Agesilaus II

Agesilaus II (/əˌdʒɛsəˈleɪəs/; Greek: Ἀγησίλαος Agesilaos; c. 444/443 – c. 360 BC), was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta[a] and a member of the Eurypontid dynasty ruling from 398 to about 360 BC, during most of which time he was, in Plutarch's words, "as good as though commander and king of all Greece," and was for the whole of it greatly identified with his country's deeds and fortunes.[1] Small in stature and lame from birth, Agesilaus became ruler somewhat unexpectedly in his mid-forties. His reign saw successful military incursions into various states in Asia Minor, as well as successes in the Corinthian War; however, several diplomatic decisions resulted in Sparta becoming increasingly isolated prior to his death at the age of 84 in Cyrenaica.

Agesilaus was greatly admired by his friend, the historian Xenophon, who wrote a minor work about him titled Agesilaus.

Basileus of Sparta, Hegemon of the Peloponnesian League
Spartan King Agesilaus
Spartan King Agesilaus.
King of the Spartans
Reignc. 398 – c. 360 BC
PredecessorAgis II
SuccessorArchidamus III
Bornc. 444/443
Diedc. 360 BC
SpouseCleora (Κλεόρα)
Regnal name
Agesilaus II
    • Αγησίλαος Β΄ της Σπάρτης[d]
    • Agisilaos II of Sparta
    • lit. 'Agesilaus II of Sparta'
    • Αγησίλαος Β΄ της Σπάρτης
    • Agesilaus II of Sparta
    • lit. 'Agesilaus II of Sparta'
DynastyHouse of Eurypontid
FatherArchidamus II
Military career
Native name
Ἀγησίλαος Agesilaos
Buried (37°4′55″N 22°25′25″E / 37.08194°N 22.42361°E)
AllegianceAncient Greece
BranchSpartan army


Early life

Agesilaus was the son of Archidamus II and his second wife, Eupoleia,[2] brother to Cynisca (the first woman in ancient history to achieve an Olympic victory), and younger half-brother of Agis II.[3]

There is little surviving detail on the youth of Agesilaus. Born with one leg shorter, he was not expected to succeed to the throne after his brother king Agis II, especially because the latter had a son (Leotychidas). Therefore, Agesilaus was trained in the traditional curriculum of Sparta, the agoge. However, Leotychidas was ultimately set aside as illegitimate (contemporary rumors representing him as the son of Alcibiades) and Agesilaus became king in 398, at the age of about forty.[4][5] In addition to questions of his nephew's paternity, Agesilaus' succession was largely due to the intervention of the Spartan general, Lysander, who hoped to find in him a willing tool for the furtherance of his political designs.[3] Lysander and the young Agesilaus came to maintain an intimate relation (see Pederasty in Ancient Greece), as was common of the period. Their unique relationship would serve an important role during Agesilaus' later campaigns in Asia Minor.[6]

Early reign

Invasion of Achaemenid Asia Minor (396-395)

Agesilaus is first recorded as king during the suppression of the conspiracy of Cinadon, shortly after 398 BC.[1] Then, in 396, Agesilaus crossed into Asia with a force of 2,000 neodamodes (freed helots) and 6,000 allies (including 30 Spartiates) to liberate Greek cities from Persian dominion. On the eve of sailing from Aulis he attempted to offer a sacrifice, as Agamemnon had done before the Trojan expedition, but the Thebans intervened to prevent it, an insult for which he never forgave them.

Altikulac Sarcophagus Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi early 4th century BCE
Armoured cavalry of Achaemenid Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi at the time of the invasion of Agesilaus, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BCE.

On his arrival at Ephesus in 396 BC, a three months' truce was concluded with Tissaphernes, the satrap of Lydia and Caria, but negotiations conducted during that time proved fruitless, and on its termination Agesilaus raided Hellespontine Phrygia, where he easily won immense booty from the satrap Pharnabazus; Tissaphernes could offer no assistance, as he had concentrated his troops in Caria. In these campaigns Agesilaus also benefited from the aid of some of the Ten Thousand (a Greek mercenary army), who had marched through miles of Persian territory to reach the Black Sea a few years earlier (401-399 BC). After spending the winter organizing a cavalry force (hippeis), he made a successful incursion into Lydia in the spring of 395. Tithraustes was sent to replace Tissaphernes, who paid with his life for his continued failure.

CUH Agesilaus and Pharnabazus
Meeting between Spartan king Agesilaus (left) and Pharnabazus II (right) in 395 BC, when Agesilaus agreed to remove himself from Hellespontine Phrygia.

An armistice was concluded between Tithraustes and Agesilaus, who left the southern satrapy and again invaded Hellespontine Phrygia, which he ravaged until the following spring. He then came to an agreement with Pharnabazus whom he met personally, and once more turned southward.[1]

During these campaigns, Lysander attempted to manipulate Agesilaus into ceding his authority. Agesilaus would have nothing of this, and reminded Lysander (who was only a Spartan general) who was king. He had Lysander sent away to assist the naval campaigns in the Aegean. This dominating move by Agesilaus earned the respect of his men-at-arms and of Lysander himself, who remained emotionally close with Agesilaus.[6][7]

Corinthian war

PERSIA, Achaemenid Empire. temp. Darios I to Xerxes I. Circa 505-480 BC. AV Daric (14mm, 8.32 g)
Tens of thousands of Darics (popularly called "archers"), the main currency in Achaemenid coinage, were used to bribe the Greek states to start a war against Sparta, so that Agesilaus would have to be recalled from Asia Minor.[8]

In 394, while encamped on the plain of Thebe, Agesilaus was planning a campaign in the interior of Asia Minor, or even an attack on Artaxerxes II himself, when he was recalled to Greece to fight in the Corinthian War between Sparta and the combined forces of Athens, Thebes, Corinth, Argos and several minor states. The outbreak of the conflict had been encouraged by Persian payments to Sparta's Greek rivals. Tens of thousands of Darics, the main currency in Achaemenid coinage, were used to bribe the Greek states to start a war against Sparta.[8] According to Plutarch, Agesilaus said upon leaving Asia Minor "I have been driven out by 10,000 Persian archers", a reference to "Archers" (Toxotai) the Greek nickname for the Darics from their obverse design, because that much money had been paid to politicians in Athens and Thebes in order to start a war against Sparta.[9][8][10]

A rapid march through Thrace and Macedonia brought him to Thessaly, where he repulsed the Thessalian cavalry who tried to impede him. Reinforced by Phocian and Orchomenian troops and a Spartan army, he met the confederate forces at Coronea in Boeotia and in a hotly contested battle was technically victorious. However, the Spartan baggage train was ransacked and Agesilaus himself was injured during the fighting, resulting in a subsequent retreat by way of Delphi to the Peloponnese. Shortly before this battle the Spartan navy, of which he had received the supreme command, was totally defeated off Cnidus by a powerful Persian fleet under Conon and Pharnabazus.[3]

During these conflicts in mainland Greece, Lysander perished while attacking the walls of Haliartus. Pausanias, the second king of Sparta (see Spartan Constitution for more information on Sparta's dual monarchy), was supposed to provide Lysander with reinforcements as they marched into Boeotia, yet failed to arrive in time to assist Lysander, likely because Pausanias disliked him for his brash and arrogant attitude towards the Spartan royalty and government. Pausanias failed to fight for the bodies of the dead, and because he retrieved the bodies under truce (a sign of defeat), he was disgraced and banished from Sparta.[6]

