The Chronology of the Elean War

The Chronology of the Elean War by Ron K. Unz
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, Spring 1986, Vol. 27, Number 1, pp. 29-42

Regarding the chronology and events of the Elean War, fought between Sparta and Elis ca 400 B.C., our sources are in notorious disagreement. Xenophon’s account and that of Pausanias, which ultimately derives from it appears to differ irreconcilably from that of Diodorus. A resolution of this crux is desirable for its own sake, but even more important are the substantive issues involved: reconstruction of the actual course of the war should help us gain a better understanding of Spartan foreign policy during the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, allow us to learn the circumstances and date of the accession of King Agesilaus, and, perhaps most significantly, provide further insight into the reliability and methods of our two principal sources for the events of the period.

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