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date: 20 June 2021

Agesilaus IIlocked

, Spartan king of the Eurypontid house, c. 445–359 BCE

Agesilaus IIlocked

, Spartan king of the Eurypontid house, c. 445–359 BCE
  • Paul Cartledge

Extract

Agesilaus 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.

Subjects

  • Greek History and Historiography

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