Evagoras (or Euagoras) was the king of Salamis (410 - 374 BC) in Cyprus. The son of Nicocles, a previous king of Salamis, he claimed descent from Teucer, half-brother of Ajax, son of Telamon, and his family had long been rulers of Salamis, although during his childhood Salamis came under Phoenician control, which resulted in his exile.
While in Cilicia, Evagoras gathered the support of 50 followers and returned secretly in 410, to gain possession of the throne. Expecting an eventual Persian response to recapture Cyprus, he cultivated the friendship of the Athenians, and after Conon's defeat at the Battle of Aegospotami he provided him with a refuge. For a time he also maintained friendly relations with Persia, and secured the aid of Artaxerxes II for Athens against Sparta. He took part in the battle of Cnidus of 394 BC, in which the Spartan fleet was defeated, and for this service his statue was placed by the Athenians side by side with that of Conon in the Ceramicus. But the energy and enterprise of Euagoras soon roused the jealousy of the Great King, and relations between them became strained. From 391 they were virtually at war. Aided by the Athenians and the Egyptian king Hakor (Achoris), Euagoras extended his rule over the greater part of Cyprus, crossed over to Asia Minor, took several cities in Phoenicia, and persuaded the Cilicians to revolt.
One result of the peace of Antalcidas (387), to which Euagoras refused to agree, was that the Athenians withdrew their support, since by its terms they recognized the lordship of Persia over Cyprus. For the next ten years Euagoras carried on hostilities single-handed, except for occasional aid from Egypt, which was likewise threatened by the Persians. The Persian generals Tiribazus and Orontes at last invaded Cyprus in 381 BC, with an army far larger than what Euagoras could command. However, Evagoras managed to cut off this force from being resupplied, and the starving troops rebelled. The war then turned in the Persian favor when Evagoras' fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Citium, and he was compelled to flee to Salamis. Here, although closely blockaded, Evagoras managed to hold his ground, and took advantage of a quarrel between the two Persian generals to conclude peace (376). Evagoras was allowed to remain nominally king of Salamis, but in reality a vassal of Persia, to which he was to pay a yearly tribute. The chronology of the last part of his reign is uncertain. In 374 he was assassinated by a eunuch from motives of private revenge.
According to Isocrates's panegyric, Evagoras was a model ruler, whose aim was to promote the welfare of his state and of his subjects by the cultivation of Greek refinement and civilization. Other contemporary sources -- Diodorus Siculus 14.115, 15.2-9; Xenophon, Hellenica 4.8 -- are not as unrestrainedly complimentary.