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Χαρίλαος, Χάριλλος), or CHARI'LLUS, a king of Sparta, son of Polydectes, and 7th of the Eurypontids, is said by Plutarch to have received his name from the general joy excited by the justice of his uncle Lycurgus when he placed him, yet a new-born infant, on the royal seat, and bade the Spartans acknowledge him for their king. (Plut. Lyc. 3; Paus. 2.36; Just. 3.2; Schol. ad Plat. Rep. x. p. 474.) According to Plutarch, the reforms projected by Lycurgus on his return from his voluntary exile at first alarmed Charilasüs for his personal safety; but he soon became reassured, and co-operated with his uncle in the promotion of his plans. (Plut. Lyc. 5.) Yet this is not very consistent with Aristotle's statement (Polit. 5.12, ed. Bekk.), that an aristocratic government was established on the ruins of the tyranny of Charilaus, which latter account again is still less reconcileable with the assertion of Plutarch (l.c.), that the kingly power had lost all its substance when Lycurgus began to remodel the constitution. There is, however, much probability in the explanation offered as an hypothesis by Thirlwall. (Greece, vol. i. p. 299, &c.) We hear from Pausanias that Charilaus was engaged successfully in a war with the Argives, which had slumbered for two generations. He aided also his colleague Archelaus in destroying the border-town of Aegys, which they suspected of an intention of revolting to the Arcadians; and he commanded the Spartans in that disastrous contest with Tegea, mentioned by Herodotus (1.66), in which the Tegean women are said to have taken up arms and to have caused the rout of the invaders by rushing forth from all ambuscade during the heat of the battle. Charilaüs himself was taken prisoner, but was dismissed without ransom on giving a promise (which he did not keep), that the Spartans should abstain in future from attacking Tegea. (Paus. 3.2, 7, 8.48.) For the chronology of the reign of Charilaus, see Clinton. (Fast. i. p. 140, &c.) There are two passages of Herodotas, which, if we follow the common reading, are at variance with sonime portions of the above account; but there is good reason for suspecting in both of them a corruption of the text. (Hdt. 1.65; Larch. ad loc., 8.131; comp. Clint. Fast. i. p. 144, note b.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.65
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.66
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.36
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.48
    • Plutarch, Lycurgus, 3
    • Plutarch, Lycurgus, 5
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