In 393, Agesilaus engaged in a ravaging invasion of Argolis. In 392 BC he made several successful expeditions into Corinthian territory, capturing Lechaeum and Piraeus. The loss, however, of a battalion (mora), destroyed by Iphicrates, neutralized these successes, and Agesilaus returned to Sparta. In 389 BC he conducted a campaign in Acarnania, but two years later the Peace of Antalcidas, warmly supported by Agesilaus, put an end to the war, maintaining Spartan hegemony over Greece and returning the Greek cities of Asia Minor to the Achaemenid Empire. In this interval, Agesilaus declined command over Sparta's aggression on Mantineia, and justified Phoebidas' seizure of the Theban Cadmea so long as the outcome provided glory to Sparta.[1][6]


When war broke out afresh with Thebes, Agesilaus twice invaded Boeotia (in 378 and 377 BC), although he spent the next five years largely out of action due to an unspecified but apparently grave illness. In the congress of 371 an altercation is recorded between him and the Theban general Epaminondas, and due to his influence, Thebes was peremptorily excluded from the peace, and orders given for Agesilaus's royal colleague Cleombrotus to march against Thebes in 371. Cleombrotus was defeated and killed at the Battle of Leuctra and the Spartan supremacy overthrown.[3]

In 370 Agesilaus was engaged in an embassy to Mantineia, and reassured the Spartans with an invasion of Arcadia. He preserved an un-walled Sparta against the revolts and conspiracies of helots, perioeci and even other Spartans; and against external enemies, with four different armies led by Epaminondas penetrating Laconia that same year.

Asia Minor expedition (366 BC)

In 366 BC, Sparta and Athens, dissatisfied with the Persian king's support of Thebes following the embassy of Philiscus of Abydos, decided to provide careful military support to the opponents of the Achaemenid king. Athens and Sparta provided support for the revolted satraps in the Revolt of the Satraps, in particular Ariobarzanes: Sparta sent a force to Ariobarzanes under an aging Agesilaus, while Athens sent a force under Timotheus, which was however diverted when it became obvious that Ariobarzanes had entered frontal conflict with the Achaemenid king.[11][12] An Athenian mercenary force under Chabrias was also sent to the Egyptian Pharao Tachos, who was also fighting against the Achaemenid king.[11][13][11] According to Xenophon,[14] Agesilaus, in order to gain money for prosecuting the war, supported the satrap Ariobarzanes of Phrygia in his revolt against Artaxerxes II in 364 (Revolt of the Satraps).

Again, in 362, Epaminondas almost succeeded in seizing the city of Sparta with a rapid and unexpected march. The Battle of Mantinea, in which Agesilaus took no part, was followed by a general peace: Sparta, however, stood aloof, hoping even yet to recover her supremacy.

Egypt expedition (361 BC)

Agesilas in Egypt 361 BCE
Agesilas (center), with Athenian general Chabrias (left), in the service of Egyptian king Nectanebo I, Egypt 361 BCE.

In 361, Agesilaus went to Egypt at the head of a mercenary force to aid the king Nectanebo I and his regent Teos against Persia. He soon transferred his services to Teos's cousin and rival Nectanebo II, who, in return for his help, gave him a sum of over 200 talents. On his way home Agesilaus died in Cyrenaica, around the age of 84, after a reign of some 41 years. His body was embalmed in wax, and buried at Sparta.[1]

He was succeeded by his son Archidamus III.


Agesilaus was of small stature and unimpressive appearance, and was lame from birth. These facts were used as an argument against his succession, an oracle having warned Sparta against a "lame reign." Most ancient writers considered him a highly successful leader in guerrilla warfare, alert and quick, yet cautious—a man, moreover, whose personal bravery was rarely questioned in his own time. Of his courage, temperance, and hardiness, many instances are cited, and to these were added the less Spartan qualities of kindliness and tenderness as a father and a friend. As examples, there is the story of his riding a stick-horse with his children and upon being discovered by a friend desiring that he not mention till he himself were the father of children; and because of the affection of his son Archidamus' for Cleonymus, he saved Sphodrias, Cleonymus' father, from execution for his incursion into the Piraeus, and dishonorable retreat, in 378.[1] Modern writers tend to be slightly more critical of Agesilaus' reputation and achievements, reckoning him an excellent soldier, but one who had a poor understanding of sea power and siegecraft.[2]

As a statesman he won himself both enthusiastic adherents and bitter enemies. Agesilaus was most successful in the opening and closing periods of his reign: commencing but then surrendering a glorious career in Asia; and in extreme age, maintaining his prostrate country. Other writers acknowledge his extremely high popularity at home, but suggest his occasionally rigid and arguably irrational political loyalties and convictions contributed greatly to Spartan decline, notably his unremitting hatred of Thebes, which led to Sparta's humiliation at the Battle of Leuctra and thus the end of Spartan hegemony.[2] Historian J. B. Bury remarks that "there is something melancholy about his career:" born into a Sparta that was the unquestioned continental power of Hellas, the Sparta which mourned him eighty four years later had suffered a series of military defeats which would have been unthinkable to his forbears, had seen its population severely decline, and had run so short of money that its soldiers were increasingly sent on campaigns fought more for money than for defense or glory.[15]

Other historical accounts paint Agesilaus as a prototype for the ideal leader. His awareness, thoughtfulness, and wisdom were all traits to be emulated diplomatically, while his bravery and shrewdness in battle epitomized the heroic Greek commander. These historians point towards the unstable oligarchies established by Lysander in the former Athenian Empire and the failures of Spartan leaders (such as Pausanias and Kleombrotos) for the eventual suppression of Spartan power. The ancient historian Xenophon was a huge admirer and served under Agesilaus during the campaigns into Asia Minor.[6]

Plutarch includes among Agesilaus' 78 essays and speeches comprising the apophthegmata Agesilaus' 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 follow my letter, may perhaps be even before it. For my command 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.

And when asked whether Agesilaus wanted a memorial erected in his honor:

If I have done any noble action, that is a sufficient memorial; if I have done nothing noble, all the statues in the world will not preserve my memory.[16]

Agesilaus lived in the most frugal style alike at home and in the field, and though his campaigns were undertaken largely to secure booty, he was content to enrich the state and his friends and to return as poor as he had set forth.[6][17][18][19][20]

Selected quotes

When someone was praising an orator for his ability to magnify small points, Agesilaus said, "In my opinion it's not a good cobbler who fits large shoes on small feet."

Another time Agesilaus watched a mouse being pulled from its hole by a small boy. When the mouse turned around, bit the hand of its captor and escaped, he pointed this out to those present and said, "When the tiniest creature defends itself like this against aggressors, what ought men to do, do you reckon?"

Certainly when somebody asked what gain the laws of Lycurgus had brought Sparta, Agesilaus answered, "Contempt for pleasures."

Asked once how far Sparta's boundaries stretched, Agesilaus brandished his spear and said, "As far as this can reach."

