When Phrasicleides was archon at Athens,
the Romans elected eight military tribunes with consular power, Publius Manius, Gaius
Erenucius, Gaius Sextus, Tiberius Julius, Lucius Lavinius, Publius Tribonius, and Gaius
Manlius, and besides Lucius Anthestius.2
During their term of office the Thebans, since they were not participants in the truce, were
forced to undertake alone the war with the Lacedaemonians; for there was no city that could
legally join them, because all had agreed to the general peace.
The Lacedaemonians, since the Thebans were isolated, determined to fight them and reduce
Thebes to complete slavery. And since the Lacedaemonians were making their preparations without
concealment and the Thebans were destitute of allies, everyone assumed that they would easily
be defeated by the Spartans.
Accordingly some of the Greeks
who were friendly to the Thebans sympathized with them at the prospect of defeat, while others
who were at odds with them were overjoyed at the thought that Thebes would in a trice be
reduced to utter slavery. Finally the Lacedaemonians, their huge army ready, gave command of it
to Cleombrotus their king,3
and first of all sent envoys ahead to
Thebes, directing the Thebans to permit all of the Boeotian cities to be independent, to people
Plataeae and Thespiae,4
and to restore
the land to its former owners.
When the Thebans replied that
they never meddled with affairs in Laconia and the Spartans had no right to touch those of
Boeotia, such being the tenor of their answers, the Lacedaemonians sent Cleombrotus forth
immediately with his army against Thebes; and the Spartan allies were eager for the war,
confident that there would be no contest or battle but that they would master the Boeotians
without a struggle.