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of winter Epaminondas retired to Thebes and the allies to their

respective states.

The year B. C. 368 was mostly occupied by an expedition of Pelopidas into

Thessaly. After the death of Jason, Alexander, a Thessalian prince, had

succeeded, by murdering his two brothers, in becoming generalissimo of

the country. Against him-for he entertained the same ambitious projects

of his predecessor-the Theban campaign was directed. Pelopidas was

entirely successful. Alexander was obliged to solicit a settlement, and

the cities of Thessaly were mostly induced to enter into a league against

the extension of his power. As soon as the state was reduced to quiet

Pelopidas marched into Macedonia, whose regent Ptolemy was induced to

make an alliance with the Thebans; and to bind the compact the young

Macedonian prince, Philip, son of Amyntas, was given as a hostage and

taken to Thebes, where he spent several years, keenly alive to the

influences of Greek politics and the culture of the South. Thus was

brought about the first contact between the Greek states and the great

power of the North by whose sword their liberties were so soon to be


Meanwhile, the league of the Arcadian cities had grown strong as well as

overconfident under the leadership of Lycomedes. Like all the other

Greeks the Arcadians, as soon as freedom dawned, rushed forward to gain

first independence and then ascendancy. This haste to be great roused the

jealousy of Thebes, and she now looked coldly on the Arcadian

confederation or even sympathized with its enemies. After the arrival of

the Syracusan reinforcements the Spartans, feeling strong enough to

assume the offensive, invaded Arcadia, and succeeded in bringing on an

action in which the forces of the towns of the league were completely

routed. Not a single Spartan fell in the conflict, and the fight was for

this reason given the name of the Tearless Battle.

The important event of the years B. C. 367-366 was the embassy sent by

Thebes to Persia. Ever since the Peace of Antalcidas the Great King had

claimed and exercised the rights of an arbiter in the internal affairs of

Greece. The Thebans, now claiming the position of leadership, felt that

it was necessary for their assumption to be recognized by the Persian

court. Pelopidas and Ismenias were accordingly sent to Susa to secure the

sanction of the royal power to the claim of Thebes, and also to obtain

the decision of the king respecting several disputes now pending between

the Greek states. The Athenians, in order if possible, to counteract the

arguments of the Theban ambassadors, sent Timagoras and Leon to represent

Athens and the Peloponnesian league. But the king, who had now learnt

that the easiest way to maintain his ascendancy in Greece was to support

the strongest state, readily inclined to the side of Thebes. Her

leadership was formally recognized, and the pending difficulties in

Peloponnesus were all decided according to her wish.

The settlement, however, was unfavorably received in Greece. In vain did

Thebes insist that the rescript of the Great King should be accepted by

the assembly convened to hear the conditions of the adjustment. The

Arcadians withdrew from the council. Other states refused to ratify the

terms. Pelopidas and Ismenias went in person to Thessaly to secure a

ratification. Alexander had them seized and imprisoned at Pherae. When

the Thebans undertook to recover their general and sent an army of more

than eight thousand men into Thessaly they were defeated and driven from

the country. For in a fit of folly they had refused that year to reelect

Epaminondas Boeotrarch, and the commanders who went against Alexander

were incompetent as leaders.

The great general, however, was serving in the ranks, and when the army,

pursued by Alexander, was about to be ruined, the soldiers called on

Epaminondas to save them. He accordingly took command and the Theban

forces were delivered from their peril. A reaction in his favor was the

________________________________ invited Damocles to a banquet. When the

courtier arrived and was seated, he glanced upward and beheld above his

head a sword suspended by a single hair! Thus would his master teach him

the peril and precarious tenure of greatness.