiations with Tiribazus, who had succeeded Tithraustes as satrap of Ionia and Caria. At a peace congress, the Spartan envoy Antalcidas suggested the cession of all Greek towns in Asia and requested the independence and autonomy of the Greek towns in Europe.
  By now, Athens had become dangerous for the Persian king Artaxerxes: it had rebuilt parts of its empire and was threatening Cyprus. Besides, it had concluded an alliance with the Egyptian king Achoris. Therefore, the king agreed to Antalcidas' proposal. He was to side with Sparta for such time as Athens refused to sign a peace treaty. Antalcidas now seized the Athenian possessions near the Hellespont and a second Spartan fleet blockaded Athens. Ultimately, Athens gave in, and the so-called King's Peace was concluded: all Greek towns were to be independent and autonomous, and the common peace was to be guaranteed by Sparta (387/386). In other words, the war-weary towns on the Greek mainland accepted Sparta as their leader, and the Greek towns in Asia were sacrificed to the great king.
  For almost a decade, Greece remained more or less at peace. However, in the last week of 379, Thebes revolted and expelled its Spartan garrison. At Sparta, the conduct of the war was entrusted to Agesilaus. He took his task very seriously, improved the recruiting system of the Spartan army, and invaded Boeotia in the autumn of 378. However, he was unable to conduct a siege, the Thebans did not offer battle, and he was forced to return to Sparta, having looted the country. The same happened in 377. The garrisons that he left behind in Boeotia, were expelled one by one by the Thebans.
  The Theban successes in Boeotia covered Athens, which reorganized its empire in the Second Delian League. The Athenians were just as successful as the Thebans (377). When Athens had regained its former naval superiority, it concluded a peace treaty with Sparta, which grudgingly gave in to have its hands free in Boeotia (July 374).
  In the summer of 371, the Spartan king Cleombrotus, Agesilaus' younger colleague, invaded Boeotia with a large army that was to settle all accounts. At Leuctra, it met the Theban army of Epaminondas, which was perhaps half the size of the Spartan army. However, the Thebans placed their troops at an angle with the Spartan troops, and were able to concentrate their forces on one section of the Spartan battle line. They broke through the Spartan lines, and their victory was complete. For the first time, the Spartans had been defeated by an army smaller than their own. Even worse, it had hardly any soldiers left, and the next decades it was to look for money to buy mercenaries.
  Immediately, the Spartan coalition began to disintegrate. The Spartans gave Agesilaus, now 73 or 74 years old, full powers to reform the constitution and strengthen the army, but he did not have the imagination to find new ways.
  In the winter of 370/369, the Boeotians again did the impossible: they invaded the Peloponnese and attacked Sparta at home. The Spartan populace wanted to attack the army of Epaminondas, but Agesilaus convinced them that they were no match for the Thebans. However, he managed to defend Sparta itself - or so it seemed. Probably, Epaminondas knew that looting Sparta was unnecessary, because there was nothing to take away from this poor village. Meanwhile, Agesilaus renewed the peace treaty with Athens.
  In 368, Sparta was really defeated - without a battle. This time, the Thebans managed to liberate the helots of Messenia, which had always been the work force of the Spartans. This meant the economic collapse of Sparta. Agesilaus sent envoys to Persia, but they did not obtain the money Sparta needed to buy mercenaries. On the contrary, the great king wanted the King's Peace to be renewed, with Thebes as supreme Greek power. To Athens and Sparta, this was unacceptable.
  Agesilaus now started a career as a mercenary leader. In 367, he joined forces with Ariobarzanes, a satrap revolting against the great king. In this way, he hoped to earn the money Sparta needed. He was not unsuccessful, and when the Thebans again invaded the Peloponnese in 362, he managed to prevent the capture of Sparta. However, when the Spartans and Athenians attacked the Theban expeditionary force at Mantinea, they were defeated.
  The result was a stalemate, because the Theban leader Epaminondas died in action. In the winter, a League of Greek City-States was formed, which swore to observe a general peace. Unfortunately, Sparta was unable to join. It could not accept the loss of Messenia and would try to force its inhabitants back into servitude. However, it lacked the financial means to reorganize its army. Therefore, Agesilaus again became a mercenary leader, this time siding with the Egyptian king Teos, who was preparing an attack on the Persian territories in Syria.   However, when his expeditionary force had reached Phoenicia, news arrived that Teos' brother Tjahapimu, the governor of Egypt, had revolted and had offered the throne to Nectanebo II (360). Almost immediately, Agesilaus sided with the new pharaoh. One of the problems the new king had to cope with, was another would-be king at Mendes in the eastern Delta, but the mercenaries of Agesilaus made quick work of him. It was the last victory of the old man. Nectanebo no longer needed him, and sent him back with a bonus of 250 talents. When Agesilaus reached Cyrene, he fell ill and died. Nectanebo kindly ordered that the corpse would be royally embalmed before it would be sent to Sparta.
  This was the end of Agesilaus. He had been a courageous and disciplined soldier, whose bad fortune it was that he had survived the era in which courage and discipline were the road to success. In the fourth century, generals had to be more creative, and this was precisely the quality he was lacking. Agesilaus also lacked the imagination to reform the Spartan constitution after the defeat at Leuctra. In spite of his personal courage, he was the wrong man to lead Sparta after 371.

Jona Lendering, ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Livius Ancient History Website URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.

Lives, by Plurarch

Agesipolis I (reign 394-381 BC)

