Ancient Thebes (Boeotia)
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
See Thebes, Greece for the modern city built on the ancient ruins.
Ancient Thebes (Template:Lang) was a Boeotian city-state (polis), situated to the north of the Cithaeron range, which divides Boeotia from Attica, and on the southern edge of the Boeotian plain. It played an important role in the fabric of Greek myth, as the site of the stories of Cadmus, Oedipus, Dionysus and others.
It was the largest city of the region of Boeotia and was the leader of the Boeotian confederacy. It was a major rival of Athens, and sided with the Persians during the 480 BC invasion of Xerxes. Theban forces under the command of Epaminondas ended the power of Sparta at the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. The Sacred Band of Thebes (an elite military unit) famously fell at the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC against Philip II and Alexander the Great.
In the Mycenaean period it attracted attention from the invading Dorians, and the fact of their eventual conquest of Thebes lies behind the stories of the successive legendary attacks on that city.Template:Citation needed The central position and military security of the city naturally tended to raise it to a commanding position among the Boeotians, and from early days its inhabitants endeavoured to establish a complete supremacy over their kinsmen in the outlying towns.
- Aristides (4th century BC), painter
- Crates (c. 365-c. 285 BC), philosopher
- Epaminondas (c. 410 BC-362 BC), general and statesman
- Pelopidas, statesman and general
- Simmias (5th-4th century BC), disciple of Socrates
- Timoclea, fl. 335 BC
- Thebes, Greece, the modern city
- Theban kings in Greek mythology
- Seven Against Thebes
- League of Corinth
- Thebes tablets
- Theban pederasty