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[3] For when the Mantineans changed their allegiance, 1 revolted from Thebes, and called in the Lacedaemonians to help them, Epaminondas, learning that Agesilaüs had marched out from Sparta with his forces and was approaching, set out by night from Tegea, without the knowledge of the Mantineans, and led his army against Sparta itself. He passed by Agesilaüs, and came within a little of suddenly seizing the city in a defenceless state. 2

1 In 362 B.C.

2 ‘Like a nest of young birds utterly bereft of its natural defenders’ (Xenophon, Hell. vii. 5, 10).

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