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Having 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. [2] 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. [3] 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. [4] 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.

1 See chap. 82.4 and Xen. Hell. 7.5.15.

2 The name of the Athenian commander is given as Hegesileos by Ephorus (Diog. Laert. 2.54) and by Xenophon (Xen. Ways 3.7). Hegesileos was uncle of Eubulus and general again in the year 349/8. See Kirchner, Pros. Att. no. 6339: Ἡγήλοχον.

3 Probably from Thessaly, Ἀχαιοὶ Φθιῶται, if present text is retained. See chap. 85.2 for Achaeans of Peloponnesus.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1502
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    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.5.15
    • Xenophon, Ways and Means, 3.7
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