Aratus of Sicyon (271213) was a
politician and military commander of Hellenistic Greece. He was elected
strategos of the Achaean League 17 times, leading the League through numerous
military campaigns including the Cleomenean War
and the Social War.
Aratus was exiled to Argos at the age of seven, after his father, the
magistrate of Sicyon, was killed in a coup. In 251, he led an expedition
composed of other exiles which freed Sicyon from tyranny, and assumed power in
the city. Sicyon joined the Achaean League, in which Aratus would later be
In his first major campaign as strategos, he seized the Macedonian-held citadel
of Acrocorinth, previously believed impregnable. After conquering the
Acrocorinth, Aratus pursued the Achaean League's expansion. When the Spartan
king Cleomenes III conquered the Achaean cities
of Argos and Corinth, Aratus succeeded in securing an alliance with his
erstwhile enemy, Macedon. Cleomenes III was defeated at the Battle of
Sellasia by the joint forces of the Achaean
League and Antigonus III Doson, the regent of Macedon.
During the Social War against the Aetolian League, Aratus became one of the
prime advisors of the new king of Macedon, Philip V. Aratus died in 213,
allegedly poisoned by Philip.