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An aider and abettor of this device was Leandrias1 the Spartan, who had been exiled from Lacedaemon and was then a member of the Theban expedition. He was produced in the assembly and declared that there was an ancient saying amongst the Spartans, that they would lose the supremacy when they should be defeated at Leuctra at the hands of the Thebans. [2] Certain local oracle-mongers likewise came up to Epameinondas, saying that the Lacedaemonians were destined to meet with a great disaster by the tomb of the daughters of Leuctrus and Scedasus for the following reasons. [3] Leuctrus was the person for whom this plain was named. His daughters and those of a certain Scedasus as well, being maidens, were violated by some Lacedaemonian ambassadors. The outraged girls, unable to endure their misfortune, called down curses on the country that had sent forth their ravishers and took their lives by their own hands.2 [4] Many other such occurrences were reported, and when Epameinondas had convened an assembly and exhorted the soldiers by the appropriate pleas to meet the issue, they all shifted their resolutions, rid themselves of their superstition, and with courage in their hearts stood ready for the battle. [5] There came also at this time to aid the Thebans an allied contingent from Thessaly, fifteen hundred infantry, and five hundred horsemen, commanded by Jason.3 He persuaded both the Boeotians and the Lacedaemonians to make an armistice and so to guard against the caprices of Fortune. [6] When the truce came into effect, Cleombrotus set out with his army from Boeotia, and there came to meet him another large army of Lacedaemonians and their allies under the command of Archidamus,4 son of Agesilaus. For the Spartans, seeing the preparedness of the Boeotians, and taking measures to meet their boldness and recklessness in battle, had dispatched the second army to overcome by the superior number of their combatants the daring of the enemy. [7] Once these armies had united, the Lacedaemonians thought it cowardly to fear the valour of the Boeotians. So they disregarded the truce and with high spirits returned to Leuctra. The Boeotians too were ready for the battle and both sides marshalled their forces.

1 Not known elsewhere; perhaps an error for Cleandridas (son of Gylippus?); see P.-W. Realencyclop├Ądie, s.vv..

2 A slightly different version of this story occurs in Plut. Pelopidas 20.3-4. Paus. 9.13.5-6, is closer to Diodorus.

3 According to Xen. Hell. 6.4.20-26, Jason came after the battle of Leuctra, and there is no mention of an armistice.

4 Archidamus likewise in Xen. Hell. 6.4.18, was dispatched after and not before the battle.

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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (4):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.13.5
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.4.18
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.4.20
    • Plutarch, Pelopidas, 20.3
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