Agesipolis I., king of Sparta, the twenty-first of the Agids beginning with Eurysthenes, succeeded his father Pausanias, while yet a minor, in B. C. 394, and reigned fourteen years. He was placed under the guardianship of Aristodemus, his nearest of kin. He came to the crown just about the time that the confederacy (partly brought about by the intrigues of the Persian satrap Tithraustes), which was formed by Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos, against Sparta, rendered it necessary to recall his colleague, Agesilaus II., from Asia; and the first military operation of his reign was the expedition to Corinth, where the forces of the confederates were then assembled. The Spartan army was led by Aristodemnus, and gained a signal victory over the allies (Xen. Hell. iv. 2.9) In the year B. C. 390 Agesipolis, who had now reached his majority, was entrusted with the command of an army for the invasion of Argolis. Having procured the sanctions of the Olympic and Delphic gods for disregarding any attempt which the Argives might make to stop his march, on the pretext of a religious truce, he carried his ravages still farther than Agesilaus had done in B. C. 393; but as he suffered the aspect of the victims to deter him from occupying a permanent post, the expedition yielded no fruit but the plunder (Xen. Hell. iv. 7.2-6; Paus. iii. 5.8). In B. C. 385 the Spartans, seizing upon some frivolous pretexts, sent an expedition against Mantincia, in which Agesipolis undertook the command, after it had been declined by Agesilaus. In this expedition the Spartans were assisted by Thebes, and in a battle with the Mantineans, Epaminondas and Pelopidas, who were fighting side by side, narrowly escaped death. He took the town by diverting the river Ophis, so as to lay the low grounds at tlie foot of the walls under water. The basements, being made of unbaked bricks, were unable to resist the action of the water. The walls soon began to totter, and the Mantineans were forced to surrender. They were admitted to terms on condition that the population should be dispersed among the four hamlets, out of which it had been collected to form the capital. The democratical leaders were permitted to go into exile (Xen. Hell. v. 2.1-7; Paus. viii. 8.5; Diod. xv. 5, &c.; Plut. Pelop. 4.)
  Early in B. C. 382, an embassy came to Sparta from the cities of Acanthus and Apollonia, requesting assistance against the Olynthians, who were endeavouring to compel them to join their confederacy. The Spartans granted it, but were not at first very successful. After the defeat and death of Teleutias in the second campaign (B. C. 381) Agesipolis took the command. He set out in 381, but did not begin operations till the spring of 380. He then acted with great vigour, and took Torone by storm; but in the midst of his successes he was seized with a fever, which carried him off in seven days. He died at Aphytis, in the peninsula of Pallene. His body was immersed in honey and conveyed home to Sparta for burial. Though Agesipolis did not share the ambitious views of foreign conquest cherished by Agesilaus, his loss was deeply regretted by that prince, who seems to have had a sincere regard for him (Xen. Hell. v. 3. 8-9, 18-19; Diod. xv. 22).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Cleombrotus I (380-371 BC)

Cleombrotus I. (Kleombrotos), the 23rd king of Sparta, of the Agid line, was the son of Pausanias. He succeeded his brother Agesipolis I. in the year 380 B. C., and reigned nine years. After the deliverance of Thebes from the domination of Sparta, Cleombrotus was sent into Boeotia, at the head of a Lacedaemonian army, in the spring of 378, but he only spent sixteen days in the Theban territory without doing any injury, and then returned home, leaving Sphodrias as harmost at Thespiae. On his march home his army suffered severely from a storm. His conduct excited much disapprobation at Sparta, and the next two expeditions against Thebes were entrusted to the other king, Agesilaus II. In the year 376, on account of the illness of Agesilaus, the command was restored to Cleombrotus, who again effected nothing, but returned to Sparta in consequence of a slight repulse in the passes of Cithaeron. This created still stronger dissatisfaction: a congress of the allies was held at Sparta, and it was resolved to prosecute the war by sea. In the spring of 374, Cleombrotus was sent across the Corinthian gulf into Phocis, which had been invaded by the Thebans, who, however, retreated into Boeotia upon his approach. He remained in Phocis till the year 371, when, in accordance with the policy by which Thebes was excluded from the peace between Athens and Sparta, he was ordered to march into Boeotia. Having avoided Epaminondas, who was guarding the pass of Coroneia, he marched down upon Creusis, which he took, with twelve Theban triremes which were in the harbour; and he then advanced to the plains of Leuctra, where he met the Theban army. He seems to have been desirous of avoiding a battle, though he was superior to the enemy in numbers, but his friends reminded him of the suspicions he had before incurred by his former slowness to act against the Thebans, and warned him of the danger of repeating such conduct in the present crisis. In accusing Cleombrotus of rashness in fighting, Cicero (Off. i. 24) seems to have judged by the result. There was certainly as much hesitation on the other side. In the battle which ensued he fought most bravely, and fell mortally wounded, and died shortly after he was carried from the field. According to Diodorus, his fall decided the victory of the Thebans. He was succeeded by his son Agesipolis II. (Xen. Hell. v. 4.14-18, 59, vi. 1.1, c. 4.15; Plut. Pelop. 13, 20-23, Ages. 28; Diod. xv. 51-55; Paus. i. 13.2, iii. 6.1, ix. 13.2-4)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Agesipolis II (reign 371-370 BC)

Agesipolis II., son of Cleombrotus, was the 23rd king of the Agid line. He ascended the throne B. C. 37], and reigned one year (Paus. iii. 6.1; Diod. xv. 60).

Cleomenes II (370-309 BC)

Cleomenes II., the 25th king of Sparta of the Agid line, was the son of Cleombrotus I. and the brother of Agesipolis II., whom he succeeded in B. C. 370. He died in B. C. 309, after a reign of sixty years and ten months; but during this long period we have no information about him of any importance. He had two sons, Acrotatus and Cleonymus. Acrotatus died during the life of Cleomenes, upon whose death Areus, the son of Acrotatus, succeeded to the throne (Diod. xx. 29; Plut. Agis, 3; Paus. i. 13.3, iii. 6.1; Diod. xv. 60, contradicts himself about the time that Cleomenes reigned, and is evidently wrong)

Archidamus III. (361-338 BC)

