Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(1): 47-64
The article explores the tradition about the unsuccessful attempt of the Spartan harmost Sphodrias to
capture Piraeus in 378 BC. Since Sphodrias acted without an order, in Sparta he was brought to trial as a state
offender. He owed his acquittal solely to king Agesilaus. The analysis of the tradition of Sphodrias’ trial leads the
author to the conclusion that Agesilaus controlled the entire administration of Sparta, including the judicial panel.
In Sphodrias’ trial the opinion of one person – Agesilaus – decided the outcome of the vote. The acquittal of
Sphodrias initiated by Agesilaus is a weighty testimony to the great authority which this king possessed in the first
decades of the 4th century BC (before the battle of Leuctra).
Agesilaus, Cleombrotus, Sphodrias, Phoebidas, Xenophon, Diodorus, Plutarch, Sparta,