The Theban Wars

The Theban Wars with Sparta, 382-362 BC
Dr. John Lewis
August 31, 2007

Basic Chronology of the Theban Wars with Sparta
(All dates BC)
(Xenophon Hellenika = Xen Hell)
(Diodorus Sikulus Histories = DS)

431-403           The Peloponnesian War: Athens defeated by Sparta
395-387           The Corinthian War: Sparta versus Greek coalitions
386                  The first King’s Peace (The Peace of Antalcidas) (Xen Hell 5.1)
385                  Sparta intervenes at Mantinea and Phlius
382-379           Spartan Occupation of the Cadmeia: the acropolis in Thebes
Sparta tries to destroy the Boiotian Federation
378                  The Boiotian War breaks out (DS 15.25-27; Xen Hell 5.4)
DS 15.28-35:  The Boiotian Alliance
The Second Athenian Sea League formed
Athens allies with Thebes, versus Sparta
Sparta, under King Agesilaos, invades Boiotia twice
Spartan General Sphodriades occupies the Peiraeus without authorization
376                   Spartans under Cleombrotos march ineffectually against Thebes
Thebans defeat Spartan garrison at Orchomenos (DS 15.36-37)
Athenians defeat a Sparan fleet at Naxos
375                  Second King’s Peace; Thebes is diplomatically isolated (DS 15.38-40; Xen Hell 5.2)
Spartan contingent defeated at the Battle of Tegya in Boiotia
Spartans aid Phokians in Boiotia versus Thebans
Control of the Chalcidice taken by Athens
374                  Thebes razes fortifications at Plataea and Thespiae
Civil Strife in Greece (DS 15.45-47)
Corcyra: Sparta vs Athens (15.46-47)
(Athens: Timotheus, Son of Conon, tried, Xen Hell 5.2.3; Nepos Tim 4; Dem 49.9 f.)
372                  King’s Peace renewed; Spartan expedition against Thebes (DS 15.50; Xen Hell 6.3)
371                 Battle of Leuktra; Spartans defeated by Thebans (DS 15.51-56; Xen Hell 6.4)
Peace Conference in Athens; Agesilaos erases Thebes from the treaty (Plut Agesilaus 28.1-2)
370                  Arcadian Federal League is formed; Spartan expedition to Arcadia
Civil Strife in Argos (DS 15.57-60; Xen Hell 6.5)
1st Boiotian invasion of the Peloponnesus (DS 15.64-67; Xen Hell 6.5)
Restoration of Messene (omitted by Xenophon)
369                  2nd Boiotian invasion of Peloponnesus (DS 15.68-69; Xen Hell 7.1)
368                  Spartans defeat the Arcadians (the “Tearless Battle”) (Xen Hell 7.1.31-32)
Founding of Megalopolis (omitted by Xenophon)
367                  3rd Boiotian invasion of the Peloponnesus (DS 15.75)
366                  Peace of Thebes (brokered by Persian King Artaxerxes) (DS 15.76; Xen Hell 7.4.1)
365                  Civil Strife in Greece (DS 15.77)
Peace Proposals taken to the Persian King (Plutarch Pelopidas 30)
364                  Thebes aids Thesally; Death of Pelopidas of Thebes against Alexander of Pherae
(Plut Pelopidas 32: anger was the cause)
363-2               4th Boiotian invasion of Peloponnesus under Epameinondas
Coalitions = Tegea and Boiotia versus Mantineia, Sparta and Athens (DS 15.82-87; Xen Hell 7.5)
Battle of Mantineia; Epameinondas killed in a Theban victory