Agesilaus - The Last Spartan King

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Agesilaus was born in the Euroypontid family, (one of the two, which being the agiads and the eurypontid royal dynasties of Sparta, in 444/443), as the second son of King Archidamus (477-426). Agesilaus' elder half-brother was Agis II, whose reign started in 426 and lasted until 400. Agis' normal successor would have been his son Leotychidas, but he was generally considered to be a child Alciabades, an Athenian adventurer who had stayed at Sparta as an exile. For some time, there was a lot of arguing going on. Agesilaus objected to Leotychidas' reign, saying that he was a mere bastard; the prince replied by saying that there was an oracle that warned against a 'lame king.' The debate was concluded when Lysander, Sparta's best commander and a personal friend of Agesilaus, declared that the (lysander, 400b.c). So, in 400, Agesilaus was accepted as king by the Spartans. Lysander was the proponent of a militant and aggressive foreign policy, and from now on Agesilaus had to follow this policy too. In the year of his accession, he sent general Thibron to what is now Turkey in order to protect the Greek towns against oppression by the Persian satrap Tissaphernes. The expeditionary force consisted of some 5,000 members of the Spartan alliance, 300 Athenians, and the 6,000 surviving Greek mercenaries of the army that had been used by the Persian pretender Cyrus the Younger to attack his brother, king Artaxerxes II Mnemon. Extra power was added to Thibron's force by an alliance with Egypt, which had once been a Persian satrapy but had recently become independent under Amyrates, a new Pharoah. The size of the expeditionary force was considerable, but the army's movements were not well coordinated with that of the navy. Thibron and (after 399) his successor Dercyllidas wasted their time in Hellespontine Phrygia, fighting against the forces of satrap Pharnabas. Finally,

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