d. 489 BC
|THE RACE COURSE AT SPARTA|
Cleomenes I was king of Sparta for three decades immediately prior to the Persian Wars. His most notable achievement
was his signal victory over Argos, Sparta's only remaining rival on the Peloponnese, at the battle of Sepeia
in 494 B
. He was also instrumental in the removal of the
tyrant Hippias from Athens. Although Cleomenes did not personally oppose Hippias, he was tricked into
helping the Spartans dislodge him by the Delphian priests who had been bribed by Cleisthenes and his family. The
first assault failed, but when Cleomenes personally lead the second assault on Athens, he managed to hole Hippias
up in the Acropolis, and persuaded him to surrender after capturing many members of his family. The government
in Athens was quickly taken over by Cleisthenes, and his party. Cleomenes, who thought that Athens would be
run by the oligarchic party, was alarmed at the democratic reforms, and regretted his involvement in the overthrow.
Cleisthenes enemy Isagoras, then allied with Cleomenes, and together they tried to restore a tyranny, but failed.
Ultimately Isagoras, rather then Cleisthenes was exiled.
A few years later, Cleomenes was invited by Aristagoras to support the Ionian rebellion against Persia. He declined,
but later conspired to punish Greek islanders who had cooperated with Persia. He also plotted against Demaratus, the
other king of Sparta, and caused him to be banished. The plot was discovered however, and Cleomenes himself was sent
away, only to be recalled a year later. By this time however (490 B.C.) he is said to have lost
his mind and died in
prison. He was succeeded on the throne by his nephew Leonidas, the hero of Thermopylae.
Key events during the life of Cleomenes I:
||Ascended to the Agiad throne in Sparta.
||Convinced by Delphic Oracles to help Athenians drive out Hippias, their tyrant.
||Succeeded in driving Hippias out of Athens.
||Alarmed at democratic reforms of Athens, Cleomenes allies himself with Isagoras, Cleisthenes rival.
||Tried, but failed invade Athens and set up Isagoras as tyrant. Isagoras exiled from Athens.
||Aristogoras tries to enlist Sparta's help in Ionion revolution in Asia Minor.
||After Ionion rebellion fails, Cleomenes attacks Aegina in order to punish Persian collaborators.
||Cleomenes defeats Argos, Sparta's only rival on the Peleponese, at the battle of Sepeia.
||Cleomenes disputes with Demaratus, the other Spartan king; drives him into exile, and replaces him with Leotychides.
||Cleomenes is thought to have lost his mind, and died in prison.
||Exiled son of Pisistratus; helped lead Persian forces against Athens at Marathon.
||Son-in-law of Histiaeus. Led Rebellion of Greek Colonies in Asia Minor.
||Athenian statesman who overthrew Hippias, and helped institute democratic reforms.
||Exiled King of Sparta, advisor to Xerxes during his invasion of Greece.
||Athenian leader who opposed the democratic reforms of Cleisthenes.
||Daughter of Cleomenes and wife of Leonidas, hero of Thermopylae.