learned from his captives that the Mantineians had come in full force to assist the
Lacedaemonians, Epameinondas then withdrew a short distance from the city and encamped, and
having given orders to prepare mess, he left some of the horsemen and ordered them to burn
fires in the camp until the morning watch, while he himself set out with his army and hurried
to fall suddenly on those who had been left in Mantineia.
Having covered much ground on the next day, he suddenly broke in on the Mantineians when they
were not expecting it. However, he did not succeed in his attempt, although by his plan of
campaign he had provided for every contingency, but, finding Fate opposed to him, contrary to
his expectations he lost the victory. For just as he was approaching the unprotected city, on
the opposite side of Mantineia there arrived the reinforcements sent by Athens,1
six thousand in number with Hegesileos2
their general, a man at that time renowned amongst his fellow
citizens. He introduced an adequate force into the city and arrayed the rest of the army in
expectation of a decisive battle.
And presently the
Lacedaemonians and Mantineians made their appearance as well, whereat all got ready for the
contest which was to decide the issue and summoned their allies from every direction.
On the side of the Mantineians were the Eleians,
Lacedaemonians, Athenians, and a few others, who numbered all told more than twenty thousand
foot and about two thousand horse. On the side of the Tegeans the most numerous and bravest of
the Arcadians were ranged as allies, also Achaeans,3
Boeotians, Argives, some other
Peloponnesians, and allies from outside, and all in all there were assembled above thirty
thousand foot and not less than three thousand horse.