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date: 30 November 2022

Agis IIIlocked

, Spartan king, 338–330? BCE

Agis IIIlocked

, Spartan king, 338–330? BCE
  • Albert Brian Bosworth

Extract

Agis III, king of Sparta (338–?330 bce), *Eurypontid. Ascending the throne at a time of humiliation, when Sparta had lost her borderlands to *Philip (1) II of Macedon, he devoted himself to reviving his city's fortunes. Inconclusive intrigues with the Persian commanders in the Aegean (333) led to intervention in *Crete, where he attracted 8,000 Greek mercenaries, refugees from *Issus. With their support he declared open war in the Peloponnese during (it seems) summer 331. *Elis, *Tegea, and the *Achaean Confederacy joined his cause, but the Athenians fatally stood aloof. *Antipater (1) was able to raise a coalition army 40,000 strong, profiting from the common detestation of Spartan expansionism, and relieved the siege of *Megalopolis. Agis suffered a crushing defeat. He died heroically, but left Sparta enfeebled beyond redemption.

Subjects

  • Greek History and Historiography

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