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On this page: Agis Ii – Agis Iii

72 AGIS.

(Ephor. ap. Strab. viii. p. 364.) To his reign was referred the colony which went to Crete under Pollis and Delphus. (Conon. Narr. 36.) From him the kings of that line were called *'Ayi8ai. His colleague was Sous. (Paus. iii. 2. § 1.) [C. P. M.]

AGIS II., the 17th of the Eurypontid line (beginning with Procles), succeeded his father Archidamus, b. c. 427, and reigned a little more than 28 years. In the summer of b. c. 426, he led an army of Peloponnesians and their allies as far as the isthmus, with the intention of invading Attica ; but they were deterred from advancing farther by a succession of earthquakes which hap­pened when they had got so far. (Thuc. iii. 89.) In the spring of the following year he led an army into Attica, but quitted it fifteen days after he had entered it. (Thuc. iv. 2, 6.) In b. c. 419, the Argives, at the instigation of Alci-biades, attacked Epidaurus; and Agis with the whole force of Lacedaemon set out at the same time and marched to the frontier city, Leuctra. No one, Thucydides tells us, knew the purpose of this expedition. It was probably to make a diver­sion in favour of Epidaurus. (Thirlwall, vol. iii. p. 342.) At Leuctra the aspect of the sacrifices deterred him from proceeding. He therefore led his troops back, and sent round notice to the allies to be ready for an expedition at the end of the sacred month of the Carnean festival; and when

the Argives repeated their attack on Epidaurus,

the Spartans again marched to the frontier town, Caryae, and again turned back, professedly on account of the aspect of the victims. In the mid­dle of the following summer (b. c. 418) the Epi-daurians being still hard pressed by the Argives, the Lacedaemonians with their whole force and some allies, under the command of Agis, invaded Argolis. By a skilful manoeuvre he succeeded in intercepting the Argives, and posted his army ad­vantageously between them and the city. But just as the battle was about to begin, Tlirasyllus, one of the Argive generals, and Alciphron came to Agis and prevailed on him to conclude a truce for four months. Agis, without disclosing his motives, drew off his army. On his return he was severely censured for having thus thrown away the oppor­tunity of reducing Argos, especially as the Argives had seized the opportunity afforded by his return and taken Orchomenos. It was proposed to pull down his house, and inflict on him a fine of 100,000 drachmae. But on his earnest entreaty they con­tented themselves with appointing a council of war, consisting of 10 Spartans, without whom he was not to lead an army out of the city. (Thuc. v. 54, 57, &c.) Shortly afterwards they received intelligence from Tegea, that, if not promptly suc­coured, the party favourable to Sparta in that city would be compelled to give way. The Spartans immediately sent their whole force under the com­mand of Agis. He restored tranquillity at Tegea, and then marched to Mantineia. By turning the waters so as to flood the lands of Mantineia, he succeeded in drawing the army of the Mantineans and Athenians down to the level ground. A bat­tle ensued, in which the Spartans were victorious. This was one of the most important battles ever fought between Grecian states. (Thuc. v. 71—73.) In b. c. 417, when news reached Sparta of the counter-revolution at Argos, in which the oligarchical and Spartan, faction was overthrown,


an army was sent there under Agis. He was un­ able to restore the defeated party, but he destroyed the long walls which the Argives had begun to carry down to the sea, and took Hysiae. (Thuc. v. 83.) In the spring of b. c. 413, Agis entered Attica with a Peloponnesian army, and fortified Deceleia, a steep eminence about 15 miles north­ east of Athens (Thuc. vii. 19, 27); and in the winter of the same year, after the news of the disastrous fate of the Sicilian expedition had reached Greece, he marched northwards to levy contributions on the allies of Sparta, for the pur­ pose of constructing a fleet. While at Deceleia he acted in a great measure independently of the Spar­ tan government, and received embassies as well from the disaffected allies of the Athenians, as from the Boeotians and other allies of Sparta. (Thuc. viii. 3, 5.) He seems to have remained at Deceleia till the end of the Peloponnesian war. In 411, during the administration of the Four Hundred, he made an unsuccessful attempt on Athens itself. (Thuc. viii. 71.) In b. c. 401, the command of the war against Elis was entrust­ ed to Agis, who in the third year compelled the Eleans to sue for peace. As he was returning from Delphi, whither he had gone to consecrate a tenth of the spoil, he fell sick at Heraea in Arca­ dia, and died in the course of a few days after he reached Sparta. (Xen. Hell. iii. 2. § 21, &c. 3. § !•—4.) He left a son, Leotychides, who however was excluded from the throne, as there was some suspicion with regard to his legitimacy. While Alcibiades was at Sparta he made Agis his implacable enemy. Later writers (Justin, v. 2 ; Plut. Alcib. 23) assign as a reason, that the latter suspected him of having dishonoured his queen Timaea. It was probably at the suggestion of Agis, that orders were sent out to Astyochus to put him to death. Alcibiades however received timely notice, (according to some accounts from Timaea herself) and kept out of the reach of the Spartans. (Thuc. viii. 12, 45 ; Plut. Lysand, 22. Agesil. 3.) [C. P. M.]

AGIS III., the elder son of Archidamus III., was the 20th king of the Eurypontid line. His reign was short, but eventful. Pie succeeded his father in b. c. 338. In b. c. 333, we find him going with a single trireme to the Persian commanders in the Aegean, Pharnabazus and Autophra-dates, to request money and an armament for car­rying on hostile operations against Alexander in Greece. They gave him 30 talents and 10 tri­remes. The news of the battle of Issus, however, put a check upon their plans. He sent the gal­leys to his brother Agesilaus, with instructions to sail with them to Crete, that he might secure that island for the Spartan interest. In this ho seems in a great measure to have succeeded. Two years afterwards (b. c. 331), the Greek states which were leagued together against Alex­ander, seized the opportunity of the disaster of Zopyrion and the revolt of the Thracians, to de­clare war against Macedonia. Agis was invested with the command, and with the Lacedaemonian troops, and a body of 8000 Greek mercenaries, who had been present at the battle of Issus, gained a decisive victory over a Macedonian army under Corragus. Having been joined by the other forces of the league he laid siege to Megalopolis. The city held out till Antipater came to its relief, when a battle ensued, in which

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