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Demaratus (Greek: Δημάρατος) was a co-king of Sparta from 515 until 491 BC. He succeeded his father Ariston as king. In 491 Demaratus and his co-king Cleomenes I became bitter rivals. Cleomenes plotted to have his kinsman Leotychides replace Demaratus as king.[1] Cleomenes bribed the Oracle of Delphi to say that Demaratus was not actually the son of Ariston.[2] Demaratus lost his kingship. But he still held a position as a magistrate in Sparta. After being ridiculed by the king over no longer being a king himself, Demaratus went into exile. He went to Darius I of Persia who gave him cities to rule over.[3] Demaratus later went with king Xerxes I on his invasion of Greece in 480 BC. He warned Xerxes not to underestimate the Spartans before the Battle of Thermopylae.

References[change | change source]

  1. James Romm; Herodotus, Histories (Indanapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2014), p. 328
  2. Sara Forsdyke, Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), p. 297
  3. "Demaratus; king of Sparta (from at least as early as 510 B.C.E.) who took refuge with Darius I." ENCYCLOPÆDIA IRANICA. December 15, 1994. Retrieved 1 December 2014.