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In Greek mythology, the name Lycurgus could refer to three people.

  1. An alternate name for Lycomedes
  2. King of the Edones in Thrace, father of Dryas. He banned the cult of Dionysus. When Lycurgus heard that Dionysus was in his kingdom, imprisoned all the followers of Dionysus, the Maenads. Dionysus fled, taking refuge with Thetis. Dionysus then sent a drought and the people revolted. Dionysus made King Lycurgus insane, and he sliced his own son into pieces with an axe, thinking he was a patch of ivy, a plant holy to Dionysus. An oracle then claimed that the land would stay dry and barren as long as Lycurgus was alive. His people had him drawn and quartered. With Lycurgus dead, Dionysus lifted the curse. In an alternate version, Zeus made Lycurgus blind as punishment for opposing the cult.
  3. The legendary lawgiver of Sparta, who established the military-oriented reformation of Spartan society in accordance with the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. He is referenced by ancient historians Herodotus, Xenophon, and Plutarch. It is not clear if this Lycurgus was an actual historical figure, however many historians believe Lycurgus was responsible for the communistic and militaristic reforms which transformed Spartan society in the second half of the 7th century BC.

Lycurgus is also the name of an Athenian orator (c.390 - c.325 BC) and statesman. Of the fifteen speeches that Caecilius considered genuine, the only surviving one is Against Leocrates.