The Mantineans did not fight on the side of the other Arcadians against the Lacedaemonians at Dipaea, but in the Peloponnesian war they rose with the Eleans against the Lacedaemonians, and joined in battle with them after the arrival of reinforcements from Athens. Their friendship with the Athenians led them to take part also in the Sicilian expedition.
The Hellenes who awaited the Persians in that place were these: three hundred
Spartan armed men; one thousand from Tegea and Mantinea, half from each place;
one hundred and twenty from Orchomenus in Arcadia and one thousand from the rest
of Arcadia; that many Arcadians, four hundred from Corinth, two hundred from Phlius,
and eighty Mycenaeans. These were the Peloponnesians present; from Boeotia there
were seven hundred Thespians and four hundred Thebans.
Later on a Lacedaemonian army under Agesipolis, the son of Pausanias, invaded
their territory. Agesipolis was victorious in the battle and shut up the Mantineans
within their walls, capturing the city shortly after. He did not take it by storm,
but turned the river Ophis against its fortifications, which were made of unburnt
brick. Now against the blows of engines brick brings greater security than fortifications
built of stone. For stones break and are dislodged from their fittings; brick,
however, does not suffer so much from engines, but it crumbles under the action
of water just as wax is melted by the sun. After taking Mantineia, he left a small
part of it inhabited, but by far the greater part he razed to the ground, settling
the inhabitants in villages. Fate decreed that the Thebans should restore the
Mantineans from the villages to their own country after the engagement at Leuctra.
Name given to Mantinea in honour of Antigonus.
Stalemate after the Battle of Mantinea
The alliances of the various city-states shifted often in the repeated conflicts that took place in Greece during these early decades of the fourth century B.C. The threat from Thessaly faded with Jason's murder in 370 B.C., and the former enemies Sparta and Athens momentarily allied against the Thebans in the battle of Mantinea in the Peloponnese in 362 B.C. Thebes won the battle but lost the war when its great leader Epaminondas fell at Mantinea and no credible replacement for him could be found. The Theban quest for dominance in Greece was over. Xenophon adroitly summed up the situation after 362 B.C. with these closing remarks from the history that he wrote of the Greeks in his time (Hellenica ): "Everyone had supposed that the winners of this battle would be Greece's rulers and its losers their subjects; but there was only more confusion and disturbance in Greece after it than before". The truth of his analysis was confirmed when the naval alliance led by Athens dissolved in the mid-350s B.C. in a war among the leader and the allies. All the efforts of the various major Greek states to extend their hegemony over mainland Greece in this period therefore ended in failure. By the mid 350s B.C., no Greek city-state had the power to rule more than itself on a consistent basis. The struggle for supremacy in Greece that had begun eighty years earlier with the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War had finally ended in a stalemate of exhaustion that opened the way for a new power-- the kingdom of Macedonia.
This text is from: Thomas Martin's An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander, Yale University Press. Cited Sep 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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