Epaminondas

, a famous Theban, son of Polymnus, and one of the greatest captains of antiquity, studied philosophy and music under Lysis, a Pythagorean philosopher, and was accomplished in every exercise of mind and body. Epaminondas first bore arms among the Lacedemonians, saved the life of Pelopidas their general, who had received seven or eight wounds in battle, and formed a strict | friendship with him, which lasted through life. Pelopidas, by his advice, delivered the city of Thebes from the yoke of the Lacedemonians, who had gained possession of Cadmea, which occasioned a bloody War between the two nations. Eparninondas was appointed general of the Thebans, gained the celebrated buttle of Leuctru, 371 B. C. in which Cleombrotus, a valiant king of Sparta, was killed; ravaged the enemy’s country, and caused the city of Messene to be rebuilt and peopled. The command of the army being afterwards given to another, because Epaminondas had kept the troops in the field four months beyond the time ordered by the people, he served as a common soldier, and signalized himself by so many noble actions, that the Thebans, ashamed of having deprived him of the command, restored all his authority, that he might conduct the war in Thessaly, where his arms were ever victorious. A war breaking out between the people of Elea and those of Mantinea, the Thebans defended the former, and Epaminoudas attempted to surprise Sparta and Mantinea; but, failing in his enterprize, he engaged the enemy 363 B. C. and was mortally wounded by a spear, the head of which remained in the wound. Finding that he must die if it was extracted, he would not let it be done, but continued to give his orders. When told that the enemy were defeated entirely, he said, “I have lived long enough, since I die unconquered;” then, tearing out the weapon, expired, being about forty-eight years of age. One of his friends condoling with him, a few moments before, that he left no children, having never been married, “You are mistaken,” replied Epaminondas1 leave two daughters; the Victory at S. of Thebes, where in 371 B.C. Epaminondas and his Thebans overthrew the ascendency of Sparta.">Leuctra, and that at Mantinea.” This great man was not only illustrious for his military talents, but for his goodness, affability, frugality, equity, and moderation and was a tender, generous friend. 1

1

Plutarch.—Cornel, Nepos, &c.