Agis II.

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Agis II. ( Ancient Greek Ἆγις , † 400 BC ) was a king of ancient Sparta .


Agis II was a son of Archidamos II and a stepbrother of Agesilaus II . He ruled 427 / 426–400 BC. His first act as king was the incursions of the Peloponnesians in Attica in 427 and 425, which the Athenians did not oppose militarily. After an unsuccessful advance to Leuktra in 419, he waged war against Argos, an ally of Athens . During this campaign, despite several favorable opportunities, he avoided a battle with the enemy and instead allowed himself to be seduced into an unfavorable truce.

Although the signed armistice only confirmed the state of affairs that existed before the campaign, and Agis II strengthened the position of the friends of Sparta in Argos against the anti-spartan alliance, it encountered strong resistance within the Spartan army. When Agis II later withdrew and thereby lost Orchomenos , the Spartans sentenced their king, who anyway did not have much power outside the battlefield, to a heavy fine. Although it was soon repealed, from then on, by decision of the Damos, an advisory board of ten Spartians was to stand by the king's side and accompany him on all his campaigns. In the eyes of the elders, this guaranteed that the king would not bring “further shame” to Sparta.

Shortly afterwards, Agis II won the battle of Mantineia in 418 over Argos and its allies. He took in 415 the fugitive Alcibiades and, on his advice, occupied the city of Dekeleia in Attica in 413 . However, he found himself pushed into the background by the power-hungry and eloquent Athenian. Fearing his influence, Agis II started the rumor that Alcibiades had seduced his wife Timaia, which enabled him to pursue the life of the seriously accused Alcibiades. Then he went to the Persians. Although all ancient authors such as Plutarch and Thucydides willingly accepted this explanation, there are serious doubts as to whether Alcibiades was really unwise enough to dishonor his host's wife and expose himself to the charge of gross ingratitude. A little later, Agis expelled his son Leotychides because he ascribed the paternity of Alcibiades.

The fact that he did not have the authority to negotiate an armistice with Athens, but had to submit to the decisions of the citizens of Sparta, who refused any offers from Athens, provides eloquent information about the king's real influence . It is debatable whether he was involved in the subsequent siege of Athens at all. According to Xenophon , he was absent in 405/404 during the last battle for Athens.

After the victory over Athens in 404, he led a campaign against Elis , whose territory he plundered and which he forced to a humiliating peace. He died on the way back from Delphi . Instead of the rejected son, his next relative was his stepbrother Agesilaos II.


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predecessor Office successor
Archidamos II King of Sparta
427–400 BC Chr.
Agesilaus II