Archidamus III., king of Sparta, 20th of the Eurypontids, was son of Agesilaus II. We first hear of him as interceding with his father in behalf of Sphodrias, to whose son Cleonymus he was attached, and who was thus saved, through the weak affection of Agesilaus, from the punishment which his unwarrantable invasion of Attica had deserved, B. C. 378 (Xen. Hell. v. 4.25-33; Diod. xv. 29; Plut. Ages. c. 25; comp. Plut. Pel. c. 14). In B. C. 371, he was sent, in consequence of the illness of Agesilaus (Xen. Hell. v. 4.58; Plut. Ages. c. 27), to succour the defeated Spartans at Leuctra; but Jason of Pherae had already mediated between them and the Thebans, and Archidanmus, meeting his countrymen on their return at Aegosthena in Megara, dismissed the allies, and led the Spartans home (Xen. Hell. vi. 4.17-26; comp. Diod. xv. 54, 55). In 367, with the aid of the auxiliaries furnished by Dionysius I. of Syracuse, he defeated the Arcadians and Argives in what has been called the "Tearless Battle", from the statement in his despatches, that he had won it without losing a man (Xen. Hell. vii. 1.28; Plut. Ages. c. 33; Polyaen. i. 45; Diod. xv. 72); and to the next year, 366, must be taken assigned the "Archidamus" of Isocrates, written perhaps to be delivered by the prince in the Spartion senate, to encourage his country in her resolution of maintaining her claim to Messenia, when Corinth had made, with Sparta's consent, a separate peace with Thebes (Xen. Hell. vii. 4.9). In 364, he was again sent against Arcadia, then at war with Elis (Xen. Hell. vii. 4.20, &c.; Just. vi. 5); and in 362, having been left at home to protect Sparta while Agesilaus went to join the allies at Mantineia, he baffled the attempt of Epaminondas on the city (Xen. Hell. vii. 5.9, &c.; Diod. xv. 82, 83; Plut. Ages.c.34; Arch.). He succeeded his father on the throne in 361. In 356, we find him privately furnishing Philomelus, the Phocian, with fifteen talents, to aid him in his resistance to the Amphictyonic decree and his seizure of Delphi, whence arose the sacred war (Diod. xvi. 24; Just. viii. 1; comp. Paus. iv. 4 ; Theopomp. ap. Paus. iii. 10). In 352, occurred the war of Sparta against Megalopolis with a view to the dissolution (dioikismos) of that community; and Archidamus was appointed to the command, and gained some successes, though the enterprise did not ultimately succeed (Diod. xvi. 39; Paus. viii. 27; Demosth. pro Megal.; comp. Aristot. Polit. v. 10). In the last year of the sacred war, 346, we find Archidamus marching into Phocis at the head of 1000 men. According to Diodorus (xvi. 59), the Phocians had applied for aid to Sparta, but this seems questionable from what Aeschines (de Fals. Leg.) reports as the advice of the Phocian leaders to Archidamus, "to alarm himself about the dangers of Sparta rather than of Phocis". Demosthenes (de Flls. Leg.) hints at a private understanding between Philip and the Spartans, and at some treachery of his towards them. Whether however on this account, or as being distrusted by Phalaecus (Aesch. de Fals. Leg.), or as finding it impossible to effect anything on behalf of the Phocians, Archidamus, on the arrival of Philip, withdrew his forces and returned home. In 338, he went to Italy to aid the Tarentines against the Lucanians, and there he fell in battle on the very day, according to Diodorus, of Philip's victory at Chacroneia (Diod. xvi. 63, 88; Paus. iii. 10; Strab. vi.; Theopomp. ap. Athen. xii.; Plut. Agis, c. 3). The Spartans erected a statue of him at Olympia, which is mentioned by Pansanias (vi. ch. 4, 15).

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Agis III (reign 338-331 BC)

Agis III., the elder son of Archidamus III., was the 20th king of the Eurypontid line. His reign was short, but eventful. He succeeded his father in B. C. 338. In B. C. 333, we find him going with a single trireme to the Persian commanders in the Aegean, Pharnabazus and Autophradates, to request money and an armament for carryiug on hostile operations against Alexander in Greece. They gave him 30 talents and 10 triremes. The news of the battle of Issus, however, put a check upon their plans. He sent the galleys to his brother Agesilaus, with instructions to sail with them to Crete, that he might secure that island for the Spartan interest. In this he seems in a great measure to have succeeded. Two years afterwards (B. C. 331), the Greek states which were leagued together against Alexander, seized the opportunity of the disaster of Zopyrion and the revolt of the Thracians, to declare war against Macedonia. Agis was invested with the command, and with the Lacedaemonian troops, and a body of 8000 Greek mercenaries, who had been present at the battle of Issus, gained a decisive victory over a Macedonian army under Corragus. Having been joined by the other forces of the league he laid siege to Megalopolis. The city held out till Antipater came to its relief, when a battle ensued, in which Agis was defeated and killed. It happened about the time of the battle of Arbela. (Arrian, ii. 13 ; Diod. xvi. 63, 68, xvii. 62; Aesch. c. Ctesiph. p. 77; Curt. vi. 1; Justin, xii. 1)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Areus I (309-265 BC)

Areus I., succeeded his grandfather, Cleomenes II., as king of Sparta, of the Eurysthenid family, B. C. 309, his father, Acrotatus, having died before him. He reigned 44 years (Diod. xx. 29).
  In the year 280 B. C., a league of the Greek states was formed, at the instigation of Sparta, acting under the influence of its ally, Ptolemy Ceraunus, to free themselves from the dominion of Antigonus Gonatas. The first blow was struck by Areus, who, having obtained a decree of the Amphyctions against the Aetolians, because they had cultivated the sacred land of Cirrha, attacked Cirrha unexpectedly, and plundered and burnt the town. His proceedings were viewed by the Aetolian shepherds on the mountains, who formed themselves into a body of about 500 men, and attacked the scattered troops of Areus. These, ignorant of the number of their enemies, were struck with a panic and fled, leaving 9000 of their number dead. Thus the expedition turned out fruitless, and the attempts of Sparta to renew the war met with no encouragement from the other states, which suspected that the real design of Sparta was not to liberate Greece, but to obtain the supremacy for herself (Justin, xxiv. 1: it is scarcely credible that the numbers can be right).
  When Sparta was attacked by Pyrrhus, in B. C. 272, Areus was absent on an expedition in Crete. He returned straight to Sparta, and formed an alliance with the Argives, the effect of which was, that Pyrrhus drew off his forces from Sparta to attack Argos (Paus. iii. 6.2; Plut. Pyrrh. 26-29). In the year 267, Areus united with Ptolemy Philadelphus in an unsuccessful attempt to save Athens from Antigonus Gonatas (Paus. iii. 6.3; Justin, xxvi. 2). He fell in a battle against the Macedonians at Corinth, in the next year but one, 265 B. C., and was succeeded by his son Acrotatus (Plut. Agis, 3; Justin, xxvi., Prol.). He was the king of Sparta to whom the Jews sent the embassy mentioned in 1 Macc. xii. 20.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Archidamus IV. (296 BC)

Archidamus IV., king of Sparta, 23rd of the Eurypontids, was the son of Eudamidas I. and the grandson of Archidamus III. (Plut. Agis, 3.) He was king in. c. 296, when he was defeated by Demetrius Poliorcetes. (Plut. Demetr. 35)

Areus II (265-254 BC)

Areus II., a posthumous son of Acrotatus, was born as king probably in 264 A. D., and died at the age of eight years. He was succeeded by his great uncle, Leonidas II. (Plut. Agis, 3; Paus. iii. 6.3)

Agis IV (reign 244-240 BC)

