World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0003708997
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sphodrias  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 371 BC, Phoebidas, Archidamus III, Spartan hegemony, 370s BC deaths
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sphodrias (Greek: Σφοδρίας) (4th century BC) was a Spartan general during the period of Greek history known as the Spartan hegemony. In 379 BC, he was in command of a garrison in the Spartan-occupied city of Thespiae in Boeotia. Aiming to increase Spartan power in the region, he attempted to march by night to seize the Piraeus, the port of Athens. He miscalculated the length of the march, however, and when the sun rose he and his army were caught out in the middle of the Thyrian plain, still some miles from the Piraeus. He retreated back to Boeotia.

The Athenians, furious at Sphodrias' action, seized several Spartan emissaries who were in Athens at the time, and released them only when the Spartans promised that Sphodrias would be executed. Sphodrias' son Kleonymos, however, got Archidamus, the son of the Spartan king Agesilaus to intervene. Agesilaus then used his influence to secure Sphodrias' unexpected acquittal. Agesilaus justified himself by saying "it is a hard thing to put to death one who as a young man has consistently acted well and honorably, for Sparta has need of such soldiers" (Xen. Hellenica).

This infuriated the Athenians even further, and they formed an alliance with Thebes, a bitter enemy of Sparta at that time. Together with Phoebidas, who had seized Thebes several years earlier, Sphodrias came to be seen as representative of an aggressive Spartan foreign policy that alienated other states throughout Greece.

Sphodrias died at the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC.


  • Fine, John V.A. The Ancient Greeks: A critical history (Harvard University Press, 1983) ISBN 0-674-03314-0
  • Hodkinson, Stephen. Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta (The Classical Press of Wales, 2000) ISBN 0-7156-3040-7

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.