Alexander's conduct caused renewed intervention; in 364 he was defeated at Cynoscephalae by the Thebans, although the victory was dearly bought by the loss of Pelopidas, who fell in the battle.
He supported the Phocians during the Sacred War (355-346), moved, no doubt, largely by the hatred of Thebes which he had inherited from his father: he also led the Spartan forces in the conflicts with the Thebans and their allies which arose out of the Spartan attempt to break up the city of Megalopolis.
The Spartans failed to safeguard Heraclea against the Oetaeans and Thessalians, and for a short time were displaced by the Thebans (420).
He came finally to Eretria, and, with the help of the Thebans and Lygdamis of Naxos, whom he afterwards made ruler of that island, he passed over to Attica and defeated the Athenian forces at the battle of Pallenis or Pellene.
In return for this negligence the Thebans fastened a religious quarrel upon their neighbours, and secured a penal decree against them from the Amphictyonic synod (356).
The Thebans at first accepted the terms, but on the day after, realizing that they were thus balked of their pan-Boeotian ambition, withdrew and finally severed themselves from the league.
In 367 Philip was delivered as hostage to the Thebans, then the leading power of Greece (by whom does not seem clear).
By the peace of Antalcidas the Persian supremacy was proclaimed over Greece; and in the following wars all parties, Spartans, Athenians, Thebans, Argives continually applied to Persia for a decision in their favour.
After the withdrawal of the Thebans from Arcadia Mantineia failed to recover its pre-eminence from Megalopolis, with which city it had frequent disputes.
It was the constant ambition of the Thebans to absorb the other townships into a single state, just as Athens had annexed the Attic communities.
By the Thebans before Leuctra (Paus.
The democracy consistently supported the victorious Thebans against Sparta, figuring with a large contingent on the decisive field of Mantineia (362).
6 At Thebes - the Thebans were SerpentigenaeApollo took the place of Cadmus, who, after killing the dragon which guarded a well and freeing the district, had ended by being turned into a serpent.
In 369 it was captured and garrisoned by the Thebans in their successful attack on the Peloponnesian League.
His deposition by the Thebans and subsequent murder freed Sicyon for a season, but new tyrants arose with the help of Philip II.
On the eve of sailing from Aulis he attempted to offer a sacrifice, as Agamemnon had done before the Trojan expedition, but the Thebans intervened to prevent it; an insult for which he never forgave them.
In the late 6th century the Thebans were brought for the first time into hostile contact with the Athenians, who helped the small fortress of Plataea to maintain its independence against them, and in 506 repelled an inroad into Attica.
In the Peloponnesian War the Thebans, embittered by the support which Athens gave to the smaller Boeotian towns, and especially to Plataea, which they vainly attempted to reduce in 431, were firm allies of Sparta, which in turn helped them to besiege Plataea and allowed them to destroy the town after capture (427).
After the downfall of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War the Thebans, finding that Sparta intended to protect the states which they desired to annex, broke off the alliance.
There is evidence that the gate Electrae was on the south, and near it was the tomb of the Thebans who fell at the capture by Alexander.
Hass, 1880), advocating an alliance of the Thebans and Peloponnesians against Archelaus, king of Macedonia.
During the Persian invasion of 480 B.C. it stood almost alone among Boeotian cities in rejecting the example of treason set by the Thebans, and served the national cause with splendid devotion.
In the latter year they were reduced by the Thebans and compelled to send a contingent to Leuctra (371).
It was probably shortly after this battle that the Thebans used their new predominance to destroy Thespiae and drive its people into exile.
There - at the invitation of Thessalians and Thebans - he intervened in the Phocian War.
It was Demosthenes who went to Byzantium, brought the estranged city back to the Athenian alliance, and snatched it from the hands of Philip. It was Demosthenes who, when Philip had already seized Elatea, hurried to Thebes, who by his passionate appeal gained one last chance, the only possible chance, for Greek freedom, who broke down the barrier of an inveterate jealousy, who brought Thebans to fight beside Athenians, and who thus won at the eleventh hour a victory for the spirit of loyal union which took away at least one bitterness from the unspeakable calamity of Chaeronea.
The Muses taught her a riddle and the Thebans had to guess it.
Again the Thebans refused to renounce their Boeotian hegemony, and the Spartan attempt at coercion ended in the defeat of the Spartan army at the battle of Leuctra and the death of its leader, King Cleombrotus.
On Epaminondas' fourth expedition Sparta was again within an ace of capture, but once more the danger was averted just in time; and though at Mantinea (362 B.C.) the Thebans, together with the Arcadians, Messenians and Argives, gained a victory over the combined Mantinean, Athenian and Spartan forces, yet the death of Epaminondas in the battle more than counterbalanced the Theban victory and led to the speedy break-up of their supremacy.