A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

2. King of Sparta, 15th of the Agids, son of Leon, reigned from about 560 to 520 B. C. At the time when Croesus sent his embassy to form alliance with " the mightiest of the Greeks," i. e. about 554, the war with Tegea, which in the late reigns went against them, had now been decided in the Spartans' favour, under Anaxandrides and Ariston. Under them, too, was mainly carried on the suppression of the tyrannies, and with it the establishment of the Spartan hegemony. Having a barren wife whom he would not divorce, the ephors, we are told, made him take with her a second. By her he had Cleomenes; and after this, by his first wife Dorieus, Leonidas, and Cleombrotus. (Hdt. 1.65-69, 5.39-41; Paus. 3.3.) Several sayings are ascribed to him in Plut. Apophth. Lac. (where the old reading is Alexandridas). With the reign of Anaxandrides and Ariston commences the period of certain dates, the chronology of their predecessors being doubtful and the accounts in many ways suspicious; the only certain point being the coincidence of Polydorus and Theopompus with the first Messenian war, which itself cannot be fixed with certainty. (See for all this period Clinton's Fasti, i. app. 2 and 6, ii. p. 205, and Müller's Dorians, bk. 1.100.7.)