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When Timocrates was archon at Athens, in Rome three military tribunes with consular power were elected, Titus Quinctius, Servius Cornelius, and Servius Sulpicius; and the hundred fourth Olympiad was celebrated by the Pisans and Arcadians, in which Phocides, an Athenian, won the stadium race. [2] During their term of office the Pisans, renewing the ancient prestige2 of their country and resorting to mythical, antiquarian proofs, asserted that the honour of holding the Olympian festival was their prerogative. And judging that they had now a suitable occasion for claiming the games, they formed an alliance with the Arcadians, who were enemies of the Eleians. With them as supporters they took the field against the Eleians who were in the act of holding the games. [3] The Eleians resisted with all their forces and a stubborn battle took place, having as spectators the Greeks who were present for the festival wearing wreaths on their heads and calmly applauding the deeds of valour on both sides, themselves out of reach of danger. Finally the Pisans won the day and held the games, but the Eleians later failed to record this Olympiad because they considered that it had been conducted by force and contrary to justice. [4]

While these things were going on, Epameinondas the Theban, who enjoyed the highest standing amongst his fellow countrymen, harangued his fellow citizens at a meeting of the assembly, urging them to strive for the supremacy on the sea. In the course of the speech, which was the result of long consideration, he pointed out that this attempt was both expedient and possible, alleging in particular that it was easy for those who possessed supremacy on land to acquire the mastery of the sea. The Athenians, for instance, in the war with Xerxes, who had two hundred ships manned by themselves, were subject to the commands of the Lacedaemonians who provided only ten ships. By this and many other arguments suited to his theme he prevailed upon the Thebans to make a bid for the mastery at sea.

1 364/3 B.C.

2 For the struggle over the presidency of the Olympian games see P.-W. Realencyclopädie, 17.2531-2536. Xenophon recounts this strife in Xen. Hell. 7.4.28-35. Pausanias notes the omission of the 104th Olympiad from the record of the Eleians in Paus. 6.4.2, 8.3, 22.3, in the last passage using the term ἀνολυμπιάς. For the relations of Elis and Arcadia see Cary, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.97-99.

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