Cleomenes III reigned in Sparta about 235-219 B.C. He made a determined attempt to reform the social condition of Sparta along the lines laid down by Agis IV., whose widow Agiatis he married; at the same time he aimed at restoring Sparta's hegemony in the Peloponnese.
As a general Cleomenes did much to revive Sparta's old prestige. He defeated the Achaeans at Dyme, made himself master of Argos, and was eventually joined by Corinth, Phlius, Epidaurus and other cities. But Aratus, whose jealousy could not brook to see a Spartan at the head of the Achaean league called in Antigonus III. of Macedonia, and Cleomenes, after conducting successful expeditions to Megalopolis and Argos, was finally defeated at Sellasia, to the north of Sparta, in 222 or 221 B.C. He took refuge at Alexandria with Ptolemy Euergetes, but was arrested by his successor, Ptolemy Philopator, on a charge of conspiracy. Escaping from prison he tried to raise a revolt, but the attempt failed and to avoid capture he put an end to his life. Both as general and as politician Cleomenes was one of Sparta's greatest men, and with him perished her last hope of recovering her ancient supermacy in Greece.
—Excerpted from the 1911 Encylopaedia Britannica.
|Succeeded to the throne of Sparta at the death of his father, Leonidas II.|
|Married Agiatis, the widow of Agis IV.|
|Instituted Spartan reforms, abolished the Ephors, redistributed land.|
|Victories at Dyme and Megalopolis restored Spartan prestige.|
|Aratus tried to break up Spartan league. Argos deserted the league.|
|Aratus called in Antiochus III to help defeat Cleomenes at Sellasia.|
|Perished in exile in Egypt.|
|Death of Agis in||The Story of the Greeks by H. A. Guerber|
|War of the Two Leagues in||The Story of the Greeks by H. A. Guerber|
|Cleomenes III in||Famous Men of Greece by John H. Haaren and A. B. Poland|
|Cleomenes in||Our Young Folks' Plutarch by Rosalie Kaufman|
|King who tried to reform Sparta and return to laws of Lycurgus. Killed for his efforts.|
|Leader of Achaean League; First resisted Macedonia, then forced an alliance to defeat Sparta.|
|King of Macedonia who allied with Aratus to defeat Cleomenes III.|
|Widow of the reformer Agis IV. Married Cleomenes III.|