Agis III

Agis III

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Agis III son of Archidamus III
Archidamus III
Archidamus III , the son of Agesilaus II, was king of Sparta from 360 BC to 338 BC.While still a prince, he was the eispnelas of Cleonymus, son of Sphodrias. He interceded with his own father to spare his aites' father's life in a legal matter, an action which further intensified friction between...

, was the 20th Eurypontid king of Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...


He succeeded his father in 338 BC
338 BC
Year 338 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Camillus and Maenius...

, on the very day of the battle of Chaeronea
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)
The Battle of Chaeronea was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between the forces of Philip II of Macedon and an alliance of Greek city-states...

. His reign was short, but eventful, coming as it did during a low period for Sparta, after it had lost significant borderlands to Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

, father of Alexander the Great.
In 333 BC, he went with a single trireme
A trireme was a type of galley, a Hellenistic-era warship that was used by the ancient maritime civilizations of the Mediterranean, especially the Phoenicians, ancient Greeks and Romans.The trireme derives its name from its three rows of oars on each side, manned with one man per oar...

 to the Persian
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

 commanders in the Aegean
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

, Pharnabazus
Pharnabazus, son of Artabazus
Pharnabazus was a Persian satrap who fought against Alexander the Great.-Youth:Pharnabazus was the son of Artabazus, satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. However, Artabazus was exiled after a failed rebellion against Artaxerxes III in 358 BC. The family went into exile to Macedonia, where they met the...

 and Autophradates
Autophradates was a Persian who distinguished himself as a general in the reign of Artaxerxes III and Darius Codomannus. In the reign of the former he made Artabazus, the revolted satrap of Lydia and Ionia, his prisoner, but afterwards set him free...

, to request money and armaments for carrying on hostile operations against Alexander the Great in Greece. The news of the battle of Issus
Battle of Issus
The Battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The invading troops, led by the young Alexander of Macedonia, defeated the army personally led by Darius III of Achaemenid Persia in the second great battle for primacy in Asia...

 in 333 BC, however, put a check upon their plans. He sent his brother Agesilaus (unrelated to the Spartan monarchs of the same name
Agesilaus (disambiguation)
Agesilaus can refer to:*Agesilaus I , 6th Agiad king of Sparta*Agesilaus II , 18th Eurypontid king of Sparta, brother of Agis II*Agesilaus , brother to Agis III, 20th Eurypontid king of Sparta...

) with instructions to sail with them to Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, that he might secure that island for the Spartan interest. In this he seems in a great measure to have succeeded.

War against Macedon

Two years after this Spartan success (331 BC), the Greek states which were in league against Alexander seized the opportunity that had risen from the military disaster of the Macedonian general Zopyrion
Zopyrion was a Macedonian general.-Zopyrion's campaign:Zopyrion was made a governor either of Thrace or of Pontus by Alexander the Great. In 331 BC he led an invasion of Scythian lands, "thinking that, if he did not attempt something, he should be stigmatized as indolent" .For this purpose he...

's campaign against the Scythians, combined with the Thracian revolt, to declare war against Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

ia. Agis was invested with the command and with his Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

n troops, and a body of 8000 Greek mercenaries
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 who had been present at the battle of Issus, gained a decisive victory in the Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

 over a Macedonian army under Coragus
Coragus of the Macedonian Army was a celebrated warrior and companion of Alexander the Great. His exploits in battle were perhaps significant but undocumented, and he is best known for his defeat at the hands of the Athenian Dioxippus, practitioner of pankration.During a banquet thrown by the...


Having been joined by the other forces of the league (Elis
Elis, or Eleia is an ancient district that corresponds with the modern Elis peripheral unit...

, Achaea
Achaea is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of West Greece. It is situated in the northwestern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. The capital is Patras. The population exceeds 300,000 since 2001.-Geography:...

 and Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

) he laid siege to Megalopolis
Megalopolis, Greece
Megalópoli is a town in the western part of the peripheral unit of Arcadia, southern Greece. It is located in the same site as ancient Megalopolis . "Megalopolis" is a Greek word for Great city. When it was founded, in 371 BC, it was the first urbanization in rustic and primitive Arcadia. In...

. The city held out until Antipater
Antipater was a Macedonian general and a supporter of kings Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great. In 320 BC, he became Regent of all of Alexander's Empire. Antipater was one of the sons of a Macedonian nobleman called Iollas or Iolaus and his family were distant collateral relatives to the...

 came to its relief. In the subsequent battle of Megalopolis
Battle of Megalopolis
The Battle of Megalopolis was fought in 331 BC between Spartan led forces and Macedonia. Alexander's regent Antipater led the Macedonians to victory over King Agis III.-Background:...

, Agis' army inflicted heavy casualties on the larger Macedonian force but was finally defeated, Agis himself died trying to gain his surviving men time to withdraw to safety.

On the manner of his death, Diodorus comments:

He was succeeded by his brother Eudamidas I
Eudamidas I
Eudamidas I was a Spartan king of the Eurypontid line, son of Archidamus III and brother of Agis III, whom he succeeded. He married the wealthy Arachidamia, and she had two children, Archidamus IV and Agesistrata....