Spartan King Agesilaus and the Case of Sphodrias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article explores the tradition about the unsuccessful attempt of the Spartan harmost Sphodrias to capture Piraeus in 378 BC. Since Sphodrias acted without an order, in Sparta he was brought to trial as a state offender. He owed his acquittal solely to king Agesilaus. The analysis of the tradition of Sphodrias’ trial leads the author to the conclusion that Agesilaus controlled the entire administration of Sparta, including the judicial panel. In Sphodrias’ trial the opinion of one person – Agesilaus – decided the outcome of the vote. The acquittal of Sphodrias initiated by Agesilaus is a weighty testimony to the great authority which this king possessed in the first decades of the 4 th century BC (beforethe battle of Leuctra).
Translated title of the contributionСпартанский царь Агесилай и дело Сфодрия: Статья
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-63
JournalStudia Antiqua et Archaeologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Agesilaus
  • Cleombrotus
  • Sphodrias
  • Phoebidas
  • Xenophon
  • Diodorus
  • Plutarch
  • Sparta


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