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After this they assisted Penthilus in sending out the Æolian colony, and despatched a large body of their own people with him, so that it was called the Bœotian colony.

A long time afterwards the country was devastated during the war with the Persians at Platææ. They afterwards so far recovered their power, that the Thebans, having vanquished the Lacedæmonians in two battles,1 disputed the sovereignty of Greece. Epaminondas, however, was killed, and they were disappointed in their hope of obtaining this supremacy. They, nevertheless, fought in defence of the Greeks against the Phocæans, who had plundered their common temple. Reduced by this war, and by the Macedonians, at the time they invaded Greece, they lost their city, which was afterwards restored to them, and rebuilt by the Macedonians themselves, who had razed it.2 From that period to our own times their affairs have continued to decline, nor do they retain the appearance even of a considerable village. Other cities (of Bœotia) have experienced a similar fate, with the exception of Tanagra and Thespiæ, which in comparison with Thebes are in a tolerable condition.

1 Leuctra and Mantineia.

2 The Thebans, who were formerly the allies of the Macedonians, were opposed to Philip of Macedon at the battle of Chæroneia. On the accession to the throne of Alexander, the city was destroyed, B. C. 335; 6000 of the inhabitants were killed, and 30,000 sold as slaves. The city was rebuilt, B. C. 316, by Casander. Pausanias, ix. 7. The ravages committed by Sylla in the war against Mithridates, which completed the final-ruin of Thebes, must have been fresh in the memory of Strabo.

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