5. BATTUS III., or "the lame" (Χωλός
), son of Arcesilaus JI., reigned from B. C. 550 to 530, or, as some state it, from 544 to 529.
In his time, the Cyrenaeans, weakened by internal seditions, apprehensive of assaults from Libya and Egypt, and distressed too perhaps by the consciousness of the king's inefficiency, invited Demonax, a Mantinean, by the advice of the Delphic oracle, to settle the constitution of the city.
The conflicting claims of the original colonists with those of the later settlers, and the due distribution of power between the sovereign and the commonalty, were the main difficulties with which he had to deal.
With respect to the former point, he substituted for the old division of tribes an entirely new one, in which however some privileges, in regard to their relation to the Περίοικοι
, were reserved to those of Theraean descent; while the royal power he reduced within very narrow limits, leaving to the king only certain selected lands, and the enjoyment of some priestly functions (τεμένεα καὶ ἱπωσύνας
), with the privilege probably (see Hdt. 4.165
) of presidency in the council. We hear nothing more recorded of Battus III.
The diminution of the kingly power in his reign is not to be wondered at, when we remember that the two main causes assigned by Aristotle (Aristot. Pol. 5.10
, ad fin. ed. Bekk.) for the overthrow of monarchy had been, as we have seen, in full operation at Cyrene,--viz. quarrels in the royal family, and the attempt to establish a tyrannical government. (Hdt. 4.161
; Diod. l.c.;
Thrige, § 38; Müller, Dor.