Kings of Sparta

Mythical Kings

Lacedaemon, in Greek mythology he was the son of the chief God Zeus

Amyklas, as he was son of Lacedaemon, he was also grandson of Zeus. He founded Amyklai, a city southwest of Sparta.

Kynortas, his tomb was near Scias at Sparta.

Oebalus, he moved from the island of Telon Taphus, with his people from the Teleboa tribe, to the island of Capreae, where he settled, then he moved to Campania, where he acquired rule over a territory stretching from Sarnus to Nola (according to other sources until Abella). From there he aided King Turnus against Aenas (a Trojan hero).

Tyndareos (First reign).

Hippocoon, brother of Tyndareos. With the help of his sons, he overthrew Tynderos. Hippocoon was later killed by Heracles, who reinstated Tynderos as the king.

Tyndareos (Second reign)

Menelaus, He succeeded Tyndareos after his death, because Tyndareos had no heirs and Menelaus was the husband of Helen (daughter of Tyndareos). Menelaus was a central figure in the Trojan War.

Orestes, son of Agamemnon (King of Mycenae). Orestes died of a snakebite.

Tisamenos, he was killed in the final battle with the Heracleidae (they were descendents of Heracles (Hercules)).

Agiad dynasty

Eurysthenes ? - c.930 BC, great-great-great-grandson of Heracles. He was killed by his wife

Agis I. c.930 - c.900 BC, The Agiad dynasty was named after him as he was the first real kin in the dynasty. He captured the maritime city of Heros; Heros is the originator of the Spartan social class, the helots, who were slaves.

Echestratus c.900 - c.870 BC, During his reign the district of Cynuria was reduced.

Labotas c.870 - c.840 BC, Quarrel begin with Argos on the Cynuria

Doryssus c.840 - c.820 BC He was killed in battle with the Argives.

Agesilaus I. c.820 - c.790 BC, He had expeditions into Asia.

Archilaus c.790 - c.760 BC, slain by the Messapians at Mandorium in Italy.

Teleclus c.760 - c.758 BC, He occupied Amyclae, Pharis and Geranthrae, towns of the Perioeci, and was killed  during a skirmish with the Messanians, signaling the first Messenian War between 743 BC and 724 BC (which ended with Spartan victory)

Alcamenes c.758 - c.741 BC First Messenian War began during the end of his reign

Polydorus c.741 - c.665 BC, He continued with the First Messenian War, and won it (alongside with alongside the Eurypontid king Theopompus); this victory resulted in the rise of Sparta. A helot revolt started the Second Messenian War (which will be won by Sparta and its allies again).

Eurycrates c.665 - c.640 BC Went to war against Tegea, which will end (unsuccessfully) after his death

Anaxander c.640 - c.615 BC End of the Second Messanian War (with Spartan victory).

Eurycratides c.615 - c.590 BC, He reigned during a devastating period of the Tegean War.

Lindius c.590 - 560 BC. Also called Leon (which means Lion), the war with the tegeans is undecided.

Anaxandridas II. c.560 - c.520 BC, He defeated Tegea. His first wife was barren, so he married a second one (without divorcing the first wife), and his son, Cleomenes, was born from the second wife. After Cleomenes was born he had other children from the first wife.

Cleomenes I. c.520 - c.490 BC, He extended the influence of Sparta outside of the Peloponnesian peninsula. During his reign the Peloponnesian League was officially formed. Intervened into Athenian affairs, but managed to stay out of the Ioninan Revolt. Gone mad and fled into exile. Spartan authorities claimed that he died by committing suicide in prison.

Leonidas I. c.490 - 480 BC, He lead the resistance army against the Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae, in which he died (on August 11.). On Xerxes' (king of Persia) orders, he was beheaded, his head put on a stake and his body crucified, which was sacrilegious. He was regarded as extremely strong and brave. He married his brother’s, Cleomenes’s daughter. He is the most famous Spartan king.

Pleistarchus 480 - c.459 BC, For the early part of his reign, his cousin Pausanias, acted as regent because Pleistarchus was too young.

Pleistoanax c.459 - 409 BC, He was exiled sometime between 446 BC and 444 BC. He advocated peace.

Pausanias 409 - 395 BC, He tried to overthrow the Ephors. He was sentenced to be executed, because he wanted to help Lysander (a Spartan army general) against Thebes, however he escaped, and lived the rest of his life in exile in Tegea. Married a Persian princess.

Agesipolis I. 395 - 380 BC, succeeded his father, Pausanias, when he was still a minor. He conquered the town of Montineia by diverting the river Ophis and thus flooding the basements within the town wall. He died of a fever.

Cleombrotus I. 380 - 371 BC, Brother of Agesipolis I. He led the allied Spartan-Peloponnesian army, but was defeated, ending Spartan hegemony in the region.

Agesipolis II. 371 - 370 BC, Son of Cleombrotus I. He died shortly after he started his reign

Cleomenes II. 370 - 309 BC, He had two sons, Acrotatus and Cleonymus. Acrotatus died during his life. When Cleomenes the II died, his grandson, Acrotatus’s son succeeded him on the throne

Areus I. 309 - 265 BC, He died in battle near Corinth during the Chremonidean War. He was a successful military general.

Acrotatus II. 265 - 262 BC, He was killed in battle against Aristodemus three years after beginning his reign.

Areus II. 262 - 254 BC, He was born after his father, Acrotatus I. died. Areus III. died when he was only eight years old, and was succeeded on the throne of Sparta by his great uncle.

Leonidas II. 254 - 235 BC, He was raised in the Persian royal court and married a non-Spartan woman. He fled, and in the meanwhile he was dethroned. His son-in-law succeeded him on the throne.

