Sparta was an important Greek city-state in the Peloponnesus. It was unusual in that it had a diarchial system, with two kings ruling at the same time. The kings were called Arkhagêtai. They were hereditary rulers, and came from two separate dynasties. According to tradition, the two lines, the Agiads and Eurypontids, were descended from the twins Eurysthenes and Procles. These twins were said to be the descendants of Heracles, who conquered Sparta two generations after the Trojan War. The dynasties were named after the twins' grandsons, the kings Agis I and Eurypon. The Agiad line was regarded as being senior to the Eurypontid line.
Although there are lists of earlier Kings of Sparta, there is little evidence to show that any kings existed before the middle of the 6th century BC.
Legendary kings[change | change source]
Many kings of Sparta are described in Greek mythology.
Lelegids[change | change source]
Lacedaemonids[change | change source]
- Lacedaemon, a son of Zeus, husband of Sparta
- Amyklas, a son of Lacedaemon. He founded Amyklai
- Argalus, a son of Amyklas
- Kynortas, a son of Amyklas
- Perieres, a son of Kynortas
- Oibalos, a son of Kynortas
- Tyndareos (First reign), a son of Oibalos and father of Helen
- Hippocoon, a son of Oibalos and brother of Tyndareos
- Tyndareos (Second reign)
Atreids[change | change source]
- Menelaus, a son of Atreus and husband of Helen — c. 1250 BC
- Orestes, a son of Agamemnon and nephew of Menelaus — c. 1200 BC
- Tisamenos, a son of Orestes
- Dion, husband of Iphitea, the daughter of Prognaus — c. 1200 BC
Heraclids[change | change source]
Agiad dynasty[change | change source]
The dynasty was named after its second king, Agis.
Eurypontid dynasty[change | change source]
After Cleomenes III was defeated by Antigonus III Doson of Macedon and the Achaean League in the Battle of Sellasia, the Spartan kingship began to fail. Sparta was a republic from 221 to 219 BC. The dual monarchy was restored in 219 BC.
Nabis, who was regent for Pelops, deposed Pelops and took the throne for himself. He claimed to be descended from the Eurypontid king Demaratus. He ruled from 206–192 BC. Laconicus was the last known king of Sparta. He took the throne in 192 BC. The Achaean League took control of Sparta in 192 BC.