Demaratus

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Location of Pergamon and nearby Teuthrania and Halisarna, where Demaratus ruled as an Achaemenid Satrap.

Demaratus, or Demaratos (Greek : Δημάρατος), was a king of Sparta from around 510 until 491 BC, 15th of the Eurypontid line, successor to his father Ariston. As king, he is known chiefly for his opposition to the other, co-ruling Spartan king, Cleomenes I. He later migrated to Achaemenid Persia where he was given asylum and land, and fought on the Persian side during the Second Persian invasion of Greece.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Sparta city-state in ancient Greece

Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.

Cleomenes was an Agiad King of Sparta in the late 6th and early 5th centuries BC. During his reign, which started around 519 BC, he pursued an adventurous and at times unscrupulous foreign policy aimed at crushing Argos and extending Sparta's influence both inside and outside the Peloponnese. He was a brilliant tactician. It was during his reign that the Peloponnesian League came formally into existence. During his reign, he intervened twice successfully in Athenian affairs but kept Sparta out of the Ionian Revolt. He died in prison in mysterious circumstances, with the Spartan authorities claiming his death was suicide due to insanity.

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Biography

When Cleomenes attempted to make Isagoras tyrant in Athens, Demaratus tried unsuccessfully to frustrate his plans. In 491 BC, Aegina was one of the states which gave the symbols of submission (earth and water) to Persia. Athens at once appealed to Sparta to punish this act of medism, and Cleomenes I crossed over to the island to arrest those responsible. His first attempt was unsuccessful, due to interference from Demaratus, who did his utmost to bring Cleomenes into disfavour at home.

Isagoras, son of Tisander, was an Athenian aristocrat in the late 6th century BC.

Aegina Place in Greece

Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 27 kilometres from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of the hero Aeacus, who was born on the island and became its king. During ancient times Aegina was a rival of Athens, the great sea power of the era.

Earth and water

In the writings of the Ancient Greek chronicler Herodotus, the phrase earth and water is used to represent the demand of the Persians from the cities or people who surrendered to them.

In retaliation, Cleomenes urged Leotychidas, a relative and personal enemy of Demaratus, to claim the throne on the ground that the latter was not really the son of Ariston, but of Agetus, his mother's first husband. Cleomenes bribed the Delphic oracle, to pronounce in favour of Leotychidas, who became king in 491 BC.

Leotychidas was co-ruler of Sparta between 491–476 BC, alongside Cleomenes I and later Leonidas I and Pleistarchus. He led Spartan forces during the Persian Wars from 490 BC to 478 BC.

After the deposition of Demaratus, Cleomenes visited the island of Aegina for a second time, accompanied by his new colleague Leotychides, seized ten of the leading citizens and deposited them at Athens as hostages.

Coin of Prokles, brother and co-ruler of Eurysthenes, as Dynast of Teuthrania and Halisarna, and descendants of Demaratus, circa 400-399 BC. Teuthrania, Mysia. Laureate head of Apollo left / Head of Prokles right, wearing Persian headdress. MYSIA, Teuthrania. Prokles. Dynast of Teuthrania and Halisarna, circa 400-399 BC.jpg
Coin of Prokles, brother and co-ruler of Eurysthenes, as Dynast of Teuthrania and Halisarna, and descendants of Demaratus, circa 400-399 BC. Teuthrania, Mysia. Laureate head of Apollo left / Head of Prokles right, wearing Persian headdress.

On his abdication, Demaratus was forced to flee. He went to the court of the Persian king Xerxes I, who gave him the cities of Teuthrania and Halisarna around Pergamum, where his descendants Eurysthenes and Procles still ruled at the beginning of the 4th century.

Xerxes I Ancient Persian king

Xerxes I, called Xerxes the Great, was the fifth king of kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. Like his father and predecessor Darius I, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

Eurysthenes (Pergamon) Greek royalty

Eurysthenes was a descendant of the Spartan king Demaratus.

He accompanied Xerxes I on his invasion of Greece in 480 BC and is alleged to have warned Xerxes not to underestimate the Spartans before the Battle of Thermopylae:

Battle of Thermopylae Persians defeated Greek states in 480 BC

The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August or September 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae. The Persian invasion was a delayed response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece, which had been ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. By 480 BC Xerxes had amassed a huge army and navy, and set out to conquer all of Greece. The Athenian politician and general Themistocles had proposed that the allied Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, and simultaneously block the Persian navy at the Straits of Artemisium.

Xerxes I also asks Demaratus about his knowledge of the Greeks and if they will put up a fight against the Persian army. Demaratus defends the Greeks even after being deposed and exiled from Sparta: [1]

Greek exiles in the Achaemenid Empire

Demaratus was one of the several Greeks aristocrats who took refuge in the Achaemenid Empire following reversal at home, other famous ones being Themistocles or Gongylos. [2] In general, those were generously rewarded by the Achaemenid kings, and received land grants to support them, and ruled on various cities of Asia Minor. [2]

See also

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References

  1. Herodotus (1998). The Histories. New York: Oxford University Press.
  2. 1 2 Miller, Margaret C. (2004). Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC: A Study in Cultural Receptivity. Cambridge University Press. p. 98. ISBN   9780521607582.
Preceded by
Ariston
Eurypontid King of Sparta
C. 515 BC – c. 491 BC
Succeeded by
Leotychidas