Cleomenes III. 235 - 222 BC, He attempted to reform the state of Sparta. He fled into exile after he lost the Battle of Sellasia. He committed suicide.

Eurypontid dynasty

Procles - c.930 BC, He was the founder of the Eurypontid dynasty.

Soos ? - c.890 BC, He took away the freedom of Helots. Clitorians encircled Sparta preventing their access to water sources, enforcing Soos to negotiate. He was the father of Aurypon.

Eurypon c.890 - c.860 BC, The Eurypontid dynasty was named after Eurypon. He relaxed the kingly power.

Prytanis c.860 - c.830 BC, Under his reign began the enmity of the Lacedaemonians against the Argives

Polydectes c.830 - c.800 BC, Son of Prytanis,

Eunomus c.800 - c.780 BC, During his reign Sparta was at peace.

Charilaus c.780 - c.750 BC, He was ward, pupil, and nephew of the Spartan reformer Lycurgus.

Nicander c.750 - c.725 BC, He was son of Charilaus, father of Theopompus.

Theopompus c.725 - c.675 BC, In the First Messenian War, He and his army occupies Messe (and wins the war). He is succeeded by his grandson.

Anaxandridas I c.675 - c.645 BC, During his reign, Sparta and its allies defeas Messenia and its allies in the Second Messenian War. Spartans were defeated by Aristomenes, a traditional Messenian hero, in the Battle of Stenyclerus in 650 BC.

Zeuxidamas c.645 - c.625 BC, He was the father of Anaxidamus.

Anaxidamus c.625 - c.600 BC, Sparta won the Second Messenian War during the reign of Anaxidamus.

Archidamus I. c.600 - c.575 BC, Son of Anaxidamus

Agasicles c.575 - c.550 BC, Tegeatan War in 560 BC, won by Sparta.

Ariston c.550 - c.515 BC, He was in high regards as king in Sparta. He married three times, because no children (heir) was born to him from the first two wives.

Demaratus c.515 - c.491 BC, He had an ongoing rivalry with co-ruling Spartan king, Cleomenes I. He fled to Persia, and accompanied Xerxes I., king of Persia on his invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

Leotychidas c.491 - 469 BC, War with Tegea begins in 470 BC, and Leotychidas dies while the war is still going on.

Archidamus II. 469 - 427 BC, During his reign, Sparta defeated Tegea (in 465 BC).

Agis II. 427 - 401/400 BC, He ruled with Pausinaus, co-ruler of Sparta. He and his Peloponesian allies defeated, and occupied the city of Athens. Tried to remove co-ruler, Pausinaus, but was unable to. He died of a sickness, and was with unparalleled solemnity and pomp.

Agesilaus II. 401/400 - 360 BC, He was the son of Archidamus II., he became king, because the original heir, Leotychidas, son of Agis II., was claimed as an illegitimate child. He was extremely successful in guerilla warfare.

Archidamus III. 360 - 338 BC He allied with the Phoenicians against the Thebes in the Sacred War of 355-346. In Crete he helped Lyttos against Knossos. He was killed in battle in Manduria (in south-east Italy).

Agis III. 338 - 331 BC, He died in a lost battle against Alexander the Great (of Macedon). During his reign, Sparta entered into a decline due to the increasing power of Macedon in the region.

Eudamidas I. 331 - c.305 BC, He made peace. The Eurypontid dynasty declines during his reign.

Archidamus IV. c.305 - c.275 BC he was defeated by Demetrius Poliorcetes (Demetrius I.), King of Macedon

Eudamidas II. c.275 - c.245 BC worn down by several years of war and the devastation of their lands, Sparta and Athens make peace with Antigonus II of Macedonia, who thus retains his hold on Greece (in 263 BC).

Agis IV. c.245 - 241 BC Son of Eudimas II. He was a reformer: He proposed to divide up the land of Sparta to lots, and give land to each of the kingdom’s citizens, cancelled the debts of citizens, extended rights of to full citizenship to many perioeci (voteless freemen) and foreigners. Also, he seeked the restoration of the Lycurgan system of military training. He was executed (along with his mother and grandmother).

Eudamidas III. 241 - 228 BC, Son of Agis IV.

Archidamus V. 228 - 227 BC, Brother of Agis IV. Called back to Sparta, however he is assassinated shortly after returning back to Sparta and taking the throne.

Eucleidas 227 - 221 BC, He was killed fighting against the Macedonians during the Battle of Sellasia.

After Sellasia

After Eucleidas died and Cleomenes III was defeated in the Battle of Sellasia by Macedonia and the Achaean League, the Spartan system began to deteriorate. After this, between 221  and 219 BC, Sparta was a republic, until the kingship was restored again for a brief period of time.

 

Agesipolis III. (Agiad) 219 - 215 BC – He was the last king of Sparta from the Agiad Dynasty. Grandson of Cleombrotus II. Agesipolis III. was still a minor in age when he was elected king.

Lycurgus (Eurypontid) 219 - 210 BC, He bribed Ephors to validate his claim to become king

Machanidas (tyrant) 210 - 207 BC, Like his predecessor Lycurcus, Machanidas had no hereditary or plausible title to the crown. He was a brutal king and heavely relied on his mercenaries. The Achaean and Lacedaemonian armies entered Sparta to liberate city state from Machanidas, and they killed him.

Pelops (king) (Eurypontid) 210 - 206 BC - last king from either of the old dynasties, opponent of Machanidas. He was an infant when he became king.

Nabis (an usurper) 206 - 192 BC - claimed descent from the deposed Eurypontid king Demaratus

Usefull Books on Sparta

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