The city of Sparta, founded in the days of the Pelasgians, and once ruled over by Menelaus and Helen, had fallen, as we have seen, into the hands of the Heraclidae when they came back to the Peloponnesus after their exile of a hundred years. It was first governed by Aristodemus, one of their three leaders; and, as records soon began to be kept, we know a great deal about the early history of this famous place.

As the town had formerly belonged to the Heraclidae, and had been ruled by one of their ancestors, called Lacedaemon, they called it by his name, and the country around it they named Laconia. Having won back the town by fighting, the Heraclidae said that they would attend to war and politics, and make the conquered people till the ground.