Agis IV., the elder son of Eudamidas II., was the 24th king of the Eurypontid line. He succeeded his father in B. C. 244, and reigned four years. In B. C. 243, after the liberation of Corinth by Aratus, the general of the Achaean league, Agis led an army against him, but was defeated (Paus. ii. 8.4). The interest of his reign, however, is derived from events of a different kind. Through the influx of wealth and luxury, with their concomitant vices, the Spartans had greatly degenerated from the ancient simplicity and severity of manners. Not above 700 families of the genuine Spartan stock remained, and in consequence of the innovation introduced by Epitadeus, who procured a repeal of the law which secured to every Spartan head of a family an equal portion of land, the landed property had passed into the hands of a few individuals, of whom a great number were females, so that not above 100 Spartan families possessed estates, while the poor were burdened with debt. Agis, who from his earliest youth had shewn his attachment to the ancient discipline, undertook to reform these abuses, and re-establish the institutions of Lycurgus. For this end he determined to lay before the Spartan senate a proposition for the abolition of all debts and a new partition of the lands. Anotherpart of his plan was to give landed estates to the Perioeci. His schemes were warmly seconded by the poorer classes and the young men, and as strenuously opposed by the wealthy. He succeeded, however, in gaining over three very influential persons,--his uncle Agesilaus (a man of large property, but who, being deeply involved in debt, hoped to profit by the innovations of Agis), Lysander, and Mandrocleides. Having procured Lysander to be elected one of the ephors, he laid his plans before the senate. He proposed that the Spartan territory should be divided into two portions, one to consist of 4500 equal lots, to be divided amongst the Spartans, whose ranks were to be filled up by the admission of the most respectable of the Perioeci and strangers; the other to contain 15,000 equal lots, to be divided- amongst the Perioeci. The senate could not at first come to a decision on the matter. Lysander, therefore, convoked the assembly of the people, to whom Agis submitted his measure, and offered to make the first sacrifice, by giving up his lands and money, telling them that his mother and grandmother, who were possessed of great wealth, with all his relations and friends, would follow his example. His generosity drew down the applauses of the multitude. The opposite party, however, headed by Leonidas, the other king, who had formed his habits at the luxurious court of Seleucus, king of Syria, got the senate to reject the measure, though only by one vote. Agis now determined to rid himself of Leonidas. Lysander accordingly accused him of having violated the laws by marrying a stranger and living in a foreign land. Leonidas was deposed, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Cleombrotus, who co-operated with Agis. Soon afterwards, however, Lysander's term of office expired, and the ephors of the following year were opposed to Agis, and designed to restore Leonidas. They brought an accusation against Lysander and Mandroclcides, of attempting to violate the laws. Alarmed at the turn events were taking, the two latter prevailed on the kings to depose the ephors by force and appoint others in their room. Leonidas, who had returned to the city, fled to Tegea, and in his flight was protected by Agis from the violence meditated against him by Agesilaus. The selfish avarice of the latter frustrated the plans of Agis, when there now seemed nothing to oppose the execution of them. He persuaded his nephew and Lysander that the most effectual way to secure the consent of the wealthy to the distribution of their lands, would be, to begin by cancelling the debts. Accordingly all bonds, registers, and securities were piled up in the market place and burnt. Agesilaus, having secured his own ends, contrived various pretexts for delaying the division of the lands. Meanwhile the Achaeans applied to Sparta for assistance against the Aetolians. Agis was accordingly sent at the head of an army. The cautious movements of Aratus gave Agis no opportunity of distinguishing himself in action, but he gained great credit by the excellent discipline he preserved among his troops. During his absence Agesilaus so incensed the poorer classes by his insolent conduct and the continued postponement of the division of the lands, that they made no opposition when the enemies of Agis openly brought back Leonidas and set him on the throne. Agis and Cleombrotus fled for sanctuary, the former to the temple of Athene Chalcioecus, the latter to the temple of Poseidon. Cleombrotus was suffered to go into exile. Agis was entrapped by some treacherous friends and thrown into prison. Leonidas immediately came with a band of mercenaries and secured the prison without, while the ephors entered it, and went through the mockery of a trial. When asked if he did not repent of what he had attempted, Agis replied, that he should never repent of so glorious a design, even in the face of death. He was condemned, and precipitately executed, the ephors fearing a rescue, as a great concourse of people had assembled round the prison gates. Agis, observing that one of his executioners was moved to tears, said, " Weep not for me: suffering, as I do, unjustly, I am in a happier case than my murderers." His mother Agesistrate and his grandmother were strangled on his body. Agis was the first king of Sparta who had been put to death by the ephors. Pausanias, who, however, is undoubtedly wrong, says (viii. 10. § 4, 27. § 9), that he fell in battle. His widow Agiatis was forcibly married by Leonidas to his son Cleomenes, but nevertheless they entertained for each other a mutual affection and esteem (Plutarch, Agis, Cleomenes, Aratus; Paus. vii. 7.2)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Archidameia, the grandmother of Agis IV., was put to death, together with her grandson, in B. C. 240. (Plut. Agis, 4, 20)

Cleombrotus II (243-240 BC)

Cleombrotus II., the 30th king of Sparta of the Agid line, was of the royal race, though not in the direct male line. He was also the son-in-law of Leonidas II., in whose place he was made king by the party of Agis IV. about 243 B. C. On the return of Leonidas, Cleombrotus was deposed and banished to Tegea, about 240 B. C. He was accompanied into exile by his wife Cheilonis, through whose intercession with her father his life had been spared, and who is mentioned as a conspicuous example of conjugal affection. He left two sons, Agesipolis and Cleomenes, of whom the former became the father and the latter the guardian of Agesipolis III. (Plut. Agis, 11, 16-18; Paus. iii. 6; Polyb. iv. 35)

Archidamus V. (240 BC)

Archidamus V., king of Sparta, 27th of the Eurypontids, was the son of Eudamidas II., and the brother of Agis IV. On the murder of his brother Agis, in B. C. 240, Archidamus fled from Sparta, but obtained possession of the throne some time after the accession of Cleomenes, through the means of Aratus, who wished to weaken the power of the Ephors: it appears that also was privy to his recall. Archidamus was, however, slain almost immediately after his return to Sparta, by those who had killed his brother and who dreaded his vengeance. It isdoubtful whether Cleomenes was a party to the murder (Plut. Cleom. 1, 5; comp. Polyb. v. 37, viii. 1). Archidamus V. was the last king of the Eurypontid race. He left sons, who were alive at the death of Cleomenes in B. C. 220, but they were passed over, and the crown given to a stranger, Lycurgus. (Polyb. iv. 35)


Son of Agis IV., king of Sparta, poisoned by Cleomenes, with the assistance of the ephors, and the royal power of his family transferred to his brother Eucleides. (Paus. ii. 9.1, iii. 10.6)

Cleomenes III (236-222 BC)

