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Born Sparta
Died 458 BC
Father Leonidas I[1]
Mother Gorgo

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


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 unknown whether Pleistarchus was married.


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

Pleistarchus' father King Leonidas perished in 480 BC at the Battle of Thermopylae. For the early part of Pleistarchus's reign, his uncle Cleombrotus acted as regent; after Cleombrotus's death in 479 BC, Pleistarchus's cousin Pausanias was regent.[6]

The successor of Pleistarchus was Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias.

In 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 film 300.

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

Family tree[edit]


  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology/Pleistarchus 1.
  2. ^ Jona Lendering (2006-03-31). "Eurypontids and Agiads". 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". 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