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And again, when fortune shifted her favorThebes became the supreme power in Greece by the battle of Leuctra, 371 B.C. and the Thebans and the Peloponnesians were one and all trying to devastate Lacedaemon, we alone among the Hellenes formed361 B.C. an alliance with the Lacedaemonians and helped to save them from destruction.In 362 B.C., when Epaminondas, at the head of the Thebans and their allies, including the Argives, Arcadians, Messenians, and the Eleans, marched on Sparta to destroy her, the Athenians dispatched Iphicrates with an army of twelve thousand to the rescue. See Isoc. 8.105; Xen. Hell. 6.5.23 ff.; Grote, Hist. x. pp. 89 ff.
As for myself, at any rate, if I may speak my own mind, I had rather die this moment for not complying with the dictates of the foe than live many times my allotted span of life at the price of voting what the Thebans demand. For I should feel disgraced, I who am descended from Heracles,The Spartan kings claimed descent from Heracles Isoc. 4.62. who am the son of the ruling king and likely myself to attain to this honor,Archidamus became king after the death of Agesilaus in 361 B.C. if I did not strive with all the strength that is in me to prevent this territory, which our fathers left to us, from becoming the possession of our slaves.