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History of Sparta

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April Kincaid
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2009, 05:42:26 am »



Gytheum, Sparta's port
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2009, 05:42:57 am »

Facing the Theban Assendency

By the winter of late 370 BCE, King Agesilaus took the field not against Thebes but in an attempt to preserve at least a toehold of influence for Sparta in Arkadia. This backfired when, in response, the Arkadians sent an appeal for help to Boeotia. Boeotia responded by sending a large army, led by Epaminondas, which first marched on Sparta itself and then moved to Messenia where the Helots had already rebelled. Epaminondas made that rebellion permanent by fortifying the city of Messene[62]

The final showdown was in 362 BCE, when Sparta by which time several of Boetia's former allies had joined Sparta such as Mantinea and and Elis. Athens also fought with Sparta. The resulting Battle of Mantinea was won by Boetia and her allies but in the moment of victory Epaminondas was killed.[63] In the aftermath of the battle both Sparta's enemies and her till then allies swore a common peace. Only Sparta refused because she would not accept the independence of Messenia.[64]

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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2009, 05:43:18 am »

But Sparta had neither the men nor the money to recover her lost position, and the continued existence on her borders of an independent Messenia and Arcadia kept her in constant fear for her own safety. She did, indeed, join with Athens and Achaea in 353 BCE to prevent Philip II of Macedon passing Thermopylae and entering Phocis, but beyond this she took no part in the struggle of Greece with the new power which had sprung up on her northern borders. The final showdown saw Philip fighting Athens and Thebes Chaeronea. Sparta, was pinned down at home by Macedonian allies such as Messene and Argos and took no part.[65]

After the battle, however, Sparta refused to submit voluntarily to Philip, and was forced to do so by the devastation of Laconia and the transfer of certain border districts to the neighboring states of Argos, Arcadia and Messenia. During the absence of Alexander the Great in the East Agis III revolted, but the rising was crushed by Antipater. The memory of this defeat was still fresh in Spartan minds when the general revolt against Macedonian rule known as the Lamian War broke out - hence Sparta stayed neutral[66].

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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2009, 05:44:28 am »



Eurotas River
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2009, 05:45:03 am »

The 3rd century BCE

During Demetrius Poliorcetes campaign to conquer the Peloponese in 294 BCE, the Spartans led by Archidamus IV attempted to resist but were defeated in two battles. Had not Demetrius decided to turn his attention to Macedonia the city would have fallen.[67] In 293 BCE a Spartan force, under Cleonymus, inspired Boeotia to defy Demetrius but Cleonymus soon departed leaving Thebes in the lurch.[68]

In 272 BCE, at the instigation of Cleonymus of Sparta, Pyrrhus invaded the Peloponnese.[69] Pyrrhus was confident he could take the city of Sparta with ease, however, the Spartans, with even the women taking part in the defense, succeeded in beating off Pyrrhus' attacks[70]. At this point Pyrrhus received an appeal from an opposition Argive faction for backing against the pro Gonatas ruler of Argos and he withdrew from Sparta[71]. In 264 BCE Sparta formed an alliance with Athens and Ptolomeic Egypt (along with a number smaller Greek cities) in attempt to break free of Macedon.[72]. During the resulting Chremonidean War the Spartan King Areus led two expeditions to the Isthmus where Corinth was garrisoned by Macedonia and in the second he was killed.[73] When the Achaean League was expecting an attack from Aetolia, Sparta sent an army under Agis to help defend the Isthmus but the Spartans were sent home when it seemed that no attack would materialize.[74] Shortly afterwards About 244 BCE an Aetolian army raided Laconia, carrying off, it is said, 50,000 captives[75], though that is likely to be an exaggeration[76]. Grainger has suggested that this raid was part of Aetolia's project to build a coalition of Peloponesian cities. Though Aetolia was primarily concerned with confining Achaea, because the cities concerned were hostile to Sparta, Aetolia needed to demonstrate her anti Spartan credentials.[77]

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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2009, 05:45:20 am »

In the middle of the century a slowly building social crisis came to a head. Wealth had become concentrated into the hands of about 100 wealthy families[78]. By contrast, the number of equals, who had always formed the backbone of the Spartan army had fallen to 700 - less than a tenth of its 9000 strong highpoint in the 7th century[79]. Agis IV was the first to attempt reform. His program combined debt cancellation and land reform. Opposition from king Leonidas was removed when he was deposed on somewhat dubious grounds. However his opponents exploited a period when he was absent from Sparta and on his return he was subjected to a travesty of a trial.[80]

