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1 Pelopidas and Epaminondas were the chief Theban generals during their city's period of greatness （371-362 B.C.）. In 371 they defeated Sparta at Leuctra and, in response to an appeal from the Arcadians who then rose against Sparta, entered the Peloponnese in 370. Here they refounded the town of Messene which the Spartans had destroyed at the end of the 8th century B.C. （Dio. Sic. 15.56 and Dio. Sic. 15.62-66）. Epaminondas conducted three further invasions of the Peloponnese, penetrating Laconia, but never actually taking Sparta. It was probably during the second of these that he founded Megalopolis, the new capital of Arcadia; in the third he was killed at Mantinea （362 B.C.）.
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