Archidamus III


July 6, 2022

Archidas III (ancient Greek Ἀρχίδαμος Γ΄; died in 338 BC) - the king of Sparta from the Eurypontid dynasty in 360-338 BC. e.


Early years

In 371 BC. e. Archidamus, the son of King Agesilaus II, due to the illness of his father, was entrusted with the command of the army sent to help the Spartan troops defeated in the battle of Leuctra. The army consisted of Spartans and allied contingents. Archidamus met the remnants of the defeated troops in Megasthenes in Megaris after a truce was concluded with the Thebans. Disbanding the allies, Archidamus returned to Sparta. In 368 BC. e. Archidamus commanded the Spartan army on a campaign against Arcadia. With the support of an auxiliary detachment sent by Dionysius the Elder, the Spartans achieved some success and reached the outskirts of Megalopolis. Then the Syracusan detachment was withdrawn, and Archidamus had to begin a retreat. The combined forces of the Arcadian Union and Messenia tried to cut off the Spartans, but they broke through the front of the enemy with a decisive blow and made their way through his ranks, inflicting heavy losses on the Arcadians and Messenians. According to legend, not a single Spartan died in this battle, nicknamed the Tearless Battle.

King of Sparta

After the death of his father, who died during a campaign in Egypt in 360 BC. e., Archidamus III inherited the royal throne of Sparta. In 356 BC. e. Archidamus III participated in the preparations for the Third Sacred War, providing Philomelus, a strategist-autocrat of the Phocian League, with a subsidy of 15 talents for recruiting mercenaries. Pausanias, referring to Theopompus, gives anecdotal details about the participation of the Spartan king in plundering the treasures of the Delphic temple, and reports that the wife of Archidamus Dinich received gifts from influential Phocians, and therefore persuaded her husband to ally with these blasphemers. In fact, the alliance with Phocis was directed against a common enemy - Thebes, and during the war Sparta provided assistance to the allies. So in 353 BC. e., when there was a threat of invasion of Philip of Macedon into Central Greece, Archides III was sent at the head of a thousand hoplites to participate in the defense of the Thermopylae passage. In 343 BC. e. Tarentum, suffering from the attacks of the Lucans, turned to his mother country Sparta for help. Archidamus III dialed a voice