When Nausigenes was
archon at Athens, in Rome four military tribunes with consular power were elected, Lucius
Papirius, Lucius Menenius, Servius Cornelius, and Servius Sulpicius; and the Eleians celebrated
the hundred third Olympiad, in which Pythostratus the Athenian won the stadium race. During
their term of office Ptolemy2
of Alorus, son
of Amyntas, assassinated Alexander, his brother-in-law, and was king of Macedon for three
In Boeotia Pelopidas, whose military reputation
rivalled that of Epameinondas, saw that the latter had arranged the Peloponnesian affairs to
the advantage of the Boeotians, and was eager to be the instrument whereby districts outside of
the Peloponnese were won for the Thebans. Taking along with him as his associate Ismenias, a
friend of his, and a man who was admired for his valour, he entered Thessaly.3
There he met Alexander, the tyrant of Pherae, but was suddenly
arrested with Ismenias, and placed under guard.
incensed at what had been done, dispatched with all speed eight thousand hoplites and six
hundred cavalry into Thessaly, so frightening Alexander that he dispatched ambassadors to
Athens for an alliance.4
The Athenian people immediately
sent him thirty ships and a thousand men under the command of Autocles.
While Autocles was making the circuit of Euboea, the Thebans entered
Thessaly. Though Alexander had gathered his infantry and had many times more horsemen than the
Boeotians, at first the Boeotians decided to settle the war by battle, for they had the
Thessalians as supporters; but when the latter left them in the lurch and the Athenians and
some other allies joined Alexander, and they found their provisions of food and drink and all
their other supplies giving out, the boeotarchs decided to return home.
When they had broken camp and were proceeding through level country,
Alexander trailed them with a large body of cavalry and attacked their rear. A number of
Boeotians perished under the continuous rain of darts, others fell wounded, until finally,
being permitted neither to halt nor to proceed, they were reduced to utter helplessness, as was
natural when they were also running short of provisions.
they had now abandoned hope, Epameinondas, who was at that time serving as a private soldier,
was appointed general by the men. Quickly selecting the light-armed men and cavalry, he took
them with him, and, posting himself in the rear, with their aid checked the enemy pursuers and
provided complete security for the heavy-armed men in the front ranks; and by wheeling about
and offering battle and using masterly formations he saved the army.
By these repeated successes he more and more enhanced his own reputation and won the
warm approbation of both his fellow citizens and allies. But the Thebans brought judgement
against the boeotarchs of the day and punished them with a heavy fine.