Agis III


July 5, 2022

Agis III (ancient Greek Ἆγις, Ionic Aegius, Ἦγις; died in 331/330 BC) - king of Sparta in 338-331/330 BC. e. from the genus Eurypontides Agis III succeeded his father Archidamus III, who died during the battle on the Apennine Peninsula. According to ancient tradition, it took place simultaneously with the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. e., in which Philip II defeated the Greek anti-Macedonian coalition. After the victory, Philip II conducted a military operation against Sparta, as a result of which she lost a number of territories. Despite the defeat, the Spartans retained their independence from Macedonia. A few years later they refused to participate in the Persian campaigns of Alexander. In 334 or 333 BC. e. Agis III began active preparations for war with Macedonia. The Persians, who suffered one defeat after another, were able to provide the Spartan king with only 30 talents of silver and 10 ships. Then Agis III intervened in the internecine wars in Crete. He was able not only to take over most of the island, but also to create a large army. Agis III also filled the treasury by looting the captured policies. At the beginning of 331 BC. e. Agis III started a war against the Macedonians. The situation for the Spartan king was facilitated by the fact that Alexander with the main army was in Asia, and the viceroy of the king in Macedonia, Antipater, was engaged in a war with the rebel governor of Thrace, Memnon. Historians do not rule out collusion between the Thracian and Spartan rulers. After the victory over the Macedonian strategist Korrag, most of the policies of the Peloponnese went over to the side of Agis. Antipater was able to quickly defeat Memnon, after which he went to suppress the uprising of the Greeks. In the battle of Megalopolis with the Macedonians, Agis III died.


Origin and beginning of reign

Agis III belonged to the Eurypontids family, one of the two royal dynasties of Sparta, which traced their genealogy to the mythological hero Hercules. The kings used their belonging to the Heraclids as a propaganda tool, using it to justify their own rights within the community (to perform the functions of military leaders and high priests) and the right of Sparta to rule over Laconia and Messenia. Agis was the eldest son in the family of the Spartan king Archidamus III and Diniha. Except A