The Battle of Mantinea. July 4, 362 BC.

After the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, the foundations of Spartan hegemony stumbled. Thebes‘ chief politician and general Epaminondas attempted to build a new hegemony centered on his city. The Thebans marched south, into the area traditionally dominated by the Spartans, and set up the Arcadian League, a federation of city-states of the central Peloponnese, to contain Spartan influence and thereby maintain overall Theban control. In years prior to the Battle of Mantinea, the Spartans had joined with the Eleans (a minor Peloponnesian people with a territorial grudge against the Arcadians) in an effort to undermine the League. When the Arcadians miscalculated and seized the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia in Elis, one of the Arcadian city-states, Mantinea, detached itself fro...

The Battle of Marathon – September 12, 490 BC.

  The Battle of Marathon defined the end of the first of the Greco-Persian Wars. The battle took place in the bay near the town of Marathon, not far from Athens, in the Attica coast. On one side, the Persian king Darius I wanted to invade and conquer Athens for supporting the cities of Ionia in their attempt to bring down Persian rule. On the other side, Athenians and their allies, the Plataeans. It was in this battle where Philippedes ran from Athens to Sparta to ask the Spartan army for help, as the Persian army wouldn´t stop once Athens was conquered. Sparta was engaged in a religious festivity at that moment, and gave this as an excuse for not coming in Athen´s aid. After five days of fighting, the Athenian and Plataean army crushed the Persian infantry, which fled with a huge los...

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