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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

festivals and counting it ever afterwards a dies non.

After the war had continued for two years Epaminondas again undertook the

pacification of Peloponnesus and marched a large army across the isthmus.

He was joined by reinforcements from those states and towns favor- able

to the Theban cause, while those who were opposed rallied in great force

at Mantinea. The aged Agesilaus, of Sparta, set out for this place at the

head of the Lacedaemonian forces, and Epaminondas seeing the Laconian

capital thus exposed, once more formed the design of capturing it. By a

swift movement he reached the city before Agesilaus could reenter; but

the houses were so well defended and the old king so alert that the

Theban was obliged to retire. Sparta again escaped destruction by the

skin of her teeth.

Epaminondas, however, at once made his way to Mantinea, and here was

fought the decisive battle of the war. The conflict occurred in the plain

between the city and Tegea. On coming upon the field Epaminondas ordered

his soldiers to ground arms. From this movement the Spartans and

Mantinaeans inferred that the battle would not occur until the following

day. They accordingly took off their breastplates and disposed themselves

at ease. But Epaminondas was busy with preparations, and had no thought

of procrastination. He adopted the same plan of battle as at Leuctra. He

massed his best troops into a column of great depth and hurled them upon

the enemy, who, hurrying into rank, were unable to withstand the shock.

The field was swept at a single charge, and the soldiers of Sparta were

again seen in flight. But the victory was purchased by Thebes at too dear

a price. Epaminondas, fighting in the foremost ranks, was struck in the

breast with a spear and fell mortally wounded. He was carried from the

field in a dying condition. Having satisfied himself that his shield was

safe, and that the victory was certainly won, he ordered the spearhead to

be drawn from his breast and died.

The Theban ascendancy perished with him. Both of those-Iolaidas and

Daiphantus- whom he had indicated as his successors perished in the

battle, and his own dying advice to make peace was as necessary as it was

judicious. His great rival, Agesilaus, survived him but a short time, and

then ended his career in a most dramatic mariner. At the age of eighty

years, the indomitable old man, hobbling about on his lame leg, organized

a force of one thousand hoplites and went on an expedition into Egypt.

That country, under the leadership of Tachos, was now engaged in an

insurrection against the Persians, and the Spartan king went to his aid.

He cut so ridiculous a figure on his arrival that Egyptian ridicule could

not be restrained.

But the party of Nectanebis, who presently rose against Tachos, better

appreciated the military genius of the short old octogenarian, who went

stumping about the ranks with the imperturbable spirit for which his race

had always been noted. Agesilaus actually raised Nectanebis to power, and

was by him rewarded with a present of two hundred and thirty talents. But

on his way homeward the old man died. His body was embalmed in wax and

carried to Sparta, where it was buried with great honor. The ancient

prophecy which had confronted him at the beginning of his reign, and

which Lysander had to explain away, had indeed been fulfilled. Sparta had

good reason to beware of the lame reign, for her prominence in the

affairs of Greece ceased with the death of Agesilaus.

Mention has been recently made of a squadron sent to the aid of the

Lacedaemonians by Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse. The incident naturally

suggests a few paragraphs on the progress of Grecian civilization in

Sicily and Southern Italy. After the complete collapse of the Athenian

expedition of B. C. 413, at which time the government of Syracuse was in

the hands of the oligarchic or Spartan party, a revolution occurred in

favor of the democracy. One Diodes, a learned and patriotic citizen, was

appointed to draft a popular constitution. Hermocrates, the leader of

the oligarchy, was banished; but a counter revolution was soon organized

by which he was enabled to return and Diodes was himself sent into exile.

While the