On noticing a house in Asia roofed with square beams, Agesilaus asked the owner whether timber grew square in that area. When told no, it grew round, he said, "What then? If it were square, would you make it round?"

Invited to hear an actor who could perfectly imitate the nightingale, Agesilaus declined, saying he had heard the nightingale itself.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Clough, Arthur Hugh (1867), "Agesilaus II", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, pp. 69–70
  2. ^ a b c Cartledge, Paul Anthony (1996), "Agesilaus II", in Hornblower, Simon (ed.), Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  3. ^ a b c d Agesilaus from Livius.Org Archived 2001-03-31 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Smith, William (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. v. 1. London: James Walton. p. 69.
  5. ^ Bury, J. B.; Meiggs, Russell (1956). A history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great (3 ed.). London: Macmillan. pp. 844, 847.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Xenophon, Hell. iii. 3, to the end, Agesilaus
  7. ^ The Shorter Writings. Cornell University Press. 2018. p. 85. ISBN 9781501718519.
  8. ^ a b c Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (2015). Coins and Currency: An Historical Encyclopedia. McFarland. p. 125. ISBN 9781476611204.
  9. ^ "Persian coins were stamped with the figure of an archer, and Agesilaus said, as he was breaking camp, that the King was driving him out of Asia with ten thousand "archers"; for so much money had been sent to Athens and Thebes and distributed among the popular leaders there, and as a consequence those people made war upon the Spartans" Plutarch 15-1-6 in Delphi Complete Works of Plutarch (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. 2013. pp. 1031, Plutarch 15-1-6. ISBN 9781909496620.
  10. ^ Schwartzwald, Jack L. (2014). The Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome: A Brief History. McFarland. p. 73. ISBN 9781476613079.
  11. ^ a b c Souza, Philip de; France, John (2008). War and Peace in Ancient and Medieval History. Cambridge University Press. p. 41. ISBN 9781139469487.
  12. ^ Heskel, Julia (1997). The North Aegean Wars, 371-360 B.C. Franz Steiner Verlag. p. 96. ISBN 9783515069175.
  13. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1983). The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History. Harvard University Press. p. 585. ISBN 9780674033146.
  14. ^ Xenophon, Agesilaus, ii. 26, 27
  15. ^ Bury, J. B.; Meiggs, Russell (1956). A history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great. London: Macmillan. pp. 627–628.
  16. ^ In Greek: Εἰ γάρ τι καλὸν ἔργον πεποίηκα, τοῦτό μου μνημεῖον ἔσται; εἰ δὲ μή, οὐδ' οἱ πάντες ἀνδριάντες
  17. ^ Diodorus Siculus, xiv. xv
  18. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece iii. 97 10
  19. ^ Plutarch and Cornelius Nepos, in vita
  20. ^ Plutarch, Apophthegmata Laconica

Further reading

  • Cartledge, Paul. Agesilaos and the Crisis of Sparta. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.
  • Cawkwell, G.L. "Agesilaus and Sparta." The Classical Quarterly 26 (1976): 62-84.
  • David, Ephraim. Sparta Between Empire and Revolution (404-243 BC): Internal Problems and Their Impact on Contemporary Greek Consciousness. New York: Arno Press, 1981.
  • Forrest, W.G. A History of Sparta, 950-192 B.C. 2d ed. London: Duckworth, 1980.
  • Hamilton, Charles D. Agesilaus and the Failure of Spartan Hegemony. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.
  • Hamilton, Charles D. Sparta's Bitter Victories: Politics and Diplomacy in the Corinthian War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1979.
  • Plutarch. Agesilaus. In Plutarch's Lives, Translated by Bernadotte Perrin, 11 vols. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959-1967.
  • Wylie, Graham, "Agesilaus and the Battle of Sardis" Klio 74 (1992): 118-130.
  • Xenophon. A History of My Times (Hellenica), Translated by George Cawkwell. Boston: Penguin Books, 1966.
Agesilaus II
Born: 444 BC Died: 360 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Agis II
King of Sparta
401/400–360 BC
Succeeded by
Archidamus III
360 BC

Year 360 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Ambustus and Visolus (or, less frequently, year 394 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 360 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

360s BC

This article concerns the period 369 BC – 360 BC

== Events ==

=== 369 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

After driving off the Spartan army that has threatened Mantinea, Epaminondas of Thebes moves south and crosses the Evrotas River (the frontier of Sparta), which no hostile army has breached in historical memory. The Spartans, unwilling to engage the massive Theban army in battle, remain inside their city while the Thebans and their allies ravage Laconia.

Epaminondas briefly returns to Arcadia, then marches south to Messenia, a territory which the Spartans had conquered some 200 years before. There, Epaminondas starts the rebuilding of the ancient city of Messene on Mount Ithome, with fortifications that are among the strongest in Greece. He then issues a call to Messenian exiles all over Greece to return and rebuild their homeland. The loss of Messenia is particularly damaging to the Spartans, since the territory comprises one-third of Sparta's territory and contains half of their helot population.

On returning to Thebes, Epaminondas is put on trial by his political enemies who charge that he has retained his command longer than constitutionally permitted. While this charge is considered to be true, Epaminondas persuades the Thebans that this has been necessary to protect Thebes and its allies and reduce the power of Sparta. As a result, the charges against him are dropped.

In a search for a balance of power against the now powerful Thebes, Athens responds to an appeal for help from Sparta and allies itself with its traditional enemy.

On the death of the Macedonian King Amyntas III, his eldest son Alexander II becomes king. The young king is simultaneously faced with an Illyrian invasion from the north-west and an attack from the east by the pretender of the Macedonian throne, Pausanias (who quickly captures several cities and threatens the queen mother, Eurydice). Alexander defeats his enemies with the help of the Athenian general Iphicrates, who has been sailing along the Macedonian coast on the way to recapture Amphipolis.

Alexander of Pherae becomes tyrant of Thessaly following the death of his father. Alexander's tyranny causes the Aleuadae of Larissa to seek the help of Alexander II of Macedon. Alexander II successfully gains control of Larissa and several other cities but, betraying a promise he has made, put garrisons in them. This provokes a hostile reaction from Thebes. The Theban general Pelopidas drives the Macedonians from Thessaly.

Pelopidas forces Alexander to abandon his alliance with Athens in favour of Thebes by threatening to support Alexander's brother-in-law, Ptolemy of Aloros. As part of this new alliance, Alexander is compelled to hand over hostages, including his younger brother Philip, the future conqueror of Greece.

Cleomenes II succeeds his brother Agesipolis II as Agiad king of Sparta.

=== 368 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

While the previous year's intervention by the Macedonians in Thessaly is successful, after the Macedonian troops withdraw, Alexander of Pherae treats his subjects as cruelly as before. So the Thessalians seek Thebes' support. Pelopidas is sent to their assistance, but is treacherously seized and imprisoned.

In response, Epaminondas is reinstated in command of Theban troops and leads the Theban army into Thessaly, where he outmanoeuvres the Thessalians and secures the release of Pelopidas without a fight.

At the instigation of Alexander's brother-in-law, Ptolemy of Aloros, Alexander II of Macedon is assassinated during a festival. Although Alexander's brother, Perdiccas III becomes the next king, he is under age, and Ptolemy is appointed regent.

