Talk:Cleomenean War

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General view[edit]

This could use several improvements besides a copyedit.

  • The English forms are Achaea, Achaeans.
Ok I'm correcting this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kyriakos (talkcontribs) 06:15, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Please don't overlink. One link per term per article is often enough; a second link may be justified if you mention something again after a long stretch it which it does not appear.
OK. I have removed most overlinked articles. Kyriakos 06:36, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Please don't overuse footnotes. If two passages support the same sentence, there is no reason whatever not to make them one note.
  • And above all, don't overuse Plutarch. He is not, and did not try to be, a historian in our sense of the word; he has a strong POV, which we should not reflect. When Polybius and a modern secondary source agree against him, follow Polybius and put Plutarch in a footnote, if at all. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:39, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
    • And please cite the Lives of Aratus and of Agis and Cleomenes separately and by chapter; see the text at Project Perseus if you have to. There's no reason the reader should have to chase down one particular translation of Plutarch. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:44, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Also Project Perseus doesn't have the lives of Agis or Cleomenes so I will use Attalus. Plus the heavy use of Plutarch is because he is the only primary source of the first few years of the war. Kyriakos 06:38, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but we shouldn't be writing from primary sources when secondary sources exist, as they certainly do here. Much work has been done over the last 500 years disentangling when Plutarch is either biased or in error. We should not neglect it. (And do check Diodorus; I do not remember his source for this era.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:27, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Comments from Scartol[edit]

I'm doing a copyedit at the request of Kyriakos, so here are some notes on larger things (and items I don't feel comfortable changing) as I come across them. Let me say that I'm enjoying the article very much; it's very comprehensive, and filled with good information. (I used to play on the Achaea MUD, so I'm delighted to learn of its name's origin.)

Any questions presented are out of my total ignorance of the subject matter. Please feel free to undo any copyedits I make in the article itself (so long as there's a good reason).

  • Second paragraph of the lead: Seems a bit odd to mention Cleomenes' desire to depose the ephors early on, and then repeat that he had them killed at the end of the paragraph. Maybe remove the first part? Or, since we know why he did it, take out "To gain control of Sparta" in the second instance (and to flesh out the sentence, tell us who he ordered to do the deed).
  • In return for their assistance, the Acheans had to surrender Acrocorinth to them. Both of these pronouns are unclear. (Maybe say "in return for this assistance..."?)
  • in a decade where domestic dispute between the two royal families Do we need "domestic" here? Isn't that assumed, since we're dealing with families?
  • Perhaps we should have a word of context about who Polybius and Sir William Smith (and other sources) are, for those who don't know (like me)? You do this for Graham Shipley in "Aftermath". It really should be done for all the historians and critics mentioned in the article.
  • Richard Talbert, says he took them at their own request. I assume the "he" here refers to Cleomenes? Best to clarify.
  • the help from inside the city failed Unclear. Normally people or efforts fail. "Help" doesn't really fit here.
  • asking about the goal of the nocturnal expedition Is "nocturnal" necessary? Isn't it assumed?
  • After fortifying Belbina, Cleomenes advanced in Arcadia "in" or "through" or "to"?
  • Cleomenes, now feeling confident of his strong position, This feels like a violation of either WP:NPOV or WP:OR. If it's not, stick to what his position was, not how he felt – which is anyone's guess, really.
  • He first recruited his step-father by saying that they needed to get off the ephors What does it mean to "get off" the ephors?
  • He divided up all the land and gave an equal lot to every citizen. I added "equal". Please remove it if it's inaccurate.
  • they sued to Cleomenes for peace "sued" feels very wrong. If it's the right word, please explain.
  • The Tegeans held out for a while before being forced to surrender by the Macedonians' siege weapons. Could we have something more specific than "a while"?
  • He then returned to Aegium where he gave another report about his operations before dismissing the Macedonian troops so they could winter at home. The "he" is unclear here.
  • Antigonus seems to have ceded some territory in Asia Minor to Ptolemy Why "seems to have"? It may be necessary to give some context. (say: "According to SOURCE, Antigonus ceded some territory.")
  • It is estimated that Cleomenes managed to accumulate around 300 talents of loot from the city. Passive voice is generally icky. Who's doing the estimating?
  • I removed the sentence Even if he did come to challenge Cleomenes, he would be facing a much superior source. (at the start of Battle of Sellasia) because it didn't seem necessary. Obviously you can replace it if you disagree.
  • Do we really need a chart (which breaks up the article significantly and leaves a lot of white space) to describe the troops at the Battle of Sellasia? Even if so, I daresay a single footnote for the total is probably sufficient.
  • Does "routed" mean the same thing as "killed"? If so, why not use the latter (at least occasionally)?

