Or Liches (Λίχης), one of the Spartan agathoergi,1 who, according to the story, enabled his countrymen to fulfil the oracle, which had made their conquest of Tegea conditional on their obtaining thence the bones of Orestes. Lichas, having gone to Tegea in the course of his mission, discovered the existence of a gigantic coffin under a blacksmith's shop — a place answering remarkably to the enigmatical description of the oracle. He reported this at home, and, his countrymen having pretended to banish him, he came again to Tegea, persuaded the smith to let him his house, and having dug up the bones, returned with them to Sparta.
From this time the Spartans were always victorious over the Tegeans. The date of the everts, with which the above tale is connected, we do not know with accuracy; but they occurred early in the reign of Anaxandrides and Ariston, which began probably about 560 BCE.
- The agathoergi (ἀγαθοεργοί) were a group of 300 bodyguards (ἱππεῖς) who served Spartan kings in times of war.
- Herodotus. Histories i, 67, 68; Larcher, ad loc.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 3.5 ff; comp. Clinton. Fasti Hellenici. Vol. 1, pp. 92, 102, 339; Vol. 2, p. 207.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.