But in Megara, when he was leading his army back from Thebes,
as he was going up to the senate-house in the acropolis, he was seized with a cramp and violent pain in his sound leg, which then swelled up, appeared to be congested, and showed signs of excessive inflammation.
As soon as a certain Syracusan physician had opened a vein below the ankle, the pains relaxed, but much blood flowed and could not be checked, so that Agesilaüs was very faint from its loss, and in dire peril of his life. At last, however, the flow of blood was stopped, and Agesilaüs was carried to Sparta, where he remained for a long time in a weak condition and unable to take the field.
During this time the Spartans met with many reverses both by land and sea, the greatest of which was at Tegyra, where for the first time they were overpowered by the Thebans in a pitched battle.
There was, accordingly, a general sentiment in favour of a general peace, and ambassadors from all Hellas came together at Sparta to settle its terms.
One of these ambassadors was Epaminondas, a man of repute for culture and philosophy, although he had not yet given proof of capacity as a general. This man, seeing the rest all cringing before Agesilaüs, alone had the courage of his convictions, and made a speech, not in behalf of Thebes, his native city, but of all Greece in common, declaring that war made Sparta great at the expense of the sufferings of all the other states, and urging that peace be made on terms of equality and justice, for it would endure only when all parties to it were made equal.