Their first reverse took place in Boeotia
, and they afterwards suffered a severe defeat at the hands of Antipater and the Macedonians1
. Thirdly the war with Demetrius2
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.3
The citizens prepared for a siege, and Sparta
even before this in the war with Demetrius had been fortified with deep trenches and strong stakes, and at the most vulnerable points with buildings as well.