ancient greece

Cleomenes III king of Sparta (260 BC – 219 BC)

cleomenes-the-thirdCleomenes the third king of Sparta, was the son of the king of Sparta, Leonidas II, took the throne when his father died in 235 BC. His wife Agiatis initiated him in the reforms started by her first husband Agis IV. He continued the reforms of Agis IV, trying to restore Sparta as the great power of the Peloponnese. He reformed the food and the army, divided the land among the landless Spartans and restored the strict way of life of the young people.

In 229/228, the forces of the Achaean Confederation and the Macedonians of Antigonus III Dosonos united against him. In the ensuing conflicts, known as the Cleomenes War, the forces of the Achaean Confederation and the Macedonians prevailed at the Battle of Sellasia in 222 BC. Democracy was imposed in Sparta while Cleomenes III fled with his children to Alexandria, hoping that Ptolemy III the Benefactor would help him restore order in Sparta.

But in 222 BC. Ptolemy III died and his son Ptolemy IV Philopator took over and confined him to the palace. In 219 BC. Cleomenes III, after he managed to escape, stirred up the people of Alexandria but they did not follow him. Before being arrested, he preferred suicide, while Ptolemy IV killed his children.

Thus died a great general, a reformer, who united almost the whole Peloponnese. Shortly before, his anti-Macedonian friends had prevailed in Sparta and as soon as they learned of his death, they elected Agisipolis III of Aigides as king, who, because he was young, was allowed by Lycurgus of Euripontides