More to come. I hope this is useful. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Good luck with the article! – Scartol · Talk 15:49, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the copy edit and for the review. I greatly appreciate it and I have fixed all the points you have made. Kyriakos 11:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

citing modern historians[edit]

Could you perhaps better distinguish between the assessments of modern historians and what the ancients did and said. sometimes the changes are rather abrupt and I wonder what Smith sat in the Achaean war council. Wandalstouring (talk) 14:42, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


I didn't get back to the FAC in time. There's a problem with your short citation of Hammond as you have two Hammond texts in the references. Your final secondary source has a bad space in its publisher. I would not oppose the current citation of this article, adequate secondary sources are cited; and, as a result I strongly encourage you to bring it back to FAC after the necessary time delay and/or checking with the FAC closers. (Please fix the Hammond thing before bringing it back, its unclear which of his two works you're citing :). Fifelfoo (talk) 04:54, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. i just went through the article and distinquished between the two different books. Kyriakos (talk) 09:35, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the article is quite close to FA already and I'd probably support it when you'll bring it up again in a few weeks with improved maps. Ucucha 12:17, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I plan to bring it when the maps are completed in the next few weks. Kyriakos (talk) 03:37, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Questions from the mapmaker[edit]

As I'm putting the maps together, I've been reviewing and researching the article, and I ran up against a few questions.


"In 229 BC, Cleomenes took the important cities Tegea, Mantineia, Caphyae and Orchomenus in Arcadia, who had by then allied themselves with the Aetolian League, a powerful Greek confederation of city states in central Greece.

  • So these cities were allied with the Aetolian League? Or do you mean the Achaean League? Weren't these cities part of the Achaean League? The Achaean League wasn't allied with the Aetolian League, was it??

I think that these cities could have been allied to the Achaean League before defecting to the Aetolian League. The Achaeans and the Aetolians had a very turbulent relationship being allied at various states before being at war with each other such as the Battle of Caphyae.

"Efforts from inside the city failed . . . "

  • What kind of efforts? Insurrection? A coup? Opening the city gates? Can this be clarified??
I think the efforts were by Achaean sympathisers or the pro-Achaean party f the city.

Early years and Spartan success[edit]

"Around this time, the Achaean League sent an army under a new strategos—Aristomachos of Argos, who had been elected in May of 228 BC—to meet Cleomenes in battle. The Achaean army of 20,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry advanced on the 5,000-strong Spartan army at Pallantium. Aratus, who had accompanied Aristomachus, advised him to retreat because even 20,000 Achaeans were no match for 5,000 Spartans."

  • This paragraph kinda leaves me hanging here. Are we to assume that Aristomachus retreated? It doesn't say.
Yep, the Achaeans retreated.

Hope you don't mind, MapMaster (talk) 05:47, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't mind at all. Whatever can make the article better to read is great. Kyriakos (talk) 22:36, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Macedonian intervention[edit]

"Despite numerous attempts to break through the defensive line and reach Lechaeum, Antigonus' force failed and suffered considerable losses. These defeats took such a toll on Antigonus that he considered advancing his attack of the palisade and moving his army to Sicyon."

I am unclear what "advancing his attack'" means in this context. To me, it means "scheduling it earlier" or "hurrying up his attack". Can this be clarified? MapMaster (talk) 15:23, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Google Books[edit]

Google Books is unfortunately unreliable as an archive, books that are available for viewing today become unavailable tomorrow, with no rhyme or reason. They are not in the business of being a library or archive. For books in the public domain (PD), the best long term archive is Internet Archive, a non profit that actually has more PD books online than Google, 5 million or so with around 1000 new a day, and of better image quality. IA has all the PD books listed in this article's source section (I believe), it would be first choice for linking as a source. Green Cardamom (talk) 03:34, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


A little hole that could use filling here: Was the purchase of freedom by the helots one of the reforms that was revoked? Or did they really stay free? Were they neodamodes, perioeci? Wnt (talk) 22:34, 9 May 2012 (UTC)