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When Nausinicus was archon at Athens, the Romans elected four military tribunes with consular power, Marcus Cornelius Quintus Servilius, Marcus Furius, and Lucius Quinctius. During their term of office what is known as the Boeotian War broke out between the Lacedaemonians and the Boeotians for the following reasons. When the Lacedaemonians maintained a garrison unjustly in the Cadmeia and had exiled many important citizens, the exiles gathered together, secured the support of the Athenians, and returned by night to their native city. [2] Having first slain in their own houses those who favoured the Lacedaemonian cause, whom they surprised while still asleep,2 they next rallied the citizens to the cause of freedom and obtained the co-operation of all the Thebans. When the populace had quickly assembled under arms, at daybreak they attempted to assault the Cadmeia. [3] The Lacedaemonians who formed the garrison of the citadel, numbering with their allies not less than fifteen hundred, sent men to Sparta to announce the insurrection of the Thebans and to urge them to send help as soon as possible. Favoured by their position, they slew many of the attackers and wounded severely no small number. [4] The Thebans, anticipating the arrival of a large army from Greece to aid the Lacedaemonians, dispatched envoys to Athens to remind them that they too once aided in restoring the democracy of the Athenians at the time when the Athenians had been enslaved by the Thirty Tyrants,3 and to request the Athenians to come with all their forces and assist them in reducing the Cadmeia before the arrival of the Lacedaemonians.

1 378/7

2 Fuller accounts are found in Xen. Hell. 5.4.2-12; Nepos Pelopidas 3; Plut. Pelopidas 7-12 and Plut. De Genio Socratis 596. Criticism of these accounts in von Stern, Gesch. d. spartan. u. theban. Hegemonie, 44 ff. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte (2), 3.2.234, gives the date as December 379.

3 The Thirty Tyrants, established after the fall of Athens, 404, by Lysander of Sparta, were headed by Critias and Theramenes, the latter judicially murdered by Critias. Exiles of the democratic regime received help from Thebes to overthrow this tyranny.

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    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.4.2
    • Cornelius Nepos, Pelopidas, 3
    • Plutarch, Pelopidas, 7
    • Plutarch, De genio Socratis, 596a
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