Archidamus III ( grc-gre, Ἀρχίδαμος
) was the son of
Agesilaus II (; grc-gre, Ἀγησίλαος ; c. 442 – 358 BC) was king of Sparta from c. 399 to 358 BC. Generally considered the most important king in the history of Sparta, Agesilaus was the main actor during the period of Spartan hegemon ...
King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen, which title is also given to the consort of a king.
*In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the ti ...
from 360 to 338 BC.
While still a prince, he was the eispnelas
(εἰσπνήλας, inspirer, or pederastic lover) of Cleonymus, son of Sphodrias
. He interceded with his own father to spare his aites
's (ἀΐτας, lover) father's life in a legal matter, an action which further intensified friction between Athens and Sparta.
He later led the Spartan forces both before and during his rule. Archidamus headed the force sent to aid the Spartan army after its defeat by the
Thebes (; ell, Θήβα, ''Thíva'' ; grc, Θῆβαι, ''Thêbai'' .) is a city in Boeotia, Central Greece. It played an important role in Greek myths, as the site of the stories of Cadmus, Oedipus, Dionysus, Heracles and others. Archaeolo ...
Battle of Leuctra
The Battle of Leuctra ( grc-gre, Λεῦκτρα, ) was a battle fought on 6 July 371 BC between the Boeotians led by the Thebans, and the Spartans along with their allies amidst the post- Corinthian War conflict. The battle took place in the vici ...
in 371 BC and was commander later during the fighting in the
The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos,(), or Morea is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge whi ...
. Four years later he captured
Caryae or Karyai ( grc, Κάρυαι) was a town of ancient Laconia upon the frontiers of Arcadia. It was originally an Arcadian town belonging to Tegea, but was conquered by the Spartans and annexed to their territory. Caryae revolted from Sparta ...
, ravaged the territory of the Parrhasii
and defeated the Arcadians
Messenia or Messinia ( el, Μεσσηνία) was an ancient district of the southwestern Peloponnese, more or less overlapping the modern Messenia region of Greece. To the north it had a border with Elis along the Neda river. From there the bord ...
in the "tearless battle", so called because the victory did not cost the Spartans a single life. However, he was in turn defeated by the Arcadians in 364 BC at Cromnus
In 362 BC, he showed great courage in the defense of Sparta against the Theban commander
Epaminondas (; grc-gre, Ἐπαμεινώνδας; 419/411–362 BC) was a Greek general of Thebes and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a pre-eminent posit ...
. As king, Archidamus supported the Phocians
in the Sacred War of 355–346
. In 346 BC he went to Crete to help Lyttos in their struggle against Knossos in the Foreign War
. In 343 BC, the Spartan colony Tarentum
asked for Sparta's help in the war against the Italic populations, notably the
The Lucanians ( la, Lucani) were an Italic tribe living in Lucania, in what is now southern Italy, who spoke an Oscan language, a member of the Italic languages. Today, the inhabitants of the Basilicata region are still called Lucani, and so th ...
The Messapians ( grc, Μεσσάπιοι, Messápioi; la, Messapii) were a Iapygian tribe who inhabited Salento in classical antiquity. Two other Iapygian tribes, the Peucetians and the Daunians, inhabited central and northern Apulia respecti ...
. In 342 BC, Archidamus arrived in Italy
with a fleet and a mercenary army and fought against the barbarians, but in 338 BC he was defeated and killed under the walls of the Messapian city of
Manduria is a city and ''comune'' of Apulia, Italy, in the province of Taranto. With c. 32,000 inhabitants (2013), it is located east of Taranto.
It was an important stronghold of the Messapii against Taras. Archidamus III, king o ...
. He was succeeded by his son
Agis III ( Greek: ) was the eldest son of Archidamus III, and the 21st Eurypontid king of Sparta.
Agis was the son of King Archidamus III () and the grandson of Agesilaus II (), who belonged to the Eurypontid dynasty, one of the two royal ...
, and was also the father of Eudamidas I
and another son named Agesilaus.
4th-century BC Spartans
Ancient Greek generals
Ancient Greeks killed in battle
Pederasty in ancient Greece
Ancient LGBT people
Eurypontid kings of Sparta
Year of birth unknown
338 BC deaths
4th-century BC rulers