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AGESILAUS IN ASIA
YOU may remember that the Greeks, at the end of the
Peloponnesian War, had found out that Sparta was the
strongest city in the whole country; for, although the
Athenians managed to drive the Spartans out of their
city, they were still forced to recognize them as the
leaders of all Greece.
The Spartans were proud of having reached such a
position, and were eager to maintain it at any cost.
They therefore kept all the Greek towns under their
orders, and were delighted to think that their king,
Agesilaus, was one of the best generals of his day.
He was not, however, tall and strong, like most of his
fellow-citizens, but puny and very lame. His small size
and bad health had not lessened his courage, however,
and he was always ready to plan a new campaign or to
lead his men off to war.
When it became known that Artaxerxes was about to march
against the Greek cities in Ionia, to punish them for
upholding his brother Cyrus, and for sending him the
ten thousand soldiers who had beat such a masterly
retreat, Agesilaus made up his mind to go and help
 There was no prospect of fighting at home just then, so
the Spartan warriors were only too glad to follow their
king to Asia. Agesilaus had no sooner landed in Asia
Minor, than the Greeks cities there gave him command
over their army, bidding him defend them from the wrath
Now, although the Persian host, as usual, far
outnumbered the Greek army, Agesilaus won several
victories over his enemies, who were amazed that such a
small and insignificant-looking man should be at the
same time a king and a great general.
They were accustomed to so much pomp and ceremony, and
always saw their own king so richly dressed, that it
seemed very queer to them to see Agesilaus going about
in the same garments as his men, and himself leading
them in battle.