Two military episodes of the Social War merit closer analysis, partly for the light they throw on Sparta’s geopolitical situation in south-east Peloponnese and partly because they involved the personal intervention of the young, energetic and over-ambitious Philip V. Nabis’ own name, possibly an abbreviated form or even a Hellenized version of a Semitic original, is a singleton in attested Spartan nomenclature. Leaving the international scene for the moment, we find that Nabis presided over the first genuine urbanization of the hitherto archetypally non-urban town of Sparta. Nabis did not need the alleged encouragement of the Aetolians to begin his war of recovery in 193, exploiting as he hoped the weakness of Achaea and Rome’s preoccupation with Antiochus and undeterred by thoughts of his son in Rome. Nabis had now become in the eyes of the Aetolians an unreliable ally for the war in Greece between Antiochus and Rome that they were actively promoting.