====== China ======

Zhou Xian Wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China.

==== By topic ====

====== Philosophy ======

Plato's Republic is completed. It lays down the rules for an ideal, righteous society and suggests that kings ought to be philosophers (or at least taught by philosophers).

=== 367 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

The Theban general, Epaminondas, again invades the Peloponnesus, but this time achieves little beyond winning Sicyon over to an alliance with Thebes. When he returns to Thebes, he is again put on trial, and again acquitted.

Archidamus III, son of Agesilaus II of Sparta, commands a Spartan army which scores a victory over the Arcadians.

Theban leader Pelopidas goes on an embassy to the Persian king Artaxerxes II and induces him to propose a settlement of the Greek states' disputes according to the wishes of the Thebans. Artaxerxes II issues an edict consisting of peace terms for the Greeks, but his edict is not obeyed by any of the Greek states.

====== Sicily ======

Dionysius I of Syracuse dies and is succeeded as tyrant of the city by his son Dionysius II. As the younger Dionysius is weak and inexperienced, Dion, brother-in-law of the elder Dionysius, assumes control and persuades Plato, whose friendship he has acquired, to train the new tyrant in the practical application of his philosophical principles.

Dionysius II makes peace with Carthage on the same terms established after his father's defeat by Carthage in the previous decade.

====== Roman Republic ======

During the ten-year period that Gaius Licinius (Calvus) Stolo is tribune in Rome (376 BC to 367 BC) he does much to reduce the enmity between patricians and plebs by reforming a number of laws. During his term, he proposes the Lex Licinia Sextia, which restores the consulship to the plebs, requires a plebeian consul seat, limits the amount of public land that one person can hold, and regulates debts. The patricians oppose these laws, though they are now finally passed and take effect from 366 BC.

The temple to Concordia on the Forum Romanum in Rome is built by Marcus Furius Camillus.

==== By topic ====

====== Philosophy ======

The Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, goes to Athens as a pupil at Plato's Academy.

=== 366 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian Empire ======

In Persia, a number of satraps of King Artaxerxes II begin a revolt, in alliance with Athens, Sparta, and Egypt, that lasts until 358 BC.

====== Greece ======

Athens founds the town of Kos on the island of Kos in the Aegean Sea.

Theban leader, Epaminondas, returns to the Peloponnesus for a third time, seeking to secure the allegiance of the states of Achaea. Although no army dares to challenge him in the field, the democratic governments he establishes there are short-lived, as pro-Spartan aristocrats soon return to the cities, reestablish the oligarchies, and bind their cities ever more closely to Sparta.

Thebes makes peace with Sparta and then turns its attention on Athens, which is trying to revive its maritime empire and is interfering in Macedonian dynastic quarrels.

Thebes captures the city of Oropus.

====== Sicily ======

The experiment by Dion (brother-in-law of Dionysius I) and Plato to educate the new ruler of Syracuse, Dionysius II, in the practical application of Plato's philosophical principles fails and Dion and Plato are banished from Syracuse.

====== Roman Republic ======

The use of military tribunes with consular power is abandoned permanently and the dual consulship is restored. A new magistracy is established, which is called the praetorship. Its holder, the praetor, is elected annually by the Assembly and takes charge of civil matters, thus relieving the consuls of this responsibility. The praetor is regarded as a junior colleague of the consuls. Nevertheless, the praetor can command an army, convene a Senate or an assembly, as well as exercise the consular functions.

Two additional aediles, called curule ("higher") aediles, are created in the Roman hierarchy. These are at first patricians; but those of the next year are plebeians and so on year by year alternately. They are elected in the assembly of the tribes, with the consul presiding.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts ======

The Abduction of Persephone, detail of a wall painting in Tomb I (Small Tomb) in Vergina, Macedonia, is made (approximate date).

=== 365 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Perdiccas III of Macedon, son of Amyntas III and Eurydice II, kills Ptolemy of Aloros, who has been the regent of Macedon since he arranged the assassination of Perdiccas III's brother Alexander II in 368 BC. With Ptolemy's death, Perdiccas III becomes King of Macedon in his own right.

The Athenian forces under general Timotheus overrun Samos, then occupied by a Persian garrison, after a 10-month siege.

====== Roman Republic ======

Etruscan actors stage the first theatrical performances in Rome.

=== 364 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

On the advice of the city's military leader, Epaminondas, Thebes builds a fleet of 100 triremes to help combat Athens. Thebes destroys its Boeotian rival Orchomenus.

Philip II of Macedon, brother of the reigning king of Macedonia, returns to his native land after having been held as a hostage in Thebes since 369 BC.

The army of Thebes under their statesman and general, Pelopidas, defeats Alexander of Pherae in the Battle of Cynoscephalae in Thessaly, but Pelopidas is killed during the battle. As a result of his loss of this battle, Alexander is compelled by Thebes to acknowledge the freedom of the Thessalian cities, to limit his rule to Pherae, and to join the Boeotian League.

The Spartans under Archidamus III are defeated by the Arcadians at Cromnus.

The Athenian general, Iphicrates, fails in attempts to recover Amphipolis. Retiring to Thrace, Iphicrates fights for his father-in-law, the Thracian king Cotys I, against Athens for the possession of the Thracian Chersonese. Cotys I is victorious and controls the whole Chersonese peninsula.

Timophanes, along with a number of colleagues, including his brother Timoleon, takes possession of the acropolis of Corinth and Timophanes makes himself master of the city. Later, Timoleon, after ineffectual protests, tacitly acquiesces to his colleagues putting Timophanes to death for his actions.

====== China ======

The Chinese astronomer Gan De from the State of Qi reportedly discovers the moon Ganymede, belonging to Jupiter, and makes the earliest known sunspot observations.

=== 363 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Egypt ======

The Egyptian Pharaoh Teos (or Tachos) succeeds his father Nectanebo I to the throne. Planning a great attack on Persia, he invites Sparta to help him.

====== Greece ======

The Theban general, Epaminondas, makes a bold attempt to challenge Athens' naval empire. With a new Boeotian fleet, he sails to Byzantium, with the result that a number of cities in the Athenian Empire rebel against their now threatened masters.

=== 362 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian Empire ======

Mausolus of Caria joins the revolt of the satraps of Anatolia against the Persian king Artaxerxes II.

====== Egypt ======

King Agesilaus II of Sparta arrives with 1,000 men to assist Egypt in its fight with Persia.

====== Greece ======

The outbreak of civil war in the Arcadian league leads to Mantinea fighting alongside Sparta and Athens, while Tegea and others members of the league side with Thebes. The Theban general, Epaminondas, heads the large allied army in the Peloponnesus. He is met by Sparta (led by Spartan general Archidamus III), Athens, and their allies in the Battle of Mantinea. In the battle, Epaminondas is victorious, but is killed. His dying command to make peace with the enemy is followed by all sides and a general peace is established in Greece. The period of Theban domination of Greece comes to an end.

====== China ======

The states of Qin, Han and Zhao defeat the state of Wei and Qin captures the prince of Wei. The Battle of Shaoliang is then fought between Qin and Wei, which Wei loses, whereupon Qin captures the prime minister of Wei.

=== 361 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian Empire ======

With the Persian empire weakening, revolts occur in many parts of the empire, including Sidon, a prosperous and rich Phoenician city.

