). A person who succeeded in making himself tyrant
of Lacedaemon on the death of Machanidas, B.C. 207. He carried his tyranny to the furthest
possible extent. All persons possessed of property were subjected to incessant exactions, and
the most cruel tortures if they did not succeed in satisfying his rapacity. One of his engines
of torture resembled “the Maiden” of more recent times. It was a figure
resembling his wife Apega, so constructed as to clasp the victim and pierce him to death with
the nails with which the arms and bosom of the figure were studded (Polyb. xiii. 7). The money
which he got by these means and by the plunder of the temples enabled him to raise a large
body of mercenaries, whom he selected from among the most abandoned and reckless villains.
With these forces he was able to extend his sway over a considerable part of Peloponnesus; but
his further progress was checked by Flaminius, who after a short campaign compelled him to sue
for peace (B.C. 195). The tyrant, however, was allowed to retain the sovereignty of Sparta,
and soon after the departure of Flamininus from Greece he resumed hostilities. He was opposed
by Philopoemen, the general of the Achaean league; and though Nabis met at first with some
success, he was eventually defeated by Philopoemen, and was soon afterwards assassinated by
some Aetolians who had been sent to his assistance, B.C. 192 (Livy, xxxv.
-35; Pausan. viii. 50).