Aratus of Sicyon

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aratus of Sicyon


Born 271 B .C.; died 213 B .C. Ancient Greek statesman.

Aratus, by overthrowing the tyrant Nicocles, came to power in Sicyon in 251 and succeeded in including the city in the Achaean League. From 245 onward, he was the actual ruler of the league; he was strategus (general) more than 17 times. Under Aratus the league attained full independence from Macedonia. However, in 224, in order to combat a strengthening Sparta and a movement of the poor in the Peloponnesos, Aratus called upon the Macedonian king An-tigonus III Doson for aid, thus subjecting the league once again to Macedonian domination. Aratus wrote memoirs which have not come down to us but which were used by Polybius and Plutarch.


Walbank, F. W. Aratos of Sicyon. Cambridge, 1933.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Romans preferred to use repeated field campaigns to compel fortified cities to surrender, and other ancient princes, such as Aratus of Sicyon, had "a hidden virtue" by which they took cities through "fraudulent and nocturnal expeditions" (Discourses 2.32.1; Plutarch n.d., 1226-7).
One of the lives that Plutarch composed for his book is that of Aratus of Sicyon (271-213 BC), not a philosopher-poet but a general and political leader.