====== Egypt ======

The Egyptians under their King Teos and the Spartans under King Agesilaus II, with some Athenian mercenaries under their general Chabrias, set out to attack the Persian King's Phoenician cities. However, they have to return almost at once due to revolts back in Egypt. Subsequently, Agesilaus II quarrels with the Egyptian king and joins a revolt against him.

====== Greece ======

Callistratus of Aphidnae, an Athenian orator and general, and the Athenian general, Chabrias, are brought to trial in Athens on account of the refusal of the Thebans to surrender the city of Oropus, which on Callistratus' advice the Thebans have been allowed to occupy temporarily. Despite his magnificent oration in his defence (which so impresses Demosthenes that he resolves to study oratory), Callistratus is condemned to death. He flees to Methone in Macedonia, where he is accommodated by King Perdiccas III who draws on his financial expertise. Chabrias is acquitted and then accepts a command under the King of Egypt, Teos, who is defending his country against Persian attempts at reconquest.

====== Sicily ======

Plato returns once more to Syracuse to teach the young Syracusan tyrant Dionysius II. He fails to reconcile the tyrant to Dion, who Dionysius II banished in 366 BC. Because of this, Plato is forced to flee Syracuse to save his life.

=== 360 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Egypt ======

With the help of King Agesilaus II of Sparta, Nectanebo II deposes Teos and becomes king of Egypt. Teos flees to Susa and makes peace with the Persians. Nectanebo II pays the Spartans 230 talents for their help.

====== Judea ======

Jerusalem has been rebuilt and the power of Judaism's hereditary priesthood is firmly established. Jewish law permits slavery.

====== Greece ======

The King of Sparta, Agesilaus II, dies at Cyrene, Cyrenaica, on his way home to Greece from Egypt. He is succeeded by his son Archidamus III as Eurypontid king of Sparta.

As the Illyrians attack the Molossians, the Molossian king Arymbas brings his non-combatant people to safety elsewhere. When the Illyrians have finished looting, they are burdened with booty and are thus easily defeated by the Molossians.

====== Roman Republic ======

The Gauls again reach the gates of Rome, but are beaten back.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

Plato writes the dialogues Timaeus and Critias, first mentioning Atlantis.

370s BC

This article concerns the period 379 BC – 370 BC.

== Events ==

=== 379 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Sparta suppresses the Chalcidian League and imposes terms favourable to King Amyntas III of Macedonia.

A small group of Theban exiles, led by Pelopidas, infiltrate the city of Thebes and assassinate the leaders of the pro-Spartan government. Epaminondas and Gorgidas lead a group of young men who break into the city's armories, take weapons, and surround the Spartans on the Cadmea, assisted by a force of Athenian hoplites. In the Theban assembly the next day, Epaminondas and Gorgidas bring Pelopidas and his men before the audience and exhort the Thebans to fight for their freedom. The assembly respond by acclaiming Pelopidas and his men as liberators. Fearing for their lives, the Spartan garrison surrender and are evacuated. The Thebans of the pro-Spartan party are also allowed to surrender; they are subsequently executed.

The Thebans are able to reconstitute their old Boeotian confederacy in a new, democratic form. The cities of Boeotia unite as a federation with an executive body composed of seven generals, or Boeotarchs, elected from seven districts throughout Boeotia.

=== 378 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

The Theban general and statesman, Epaminondas, takes command of Thebes. Pelopidas is elected boeotarch, or chief magistrate, of the city.

Timotheus, the son of the Athenian general Conon, is elected strategos of Athens.

A Spartan attempt to seize Piraeus brings Athens closer to Thebes. The Athenian mercenary commander Chabrias successfully faced off the larger army of Agesilaus II near Thebes. At the advance of Agesilaus' forces, instead of giving the order to charge, Chabrias famously ordered his men at ease—with the spear remaining pointing upwards instead of towards the enemy, and the shield leaning against the left knee instead of being hoisted against the shoulder. The command was followed immediately and without question by the mercenaries under his command, to be copied by their counterparts beside them, the elite Sacred Band of Thebes under the command of Gorgidas. This "show of contempt" stopped the advancing Spartan forces, and shortly afterwards Agesilaus withdrew.

Athens allies itself with Thebes and forms the Second Athenian League. The confederacy includes most of the Boeotian cities and some of the Ionian islands.

====== Sicily ======

Dionysius I's third war with Carthage proves disastrous. He suffers a crushing defeat at Cronium and is forced to pay an indemnity of 1,000 talents and cede the territory west of the Halycus River to the Carthaginians.

====== Roman Republic ======

The Servian Wall is constructed around Rome to prevent the city from being captured or sacked (see 390 BC). This is the first fortification that the Romans build around their home city.

=== 377 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian Empire ======

Mausolus is appointed as the Persian satrap of Caria.

====== Greece ======

Timotheus wins over the Acarnanians and Molossians as friends of Athens.

Athens, in preparing for participation in the Spartan-Theban struggle, reorganises its finances and its taxation, inaugurating a system whereby the richer citizens are responsible for the collection of taxes from the less rich.

The Peace of Antalcidas (387 BC), includes a clause guaranteeing the Greek cities their independence. The Spartan King Agesilaus II uses this clause as an excuse to force the dissolution of Thebes' Boeotian League. In two sieges, he reduces Thebes to near starvation.

=== 376 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

The Athenian admiral Chabrias wins a naval victory for Athens over the Spartan fleet, off the island of Naxos (the Battle of Naxos). The battle is brought on by the Athenians to break the Spartans' blockade of Athens' corn-ships from the Black Sea.

The Thracian city of Abdera is sacked by the Triballi.

=== 375 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

The Theban general, Pelopidas, is made the leader of the Sacred Band, a selected infantry body of 300.

Learning that the Spartan garrison of Orchomenus (in Boeotia) is leaving for an expedition to Locris, Pelopidas sets out with the Sacred Band of Thebes and a small force of cavalry, intending to seize the city while it is unguarded. However, as the Thebans approach the city, they learn that a sizable force has been dispatched from Sparta to reinforce the garrison at Orchomenus and is approaching the city. Pelopidas retreats with his force, but before the Thebans can reach safety at Tegyra, they meet the original Spartan garrison returning from Locris. In the ensuing Battle of Tegyra, the Thebans rout the larger Spartan force.

====== China ======

Zhou Lie Wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China.

=== 374 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Athens tries to retire from the Theban-Spartan war and makes peace with Sparta. However, the peace is quickly broken.

Sparta attacks Corcyra, enlisting Syracusan help. Athens comes to the island's aid. The Athenian general, Timotheus, captures Corcyra and defeats the Spartans at sea off Alyzia (Acarnania).

====== Cyprus ======

The King of Salamis, Evagoras, is assassinated. He is succeeded by his son, Nicocles, who continues his father's liberal Hellenising policy in Cyprus, encouraged by Isocrates, who writes his Exhortation to Nicocles.

=== 373 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian Empire ======

The Persian King Artaxerxes II launches an invasion of Egypt to bring that country back under Persian rule. The invasion is led by Pharnabazus. After initial successes, the Greek mercenaries fighting for the Persians push on towards Memphis. However, King Nectanebo I is able to gather his forces and repulse the Persian invasion.

