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Archidamia.png

Archidamia (340-241 BC) was Queen of Sparta as the wife of Eudamidas I. She was most famous for rallying the 7,000 women of Sparta to defend the city from Pyrrhus of Epirus' siege of Sparta in 272 BC.

Biography

Archidamia was born in Sparta in 340 BC, and she married King Eudamidas I, who ruled over Sparta from 331 to 305 BC; she gave birth to Archidamus IV and Agesistrata. During the Siege of Sparta in 272 BC, she opposed an order for the women of Sparta to be evacuated to Crete, speaking to the elders with a sword in her hand and declaring that she had no will to outlive Sparta. She then rallied 7,000 of the city's women and assisted in the war effort by fortifying the city and carrying off the wounded. During the reign of her grandson Agis IV, she assisted in his reforms to reduce the wealth and greed of Sparta, and she contributed her wealth to a common pool to be distributed equally among old and new Spartan citizens. However, Agis' uncle Agesilaus and King Leonidas II opposed these reforms, and they and the Ephors had Agis illegally imprisoned and secretly executed. Archidamia and Agesistrata were then lured into the prison, thinking that they would be visiting Agis, but they were also secretly executed.

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