- Paul Cartledge
ExtractAgesilaus II (c. 445–359 bce), Spartan king of the junior, *Eurypontid line. Son of *Archidamus II by his second wife, he was not expected to succeed his older half-brother *Agis II and so went through the prescribed educational curriculum (*agōgē) like any other Spartan boy. In 400 he unexpectedly secured the succession, with the aid of his former lover *Lysander, ahead of Agis' son Leotychidas, whose parentage was suspect (rumour had it that his true father was the exiled *Alcibiades).The first king to be sent on campaign in Asia, where his proclaimed aim was to liberate the Greeks from Persian suzerainty, Agesilaus achieved some success against the Persian viceroys *Pharnabazus and *Tissaphernes in 396–5 before his enforced recall to face a coalition of Sparta's Greek enemies in central and southern Greece. The battle of *Coronea (394) was a Pyrrhic victory, and, despite some minor successes of his around *Corinth and in *Acarnania (391–388), the coalition was defeated not on land by Agesilaus but at sea by the Spartan *nauarchos*Antalcidas with a Persian-financed fleet.
- Greek History and Historiography