‘Agis III’. Hermes 95 (1967), 170–192
DOI link for ‘Agis III’. Hermes 95 (1967), 170–192
‘Agis III’. Hermes 95 (1967), 170–192 book
Agis III 1 succeeded to the Eurypontid throne of Sparta on the death of his father in a battle against the Lucanians, which, as Diodorus tells us, took place in 338 B.C., in the very hour of the battle of Chaeronea. 2 We are not here concerned with the technically diffi cult question of the Eurypontid regnal dates: 3 the date of Agis’ accession is, as it happens, fairly precisely fi xed, and we shall see that the date of his death is at least approximately known. Diodorus, who puts the latter (wrongly) in 330/29, gives Agis a reign of nine years, 4 i.e. puts his accession in 339/8. If his (ultimate) source was counting by Spartan ephor-years, this is probably correct. Diodorus’ mistake (or that of his immediate source) in dating Agis’ death lies in faulty synchronization of events in two theatres of war — one of his most common errors: 5 he has apparently put the break between years in the wrong place, discussing Agis’ war against Antipater (which led to his death) as the fi rst story of the next year (330/29), instead of making it the last story of the preceding year (331/30), perhaps misled by a source that usually — but not in this case — reported events in Europe before those in Asia. 6 At any rate, we shall see that there is no doubt of the true date for that war. And he has calculated (or ‘corrected’) the regnal fi gure on the basis of this.