====== Greece ======

Iphicrates leads an Athenian expedition which successfully relieves Corcyra of a Spartan siege.

The ancient Greek city of Helike is destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

The Temple of Apollo in Delphi is destroyed by the earthquake.

=== 372 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Jason of Pherae, the ruler of Thessaly, allies himself first with Athens and then with Macedon.

==== By topic ====

====== Sports ======

Troilus of Elis wins two equestrian events at the Olympic Games, which leads to referees being banned from competing in the Games.

=== 371 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

A fresh peace congress is summoned at Sparta. At the peace conference, the Spartan King Agesilaus II (with the support of Athens) refuses to allow the Thebans to sign the treaty on behalf of all Boeotia. The Theban statesman Epaminondas, who is boeotarch (one of the five magistrates of the Boeotian federation), maintains Thebes' position, even when it leads to the exclusion of Thebes from the peace treaty.

Thebes' actions at the peace congress lead to a war between Sparta and Thebes. The Spartans have an army stationed on Thebes' western frontier, waiting to follow up their diplomatic success by a crushing military attack. However, at the Battle of Leuctra, the Theban generals, Epaminondas and Pelopidas, win a decisive victory over the Spartans under the other Spartan king, Cleombrotus I (who is killed in the battle). Epaminondas wins the battle with a tactical innovation which involves striking the enemy first at their strongest, instead of their weakest, point, with such crushing force that the attack is irresistible. As a result of this battle, the Boeotian federation is saved.

Athens does not welcome the Theban victory, fearing the rising aggressiveness of Thebes. After the Theban victory, the old alliance between the Persians and the Thebans is restored.

With the unexpected defeat of Sparta by the Thebans, the Arcadians decide to re-assert their independence. They rebuild Mantinea, form an Arcadian League and build a new federal city, Megalopolis.

Agesipolis II succeeds his father Cleombrotus I as king of Sparta.

==== By topic ====

====== Astronomy ======

It is suggested that the original comet associated with the Kreutz Sungrazers family of comets passes perihelion at this time. It is thought to have been observed by Aristotle and Ephorus during this year.

=== 370 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

The Spartans under King Agesilaus II invade Arcadia. After appealing in vain to the Athenians for help, Arcadia turns to the Thebans. Epaminondas of Thebes arrives with an army, finds that the Spartans have retired and follows them.

With the support of Thebes, the Arcadian capital city of Megalopolis is completed and a democratic system is set up with an Assembly of Ten Thousand and a Council of fifty.

The tagus of Thessaly, Jason of Pherae, dies, after making Thessaly a powerful force in Greek politics.

==== By topic ====

====== Art ======

The sculptor Praxiteles begins his active career in Athens (approximate date).

====== Mathematics ======

Eudoxus of Cnidus develops the method of exhaustion for mathematically determining the area under a curve.

380s BC

This article concerns the period 389 BC – 380 BC.

Agesilaus (Xenophon)

Agesilaus (; Greek: Ἀγησίλαος) is a minor work by Xenophon.

The text summarizes the life of King Agesilaus II (c. 440 BC – c. 360 BC) of Sparta, whom Xenophon respected greatly, considering him as an unsurpassed example of all the civil and military virtues. The king's life is narrated in chronological order, making Agesilaus one of the first examples of biographical writings.

Certain parts of the work are borrowed from Hellenica, with only minor changes of the language.

Agis II

Agis II (Greek: Ἄγις; died c. 401 BC) was the 18th Eurypontid king of Sparta, the eldest son of Archidamus II by his first wife, and half-brother of Agesilaus II. He ruled with his Agiad co-monarch Pausanias.Agis succeeded his father Archidamus II in 427 BC, and reigned a little more than 26 years. In the summer of 426 BC, 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. In the spring of the following year he led an army into Attica, but ceased his advance fifteen days after he had entered Attica. In 419 BC, the Argives, at the instigation of Alcibiades, attacked Epidaurus; and Agis with a large force from Lacedaemon set out and marched to the frontier city of 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 unfavourable outcome of various sacrifices deterred Agis from proceeding. He therefore led his troops back, and sent around a notice to the allies to be ready for an expedition at the end of the sacred month of the Carnean festival. When the Argives repeated their attack on Epidaurus, the Spartans again marched to the frontier town, Caryae, and again turned back, supposedly on account of the aspect of the victims. In the middle of the following summer of 418 BC the Epidaurians being still hard pressed by the Argives, the Lacedaemonians 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, the Argive generals Thrasyllus and Alciphron met with Agis and prevailed on him to conclude a truce for four months.

Agis, without disclosing his motives, pulled his army back. On his return he was severely censured in Sparta for having thus thrown away the opportunity of reducing Argos, especially as the Argives had seized the opportunity afforded by his return and taken Orchomenus. It was proposed to pull down his house, and inflict on him a fine of 100,000 drachmas. But on his earnest entreaty they contented themselves with appointing a council of war, consisting of 10 Spartans, who needed to be present before he could lead an army out of the city. Shortly afterwards they received intelligence from Tegea, that, if not promptly reinforced, the party favourable to Sparta in that city would be compelled to surrender. The Spartans immediately sent their whole force under the command of Agis. He restored stability at Tegea, and then marched to Mantineia. By turning the waters 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. The Battle of Mantinea was reckoned one of the most important battles ever fought between the Grecian states.In 417 BC, when the 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 extend down to the sea, and took Hysiae. In the spring of 413 BC, Agis entered Attica with a Peloponnesian army, and fortified Decelea; 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 Decelea he acted largely independent of the Spartan government, and received embassies from the disaffected allies of the Athenians, as from the Boeotians and other allies of Sparta. He seems to have remained at Decelea until the end of the Peloponnesian War. In 411 BC, during the administration of the Four Hundred, he made an unsuccessful attempt on Athens itself. Afterwards the focus of the Peloponnesian War shifted to Asia Minor, and Lysander assumed a greater role in the siege of Athens. After victory was secured, Agis voted to charge his Agiad co-monarch Pausanias with treason, but Pausanias was acquitted.In 401 BC, the command of the war against the notoriously disloyal Elis was entrusted to Agis, who in the third year compelled the Eleans to sue for peace, acknowledge the freedom of their Perioeci (Triphylians and others), and allow Spartans to take part in the Olympic Games and sacrifices. As he was returning from Delphi, where he had gone to consecrate a tenth of the spoil, he fell sick at Heraea in Arcadia, and died a few days after he reached Sparta. He was buried in Sparta, with unparalleled solemnity and pomp.Agis left a son, Leotychides. However, he was excluded from the throne, as there was some suspicion with regard to his legitimacy. A common legend states that while Alcibiades was in Sparta, Agis II suspected that Alcibiades had slept with his queen, Timaea (and that Alcidbiades had fathered Leotychides). It was probably at the suggestion of Agis that orders were sent out to Astyochus to put him to death. Alcibiades, however, received warning (according to some accounts from Timaea herself), and evaded the Spartans. However, others claim that, judging from the sources, Leotychides was a man at the time of Agis' death, and Alcibiades as his father was a later replacement for a now unknown lover.

