Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
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Leotychides, on coming to the throne in place of Demaratus, took part with the Athenians and the Athenian general Xanthippus, the son of Ariphron, in the engagement of Mycale, [Note] and afterwards undertook a campaign against the Aleuadae in Thessaly. Although his uninterrupted victories in the fighting might have enabled him to reduce all Thessaly, he accepted bribes from the Aleuadae. [Note]


Or, being brought to trial in Lacedaemon he voluntarily went into exile to Tegea, where he sought sanctuary as a suppliant of Athena Alea. Zeuxidamus, the son of Leotychides, died of disease while Leotychides was still alive and before he retired into exile so his son Archidamus succeeded to the throne after the departure of Leotychides for Tegea. This Archidamus did terrible damage to the land of the Athenians, invading Attica with an army every year, on each occasion carrying destruction from end to end; he also besieged and took Plataea, which was friendly to Athens. [Note]


Nevertheless he was not eager that war should be declared between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, but to the utmost of his power tried to keep the truce between them unbroken. [Note] It was Sthenelaidas, an influential Spartan who was an ephor at the time, who was chiefly responsible for the war. Greece, that still stood firm, was shaken to its foundations by this war, and afterwards, when the structure had given way and was far from sound, was finally overthrown by Philip the son of Amyntas.

ch. 8 3.8.1

Archidamus left sons when he died, of whom Agis was the elder and inherited the throne instead of Agesilaus. Archidamus had also a daughter, whose name was Cynisca; she was exceedingly ambitious to succeed at the Olympic games, and was the first woman to breed horses and the first to win an Olympic victory. After Cynisca other women, especially women of Lacedaemon, have won Olympic victories, but none of them was more distinguished for their victories than she.


The Spartans seem to me to be of all men the least moved by poetry and the praise of poets. For with the exception of the epigram upon Cynisca, of uncertain authorship, and the still earlier one upon Pausanias that Simonides wrote on the tripod dedicated at Delphi, there is no poetic composition to commemorate the doings of the royal houses of the Lacedaemonians.


In the reign of Agis the son of Archidamus the Lacedaemonians had several grievances against the people of Elis, being especially exasperated because they were debarred from the Olympic games and the sanctuary at Olympia. So they dispatched a herald commanding the people of Elis to grant home-rule to Lepreum and to any other of their neighbors [Note] that were subject to them. The people of Elis replied that, when they saw the cities free that were neighbors of Sparta, they would without delay set free their own subjects; whereupon the Lacedaemonians under king Agis invaded the territory of Elis.


On this occasion there occurred an earthquake, and the army retired home after advancing as far as Olympia and the Alpheus but in the next year Agis devastated the country and carried off most of the booty. Xenias, a man of Elis who was a personal friend of Agis and the state-friend [Note] of the Lacedaemonians, rose up with the rich citizens against the people but before Agis and his army could come to their aid, Thrasydaeus, who at this time championed the interests of the popular party at Elis, overthrew in battle Xenias and his followers and cast them out of the city.


When Agis led back his army, he left behind Lysistratus, a Spartan, with a portion of his forces, along with the Elean refugees, that they might help the Lepreans to ravage the land. In the third year of the war [Note] the Lacedaemonians under Agis again prepared to invade the territory of Elis. So Thrasydaeus and the Eleans, reduced to dire extremities, agreed to forgo their supremacy over their neighbors, to dismantle the fortifications of their city, and to allow the Lacedaemonians to sacrifice to the god and to compete in the games at Olympia.

Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
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