Epaminondas
(c.418-362 BC)

Born in Thebes, Epaminondas is known as a great tactic, general and statesman.
He was a very severe person and did not stand any kind of lies, not even in jokes. As a young man he had trained himself in ascetic ways, and had studied music and philosophy according to Pythagoras.
After the liberation of Thebes from the Spartans, Epaminondas was elected representative at the peace meeting in Sparta. He had no success there, and left the meeting after an argument with the Spartan king Agesilaus.

As a military leader, Epaminondas invented the ingenious strategy of putting the emphasis of the phalanx to the left, as well as making it attack sideways in stead of straight on, which made the enemys left held shields weak.

He defeated the Spartans at Leuctra, which gave Thebes a leading position

among the Greek city-states. He also liberated Messenia from the Spartans, and founded Megalopolis as capital of the Arcadian Laegue. These victories were to end Spartas leading role.

On his return to Thebes, Epaminondas was charged and sentenced to death for having kept his high office for much longer than the given month. The sentence was soon revoked though, after Epamindondas had held a speech about how he had saved Thebes.

Epaminondas died during a campaign against the Spartan League, hit by a spear. Dying he asked the Thebans to ask for peace with the enemies, which happened, forever crushing Thebes aspirations of becoming the leading state of Greece.

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