Boeatian War

Theban Rebellion

  • There had been long hostility between Sparta and Thebes
  • In 382 BC, Sparta managed (with the help of Theban traitors) to install a puppet government in Thebes
  • In 379 BC, a group of 7 patriots (lead by Pelopidas) drove the Spartan dominated government out of town

The Fall of Sparta

  • Pelopidas and Epaminodas reformed the Theban army
    • The Sacred Band of 300 Thebans was founded
  • Thebes started uniting cities throughout Boetia
    • This was strongly opposed by Sparta

Battle of Tegyra

  • 375 BC
  • Tegyra was the only remaining city in Boetia in an alliance with Sparta
  • Thebes unsuccessfully attacked Tegyra and met Spartan arny on their way back
  • Although Thebans were outnumbered, they still won over Sparta
    • Two Spartan generals were slain
    • First recorded occasion on which a Spartan hoplite force was defeated by a numerically inferior force in a set battle

Battle of Leuctra

  • 371 BC
  • Sparta marched on Thebes and met them on the field of Leuctra
  • Theban forces were outnumbered again, but they still delivered Sparta a crushing defeat
    • Mostly thanks to their brilliant general Epaminondas
    • One Spartan king was slain


  • Epimondas followed this victory by marching into Spartan territory, freeing slaves and helots
    • Two walled cities were built, Messenia and Megapolis
    • He didn’t attack the city of Sparta itself, because he knew it could be defeated only at tremendous cost
  • Era of Theban hegemony began

The Tearless Battle

  • 368 BC
  • Spartan victory against Arcadians where not even one Spartan was killed

Death of Pelopidas and Epaminondas

Battle of Cynoscephalae

  • 364 BC
  • Thebes and Thesselians against the forces of Alexander, despot of Phera
  • Thebes victory
    • But Pelopidas was slain

Battle of Mantinea

  • 362 BC
  • Thebes against the combined forces of Athens, Sparta and Mantinea
  • Thebes victory
    • But Epaminondas was slain

Sparta weak and there was no longer a coalition in Greece strong enough that it could resist Macedonians.