Cleomenes III., the 31st king of Sparta of the Agid line, was the son of Leonidas II. After the death of Agis IV., B. C. 240, Leonidas married his widow Agiatis to Cleomenes, who was under age, in order, as it seems, to bring into his family the inheritance of the Proclidae. Agiatis, though at first violently opposed to the match, conceived a great affection for her husband, and she used to explain to him the principles and designs of Agis, about which he was eager for information. Cleomenes was endowed, according to Plutarch, with a noble spirit; in moderation and simplicity of life he was not inferior to Agis, but superior to him in energy, and less scrupulous about the means by which his good designs might be accomplished. His mind was further stirred up to manliness and ambition by the instructions of the Stoic philosopher Sphaerus of Borysthenes, who visited Sparta. To this was added the influence of his mother Cratesicleia. It was not long, therefore, before Cleomenes had formed the design of restoring the ancient Spartan discipline, and the death of his father, whom he succeeded (B. C. 236), put him in a position to attempt his projected reform; but he saw that careful preparations must first be made, and that Sparta was not to be restored by the means which Agis had employed. Instead of repeating the vain attempt of Agis to form a popular party against the Ephors, the impossibility of which was proved by the refusal of Xenares, one of his most intimate friends, to aid his efforts, he perceived that the regeneration of Sparta must be achieved by restoring to her her old renown in war, and by raising her to the supremacy of Greece; and then that, the restored strength of the state being centred in him as its leader, he might safely attempt to crush the power of the Ephors. It was thus manifest that his policy must be war, his enemy the Achaean league. Lydiadas, the former tyrant of Megalopolis, foresaw the danger which the league might apprehend from Cleomenes; but the counsels of Aratus, who was blind to this danger, prevailed; and the proposal of Lydiadas, to make the first attack on Sparta, was rejected.
  The first movement of Cleomenes was to seize suddenly and by treachery the Arcadian cities, Tegea, Mantineia, and Orchomenus, which had recently united themselves with the Aetolians, who, instead of resenting the injury, confirmed Cleomenes in the possession of them. The reason of this was, that the Aetolians had already conceived the project of forming an alliance with Macedonia and Sparta against the Achaean league. It is probable that they even connived at the seizure of these towns by Cleomenes, who thus secured an excellent position for his operations against the league before commencing war with it. Aratus, who was now strategos, at last perceived the danger which threatened from Sparta, and, with the other chiefs of the Achaean league, he resolved not to attack the Lacedaemonians, but to resist any aggression they might make. About the beginning of the year 227 B. C., Cleomenes, by the order of the Ephors, seized the little town of Belbina, and fortified the temple of Athena near it. This place commanded the mountain pass on the high road between Sparta and Megalopolis, and was at that period claimed by both cities, though anciently it had belonged to Sparta. Aratus made no complaint at its seizure, but attempted to get possession of Tegea and Orchomenus by treachery. But, when he marched out in the night to take possession of them, the conspirators, who were to deliver up the towns, lost courage. The attempt was made known to Cleomenes, who wrote in ironical terms of friendship to ask Aratus whither he had led his army in the night ? "To prevent your fortifying Belbina", was the reply. "Pray then, if you have no objection", retorted Cleomenes, "tell us why you took with you lights and scaling ladders". By this correspondence Aratus found out with whom he had to do. Tile Spartans, on the other hand, were satisfied with the important advantage which they had gained in the fortification of Belbina; and Cleomenes, who was in Arcadia with only three hundred foot and a few horse, was recalled by the Ephors. His back was no sooner turned than Aratus seized Caphyae, near Orchomenus. The Ephors immediately sent back Cleomenes, who took Methydrion, and made an incursion into the territories of Argos. About this time Aristomachus succeeded Aratus as strategos of the Achaean league (in May, 227, B. C.), and to this period perhaps should be referred the declaration of war against Cleomenes by the council of the Achaeans, which is mentioned by Polybius. Aristomachus collected an army of 20,000 foot and 1000 horse, with which he met Cleomenes near Palantium; and, though the latter had only 5000 men, they were so eager and brave that Aratus persuaded Aristomachus to decline battle. The fact is, that the Achaeans were never a warlike people, and Aratus was very probably right in thinking that 20,000 Achaeans were no match for 5000 Spartans. But the moral effect of this affair was worth more than a victory to Cleomenes. In May, 226, Aratus again became strategos, and led the Achaean forces against Elis. The Eleans applied to Sparta for aid, and Cleomenes met Aratus on his return, at the foot of Mount Lycaeum, in the territory of Megalopolis, and defeated him with great slaughter. It was at first reported that Aratus was killed; but he had only fled; and, having rallied part of his army, he took Mantineia by a sudden assault, and revolutionized its constitution by making the metoeci citizens. The effect of this change was the formation of an Achaean party in the town.
  Cleomenes had not yet taken any open steps against the Ephors, though he could not but be an object of suspicion to them; they were however in a difficult position. The spirit of Agis still lived in the Spartan youth; and Cleomenes, at the head of his victorious army, was too strong to be crushed like Agis. Secret assassination might have been employed -and when was a Spartan ephor heard of who would have scrupled to use it?- but then they would have lost the only man capable of carrying on the war, and Sparta must have fallen into the position of a subordinate member of the Achaean league. They appear, however, to have taken advantage of the loss of Mantineia to make a truce with the Achaeans (Paus. viii. 27. Β10). Cleomenes now took measures to strengthen himself against them. These measures are differently represented by Phylarchus, the panegyrist of Cleomenes, whom Plutarch seems on the whole to have followed, and by Polybius and Pausanias, who followed Aratus and other Achaean writers. At the death of Agis, his infant son, Eurydamidas, was left in the hands of his mother, Agiatis; and Archidamus, the brother of Agis, fled into Messenia, according to the statement of Plutarch, which, from the nature of the case, is far more probable than the account of Polybius (v. 37.2, viii. 1.3), that Archidamus fled at a later period, through fear of Cleomenes. Eurydamidas was now dead, poisoned, it was said, by the Ephors, and that too, according to Pausanias (ii. 9.1), at the instigation of Cleomenes. The falsity of this last statement is proved by the silence of Polybius, who never spares Cleomenes, but it may serve to shew how recklessly he was abused by some of the Achaean party. Archidamus had thus become the rightful heir to the throne of the Proclidae, and he was invited by Cleomenes to return; but no sooner had he set foot in Sparta than he was assassinated. This crime also is charged upon Cleomenes by the Achaean party, and among them by Polybius. The truth cannot now be ascertained, but every circumstance of the case seems to fix the guilt upon the Ephors. Cleomenes had everything to hope, and the Ephors everything to fear, from the association of Archidamus in his councils. Cleomenes, it is true, did nothing to avenge the crime: but the reason of this was, that the time for his attack upon the Ephors was not yet come; and thus, instead of an evidence of his guilt, it is a striking proof of his patient resolution, that he submitted to incur such a suspicion rather than to peril the object of his life by a premature movement. On the contrary, he did everything to appease the party of the Ephors. He bribed them largely, by the help of his mother Cratesicleia, who even went so far as to marry one of the chief men of the oligarchical party. Through the influence thus gained, Cleomenes was permitted to continue the war; he took Leuctra, and gained a decisive victory over Aratus beneath its walls, owing to the impetuosity of Lydiadas, who was killed in the battle. The conduct of Aratus, in leaving Lydiadas unsupported, though perhaps it saved his army, disgusted and dispirited the Achaeans to such a degree, that they made no further efforts during this campaign, and Cleomenes was left at leisure to effect his long-cherished revolution during the winter which now came on (B. C. 226-225).
  Having secured the aid of his father-in-law, Megistonus, and of two or three other persons, he first weakened the oligarchical party by drafting many of its chief supporters into his army, with which he then again took the field, seized the Achaean cities of Heraea and Asea, threw supplies into Orchomenus, beleaguered Mantineia, and so wearied out his soldiers, that they were glad to be left in Arcadia, while Cleomenes himself marched back to Sparta at the head of a force of mercenaries, surprised the Ephors at table, and slew all of them, except Agesilaus, who took sanctuary in the temple of Fear, and had his life granted afterwards by Cleomenes. Having struck this decisive blow, and being supported not only by his mercenaries, but also by the remains of the party of Agis, Cleomenes met with no further resistance. He now propounded his new constitution, which is too closely connected with the whole subject of the Spartan polity to be explained within the limits of this article. All that can be said here is, that he extended the power of the kings, abolished the Ephorate, restored the community of goods, made a new division of the lands, and recruited the body of the citizens, by bringing back the exiles and by raising to the full franchise the most deserving of those who had not before possessed it. He also restored, to a great extent, the ancient Spartan system of social and military discipline. In the completion of this reform he was aided by the philosopher Sphaerus. The line of the Proclidae being extinct, he took his brother Eucleidas for his colleague in the kingdom. In his own conduct he set a fine example of the simple virtue of an old Spartan.
From this period must be dated the contest between the Achaeans and Cleomenes for the supremacy of Greece, which Polybius calls the   Cleomenic war, and which lasted three years, from B. C. 225 to the battle of Sellasia in the spring of B. C. 222. For its details, of which a slight sketch is given under Aratus, the reader is referred to the historians. Amidst a career of brilliant success, Cleomenes committed some errors, but, even if he had avoided them, he could not but have been overpowered by the united force of Macedonia and the Achaean league. The moral character of the war is condensed by Niebuhr into one just and forcible sentence: "Old Aratus sacrificed the freedom of his country by an act of high treason, and gave up Corinth rather than establish the freedom of Greece by a union among the Peloponnesians, which would have secured to Cleomenes the influence and power he deserved".
  From the defeat of Sellasia, Cleomenes returned to Sparta, and having advised the citizens to submit to Antigonus, he fled to his ally, Ptolemy Euergetes, at Alexandria, where his mother and children were already residing as hostages. Any hope he might have had of recovering his kingdom by the help of Ptolemy Euergetes was defeated by the death of that king, whose successor, Ptolemy Philopator, treated Cleomenes with the greatest neglect, and his minister, Sosibius, imprisoned him on a charge of conspiracy against the king's life. Cleomenes, with his attendants, escaped from prison, and attempted to raise an insurrection against Ptolemy, but finding no one join him, he put himself to death (B. C. 221-220). His reign lasted 16 years. He is rightly reckoned by Pausanias (iii. 6.5) as the last of the Agidae, for his nominal successor, Agesipolis III., was a mere puppet. He was the last truly great man of Sparta, and, excepting perhaps Philopoemen, of all Greece.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Epicleidas (Epikleidas), brother of Cleomenes III., king of Sparta. According to Pausanias (ii. 9.1.3), Cleomenes poisoned Eurydamidas, his colleague of the house of Proclus, and shared the royal power with his brother Epicleidas. The latter afterwards fell in the battle of Sellasia, B. C. 222.

