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When the year ended, in Athens Mnesitheides was archon, and in Rome the consuls elected were Lucius Lucretius and Titus Veturius Cicurinus. During this year the Thebans, who had been humbled because of their alliance with Xerxes,2 sought a way by which they might recover both their ancient influence and reputation. [2] Consequently, since all the Boeotians held the Thebans in disdain and no longer paid any attention to them, the Thebans asked the Lacedaemonians to aid them in winning for their city the hegemony over all Boeotia; and they promised that in return for this favour they would make war by themselves upon the Athenians, so that it would no longer be necessary for the Spartans to lead troops beyond the border of the Peloponnesus. [3] And the Lacedaemonians [assented], judging the proposal to be to their advantage and believing that, if Thebes should grow in strength, she would be a kind of counterweight to the increasing power of the Athenians; consequently, since they had at the time a large army in readiness at Tanagra, they increased the extent of the circuit wall of Thebes and compelled the cities of Boeotia to subject themselves to the Thebans. [4] The Athenians, however, being eager to break up the plan of the Lacedaemonians, made ready a large army and elected as general Myronides the son of Callias. He enrolled the required number of citizens and gave them orders, announcing a day on which he planned to march forth from the city. [5] And when the appointed time arrived and some of the soldiers had not put in appearance at the specified rendezvous, he took those who had reported and advanced into Boeotia. And when certain of his officers and friends said that he should wait for the tardy men, Myronides, who was not only a sagacious general but energetic as well, replied that he would not do so; for, he declared, men who of their own choice are late for the departure will in battle also play an ignoble and cowardly part, and will therefore not withstand the perils of war in defence of their country either, whereas the men who presented themselves ready for service on the appointed day gave clear evidence that they would not desert their posts in the war. And this is what actually took place; [6] for leading forth soldiers who were few in number but the bravest in courage, he drew them up in Boeotia against a vastly superior force and utterly defeated his opponents.

1 457 B.C.

2 During the Persian invasion.

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