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Pausanias


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Grandson of Pausanias (1), Agiad king of Sparta 445–426 and 409–395 bc: his first reign was as a minor during the temporary deposition of his father Pleistoanax. In 403 he undermined Lysander's dominance in Athens by obtaining command of a Peloponnesian League expedition against the democratic resistance at Piraeus, promoting reconciliation between them and the Three Thousand in Athens, and securing a treaty which restored democracy and brought Athens into Sparta's alliance. Back in Sparta he was prosecuted but acquitted. In 395 his army arrived at Haliartus after Lysander's defeat and retired without battle, partly due to Athenian military opposition. Sentenced to death, he fled to Tegea. In exile he continued to oppose his enemies in Sparta. He wrote a pamphlet which seemingly accused his enemies of violating traditional Lycurgan laws and advocated abolition of the ephorate. The pamphlet probably disseminated much basic documentation about Sparta, such as the ‘Great Rhetra’, but also contributed significantly to the distorted idealization of her society, the ‘Spartan mirage’.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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