Lycurgus (220-210 BC)

Lycurgus. A Lacedaemonian, who, though not of the royal blood, was chosen king, in B. C. 220, together with Agesipolis III., after the death of Cleomenes; in the words of Polybius, "by giving a talent to each of the Ephori, he hecame a descendant of Heracles and king of Sparta." It was not long before he deposed his colleague and made himself sole sovereign, though under the control of the Ephori. Placed on the throne by the party favourable to Aetolia, he readily listened to the instigations of Machatas, the Aetolian envoy, to make war on Philip V. of Macedon, and the Achaeans. Having invaded Argolis and taken several towns, he laid siege to the fortress named Athenaeum, in the district of Belbina, claimed by the Megalopolitans as their territory, and took it in conselquenct of the dilatory conduct of Aratus, to whom it looked for succour, B. C. 219. In the same year he barely escaped with his life from the conspiracy of Cheilon, and fled for refuge to Pellene on the western frontier of Laconia. In B. C. 218 he made an incursion into Messenia, simultaneously with the invasion of Thessaly by Dorimachus, the Aetolian, in the hope of drawing Philip away from the siege of Palus in Cephallenia; but Philip, while he himself invaded Aetolia, desired Eperatus, the Achaean general, to go to the relief of the Messenians. Lycurgus effected little in Messenia, and [p. 858] was equally unsuccessful in the same year, in an attempt which he made on the citadel of Tegea, and also in his endeavour to intercept and defeat Philip in the passes of the Menelaion, on his return from his invasion of Laconia. Not long after, he was falsely accused to the Ephori of revolutionary designs, and was obliged to flee to Aetolia for safety. In the following year, however (B. C. 217), the Ephori discovered the groundlessness of the charge and recalled him; and soon after he made an inroad into Messenia, in which he was to have been joined by Pyrrhias, the Aetolian general, but the latter was repulsed in his attempt to pass the frontier, and Lycurgus returned to Sparta without having effected any thing. He died about B. C. 210, and Machanidas then made himself tyrant. (Pol. iv. 2, 35-37, 60, 81, v. 5, 17, 21-23, 29, 91, 92; Paus. iv. 29; Liv. xxxiv. 26.) Lycurgus left a son named Pelops, who was put to death by Nabis, B. C. 205. (Diod. Exc. de Virt. et Vit.; Vales. and Wess. ad loc.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Agesipolis III (reign ca. 195 BC)

