Cleomenes

Life

  • Cleomenes I was a king of Sparta prior to the Persian Wars
  • Victory over Argos, the last remaining rival on the Peloponnese
  • d. 490 BC
    • In prison (for plotting against Demaratus, the second Spartan king)
  • Though he didn’t initially support the Ionian revolution, he later conspired to punish Greek islanders who had cooperated with Persia

Athenian Revolution

  • Cleomenes did not personally oppose Hippias, he was tricked into helping the Spartans dislodge him by the Delphian priests who had been bribed by Cleisthenes and his family.

  • The first assault failed, but when Cleomenes personally lead the second assault on Athens, he managed to hole Hippias up in the Acropolis, and persuaded him to surrender after capturing many members of his family. The government in Athens was quickly taken over by Cleisthenes, and his party.

  • Cleomenes, who thought that Athens would be run by the oligarchic party, was alarmed at the democratic reforms, and regretted his involvement in the overthrow. Cleisthenes enemy Isagoras, then allied with Cleomenes, and together they tried to restore a tyranny, but failed. Ultimately Isagoras, rather then Cleisthenes was exiled.