ed to admit that they had yet been worsted in a land battle. For Leonidas, they said, had won the victory480 B.C., but his followers were insufficient for the entire destruction of the Persians; the achievement of Demosthenes and the Athenians on the island of Sphacteria425 B.C. was no victory, but only a trick in war.
Their first reverse took place in Boeotia, and they afterwards suffered a severe defeat at the hands of Antipater and the Macedonians330 B.C.. Thirdly the war with Demetrius295 B.C. came as an unexpected misfortune to their land. Invaded by Pyrrhus and seeing a hostile army for the fourth time, they arrayed themselves to meet it along with the Argives and Messenians who had come as their allies. Pyrrhus won the day, and came near to capturing Sparta without further fighting, but desisted for a while after ravaging the land and carrying off plunder.272 B.C. The citizens prepared for a siege, and Sparta even before this in the war with Demetrius had been fortified with