Agesipolis III., the 31st of the Agid line, was the son of Agesipolis, and grandson of Cleombrotus II. After the death of Cleomenes he was elected king while still a minor, and placed under the guardianship of his uncle Cleomenes. (Polyb. iv. 35.) He was however soon deposed by his colleague Lycurgus, after the death of Cleomenes. We hear of him next in B. C. 195, when he was at the head of the Lacedaemonian exiles, who joined Flamininus in his attack upon Nabis, the tyrant of Lacedaemon. (Liv. xxxiv. 26.) He formed one of an embassy sent about B. C. 183 to Rome by the Lacedaemonian exiles, and, with his companions, was intercepted by pirates and killed (Polyb. xxiv. 11)


Son of Echestratus, king of Sparta, Lycurgus' wardcalled Leobotes by Herodotus.

Labotas, fourth king of Sparta in the line of Agis, has nothing recorded of his reign except that he saw the commencement of the Spartan quarrel with Argos (Paus. iii. 2. Β 3). Herodotus says that Lycurgus was his uncle and guardian. The other account, which names the Proclid Charilaus as the name of the young king, is so generally stated by ancient writers, that, although Pausanias read the passage in Herodotus as it now stands, Wesseling and Clinton approve the correction, epitropeuonta adelphideou men heoutou, Basileuontos de Spartieteon Leoboteo (Herod. i. 65). A similar difficulty attaches to the name, which Pausanias says Herodotus spelt Leobutes; whereas our MSS., it seems, have only Leoboteo and Leobateo.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


A king of Sparta, son of Labotas.


A Spartan king, son of Archelaus, king of Sparta, slain by Messenians at Limnae.


A king of Sparta, son of Alcamenes.

Eurycrates I, son of Polydorus

Eurycrates I, son of Polydorus, was the 11th king of Sparta in the Agid house: his reign was coincident with the conclusion of the first Messenian war. (Paus. iii. 3.3)

Eurycrates II, son of Anaxander

Eurycrates II, son of Anaxander, king of Sparta, called also (Herod. vii. 204) Eurycratides, was 13th of the same line, and reigned during the earlier and disastrous part of the war with Tegea (Herod. i. 65), which his grandson Anaxandrides brought to a happy issue. (Paus. iii. 3.5)

Leon (& Hegesicles)

Leon, son of Eurycrates, 14th king of the Agid line at Sparta. In his time the Spartans were worsted in their war with Tegea. His son was Anaxandrides, the contemporary of Croesus (Herod. i. 65; Paus. iii. 3.5).

Leonidas I

King of Sparta, son of Anaxandrides, brother of Dorieus and Cleombrotus, his command and death at Thermopylae, atonement for his death demanded by Sparta, Pausanias' refusal to avenge Leonidas on Mardonius' dead body, his bones brought from Thermopylae to Sparta.

Leonidas I

Leonidas, king of Sparta, 17th of the Agids, was one of the sons of Anaxandrides by his first wife, and, according to some accounts, was twin-brother to Cleombrotus (Herod. v. 39-41; Paus. iii. 3). He succeeded on the throne his half-brother Cleomenes I., about B. C. 491, his elder brother Dorieus also having previously died. When Greece was invaded by Xerxes, the Greek congress, which was held at the Isthmus of Corinth, determined that a stand should be made against the enemy at the pass of Thermopylae, and Leonidas had the command of the force destined for this service. The number of his army is varionsly stated: according to Herodotus, it amounted to somewhat more than 5000 men, of whom 300 were Spartans; in all probability, the regular band of (so called) hippeis selected by the Hippagretae, tous katesteotas triekosious, as Herodotus calls them. The remainder of the Lacedaemonian force was to follow after the celebration of the festival of the Carneia. Plutarch affirms that funeral games were celebrated in honour of Leonidas and his comrades, before their departure from Sparta; according also to him and Diodorus, it was said at the same time by the self-devoting hero, that the men he took with him were indeed few to fight, but enough to die; and, when his wife, Gorgo, asked him what his last wishes were, he answered, "Marry a brave husband and bear brave sons". All this, however, has very much the air of a late and rhetorical addition to the story; nor is it certain that Leonidas and his band looked forward to their own death as the inevitable result of their expedition, though Herodotus tells us that he selected for it such only as had sons to leave behind them,and mentions an oracle besides, which declared that Sparta could not be saved from ruin but by the death of her king. When the Greek army was assembled at Thermopylae, there was a prevalent desire on the part of the Peloponnesians to fall back on the Isthmus, and make their stand against the Persians there; and it was mainly through the influence of Leonidas that the scheme, selfish at once and impolitic, was abandoned. The sayings ascribed to him before the battle by Plutarch are well-known and characteristic enough of a Spartan, but are probably the rhetorical inventions of a later age. When it was known that the treachery of the Malian Epbialtes had betrayed the mountain path of the Anopaea to the Persians, after their vain attempts to force their way through the pass of Thermopylae, Leonidas, declaring that he and the Spartans under his command must needs remain in the post they had been sent to guard, dismissed all the other Greeks, except the Thespian and Theban forces. Then, before the body of Persians, who were crossing the mountain under Hydarnes, could arrive to attack him in the rear, he advanced from the narrow pass and charged the myriads of the enemy with his handful of troops, hopeless now of preserving their lives, and anxious only to sell them dearly. In the desperate battle which ensued, Leonidas himself fell soon. His body was rescued by the Greeks, after a violent struggle. On the hillock in the pass, where the remnant of the Greeks made their last stand, a lion of stone (so Herodotus tells us) was set up in his honour; and Pausanias says that his bones were brought to Sparta forty years after, by one named Pausanias; but if he was the same who commanded at the battle of Plataea, " forty" must be an erroneous reading for " four" (see Larcher, ad Herod. vii. 225). The later story of Leonidas and his followers perishing in a night-attack on the Persian camp is unworthy of credit.
(Herod. vii. 175, 202-225; Paus. iii. 4, 14, vii. 15; Diod. xi. 4-11; Plut. de Herod. Mal. 32, Apoph. Lac.; Strab. i., ix.; Ael. V. H. iii. 25; Just. ii. 11; C. Nep. Them. 3; Val. Max. iii. 2, Ext. 3; Cic. de Fin. ii. 19, 30, Tusc. Disp. i. 42, 49; Simon. xv. Anthol. Graec. vol. i. p. 61, ed. Jacobs.) In the reign of Leonidas we arrive at an exact chronology (says Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. p. 209), which we have gradually approached in the two preceding reigns of Anaxandrides and Cleomenes I.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


King of Sparta, Pausanias' ward and son of Leonidas.