The next attempt at reform came from the son of Agis's enemy Leonidas - Cleomenes III. In 229 BCE Cleomenes led an attack on Megalopolis - hence provoking war with Achaea. Aratus who led the Achaean League forces, despite having 20,000 to Cleomenes 5000 men adopted a very cautious strategy. Nonetheless Cleomenes succeeded in defeating him.[81]. With this success behind him he left the citizen troops in the field and with the mercenaries marched on Sparta to stage a coup. The ephorate was abolished - indeed four out of five of them had been killed during Cleomenes' seizure of power[82]. Land was redistributed enabling a widening of the citizen body[83] . Debts were cancelled. The task of restoring the old severe training and simple life Cleomenes gave to Sphaerus, his stoic advisor. For Green, that a non Spartan should be given such a responsibility is a telling indication of the extent that Sparta had lost her Lycurgian traditions[84]. These reforms excited hostility amongst the wealthy of the Peloponese who feared social revolution. For others, especially among the poor, Cleomenes inspired hope - a hope that was to be quickly dashed when Cleomenes started taking cities and it became obvious that social reform outside Sparta was the last thing on his mind.[85]

Cleomenes reforms had as their aim the restoration of Spartan power. Initially Cleomenes was successful, taking cities that had till then been part of the Achaean League[86] and winning the financial backing of Egypt[87]. However Aratus the leader of the Achaean League decided to ally with Achea's till then enemy Macedonia. With Egypt deciding to cut financial aid Cleomenes decided to hazard all on one battle.[88] In the resulting Battle of Sellasia (222 BCE), Cleomenes was defeated by the Achaeans and Macedonia. Antigonus III Doson, the king of Macedon ceremonially entered Sparta with his army - something Sparta had never endured before. Antigonus. The ephors were restored while the kingship was suspended[89]

It was not long afterwards that the dual kingship ceased and Sparta fell under the sway of a series of cruel and rapacious tyrants—Lycurgus, Machanidas, who was killed by Philopoemen.

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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2009, 05:46:18 am »



Trial of Agis
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« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2009, 05:47:00 am »

Nabis and the Intervention of Rome

The sources for Nabis, who took power in 207 BCE, are so uniformly hostile that it is impossible today to judge the truth of the accusation against him - that his reforms were undertake only to serve Nabis's interests.[90] Certainly his reforms went far deeper than those of Cleomenes who had liberated 6000 helots merely as an emergency measure.[91] Were we to trust the accounts given by Polybius and Livy, we would dismiss him little better than a bandit chieftain, holding Sparta by means of extreme cruelty and oppression and using mercenary troops to a large extent in his wars. Forest is willing to take these accusations at face value including that that he murdered his ward and that of state sponsored piracy and brigandage - but not the self interested motives ascribed to him. He sees him as a ruthless version of Cleomenes sincerely attempting to solve Sparta's social crisis.[92] He initiated the building of Sparta's first walls which extended to some 6 miles.[93]

Nonetheless, a vigorous struggle was maintained with the Achaean League and with Macedon until the Romans, after the conclusion of their war with Philip V, sent an army into Laconia under T. Quinctius Flamininus. Nabis was forced to capitulate, evacuating all his possessions outside Laconia, surrendering the Laconian seaports and his navy, and paying an indemnity of 500 talents (Livy xxxiv. 33–43). On the departure of the Romans he succeeded in recovering Gythium, in spite of an attempt to relieve it made by the Achaeans under Philopoemen, but in an encounter he suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of that general, who for thirty days ravaged Laconia unopposed.

Nabis was assassinated in 192 BCE, and Sparta was forced by Philopoenien to enroll itself as a member of the Achaean League under a phil-Achaean aristocracy. This gave rise to chronic disorders and disputes, which led to armed intervention by the Achaeans, who compelled the Spartans to submit to the overthrow of their city walls, the dismissal of their mercenary troops, the recall of all exiles, the abandonment of the old Lycurgan constitution and the adoption of the Achaean laws and institutions (188 BCE). Again and again the relations between the Spartans and the Achaean League formed the occasion of discussions in the Roman senate or of the despatch of Roman embassies to Greece, but no decisive intervention took place until a fresh dispute about the position of Sparta in the league led to a decision by the Romans that Sparta, Corinth, Argos, Arcadian Orchomenus and Heraclea on Oeta should be severed from it. This resulted in an open breach between the league and Rome, and eventually, in 146 BCE, after the sack of Corinth, in the dissolution of the league and the annexation of Greece to the Roman province of Macedonia.

For Sparta the long era of war and internal struggle had ceased and one of peace and a revived prosperity took its place, as is witnessed by the numerous extant inscriptions belonging to this period. As an allied city it was exempt from direct taxation, though compelled on occasions to make “voluntary “ presents to Roman generals. Political ambition was restricted to the tenure of the municipal magistracies, culminating in the offices of nomophylax, ephor and patronomus. Augustus showed marked favour to the city, Hadrian twice visited it during his journeys in the East and accepted the title of eponymous patronomus.

The old warlike spirit found an outlet chiefly in the vigorous but peaceful contests held in the gymnasium, the ball-place, and the arena before the temple of Artemis Orthia: sometimes too it found a vent in actual campaigning as when Spartans were enrolled for service against the Parthians by the emperors Lucius Verus, Septimius Severus and Caracalla.

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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2009, 05:48:13 am »

Medieval Sparta

In CE 396 Alaric destroyed the city, and at a later period Laconia was invaded and settled by Slavonic tribes, especially the Melings and Ezerits, who in turn had to give way before the advance of the Byzantine power, though preserving a partial independence in the mountainous regions. It has been theorized that speakers of the now-moribund Doric derived language of Tsakonian are the descendants of Spartans who were isolated as a result of barbarian invasions.

