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Teleutias was the brother of the Spartan king Agesilaus II, and a Spartan naval commander in the Corinthian War. or Corinthian war. He first saw action in the campaign to regain control of the Corinthian Gulf after the Spartan naval disaster at Cnidus in 394, and was later active in the Spartan campaign against Argos in 391. (It appears likely that Teleutias was navarch in 392/1 BC.) Later that year, he was dispatched to the Aegean to take command of a Spartan fleet harassing Rhodes. Once in command, he attacked and seized a small Athenian fleet sailing to aid Evagoras I of Salamis, Cyprus, then settled in to attack Rhodes with his newly augmented fleet. After being replaced in command of this fleet, Teleutias returned to Sparta to great acclaim, and was soon sent out again to take command of a fleet on the island of Aegina circa 389. The Spartans had previously suffered several defeats in this theater, leaving the sailors greatly demoralized, and the Athenians had to some degree relaxed their vigilance in the area. Teleutias took advantage of this fact to launch a raid on Piraeus, the harbor of Athens, where he seized a number of merchant ships and fishing vessels. The raid resulted in a great deal of plunder for the Spartans, and the confidence the victory instilled in the sailors allowed Teleutias to operate more vigorously with his fleet.
Xenophon, reporting a speech given by Teleutias to his men on Aegina, records the following piece of rhetoric: for indeed the sweetest thing of all surely is to flatter no man, Hellene or Barbarian, for the sake of hire; we will suffice to ourselves, and from a source to which honour pre-eminently invites us; since, I need not remind you, abundance won from the enemy in war furnishes forth not bodily nutrition only, but a feast of glory the wide world over.
George Cawkwell has argued that this speech constitutes a direct attack on the policy of accommodation with Persia that would presently produce the Peace of Antalcidas, and on these grounds identifies Teleutias, along with Agesilaus, as part of a pan-Hellenist bloc at Sparta opposed to the accommodationist bloc represented by Antalcidas.
In 382. Teleutias commanded an expeditionary force of 10,000 men on a campaign against the Chalkidian League headed by the city of Olynthus in northeastern Greece. Moving slowly through Greece, Teleutias augmented his force with contingents from allied states. At the head of the substantial army which he had thus acquired, he entered Olynthian territory and won an initial victory outside the walls of Olynthus. The next spring, however, while leading a pillaging expedition into Olynthian territory, Teleutias ran into difficulty when a group of his peltasts rashly crossed over a river and were attacked by Olynthian cavalry. Teleutias drove off the cavalry by bringing up his hoplites and cavalry, but the Peloponnesians pursued too aggressively and came in under the walls of Olynthus, from where the enemy could fire down on them. A sudden attack by Olynthian infantry and cavalry routed Teleutias' force; he himself was killed, and his army suffered severe casualties.




How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 February 2016), Teleutias, d.381 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_teleutias.html


Teleutias (d.381) was a half-brother of Agesilaus II of Sparta and a successful admiral and general who was killed in battle against the Olynthians. Teleutias and Agesilaus had the same mother, and it was probably this family connection that got Teleutias his first recorded military command, as commander of a Spartan fleet in the Corinthian Gulf. In 394 the main Spartan fleet in the Aegean was defeated at Cnidus by a combined Persian and Athenian fleet (Persian-Spartan War). The victorious allies then visited mainland Greece, where they provided money that allowed Corinth to build a fleet with which they gained command of the gulf (Corinthian War). In 393 Teleutias was given command of a Spartan fleet and used it to regain control of the Gulf. In 391 he advanced to Lechaeum, the Corinthian port at the eastern end of the gulf, where he joined up with Agesilaus and captured the port and the long walls that linked it to Corinth. In 390 Teleutias replaced Ecdicus as the Spartan admiral in Asian waters. He sailed from Greece to Samos, where he gained reinforcements, then went on to Cnidus, where he took over command of Ecdicus's fleet. He then sailed for Cyprus, and on the way he captured ten Athenian warships that had been sent to support King Evagoras of Salamis in a revolt against the Persians. The Athenians responded by sending forty ships under Thrasybulus to support the democratic party on Rhodes. When the Athenians arrived they discovered that the situation was deadlocked, and left for the Hellespont. In 388 Teleutias became involved in a complex campaign around Aegina, a great rival of Athens located just off the coast of Attica. The Athenians responded by building a fort on the island supported by a fleet of ten triremes. Teleutias was able to drive away the Athenian ships, but the fort remained in Athenian hands for some time after this. Teleutias was replaced by Hierax and then by Gorgopas. During this period the Athenians abandoned the fort, but established a base on the mainland opposite Aegina. Gorgopas had some success, ambushing the Athenian squadron from this base, but he was then killed in an Athenian ambush on the island itself. Teleutias was sent to restore the situation, and carried out a daring raid into the harbour at Piraeus, then raiding along the Attic coast. In 382 Teleutias was given command of the Spartan expedition against Olynthus, in Chalcidice. At the time Olynthus was expanding its power in the area, and the Spartans were called in by several of her worried rivals. Although he had the help of Amyntas III of Macedon and Derdas of Elymia, he made little progress in 382 (battle of Olynthus, in 382. Teleutias was killed outside the walls of Olynthus. During the fighting of 381 the Olynthian cavalry routed part of the Spartan army. Teleutias was enraged and ordered his entire army to attack. This brought them within missile range of the defenders of the city. The Spartan formation was disrupted and the defenders took the chance to carry out a sortie in which Teleutias was killed and his army defeated (battle of Olynthus, 381 BC). The Spartans persisted with their attack, and eventually King Agesipolis managed to force the Olynthians to dissolve their confederation, but they were probably unable to enforce the agreement.


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