Pleistarchus

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Pleistarchus
King of Sparta
Pauly-Wissowa III,1, 0067.jpg
Family tree of Pleistarchus
Father Leonidas I[1]
Mother Queen Gorgo
Born Sparta
Died 458 BC [ This date is not accurate because there is no historical record of when Pleistarchus died.]
For the son of Antipater, see Pleistarchus (son of Antipater).

Pleistarchus or Plistarch (Ancient Greek: Πλείσταρχος Pleistarkhos; died 458 BC) was the Agiad King of Sparta from 480 to 458 BC.[2]

Family[edit]

Pleistarchus was born as a prince, likely the only son of King Leonidas I and Queen Gorgo.

His grandparents were Kings Anaxandridas II and Cleomenes I.[3] He was born from an avunculate marriage – his parents were uncle and niece.[4]

His uncle Cleombrotus was his tutor.[5]

It is known that Pleistarchus had a wife and son named Pleistarchus II who were murdered by Xerxes. He died around his 30's. [This story is not backed up by historical evidence. Xerxes had no recorded contact with Spartan royals - except the ex-King Demaratus - beyond 479 B.C. when Pleistarchus was still a child. There is also no credible record of any spouse or child of Pleistarchus.']

Biography[edit]

It is possible that Pleistarchus was exempt from the agōgē, the rigorous education and training regimen mandated for all male Spartan citizens, except for the crown prince.

Pleistarchus' father King Leonidas perished in 480 B.C. at the Battle of Thermopylae. For the early part of Pleistarchus' reign, first his uncle Cleombrotus and then, after Cleombrotus' death (in 479 B.C.), his cousin Pausanias acted as regent because Pleistarchus was not of age.[6]

The successor of Pleistarchus was Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias.

Popular culture[edit]

Pleistarchus as king of the Spartans is a major character in Sacred Games, by Gary Corby.

A young Pleistarchus was portrayed by Giovani Cimmino in the 2007 feature film 300.

A young Pleistarchus (titled Leo Jr.) was portrayed by Hunter Clary in the 2008 parody feature film Meet the Spartans.

Family tree[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology/Pleistarchus 1.
  2. ^ Jona Lendering (2006-03-31). "Eurypontids and Agiads". Livius.org. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  3. ^ Herodotus; Histories, A. D. Godley (translator), Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1920; ISBN 0-674-99133-8. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  4. ^ "Gorgo of Sparta". Ancienthistory.about.com. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  5. ^ Herodotus, The Greek-Persian War (Osiris, Budapest, 2000) ISBN 963-379-309-2
  6. ^ The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
Preceded by
Leonidas I
Agiad King of Sparta
480–458 BC
Succeeded by
Pleistoanax