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Eury'sthenes

Εὐρυσθένης), and PROCLES (Προκλῆς), the twin sons of Aristodemus, were born, according to the common account before, but, according to the genuine Spartan story, after their father's return to Peloponnesus and occupation of his allotment of Laconia. He died immediately after the birth of his children and had not even time to decide which of the two should succeed him. The mother professed to be unable to name the elder, and the Lacedaemonians in embarrassment applied to Delphi, and were instructed to make them both kings, but give the greater honour to the elder. The difficulty thus remaining was at last removed at the suggestion of Panites, a Messenian by watching which of the children was first washed and fed by the mother; and the first rank was accordingly given to Eurysthenes and retained by his descendants. (Hdt. 6.51, 52.) The mother's name was Argeia, and her brother Theras was, during their minority, their joint-guardian and regent. (Hdt. 4.147.) They were married to two sisters, twins like themselves, the daughters of Thersander, the Heracleid king of Cleonae, by name Lathria and Anaxandra, whose tombs were to be seen at Sparta in the time of Pausanias (3.16.5). The two brothers are said to have united with the son of Temenus to restore Aepytus, the son of Cresphontes, to Messenia. Otherwise, they were, according to both Pausanias and Herodotus, in continual strife, which perhaps may give a meaning to the strange story related in Polyaenus (1.10), that Procles and Temenus attacked the Eurystheidae then in occupation of Sparta, and were successful through the good order preserved by the flute, the benefit of which on this occasion was the origin of the well-known Spartan practice. Ephorus in Strabo (viii. p.366) states, that they maintained themselves by taking foreigners into their service, and these Clinton understands by the name Eurystheidae; but Müller considers it to be one of the transfers made by Ephorus in ancient times of the customs of his own. Cicero (de Div. 2.43) tells us, that Procles died one year before his brother, and was much the more famous for his achievements. (Compare Clinton, F. H. vol. i. p. 333; Müller, Dor. 1.5. §§ 13, 14.)

[A.H.C]

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