Agesilaus’ Role in the “Case Of Sphodrias”

Pechatnova Larisa G.

The article explores the tradition about the unsuccessful attempt of the Spartan harmost Sphodrias to capture Piraeus in 378 BC. Since Sphodrias acted without authorisation, he was brought to a public trial at Sparta . His unexpected acquittal was entirely due to the king Agesilaus. The analysis of the tradition about Sphodrias’ trial leads the author to the conclusion that Agesilaus controlled the entire state apparatus at Sparta, including the judicial board. In Sphodrias’ trial, the opinion of one person, i.e. Agesilaus, decided the outcome of the vote. The acquittal of Sphodrias initiated by Agesilaus is a weighty testimony of the great authority that this king had in the first decades of the fourth century BC (before the battle of Leuctra).

Keywords: Agesilaus, Kleombrotos, Sphodrias, Phoebidas, Xenophon, Diodorus, Plutarch, Sparta, Thebes

Andreev, Yu.V. 1969: [The Spartan ‘Knights’]. Vestnik drevney istorii [Journal of Ancient History] 4, 24–36.

Андреев, Ю.В. Спартанские «всадники». ВДИ 4, 24–36.

Birgalias, N. 2007: La Gérousia et les gérontes de Sparte. Ktèma 32, 341–349.

Bockisch, G. 1965: Ἁρμοσταί (431–337). Klio 46, 129–239.

Cartledge, P. 1981: The politics of Spartan pederasty. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 27, 17–36.

Cartledge, P. 1987: Agesilaos and the Crisis of Sparta. London.

Cartledge, P. 2000: Spartan justice? Or «the state of the Ephors»? Dike. Rivista di storia del diritto greco ed ellenistico 3, 5–26.

Cawkwell, G.L. 1973: The foundation of the Second Athenian Confederacy. Classical Quarterly 23, 1, 47–60.

Cawkwell, G.L. 1976: Agesilaus and Sparta. Classical Quarterly 26, 1, 62–84.

Davies, Ph. 2018: Equality and distinction within the Spartiate community. In: A. Powell (ed.), A Companion to Sparta. Vol. II. Hoboken, 480–499.

Ducat, J. 2007: Xénophon et la sélection des hippeis (Lakedaimoniôn politeia, IV, 1–6). Ktèma 32, 327–340.

Figueira, T.J. 2006: The Spartan hippeis.In: S. Hodkinson, A. Powell (eds.), Sparta and War. Swansea, 57–84.

Hamilton, Ch.D. 1991: Agesilaus and the Failure of Spartan Hegemony. London–Ithaca.

Hornblower, S. 2011: The Greek world 479–323 BC. 4th ed. London–New York.

Luria, S. Ya. 1935: Commentary. In: Ksenofont. Grecheskaya istoriya. Perevod, vstupitel’naya stat’ya i kommentariy S. Lur’e [Xenophon. The Greek History. Translation, Introduction and Commentary by S. Luria]. Leningrad, 213–353.

Лурье, С.Я. Комментарий. В кн.: Ксенофонт. Греческая история. Перевод, вступительная статья и комментарий С. Лурье. Л., 213–353.

MacDonald, A. 1972: A note on the raid of Sphodrias: the case for Diodoros. Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 21/1, 38–44.

MacDowell, D.M. 1986: Spartan Law.(Scottisch Classical Studies, 1). Edinburgh.

Marshall, F.H. 1905: The Second Athenian Confederacy. Cambridge.

Meyer, Ed. 1902: Geschichte des Altertums. Bd.V. Stuttgart.

Parker, V. 2007: Sphodrias’ raid and the liberation of Thebes: a study of Ephorus and Xenophon. Hermes 135/1, 13–33.

Pontier, P. 2016: Le roi, l’argent et la justice. Remarques sur l’Agésilas, IV. GAIA: revue interdisciplinaire sur la Grèce Archaïque 19, 289–306.

Rhodes, P.J. 2006: A History of the Classical Greek World, 478–323 BC. Oxford.

Richer, N. 1998: Les éphores. Études sur l’histoire et sur l’image de Sparte (VIII e –IIIe siècle av. J.-C). Paris.

Ruzé, F. 2018: The empire of the Spartans (404–371). In: A. Powell (ed.), A Companion to Sparta. Vol. I. Hoboken, 320–353.

Seager, R. 2008: The King’s peace and the Second Athenian Confederacy. In: D.M. Lewis, J. Boardman, S. Hornblower, M. Ostwald (eds.), Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. VI. Pt. 1.2nd ed. Cambridge, 156–186.

Smith, R.E. 1954: The opposition to Agesilaus’ foreign policy 394–371 B.C. Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 2/3, 274–288.

Surikov, I.E. 2015: Antichnaya Gretsiya: Politiki v kontekste epochi. Na poroge novogo mira [Ancient Greece. Politicians in the Context of the Epoch. On the Threshold of a New World]. Moscow.

Суриков, И.Е. Античная Греция: политики в контексте эпохи. На пороге нового мира. М.

Tod, M.N. 1948: A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions. Vol. II. From 403 to 323 BC. Oxford.

Underhill, G.E. 1900: A Commentary with Introduction and Appendix on the Hellenica of Xenophon. Oxford.