Cleombrotus

Cleombrotus (Greek: Κλεόμβροτος): Spartan prince from the Agiad Dynasty, in 480/479 BCE regent of his nephew Pleistarchus.

Statue of a Spartan hoplite

King Anaxandridas of Sparta (r.c.560-c.520 BCE) had four sons: Cleomenes, Dorieus, Leonidas, and Cleombrotus, who may have been Leonidas' twin brother.note Cleomenes succeeded his father in c.520 BCE and was king until his suicide in 488. At that moment, Dorieus had already died during an attempt to found a city on Sicily,note so Leonidas became king.note He was killed in action in the battle of Thermopylae, unable to prevent the Persian king Xerxes from invading central Greece (September 19, 480).note

Leonidas ought to have been succeeded by his son, Pleistarchus, but he was too young to become king, especially in war time. Therefore, Cleombrotus was appointed as regent. He commanded the Spartan forces in the weeks after the defeat at Thermopylae. While the Persians were looting Athens, he ordered the fortification of the Corinthian isthmus.note (The present wall, the Hexamilion, is a Byzantine reconstruction.)

On September 29, the united Greek navies defeated the Persians in the naval battle at Salamis, and Xerxes ordered his soldiers to retreat to Thessaly and Macedonia. Cleombrotus prepared a counterattack, but canceled it after a bad omen: a partial solar eclipse (October 2, 480).note He died in the following winter.note

Cleombrotus was the father of Pausanias, who succeeded him as regent and commanded the Greek forces during the battle of Plataea.note Another son was Nicomedes.note

This page was created in 2018; last modified on 14 March 2019.