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4. In this way, and for these reasons, Agesilaüs was appointed king, and straightway enjoyed possession of the estates of Agis as well as his throne, after expelling Leotychides as a bastard. But seeing that his kinsmen on his mother's side, though worthy folk, were excessively poor, he distributed among them the half of his estates, thereby making his inheritance yield him good-will and reputation instead of envy and hatred. As for Xenophon's statement 1 that by obeying his country in everything he won very great power, so that he did what he pleased, the case is as follows. [2] At that time the ephors and the senators had the greatest power in the state, of whom the former hold office for a year only, while the senators enjoy their dignity for life, their offices having been instituted to restrain the power of the kings, as I have said in my Life of Lycurgus. 2 Therefore from the outset, and from generation to generation, the kings were traditionally at feud and variance with them. [3] But Agesilaüs took the opposite course. Instead of colliding and fighting with them, he courted their favour, winning their support before setting out on any undertaking; and whenever he was invited to meet them, hastening to them on the run. If ever the ephors visited him when he was seated in his royal chair and administering justice, he rose in their honour; and as men were from time to time made members of the senate, he would send each one a cloak and an ox as a mark of honour. [4] Consequently, while he was thought to be honouring and exalting the dignity of their office, he was unawares increasing his own influence and adding to the power of the king a greatness which was conceded out of good-will towards him.

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load focus Greek (Bernadotte Perrin, 1917)
hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), E´PHORI
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Xenophon, Agesilaus, 6.4
    • Plutarch, Lycurgus, 5.6
    • Plutarch, Lycurgus, 7.1
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