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date: 27 November 2022



  • Paul Cartledge


The Agiads were the senior royal house at Sparta, descended mythically from the elder of Heraclid twins (Hdt. 6. 52; see heracles); the junior was known as the *Eurypontids. The origins of the Spartan dual kingship are unknown, but the office was entrenched in the ‘Great Rhetra’ ascribed to the lawgiver *Lycurgus (2) (Plut. Lyc. 6) and persisted until the end of the 3rd cent. bce. Distinguished Agiads included *Cleomenes (1) I, his half-brother *Leonidas (1), and *Cleomenes (2) III. The latter effectively terminated the traditional dyarchy in c.227 by installing his brother on the formerly Eurypontid throne.


  • Greek Law

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