II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > D. Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World > 4. The Classical Age, 510–323 B.C.E. > g. The Theban Hegemony
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
g. The Theban Hegemony
A general peace settlement was reached between the allies and Sparta in the summer, but the Theban leader Epaminondas withdrew when he was not permitted to sign on behalf of all Boeotia. Sparta immediately sent King Cleombrotus to chastise Thebes, but the Spartan army was crushed by Epaminondas at the Battle of Leuctra. This defeat shattered Spartan military prestige and ended its hegemony over Greece. Thebes withdrew from the Athenian League, along with the cities in Acarnania, Euboea, and the Chalcidice.  1
An Arcadian League was formed under Theban protection as a counterweight to Sparta, and Mantinea was restored as a city. The government of the Arcadian League consisted of a general assembly (the Ten Thousand), made up of all freeborn citizens, with sovereignty in matters of war and peace. A council of damiurgoi gave proportional representation to the member cities, and a college of generals (strategoi) served as a civil and military executive. There was a standing mercenary army (eparitoi). The Theban army, under Epaminondas, liberated Messenia from Sparta, and the city of Messene was built.  2
Athens and Sparta made an alliance on equal terms. The Arcadians founded Megalopolis as a federal capital. In the following years, Thebes secured the union of all Thessaly except Pherae under a single ruler (archon).  3
Dionysius I died in the course of another war with Carthage. He was succeeded by his weak son Dionysius II, under the regency of his uncle Dion who immediately made peace.  4
Dion brought Plato to Syracuse in order to educate Dionysius as a “philosopher king.” The attempt failed, and both Dion and Plato were driven out of Syracuse.  5
The pro-Spartan party of Callistratus in Athens was replaced in power by the party of Timotheus. Peace was made with Thebes on the basis of the status quo. Breaking its promise, Athens sent a cleruchy to garrison its ally Samos.  6
The Thebans defeated Alexander, the tyrant of Pherae, in the Battle of Cynoscephalae but their commander, Pelopidas, was killed in action.  7
Epaminondas led a Theban army into Thessaly and again defeated Alexander of Pherae. Athens subjected its allies Ceos and Naxos to Athenian jurisdiction.  8
The Arcadian League broke up, and oligarchs took control of many of its cities.  9
In the Second Battle of Mantinea the Thebans beat the Spartans, but Epaminondas was killed in the battle. A general peace was made but not accepted by Sparta, which refused to recognize the independence of Messenia.  10
Athens sent a cleruchy to occupy Potidaea.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.