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Archidamus II, also known as Archidamos II or simply Archidamos, was a king of Sparta who reigned during the 5th century BCE. He co-ruled alongside Pausanias during Peloponnesian War.

Biography

Early in his reign, Sparta was hit by a massive earthquake which destroyed much of the city, allowing much of the helots to revolt. However, Archidamos was able to quell the rebellion, rebuilding the city.[1]

Later on during the First Peloponnesian War, Archidamos signed a peace treaty with Athens. When the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BCE, the first phase of the war was named the "Archidamian War" after him.[2]

According to Pausanias, Archidamos was a traditionalist, who sided with the elders when they deemed that baby Alexios, the son of Myrrine and Nikolaos, needed to die for Sparta to survive.[3] Following this, both of Myrrine's children fell off Mount Taygetos, and were believed dead, despite Myrrine seeking the help of the Priests of Asklepios at Argolis' Sanctuary of Asklepios.[4]

After that trip Myrrine returned to Sparta, though she exiled herself by breaking Archidamos' nose: something Archidamos among others still remembered, and had not forgiven, years later in 429 BCE when Myrrine returned to Sparta with her daughter, the misthios Kassandra.[5][3]

When Kassandra some time later returned and accused Pausanias of being a member of the secretive Cult of Kosmos, Archidamos and the ephors exiled Pausanias, though everyone was shocked by this revelation.[6] In return for Kassandra's contributions, Archidamos granted her and Myrrine the return of their citizenship and their home in the city.[7]

Behind the scenes

Historically, there were five kings of Sparta called Archidamus: a Greek name derived from the words αρχος (archos), which means 'master', and δαμος (damos), which means 'the people'.

The game and novel show Archidamos alive and reigning as king as late as 424 BCE when historically he had died and been succeeded by his son Agis II by 427 BCE.

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