Archidamus II

Archidamus II (Ancient Greek: Ἀρχίδαμος Β΄) was a Eurypontid king of Sparta who reigned from approximately 476 BC to 427 BC. His father was Zeuxidamus (called Cyniscos by many Spartans). Zeuxidamus married and had a son, Archidamus. However, Zeuxidamus died before his father, Leotychidas.

After the death of his son and heir, Leotychidas married Eurydame, the sister of Menius and daughter of Diactorides. While they had no male offspring, they did have a daughter, Lampito, whom Leotychidas gave in marriage to his grandson Archidamus. They had a son Agis II.

Archidamus' later second marriage was to Eupoleia. To them were born a son, Agesilaus II, and a daughter, Cynisca.

Archidamus III

Archidamus III (Ancient Greek: Ἀρχίδαμος Γ΄ Arkhídāmos), the son of Agesilaus II, was king of Sparta from 360 BC to 338 BC.

While still a prince, he was the eispnelas (εἰσπνήλας, inspirer, or pederastic lover) of Cleonymus, son of Sphodrias. He interceded with his own father to spare his aites' (ἀΐτας, lover) father's life in a legal matter, an action which further intensified friction between Athens and Sparta. He later led the Spartan forces both before and during his rule. Archidamus headed the force sent to aid the Spartan army after its defeat by the Thebans at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC and was commander later during the fighting in the Peloponnese. Four years later he captured Caryae, ravaged the territory of the Parrhasii and defeated the Arcadians, Argives and Messenians in the "tearless battle", so called because the victory did not cost the Spartans a single life. However, he was in turn defeated by the Arcadians in 364 BC at Cromnus.In 362, he showed great courage in the defense of Sparta against the Theban commander Epaminondas. As king, Archidamus supported the Phocians against Thebes in the Sacred War of 355–346. In 346 BC he went to Crete to help Lyttos in their struggle against Knossos in the Foreign War. In 343 BC, the Spartan colony Tarentum asked for Sparta's help in the war against the Italic populations, notably the Lucanians and the Messapians. In 342 BC Archidamus arrived in Italy with a fleet and a mercenary army and fought against the barbarians, but in 338 BC he was defeated and killed under the walls of Manduria. He was succeeded by his son Agis III, and was also the father of Eudamidas I and another son named Agesilaus.

Aulis (ancient Greece)

Aulis (Ancient Greek: Αὐλίς) was a Greek port-town, located in ancient Boeotia in central Greece, at the Euripus Strait, opposite of the island of Euboea. Livy states that Aulis was distant 3 miles (4.8 km) from Chalcis.Aulis never developed into fully independent polis, but belonged to Thebes (378 BCE) and Tanagra respectively.According to legend (The Iliad) the Greek fleet gathered in Aulis to set off for Troy. However, the departure was prevented by Artemis, who stopped the wind to punish Agamemnon, who had killed a deer in a sacred grove and boasted he was the better hunter. The fleet was only able to sail off after Agamemnon had sacrificed his eldest daughter Iphigenia. Strabo says that the harbour of Aulis could only hold fifty ships, and that therefore the Greek fleet must have assembled in the large port in the neighbourhood, called Βαθὺς λιμὴν. Aulis appears to have stood upon a rocky height, since it is called by Homer Αὐλὶς πετρήεσσα, and by Strabo πετρῶδες χωρίον.In 396 BCE Spartan king Agesilaus II, imitating Agamemnon, chose Aulis to sail to Asia with his army. On the eve of sailing Thebans intervened and drove Agesilaus out of Boeotia. This event has been seen as the origin of Agesilaus' personal hatred towards Thebes, which greatly influenced the relationship between Sparta and Thebes over the next 25 years until the decisive Battle of Leuctra.

In the time of Pausanias, it had only a few inhabitants, who were potters. Its temple of Artemis, which Agamemnon is said to have founded, was still standing when Pausanias visited the place.Its site is located at modern Mikro Vathy/Ag. Nikolaos.

Battle of Coronea (394 BC)

The Battle of Coronea in 394 BC, also Battle of Coroneia, was a battle in the Corinthian War, in which the Spartans and their allies under King Agesilaus II defeated a force of Thebans and Argives that was attempting to block their march back into the Peloponnese.

Battle of Mantinea (362 BC)

The Second Battle of Mantinea was fought on July 4, 362 BC between the Thebans, led by Epaminondas and supported by the Arcadians and the Boeotian league against the Spartans, led by King Agesilaus II and supported by the Eleans, Athenians, and Mantineans. The battle was to determine which of the two alliances would have hegemony over Greece. However, the death of Epaminondas and his intended successors coupled with the impact on the Spartans of yet another defeat weakened both alliances, and paved the way for Macedonian conquest led by Philip II of Macedon.

Cleombrotus I

Cleombrotus I (Greek: Κλεόμβροτος Α΄; died July 6, 371 BC) was a Spartan king of the Agiad line, reigning from 380 BC until 371 BC. Little is known of Cleombrotus' early life. Son of Pausanias, he became king of Sparta after the death of his brother Agesipolis I in 380 BC, and led the allied Spartan-Peloponnesian army against the Thebans under Epaminondas in the Battle of Leuctra. His death and the utter defeat of his army led to the end of Spartan dominance in ancient Greece. Cleombrotus was succeeded by his son Agesipolis II. His other son was Cleomenes II.

Many historians cite Cleombrotus as being a Pro-Theban Spartan (meaning he had pro-Theban tendencies) unlike his fellow king, Agesilaus II. He was blamed for the humiliating defeat at Leuctra by his contemporaries for being biased towards the enemy, though some modern historians do not believe that he was actually pro-Theban.

Conspiracy of Cinadon

The conspiracy of Cinadon was an attempted coup d'état which took place in Sparta in the 4th century BC during the first years of the reign of Eurypontid King Agesilaus II (398 BC-358 BC). The leader was Cinadon, who was a distinguished military officer, but came from a poor family. The conspiracy aimed to break the power of the oligarchic Spartan state and its elite and give rights to poorer Spartans and even to helots. Although elaborately organized, the plot was in the end betrayed to the ephors; they cracked down on the conspirators, and Cinadon himself was tortured and executed.

Eudamidas I

Eudamidas I (Greek: Εὐδαμίδας, reigned 331 BC – c. 305 BC) was a Spartan king of the Eurypontid line, son of Archidamus III and brother of Agis III, whom he succeeded. He married the wealthy Archidamia, and they had two children, Archidamus IV and Agesistrata. There is evidence that Eudamidas I owned the half of his wife's wealth in land. His reign Sparta was a time of peace. Pausanias devotes more space to Agis II (427–400 BC) and Agesilaus II (400–360 BC) than to other kings, such as Agis III (338–330 BC) and Eudamidas I, whose lives he passed by briefly, as the Eurypontid line ‘fades’.


Lysander (; died 395 BC, (Doric Greek: Λύσανδρος, romanized: Lýsandros) was a Spartan admiral who commanded the Spartan fleet in the Hellespont which defeated the Athenians at Aegospotami in 405 BC. The following year, he was able to force the Athenians to capitulate, bringing the Peloponnesian War to an end. He then played a key role in Sparta's domination of Greece for the next decade until his death at the Battle of Haliartus.


