battalion of his own training, a body of drilled light infantry. And now in the fullness of time Bœotia was to produce its man of genius—Epaminondas the Theban.
In 378 Sparta had sold the Ionian cities back to the Great King, who sent down from Susa a beautiful treaty saying, “King Artaxerxes thinks it just that Asia Minor and the Ionian islands shall belong to him, and that the rest of the cities of Greece, both great and small, shall be independent.” That was really the end of Sparta’s dream of an oversea empire. She had found it too fatiguing for a land power. Armed with this treaty, she began to run amuck among her neighbours. She assailed the Arcadian city of Mantinea and tore it up into villages. One of her captains marching past Athens made a
XV. THE HERMES OF PRAXITELES
English Photo Co., Athens
dash for Peiræus, but was fortunately foiled. Another had played the same trick on Thebes, this time