The Franks on their arrival in the Morea found a fortified city named Lacedaemonia (Sparta) occupying part of the site of ancient Sparta, and this continued to exist[94], though greatly depopulated, even after William II Villehardouin had in 1249 founded the fortress and city of Mistra, on a spur of Taygetus some 3 miles northwest of Sparta.

This passed shortly afterwards into the hands of the Byzantine Greeks, who retained it until the Turks under Mehmed II captured it in 1460. In 1687 it came into the possession of the Venetians, from whom it was wrested in 1715 by the Turks. Thus for nearly six centuries it was Mistra and not Sparta which formed the center and focus of Laconian history. The Mani Peninsula region of Laconia retained some measure of autonomy during the Ottoman period, and played a significant role in the Greek War of Independence.

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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2009, 05:48:57 am »

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« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2009, 05:49:22 am »

Modern Sparta

In 1834, after the War of Independence had resulted in the liberation of Greece, the town of Sparta was rebuilt as a modern city on part of the ancient site from the designs of Baron Jochmus, and Mistra decayed until now it is in ruins and almost deserted. Sparta is the capital of the prefecture (nomos) of Laconia
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« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 05:49:44 am »

Notable Spartans

Chelidonis
Cleomenes I
Helen
Leonidas I
Gorgo, Queen of Sparta
Lycurgus
Menelaus
Nabis
Arachidamia
Chelidonis
Hydna
Cynisca
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« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2009, 05:50:29 am »

Kings of Sparta

Sparta was an important Greek city-state in the Peloponnesus. It was unusual among Greek city-states in that it maintained its kingship past the Archaic age. It was even more unusual in that it had two kings that were smartsimultaneously, coming from two separate lines. According to tradition, the two lines, the Agiads and Eurypontids, were respectively descended from the twins Eurysthenes and Procles, the descendants of Heracles who supposedly conquered Sparta two generations after the Trojan War. The Agiad line was regarded as being superior to the Eurypontid line. [1] Although there are lists of the earlier purported Kings of Sparta, there is little evidence for the existence of any kings before the middle of the 6th century BC or so.

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« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2009, 05:51:03 am »

Agiad dynasty

Eurysthenes ? - c.930 BC.
Agis I c.930 - c.900 BC.
Echestratus c.900 - c.870 BC.
Labotas c.870 - c.840 BC.
Doryssus c.840 - c.820 BC.
Agesilaus I c.820 - c.790 BC.
Archilaus c.790 - c.760 BC.
Teleclus c.760 - c.740 BC.
Alcamenes c.740 - c.700 BC.
Polydorus c.700 - c.665 BC.
Eurycrates c.665 - c.640 BC.
Anaxander c.640 - c.615 BC.
Eurycratides c.615 - c.590 BC.
Lindius c.590 - 560 BC.
Anaxandridas II c.560 - c.520 BC.
Cleomenes I c.520 - c.490 BC.
Leonidas I c.490 - 480 BC.
Pleistarchus 480 - c.459 BC.
Pleistoanax c.459 - 401 BC.
Pausanias 409 - 395 BC.
Agesipolis I 395 - 380 BC.
Cleombrotus I 380 - 371 BC.
Agesipolis II 371 - 370 BC.
Cleomenes II 370 - 309 BC.
Areus I 309 - 265 BC.
Acrotatus II 265 - 262 BC.
Areus II 262 - 254 BC.
Leonidas II 254 - 235 BC.
Cleomenes III 235 - 222 BC.
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« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2009, 05:51:34 am »

Eurypontid dynasty

Procles - c.930 BC.
Soos ? - c.890 BC.
Eurypon c.890 - c.860 BC.
Prytanis c.860 - c.830 BC.
Polydectes c.830 - c.800 BC.
Eunomus c.800 - c.780 BC
Charilaus c.780 - c.750 BC.
Nicander c.750 - c.720 BC.
Theopompus c.720 - c.675 BC.
Anaxandridas I c.675 - c.645 BC.
Zeuxidamas c.645 - c.625 BC.
Anaxidamus c.625 - c.600 BC.
Archidamus I c.600 - c.575 BC.
Agasicles c.575 - c.550 BC.
Ariston c.550 - c.515 BC.
Demaratus c.515 - c.491 BC.
Leotychidas c.491 - 469 BC.
Archidamus II 469 - 427 BC.
Agis II 427 - 401/400 BC.
Agesilaus II 401/400 - 360 BC.
Archidamus III 360 - 338 BC.
Agis III 338 - 331 BC.
Eudamidas I 331 - c.305 BC.
Archidamus IV c.305 - c.275 BC.
Eudamidas II c.275 - c.245 BC.
Agis IV c.245 - 241 BC.
Eudamidas III 241 - 228 BC.
Archidamus V 228 - 227 BC.
Eucleidas 227 - 221 BC (Eucleidas was actually an Agiad - his brother Cleomenes III deposed his Eurypontid colleague and installed his brother as co-king).
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