Marmarica (Greek Μαρμαρική) in ancient geography was a littoral area in Ancient Libya, located between Cyrenaica and Aegyptus. It corresponds to what is now the Libya and Egypt frontier, including the towns of Bomba (ancient Phthia), Timimi (ancient Paliurus), Tobruk (ancient Antipyrgus), Acroma (ancient Gonia), Bardiya, As-Salum, and Sidi Barrani (ancient Zygra). The territory stretched to the far south, encompassing the Siwa Oasis, which at the time was known for its sanctuary to the deity Amun. The eastern part of Marmarica, by some geographers considered a separate district between Marmarica and Aegyptus, was known as Libycus Nomus. In late antiquity, Marmarica was also known as Libya Inferior, while Cyrenaica was known as Libya Superior.

Libya was considered as the part of Africa west of the Nile, more precisely west of the mouth of the Nile at Canopus. The periplus of Scylax of Caryanda names the Adyrmachidae as the first people of Libya (Africa).

Marmarica proper was delimited towards the east by the escarpment of Catabathmus Magnus, now known as Akabah el-Kebir, at Salum. The geographers of the Hellenistic period included Egypt in the continent of Asia, and drew the boundary between Asia and Africa (Libya) at this point.

Under the Roman Empire, Marmarica included the Libycus Nomus, located between the Catabathmus and the Bay of Plinthine (Sinus Plinthinetes). This area had formerly been considered part of Egypt. The city of Paraetonium (also Ammonia, modern Mersa Matruh) was the westernmost town of Egypt, for which reason it together with Pelusium was known as the "horns of Egypt". About 10 stadia west of Paraetonium was Apis, marking the border to the Libyan Nomos. Menelaus Portus (near modern Zawiyat Umm Rukbah), according to tradition founded by Menelaus, was known as the site of the death of Agesilaus II.

The inhabitants of Marmarica were known generically as Marmaridae, but they are given the special names of

Adyrmachidae and Giligammae in the coastal districts, and of Nasamones and Augilae in the interior.

The Adyrmachidae are said to have differed considerably from the nomadic tribes of the country, strongly resembling the Egyptians.

The territory south of the Libyan Nomos was inhabited by the Ammonii, centered on the celebrated and fertile oasis of Ammon (Siwa)

Both Cyrenaica and Marmarica were included in the diocese of Egypt in the 4th century, within the larger Praetorian prefecture of the East (while Tripolitania was in the Praetorian prefecture of Italy).

Peisander (general)

Peisander (; Greek: Πείσανδρος) was a Spartan general during the Corinthian War. In 395 BC, he was placed in command of the Spartan fleet in the Aegean by his brother-in-law, the king Agesilaus II. Peisander was a relatively inexperienced general, and in the first action his fleet saw, at the Battle of Cnidus, the Spartan fleet was decisively defeated. Peisander died fighting aboard his ship.

Theban hegemony

The Theban hegemony lasted from the Theban victory over the Spartans at Leuctra in 371 BC to their defeat of a coalition of Peloponnesian armies at Mantinea in 362 BC, though Thebes sought to maintain its position until finally eclipsed by the rising power of Macedon in 346 BC.

Externally, the way was paved for Theban ascendancy by the collapse of Athenian power in the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), through the weakening of the Spartans by their oliganthropia (demographic decline) and by the inconclusive Corinthian War (395–386 BC). Internally, the Thebans enjoyed two temporary military advantages:

The leaders of the Theban oligarchy at the time, Epaminondas and Pelopidas, were fully committed to an aggressive foreign policy and could be relied on to win any battle and

The same leaders had instituted tactical improvements in the Theban heavy infantry (e.g. longer spears, the use of a wedge-shaped formation of spearmen), which had yet to catch on among their rivals.

The Thebans had traditionally enjoyed the hegemony of the Boeotian League, the oligarchical federation of Aeolic-speaking Greeks to the immediate north-west of Athenian-dominated Attica. Their brief rise to power outside the Boeotian Plain began in 373 when the Boeotians defeated and destroyed the town of Plataea, strategically important as the only Athenian ally in Boeotia. This was taken as a direct challenge by the previous hegemonic power, the Spartans, who gambled on restoring their waning ascendancy by a decisive defeat of the Thebans. At Leuctra, in Boeotia, the Thebans comprehensively defeated an invading Spartan army. Out of 700 Spartan citizen-soldiers present, 400 died at Leuctra. After this, the Thebans systematically dominated Greece. In the south, they invaded the Peloponnese to liberate the Messenians and Arcadians from Spartan overlordship and set up a pro-Theban Arcadian League to oversee Peloponnesian affairs. In the north, they invaded Thessaly, to crush the growing local power of Pherae and took the future Philip II of Macedon hostage, bringing him to Thebes. Pelopidas, however was killed at Cynoscephalae, in battle against troops from Pherae (though the battle was actually won by the Thebans).

The Thebans overstretched themselves strategically and, in their efforts to maintain control of the north, their power in the south disintegrated. The Spartan king, Agesilaus II, scraped together an army from various Peloponnesian towns dissatisfied with Theban rule and managed to kill but not defeat Epaminondas in the Battle of Mantinea, but not to re-establish any real Spartan ascendancy. This was if anything a Pyrrhic victory for both states. Sparta lacked the manpower and resources to make any real attempt at regaining her empire and Thebes had now lost both of the innovative leaders who had allowed her rise to dominance and was similarly reduced in resources to the point where that dominance could not be guaranteed. The Thebans sought to maintain their position through diplomacy and their influence at the Amphictyonic council in Delphi, but when this resulted in their former allies the Phocians seizing Delphi and beginning the Third Sacred War (c. 355), Thebes proved too exhausted to bring any conclusion to the conflict. The war was finally ended in 346 BC, by the forces not of Thebes, or any of the city-states, but of Philip of Macedon, to whom the city-states had grown desperate enough to turn. This signalled the rise of Macedon within Greece and finally brought to an end a Theban hegemony which had already been in decline.


The Trophimoi (Greek: τρόφιμοι, students or pupils from τροφός trophós food) were children of non-Spartiatae - Perioeci or foreigners - who underwent Spartan education.

The trophimoi are temporarily adopted by a Spartan oikos. The trophimoi sons of Perioeci, represent, like the neodamodes and the nothoi (natural sons of slaves and citizens), an intermediate class at Sparta. They could rise to the status of citizens. According to Plutarch, Agis IV intended by this mean to strengthen the citizenry, that had become too meagre for Sparta's wartime necessities.

The foreign trophimoi normally left Sparta to return to their native towns, where they increased Sparta's influence. Thus, on the invitation of Agesilaus II, Xenophon had raised his own sons at Sparta. However, some trophomoi preferred to remain, and fought in the civic army. This was the case, for example, of the army that Agesipolis I sent to besiege Phlius in 381 BC:

There followed with him also many of the Perioeci as volunteers, men of the better class, and aliens who belonged to the so-called foster-children [i.e. Trophimoi] of Sparta, and sons of the Spartiatae by Helot women, exceedingly finelooking men, not without experience of the good gifts of the state.

(Xénophon Hellenica, V. 3)

Early Heraclids
Agiad dynasty
Eurypontid dynasty
Later rulers
The works of Plutarch
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