Rulers of Ancient Greece: Cleon was an Athenian political leader. In spite of getting very little education, yet was a gifted speaker. His political career commenced with a series of relentless attacks on Pericles. He was hostile to Sparta and successfully opposed Sparta’s peace proposals.
He was also given the leadership of the Athenian force blockading Sphacteria and was brilliantly successful against the Spartans. Three years later he was given another command against the Spartans at Amphipolis, but he failed and was killed in action.
Rulers of Ancient Greece
Alcibiades was an Athenian statesman and general. For many years he was a devoted attendant of Socrates. He turned to politics after the Peace of Nicias around 421 B.C. and during the Peloponnesian War he was the leader in agitating against Sparta.
He was so successful that Athens joined an alliance against Sparta. He became the chief promoter of the Sicilian campaign and was one of the three leaders of the Athenian forces.
Alcibiades subsequently fell into trouble with the Spartan king, and around 413 he fled to the protection of the Persian satrap Tissaphernes and then sought to return to Athens. Athens got to witness a short era of greatness as Alcibiades directed brilliantly the Athenian fleet in the Aegean and in 410 won a victory over the Peloponnesian fleet off Cyzicus and later recovered Byzantium.
Subsequently, Alcibiades was exiled.Agesilaus II was the king of Sparta. After the death of Agis I, he was brought to power by Lysander, whom he promptly ignored. Though his rule ended in the absolute ruin and destruction of Sparta, yet he was praised by his contemporaries more so by Xenophon.
Lastly came the Agis which was the name of four Spartan kings and the traditional founder of the Agiad dynasty, one of the two ruling dynasties of Sparta, which had a dual kingship. Agis II acceded to the throne on the death around 427BC of his father, Archidamus II.
Agis led Spartan forces at the battle of Mantinea 418 B.C in the Peloponnesian War. Advised by Alcibiades, he quickly invaded Attica and established a post there. Later he quarreled with his adviser. Agis aided Lysander in the final Spartan victories of the war.
Agis III succeeded his father Archidamus III in 338 BC. He led a revolt of Peloponnesian cities against Alexander the Great, who was in Asia. The rebels were crushed, and Agis was killed at Megalopolis. His death ended Greek revolts against Alexander. Agis IV was the son of Eudamidas II, succeeded his father around 244 B.C. He tried to revitalize Sparta by reform and by returning to the constitution of Lycurgus. His efforts failed, and he was murdered.
Thus ancient Greece was being ruled by different rulers at different points of time. However, one quality which was common to all these rulers was that all were extremely brave warriors who led from the front and set an exemplary precedence for their prodigies.