1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Archidamus

ARCHIDAMUS, the name of five kings of Sparta, of the Eurypontid house.

1. The son and successor of Anaxidamus. His reign, which began soon after the close of the second Messenian War, is said to have been quiet and uneventful (Pausanias iii. 7. 6).

2. The son of Zeuxidamus, reigned 476–427 B.C. (but see Leotychides). He succeeded his grandfather Leotychides upon the banishment of the latter, his father having already died. His coolness and presence of mind are said to have saved the Spartan state from destruction on the occasion of the great earthquake of 464 (Diodorus xi. 63; Plutarch, Cimon, 16), but this story must be regarded as at least doubtful. He was a friend of Pericles and a man of prudence and moderation. During the negotiations which preceded the Peloponnesian War he did his best to prevent, or at least to postpone, the inevitable struggle, but was overruled by the war party. He invaded Attica at the head of the Peloponnesian forces in the summers of 431, 430 and 428, and in 429 conducted operations against Plataea. He died probably in 427, certainly before the summer of 426, when we find his son Agis on the throne.

Herod, vi. 71; Thuc. i. 79-iii. 1; Plut. Pericles, 29. 33; Diodorus xi. 48-xii. 52.

3. The son and successor of Agesilaus II., reigned 360–338 B.C. During his father’s later years he proved himself a brave and capable officer. In 371 he led the relief force which was sent to aid the survivors of the battle of Leuctra. Four years later he captured Caryae, ravaged the territory of the Parrhasii and defeated the Arcadians, Argives and Messenians in the “tearless battle,” so called because the victory did not cost the Spartans a single life. In 364, however, he sustained a severe reverse in attempting to relieve a besieged Spartan garrison at Cromnus in south-western Arcadia. He showed great heroism in the defence of Sparta against Epaminondas immediately before the battle of Mantineia (362). He supported the Phocians during the Sacred War (355–346), moved, no doubt, largely by the hatred of Thebes which he had inherited from his father; he also led the Spartan forces in the conflicts with the Thebans and their allies which arose out of the Spartan attempt to break up the city of Megalopolis. Finally he was sent with a mercenary army to Italy to protect the Tarentines against the attacks of Lucanians or Messapians; he fell together with the greater part of his force at Mandonion[1] on the same day as that on which the battle of Chaeronea was fought.

Xen. Hell. v. 4, vi. 4, vii. 1. 4, 5; Plut. Agis, 3, Camillus, 19, Agesilaus. 25, 33, 34, 40; Pausanias iii. 10, vi. 4; Diodorus xv. 54, 72, xvi. 24, 39, 59, 62, 88.

4. The son of Eudamidas I., grandson of Archidamus III. The dates of his accession and death are unknown. In 294 B.C. he was defeated at Mantineia by Demetrius Poliorcetes, who invaded Laconia, gained a second victory close to Sparta, and was on the point of taking the city itself when he was called away by the news of the successes of Lysimachus and Ptolemy in Asia Minor and Cyprus.

Plut. Agis, 3, Demetrius, 35; Pausanias, i. 13. 6, vii. 8. 5; Niese, Gesch. der griech. u. makedon. Siaaten, i. 363.

5. The son of Eudamidas II., grandson of Archidamus IV., brother of Agis IV. On his brother’s murder he fled to Messenia (241 B.C.). In 227 he was recalled by Cleomenes III., who was then reigning without a colleague, but shortly after his return he was assassinated. Polybius accuses Cleomenes of the murder, but Plutarch is probably right in saying that it was the work of those who had caused the death of Agis, and feared his brother’s vengeance.

Plutarch, Cleomenes, i. 5; Polybius v. 37, viii. I; Niese, op. cit. ii. 304, 311.  (M. N. T.) 

  1. So Plut. Agis, 3 (all MSS.). Following Cellarius, some authorities read Manduria or Mandyrium.