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LEUKTRA Boiotia, Greece.

A village 6 km SE of Thespiai. It is situated slightly N of a hill (modern village of Parapoungia or Lefktra) overlooking the fertile plain bounded by the Oeroe river to the S, the Permessos to the W, and the Thespios to the N. To the E, on a hill, was the important Mycenaean city of Eutresis. Leuktra and Butresis were komai in the Thespian territory; the former was situated on one of the roads leading from Thespiai to the port of Kreusis, at the mouth of the Oeroe. No trace of it has been found up to the present time.

In 371 B.C., to force Thebes to grant the Boiotian cities their independence in accordance with the Peace of Antalkidas (386), Kleombrotos I, king of Sparta, advanced his army from Phokis to Thebes. Held up near Koroneia, he walked across Mt. Helikon, reached the shore of the Gulf of Corinth at Kreusis and once again climbed up toward Thebes. With his 11,000 men he met 6,000 Boiotians under Epaminondas in the plain of Leuktra. Epaminondas' victory ensured the hegemony of Thebes. He had a trophy built on the spot. At the beginning of the 3d c. this trophy was replaced by a monument that figured on silver Boiotian coins in the period 288-244 B.C. The Greek archaeologist A. Orlandos discovered some of the stones used in this monument and rebuilt it on the original site. On a round base rebuilt of Domvraina limestone he replaced the 0.68 mhigh frieze of triglyphs and metopai, three fragments of which had been preserved; above a cornice 0.26 m high are the eight trapezoidal blocks, placed in circular courses, each of which has a round shield about one m in diameter carved in relief on the outer, parabolically curved face. All these blocks were found in the vicinity of the trophy.


B. Head, British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins, Central Greece (1884) pl. VI, 2; Wrede in RE (1925) s.v. Lauktra 1; J. Kromayer, Antike Schlachtfelder IV (1926) 290ff; A. Orlandos in Praktika (1958) 43-44; (1961) 225ff; in Ergon (1958) 48-52; (1960) 222-24; (1961) 229-31; “Chronique des Fouilles” BCH 83 (1959) 675-79I; W. K. Pritchett, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography I (1965) 49-58MI; N. Papahadjis, Pausaniou Hellados Periegesis V (1969) 90-95MPI.


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