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house and killed. Epaminondas issued a proclamation of freedom, and the

Thebans from every side rushed to arms. An assembly was called and the

conspirators were publicly crowned with wreaths of flowers. The old

office of Baeotrarch was revived, and Pelopidas, Charon, and Mellon were

chosen to administer the affairs of the state. The city was soon filled

with returning exiles. Athenian volunteers poured into the country, and

Epaminondas soon found himself at the head of a courageous and powerful


Sparta was thunderstruck with the intelligence. Rallying from her

consternation she dispatched an army under Cleombrotus and Sphodrias to

suppress the alarming insurrection. The former soon retired from Boeotia

without accomplishing any thing, and the latter was bribed by the Thebans

to invade Attica-this for the purpose of compelling the Athenians to

enter into an active alliance with themselves. The ruse was successful.

The Spartans disavowed the act of Sphodrias, but the fact of the invasion

remained, and the exasperation of Athens could not be appeased.

Having once more completely broken with the Lacedaemonians, the Athenians

set to work with great energy to establish a new league which should be

powerful enough to uphold the independence of the democratic states. The

plan proposed was the constitution of the old confederacy of Delos. A

congress was to be created of delegates from the seventy independent

cities composing the league, and this body was to have the power to

advise and direct in all matters of common interest, under the leadership

of Athens. It was at once voted to raise an army of twenty thousand

hoplites and five hundred cavalry, and to equip a fleet of two hundred

galleys. A special tax was assessed in Athens to push forward the

preparations, and in Thebes the army was rapidly brought into a state of

perfect discipline.

Now it was that the military genius of