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Sosibius Plots Against Cleomenes

These feelings now moved him to advise the king and
The intrigue of Sosibius against Cleomenes.
his friends above all things to arrest and incarcerate Cleomenes: and to carry out this policy he availed himself of the following circumstance, which happened conveniently for him. There was a certain Messenian called Nicagoras, an ancestral guest-friend of the Lacedaemonian king Archidamus. They had not previously had much intercourse; but when Archidamus fled from Sparta, for fear of Cleomenes, and came to Messenia, not only did Archidamus show great kindness in receiving him under his roof and furnishing him with other necessaries, but from the close association that followed a very warm friendship and intimacy sprang up between them: and accordingly when Cleomenes subsequently gave Archidamus some expectation of being restored to his city, and composing their quarrels, Nicagoras devoted himself to conducting the negotiation and settling the terms of their compact. These being ratified, Archelaus returned to Sparta relying on the treaty made by the agency of Nicagoras. But as soon as he met him, Cleomenes assassinated Archidamus,1 sparing however Nicagoras and his companions. To the outside world Nicagoras pretended to be under an obligation to Cleomenes for saving his life; but in heart he was exceedingly incensed at what had happened, because he had the discredit of having been the cause of the king's death. Now it happened that this same Nicagoras had, a short time before the events of which we are speaking, come to Alexandria with a cargo of horses. Just as he was disembarking he came upon Cleomenes, Panterus, and Hippitas walking together along the quay. When Cleomenes saw him, he came up and welcomed him warmly, and asked him on what business he was come. Upon his replying that he had brought a cargo of horses, "You had better," said he, "have brought a cargo of catamites and sakbut girls; for that is what the present king is fond of." Nicagoras laughed, and said nothing at the time: but some days afterwards, when he had, in the course of his horse-sales, become more intimate with Sosibius, he did Cleomenes the ill turn of repeating his recent sarcasm; and seeing that Sosibius heard it with satisfaction, he related to him the whole story of his grievance against Cleomenes.

1 Archidamus was the brother of Agis, the king of the other line, who had been assassinated in B.C. 240. Plutarch, Cleom. 5, probably on the authority of Phylarchus, represents the murder of Archidamus as not the work of Cleomenes, but of the same party that had murdered Agis and feared the vengeance of his brother. (See Thirlwall, 8, p. 158, who agrees with Plutarch.)

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