Son of Pausanias, king of Sparta.


Son of Plistoanax, king of Sparta, tried for his conduct in Attica and acquitted, concludes a truce with Thebans, takes sanctuary in temple of Athena Alea at Tegea.

Pausanias ( ? - 470 BC)

  Nephew of the Spartan king Leonidas I, Pausanias was to become a regent to the king's son.
  He was general of the Spartan army at the battle of Plataea (479BC) where the Persians were expelled from Greece. Leading the Greek fleets, Pausanius secured most of Cyprus and conquered Byzantium, where he kept his fleet, protecting the Greek seafarers.
  Because of his many successes, Pausanias became quite unbearable, since he took on a bigheaded attitude, making himself unpopular with the Greek leaders. He was called back to Sparta since they had replaced him, but he was to return later as a private person, driving his own politics.
  He lived like a king and made plans of conquest to such a degree that the Spartan government accused him of treason, of which he was aquitted. Being a man of vision, he planned to overthrow the Spartan government with help of the helots, but the plans were revealed, and he fled to a temple for refuge. His mother and the rest of the Spartans blocked the entrance until he died of starvation.
  Pausanias had been constantly tormented by the fact that he had killed the young Byzantian woman Cleonice. He had ordered her to share his bed but when she came into his room he was already asleep. By accident, she hit a burning lamp which fell to the floor, and Pausanias woke up and killed her instantly while still only half awake. For the rest of his life he had nightmares about her, and made constant sacrifices to please her soul.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.

Acrotatus II

Son of Areus.

Leonidas II

Son of Cleonymus, king of Sparta, deposed through intrigues of Lysander, but afterwards restored.

Leonidas, king of Sparta, was son of the traitor, Cleonymus, and 28th of the Agids. He acted as guardian to his infant relative, Areus II., on whose death, at the age of eight years, he ascended the throne, about B. C. 256, being by this time considerably advanced in life. A great part of his earlier years he had spent in the courts of Seleucus Nicator and his satraps, and had even married an Asiatic wife, by whom he had two children. From this it is reasonable to suppose that he reversed the policy of his predecessors, who had cultivated a connection with Egypt: and it is at least an ingenious conjecture of Droysen's, that the adventurer, Xanthippus, who entered at this period into the Carthaginian service, and whom he identifies with the general of Ptolemy Euergetes in his war with Seleucus Callinicus, may have been one of those who, as favourers of the Egyptian alliance, were driven from Sparta by the party of Leonidas. (Droysen, Hellenismus, vol. ii.; comp. Arnold's Rome, vol. ii.). The habits which Leonidas had contracted abroad, very different from the old Spartan simplicity, caused him to regard with strong dislike the projected reforms of Agis IV., and he laboured at first to counteract them by secret intrigues and by the slanderous insinuation that the object of Agis was to bribe the poor with the property of the rich, and thus to make himself tyrant of Sparta. When the measure of his colleague was actually brought forward, Leonidas opposed it with arguments ludicrously weak, but succeeded, nevertheless, in obtaining its rejection in the senate by a majority of one. It thus became necessary for the reformers to get rid of him, and accordingly the ephor Lysander revived an old law, which forbade a Heracleid to marry a foreigner, and affixed the penalty of death to a sojourn in a foreign land. There was also an ancient custom at Sparta, of which he took advantage to excite the stronger prejudice against Leonidas. Every ninth year the ephors sat in silence to observe the heavens on a clear and moonless night; and if a star was seen to shoot in a particular direction, it was interpreted as a sign of some offence against the gods on the part of the kings, who were therefore to be suspended from their office till an oracle from Delphi or Olympia should declare in their favour. Lysander professed to have seen the sign, and referred it to the displeasure of heaven at the illegal conduct of Leonidas. He also accused him, according to Pausanias, of having bound himself by an oath, while yet a boy, to his father Cleonymus, to work the downfall of Sparta. Leonidas, not venturing to abide his trial, took refuge in the temple of Athena Chalcioecus, where his daughter Cheilonis joined him. Sentence of deposition having been passed against him in his absence, the throne was transferred to his son-in-law, Cleombrotus; and the ephors of the succeeding year having failed in their attempt to crush Lysander and his colleague, Mandrocleidas, by a prosecutionLeonidas went into exile to Tegea. When the misconduct of Agesilaus, the uncle of Agis, had led, not long after, to his restoration (B. C. 240), he listened to the entreaties of Cheilonis, and spared the life of her husband, Cleombrotus, contenting himself with his banishment; but he caused Agis to be put to death, though he owed his own life to the protection he had afforded him in his flight to Tegea. Archidamus, the brother of Agis, fled from Sparta: Agiatis, his widow, was forced by Leonidas into a marriage with his son, Cleomenes; and it seems doubtful whether the child Eurydamidas, her son by Agis, was allowed to bear the name of king. At any rate the whole of the royal power (such as it was, in a selfish oligarchy, of which he was the tool) remained with Leonidas; and Plutarch tells us that he utterly neglected public affairs, caring for nothing but a life of ease and luxury. He died about B. C. 236, and was succeeded by his son, Cleomenes III.
(Plut. Agis, 3, 7, 10-12, 16-21, Cleom. 1-3; Paus. iii. 6; Clinton, F. H. vol. ii.; Droysen, Hellenismus, vol. ii.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


A Spartan king, son of Eurypon.


Son of Prytanis, king of Sparta.

Eunomus, (Eunomos), fifth or sixth king of Sparta in the Proclid line, is described by Pausanias, Plutarch, and others, as the father of Lycurgus and Polydectes. Herodotus, on the contrary, places him in his list after Polydectes, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus gives the name to the nephew in whose stead Lycurgus governed. Simonides, finally, makes Lycurgus and Eunomus the children of Prytanis. In all probability, the name was invented with reference to the Lycurgean Eunomia, and Eunomus, if not wholly rejected, must be identified with Polydectes. In the reign of Eunomus and Polydectes, says Pausanias, Sparta was at peace. (Plut. Lyc. 2 ; Paus. iii. 7.2; Herod. viii. 131)


A king of Sparta, son of Eunomus, king of Sparta.


Son of Charillus, king of Sparta, father of Theopompus, invades Argolis.

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