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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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, 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 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:
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.
|“||The same goes for the Spartans. One-against-one, they are as good as anyone in the world. But when they fight in a body, they are the best of all. For though they are free men, they are not entirely free. They accept Law as their master. And they respect this master more than your subjects respect you. Whatever he commands, they do. And his command never changes: It forbids them to flee in battle, whatever the number of their foes. He requires them to stand firm -- to conquer or die. O king, if I seem to speak foolishly, I am content from this time forward to remain silent. I only spoke now because you commanded me to. I do hope that everything turns out according to your wishes.||”|
|— Herodotus vii (trans. G. Rawlinson)|
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:
|“||So Demaratus said, 'my lord, you have asked me to tell the whole truth—the kind of truth that you will not be able to prove false at a later date. There has never been a time when poverty was not a factor in the rearing of the Greeks, but their courage has been acquired as a result of intelligence and the force of law. Greece has relied on this courage to keep poverty and despotism at bay. I admire all the Greeks who live in those Dorian lands, but I shall restrict what I have to say to the Lacedaemonians alone. First, then, there's no way in which they will ever listen to any proposals of yours which will bring slavery on Greece; second, they will certainly resist you, even if all the other Greeks come over to your side. As for the size of their army, there's no point in your asking how, in terms, of numbers, they can do this. if there are in fact only a thousand men to march out against you (though it may be fewer or it may be more), then a thousand men will fight you.'||”|
|— Herodotus vii (trans. Robin Waterfield)|
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.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.
Themistocles was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower-class Athenians, and generally being at odds with the Athenian nobility. Elected archon in 493 BC, he convinced the polis to increase the naval power of Athens, a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece he fought at the Battle of Marathon and was possibly one of the ten Athenian strategoi (generals) in that battle.
The 5th century BC started the first day of 500 BC and ended the last day of 401 BC.
Year 491 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augurinus and Atratinus. The denomination 491 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
This article concerns the period 499 BC – 490 BC.
This article concerns the period 519 BC – 510 BC.
This article concerns the period 489 BC – 480 BC.
Leonidas I was a warrior king of the Greek city-state of Sparta, and the 17th of the Agiad line; a dynasty which claimed descent from the mythological demigod Heracles. He was the husband of Gorgo, the daughter of Cleomenes I of Sparta. Leonidas had a notable participation in the Second Persian War, where he led the allied Greek forces to a last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae while attempting to defend the pass from the invading Persian army.
The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to control the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike.
Hippias of Athens was one of the sons of Peisistratus, and was the last tyrant of Athens between about 527 BC and 510 BC, when Cleomenes I of Sparta successfully invaded Athens and forced Hippias to leave Athens.
Pausanias was a Spartan regent, general, and war leader for the Greeks who was suspected of conspiring with the Persian king, Xerxes I, during the Greco-Persian Wars. What is known of his life is largely according to Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, together with a handful of other classical sources.
The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 440 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known in Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece at that time. Although not a fully impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the genre and study of history in the Western world.
The 300 Spartans is a 1962 CinemaScope epic film depicting the Battle of Thermopylae. Made with the cooperation of the Greek government, it was shot in the village of Perachora in the Peloponnese. The working title was Lion of Sparta. It stars Richard Egan as the Spartan king Leonidas, Sir Ralph Richardson as Themistocles of Athens and David Farrar as Persian king Xerxes, with Diane Baker as Ellas and Barry Coe as Phylon providing the requisite romantic element in the film. Greek warriors, led by 300 Spartans, fight against a Persian army of almost limitless size. Despite the odds, the Spartans will not flee or surrender, even if it means their deaths.
Gorgo was a Queen of Sparta. She was the daughter and the only known child of Cleomenes I, King of Sparta during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. She was the wife of King Leonidas I, Cleomenes' half-brother, who fought and died in the Battle of Thermopylae. Gorgo is noted as one of the few female historical figures actually named by Herodotus, and was known for her political judgement and wisdom. She is notable for being the daughter of a king of Sparta, the wife of another, and the mother of a third. Her birth date is uncertain, but is most likely to have been between 518 and 508 BC, based on Herodotus' dating.
The Spartan Constitution, or Politeia, refers to the government and laws of the Dorian city-state of Sparta from the time of Lycurgus, the legendary law-giver, to the incorporation of Sparta into the Roman Republic: approximately the 9th century BC to the 2nd century BC. Every city-state of Greece had a politeia at all times of its sovereign life, including the preceding Achaean Sparta and the subsequent Roman Sparta. The politeia of Dorian Sparta, however, was noted by many classical authors for its unique features, which supported a rigidly layered social system and a strong military.
The first Persian invasion of Greece, during the Persian Wars, began in 492 BC, and ended with the decisive Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The invasion, consisting of two distinct campaigns, was ordered by the Persian king Darius the Great primarily in order to punish the city-states of Athens and Eretria. These cities had supported the cities of Ionia during their revolt against Persian rule, thus incurring the wrath of Darius. Darius also saw the opportunity to extend his empire into Europe, and to secure its western frontier.
The second Persian invasion of Greece occurred during the Greco-Persian Wars, as King Xerxes I of Persia sought to conquer all of Greece. The invasion was a direct, if delayed, response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece at the Battle of Marathon, which ended Darius I's attempts to subjugate Greece. After Darius's death, his son Xerxes spent several years planning for the second invasion, mustering an enormous army and navy. The Athenians and Spartans led the Greek resistance. About a tenth of the Greek city-states joined the 'Allied' effort; most remained neutral or submitted to Xerxes.
| Eurypontid King of Sparta |
C. 515 BC – c. 491 BC