History of Europe

The Spartan king who was fined for marrying an ugly

Last updated:2022-07-25

The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was a military conflict in Ancient Greece that confronted the Delos League (led by Athens) with the Peloponnesian League (with Sparta in the lead). During the first part of the conflict, until the Peace of Nicias In 421 BC, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of her naval supremacy to attack the Peloponnesian coast. These first 10 years of the war were called the Archidamic War by the Spartan king Archidamus II .

During the negotiations with Pericles of Athens that preceded the Peloponnesian War with Pericles, Archidamus did his best to avoid, or at least postpone, the inevitable fight:

It will be the legacy that we will leave to our children

Despite everything, in 431 B.C. the Spartan army appeared in Attica and devastated the crops hoping that the Athenians would come out to defend their lands. After a month of siege without any response from Pericles, Archidamus decided to withdraw.

As Plutarch tells us , Arquídamo had married Lampito , a woman of impeccable morals but really ugly... the ephors, the magistrates of Sparta, imposed a fine on her because she " she will not beget kings, but wrens" . The thing is that his son Agesilaus , ugly and small, became king of Sparta.

Source:Banquets and battles – Javier Murcia Ortuño