Pausanias of Sparta

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Pausanias (Greek: Παυσανίας) was the King of Sparta from 409 BC. He was the son of the Agiad king Pleistoanax. He was in frequent conflict with the ephors. Aristotle said that he tried to overthrow them. Army leader Lysander sent a letter to him, requesting help against Thebes, but it was intercepted. In 395 BC, Pausanias failed to join forces with Lysander, and for this was condemned to death and replaced as king by his son Agesipolis I.

Pausanias escaped execution and left Sparta to live in exile in Tegea. He wrote his book in Tegea. No fragments of the book survived and its contents or purposes are very uncertain.

Pausanias is one of the first three writers to make an appearance in Sparta apart from poets at the very start of the 4th century BC. Lysander was also one of these three writers. Scholars are certain that he and Pausanias knew each other and attempted to communicate via letters.

After the Peloponnesian War Pausanias helped restore democracy in Athens.

He was also the father of Cleombrotus I.

Preceded by
Agiad King of Sparta
409–394 BC
Succeeded by
Agesipolis I