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A certain inhabitant of Croton, Cylon by name, the foremost citizen in wealth and repute, was eager to become a Pythagorean. But since he was a harsh man and violent in his ways, and both seditious and tyrannical as well, he was rejected by them. Consequently, being irritated at the order of the Pythagoreans, he formed a large party and never ceased working against them in every way possible both by word and by deed. Lysis, the Pythagorean, came to Thebes in Boeotia and became the teacher of EpaminondasThe distinguished Theban general and statesman, c. 420-362 B.C.; and he developed him, with respect to virtue, into a perfect man and became his father by adoption because of the affection he had for him. And Epaminondas, because of the incitements toward perseverance and simplicity and every other virtue which he received from the Pythagorean philosophy, became the foremost man, not only of Thebes, but of all who lived in his time.
When Mardonius learned that the enemy's army was advancing in the direction of Boeotia, he marched forth from Thebes, and when he arrived at the Asopus River he pitched a camp, which he strengthened by means of a deep ditch and surrounded with a wooden palisade. The total number of the Greeks approached one hundred thousand men, that of the barbarians some five hundred thousand.The size of the Greek army is probably slightly exaggerated, that of the Persian greatly. The first to open the battle were the barbarians, who poured out upon the Greeks by night and charged with all their cavalry upon the camp. The Athenians observed them in time and with their army in battle formation boldly advanced to meet them, and a mighty battle ensued. In the end all the rest of the Greeks put to flight the barbarians who were arrayed against them; but the Megarians alone, who faced the commander of the cavalry and the best horsemen the Persi