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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
II. THE GREAT AGE OF THE GREEK REPUBLICS TO 362 B.C.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 21
37. THE SPARTAN AND THEBAN SUPREMACIES, 404-362 B.C.
Sparta was now the undisputed leader of Continental Greece and of the Aegean. As the representative of the liberty-loving Greeks she had humbled the pride and power of "tyrant" Athens. A great opportunity lay before her to reorganize the Hellenic world and to end the struggles for supremacy between rival cities. But Sparta entered upon no such glorious career. She had always stood as the champion of aristocracy against democracy, and now in her hour of triumph she began to overturn every democratic government that still existed in Greece. The Greek cities soon found they had exchanged the mild sway of Athens for the brutal despotism of Sparta.
THE FREEING OF THEBES 379 B.C.
But Spartan despotism provoked resistance. It was the Boeotian city of Thebes which raised the standard of revolt. Some of the liberty-loving Thebans, headed by Pelopidas, a patriotic noble, formed a conspiracy to drive the Spartans out of the city. Disguised as huntsmen, Pelopidas and his followers entered Thebes at nightfall, killed the tyrants whom Sparta had set over the people, and forced the Spartan garrison to surrender.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy