Plutarch's Lives (Volume 5) online

. (page 25 of 36)
Online LibraryPlutarchPlutarch's Lives (Volume 5) → online text (page 25 of 36)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the vanquished ; for they w r ere not pitched battles,
nor was the fighting in open and regular array, but
it was by making well-timed sallies, and by either
retreating before the enemy or by pursuing and
coming to close quarters with them that the Thebans
won their successes.

XVI. But the conflict at Tegyra, Avhich was a sort
of prelude to that at Leuctra, raised high the repu-
tation of Pelopidas ; for it afforded his fellow com-
manders no rival claim in its success, ajid his enemies
no excuse for their defeat. Against the city of
Orchomenus, which had chosen the side of the
Spartans and received two divisions of them for its
protection, he was ever laving plans and watching
his opportunity, and when he heard that its garrison
had made an expedition into Locris, he hoped to find



eprjfjiov api-jcretv TOV p^ofiievov ecrrp-
\wv fJieO' eavTov TOV lepov Xo^oi> KCLI


evpev qieovcrav eV ^
aTrfjyev oTnaw TO arparev/Jia
Bia Teyvpwv, rj f^ovrj ^daifjuov i]v KVK\M Trapd
-'{ Tr]v vTrwpeiav r^v yap Bid /-tecrou irdcrav 6

evdvs K Trriywv et? e\rj TrXcora
StacT7reip6/j,i>os aTropov eVot'et.
bv 8e VTTO rd \?] veto? eornv '
Teyvpaiov real fjiavrelov 6K\\t[A/jivov ov Train.'
7ro\vv ^povov, aXX' dy^pt rwv Mri$iKO)v iJK/^a^e,
rrjv 7rpo(j)r]TLav 'E^e/c/?aTOU? e^o^ro?. evravOa
fjivOo\oyovcn, TOV Oeov yeve&dai" teal TO fj^ev 7r\r}-
criov o/oo? AT)\O? KaXelrai, teal TT/OO? auTO /cara-
4 \rjyovcnv ai TOV MeXa/^o? 8ia%vo-eis, OTTLCTCI) Be
TOV vaov &vo prjyvvvTai miyal yXv/cvTijTi KOI


TO p,ev Qolvitca, TO Be 'EXatai' d^pu vvv
byuey, ov (frvTwv fJiTa%v Bvelv, aXXa pelOpwv T/}?
6eov Xo^ef^etcrT;?. Kal yap TO IlTwo^ eyyvs,
oOev avTrjv dvaTrToydrfvai TT po<$>avevTO<$ e^al^v^
Karrpov \yov<ri,, Kal TO, Tfepl Y[v0o0va Kal TITVOV
wcravTw? ol TOTTOL T?) yevecrei TOV Oeov
b ovo'i. Ta ydp TrXetcrTa 7rapa\6i7rco T&V
pLwv ov ydp ev Tot? eK /jLTa/3o\fj<$ d
yvo/u.vois yevvrjTois o TraT/oto? \6yos TOV 6eov
TOVTOV aTroXetVet Bai/Aocriv, axTTrep npaxXea


PELOPIDAS, xvi. 2-5

the city without defenders, and marched against it.
having with him the sacred band and a few horse-
men. But when, on approaching the city, he found
that its garrison had been replaced with other troops
from Sparta, he led his army back again through the
district of Tegyra, that being the only way by which
he could make a circuit along the foot of the moun-
tains. For all the intervening plain was made im-
passable by the river Melas, which no sooner begins
to How than it spreads itself out into navigable
marshes and lakes.

A little below the marshes stands the temple of
Apollo Tegyraeus. with an oracle which had not been
long abandoned, but was flourishing down to the
Persian wars, when Echecrates was prophet-priest.
Here, according to the story, the god was born ; and
the neighbouring mountain is called Delos, and at its
base the river Melas ceases to be spread out, and
behind the temple two springs burst forth with a
wonderful flow of sweet, copious, and cool water.
One of these we call Palm, the other Olive, to the
present day, for it was not between two trees, 1 but
between two fountains, that the goddess Leto was
delivered of her children. Moreover, the Ptoiim 2 is
near, from which, it is said, a boar suddenly came
forth and frightened the goddess, and in like manner
the stories of the Python 3 and of Tityus 3 are asso-
ciated with the birth of Apollo in this locality. Most
of the proofs, however, I shall pass over ; for my
native tradition removes this god from among those
deities who were changed from mortals into im-

1 As in the Delian story of the birth of Apollo and Artemis.

- A mountain at the south-eastern side of Lake Oopais, on
which was a celebrated sanctuary of Apollo

; A dragon and a giant, who were slain by Apollo ;i ml



K /jLTaoT)S pTT) TO vrfTOV tCd

rra0r)TOV a7ro(3a\ovTCL<s, a\\a TWV diBiwv teal
dyevvrjTwv el? ecmv, el Bel rot? vrro TWV (j)povi/jia)-
rdrcov real 7ra\a(-OT(iru>v


XVII. Et? & ovv Teyvpas ol ?//3atot Kara
TOV avTov %povov e/c T?}? 'O/3^oyu,e
KOI OL Aatc$aifji6vioi avvk'niTTTov,
aurot? /c rr)? AoKpibos dva^evyvvvre^.
7rpoi)TOV aKfrOrjcrav ra areva SieK/BaXXovres, fcai
eiTre TO) IleXoTTtSa TrpocrSpa/jiwv' " 'E/A7re7rT&>-
et? TOL/S TroXeyLttof?," " Tt yu,aXXo^," elrcev,
" rj et? ?7/Aa9 6/cet^ot;" /cat TT^I/ /xe^ LTTTTOV ev0us
iracrav K\ev(T irape\avveiv CLTT ovpas &><? ?rpo-
, avrbs $ TOU? oTrXtra? TpiaKO&iovs
o\iyov ffvvijya'yev, e\iri^(t)v Ka6^ 6
yaaXtcrra Siafcotyeiv v7rep{3d\\ovra<;
TT\r)6ei TOL/9 TroXe/ztou?. rjaav Se
AaKeSai/Aovitov, rrjv Be fjiopav "E<o/?o?
elvai Trevrarcoaiovs (fryer i, KaXXtcr^e^? S'


3 eVrt. /cat Oappovvres ol TroXe/^ap^oi TWV
Tiarwv ropjoXewv KOI eoTro/^Tro?
TOW? @77/3atou?. yevo/jievrjs 8e TTW?
(f)68ov /car' avrovs TOJ)? ap^ovra^ air
a dvfjiov /cal ySta?, Trpwrov fj,ev oi
AaiceBaifjioviwv TW YleXoTrLSa avppd^avres

4 7T(TOV 7T6LTa T03V 7Tpl tC6lVOVS TTaiO^kvWV KOL

CLTTCLV 6t? ()63oV KaT6(TTr TO

(TTpaTV/jia, real $iecr%e /JLGV eV dfjifyoTepa rot?
r)/3aioi<$, a)? Sie/crrea-elv et? Tovfnrpocrdev KOI
BiK&vvai (3ov\ofJievois, err el Be Trjv Beoo/jLevrjv 6
Tle\o7riBa<; rpyeiTO TT/JO? rou? <rvvcrTWTa<> teal


PELOPIDAS, xvi. 5-xvn. 4

mortals, like Heracles and Dionysus, whose virtues
enabled them to cast off mortality and suffering ; but
he is one of those deities who are unbegotten and
eternal, if we may judge by what the most ancient
and wisest men have said on such matters.

XVII. So, then, as the Thebans entered the dis-
trict of Tegyra on their way back from Orchomenus,
the Lacedaemonians also entered it at the same
time, returning in the opposite direction from Locris,
and met them. As soon as they were seen marching
through the narrow pass, some one ran up to Pelo-
pidas and said : " We have fallen into our enemies'
hands!" "Why any more," said he, "than they
into ours?" Then he at once ordered all his horse-
men to ride up from the rear in order to charge,
while he himself put his men-at-arms, three hundred
in number, into close array, expecting that wherever
they charged he would be most likely to cut his way
through the enemy, who outnumbered him. Now,
there were two divisions of the Lacedaemonians, the
division consisting of five hundred men, according to
Ephorus, of seven hundred, according to Callisthenes,
of nine hundred, according to certain other writers,
among whom is Polybius. Confident of victory, the
polemarchs of the Spartans, Gorgoleon and Theo-
pompus, advanced against the Thebans. The onset
being made on both sides particularly where the
commanders themselves stood, in the first place, the
Lacedaemonian polemarchs clashed with Pelopidas
and fell ; then, when those about them were being
wounded and slain, their whole army was seized with
fear and opened up a lane for the Thebans, imagining
that they wished to force their way through to the
opposite side and get away. But Pelopidas used tin-
path thus opened to lead his men against those of



fyovevwv, ovra) iravres

e(j)v<yov. eyeveTO Se ovrc eVl TTO\VV TOTTOV rj
Sito^W (j)o/3ovi>TO jap 677^9 ovras ol tyriftaloi
TOU9 ^QpXpfJLeviovs KOI Trjv Sia$o%r)V raw Aa/ce-
5 Sai/jLOVLWv. o&ov Be vi/cr/a-ai Kara /cpdros KCU
Sia Travrbs rjcratofMevov rov arpaTev-
(3id<TavTO' /cal <JTr)(ravTGS rpoTraiov 28
l veKpovs (TKV\evo'avT6<; dve^copyjcrai' eir' OLKOV
vvres. ev <ydp TOO-OVTOIS, &>? eonce,
'Ei\\r)viKol<s teal fiapftapiKols Trporepov

re? UTT'

Tovepv KpaTr)0r]o-av, aAA' ovSe laoi irpbs I
K Trapara^eft)? c7f/x/5aXo^re?. oOev rjaav dvv-
TToararoi, ra (frpovij/jLara, /cal rfj &6i;r) Kara-
TOU? avTiraTTo/jLevovs, ovSe

O-TT' tcr?;? Swd/Aecas TO laov

, et? ^epa? avvecrTrjcrav.
r; P'd'^tj Trpwrr) real rou? aX.Xof? &i8ai;v r/ EX-
\r)vas a)? ov% o Eu/awTa? ov&* o
/cat K.vciKia)vo<t T07T09 av&pas
al TroXe^iKovs, d\\d Trap' ol? az^
rd alcrxpd /cal roKf^dv eirl rot? /ca\ot<; e

veoi KOL 701)9 tyoyovs TWV

, OVTOL (bo&epctiTaroi Tot9 evav-
> /

XVIII. Tov 6' iepov Xovoz^, w9 (iacrt, avverd-


rpia/coaiayv, ol? // ?roXi9 acrKijaiv /cal Siairav ev
TTJ Ka&fjieia crTpaTOTreSevo/jLevois Trapei^e, /cal Sid
Tovd^ o e/c 7roXe&>9 Xo^o? /ca\ovi>TO' ra9 ydp
d/cpo7r6\t<; eTneiKws 01 rore
evtot $e <f>aatv e epacrTwv /cal
2 TO crvo"rrjij,a rovro. fcal TLa/j,/jLevovs d


PKLOPIDAS, xvii. 4 xviii. 2

the enemy who still held together, and slew them as
lie went along, so that finally all turned and fled.
The pursuit, however, was carried but a little way,
tor the Thebans feared the Orchomenians, who were
near, and the relief force from Sparta. They had
succeeded, however, in conquering their enemy out-
right and forcing their way victoriously through his
whole army ; so they erected a trophy, spoiled the
dead, and retired homewards in high spirits. For in
all their wars with Greeks and Barbarians, as it
would seem, never before had Lacedaemonians in
superior numbers been overpowered by an inferior
force, nor, indeed, in a pitched battle where the
forces were evenly matched. Hence ther were of
an irresistible courage, and when they came to close
quarters their very reputation sufficed to terrify their
opponents, who also, on their part, thought them-
selves no match for Spartans w r ith an equal force.
But this battle first taught the other Greeks also
that it was not the Eurotas, nor the region between
Babyce l and Cnacion, 1 which alone produced warlike
fighting men, but that wheresoever young men are
prone to be ashamed of baseness and courageous in
a noble cause, shunning disgrace more than danger,
these are most formidable to their foes.

XVIII. The sacred band, we are told, was first
formed by Gorgidas, of three hundred chosen men,
to whom the city furnished exercise and maintenance,
and who encamped in the Cadmeia ; for which reason,
too, they were called the city band ; for citadels in
those days were properly called cities. But some say
that this band was composed of lovers and beloved.
And a pleasantry of Pammenes is cited, in which

1 Probably names of small tributaries of the Eurotas near
Sparta. Cf. the Lycurgus, vi. 1-3.



veverai TI yuera Traitas eprajievov ov <yap
TCLK.TIK.QV elvai TOV ( O/.Lrov NecTTOoc. Ke\i>ovra

tcara (v\a KOI (rras cruoteo-at TOU9

epaari^v Trap

ev jap (f)i>\Ta)v KCLI fypdropas <pp(n6pa)v ov
TTO\VV \6yov zy^iv ev rot? Seivois, TO &' e^ e

evai Ka appri/cTOv, orav o /uev a-yaTrw^Te? TOU?
pci)/j,evov<; t ol 8e ala'^yvQ^voi TOI)? epwvras
3 e/jb/Aevajcfi rot? Seivols virep d\\rj\cov. Kal TOVTO
Oav^aarov OVK ecrnv, eiye &rj Kal fir)
albovvrai, jjia\\ov erepcov TrapbvTwv, co? e
6 -roO vroXe/Atof Keirfievov avrov mo-<f)dTTtv
/LteXXoyro? Seo/Ae^o? Kal dvri/3o\wv 8ta TOU crrep-
vov Sielvai TO t'</>o?, <<r/ O7rft)?," e^)?/,

veKpov o epco/jLevos opwv KaTa VCOTOV TTpW[jLevov
4 alcr'xyvQri" \ej6Tat 8e /cat TOI^ 'Io\&)z/ TOV 'Hpa-

6vTa KOLvwvelv TMV a0\wv


Ti <f)rjalv errl TOV T(i(f)ov TOV 'loXew ra? /tara-
TriaTOHTeis Troielcrdat, TOVS epwfjievovs Kal TOVS
epacrra?. etVo? oSz/ al TOI^ \6%ov lepov Trpocra-
, KaOoTi Kal ITXara)^ evOeov (j)i\ov


yaera T^t ^d^]v ecpopMv 701)9 vetcpov? 6 Ot


he said that Homer's Nestor was no tactician when
he urged the Greeks to form in companies by clans
and tribes,

" That clan might give assistance unto clan, and
tribes to tribes/' l

since he should have stationed lover by beloved.
For tribesmen and clansmen make little account of
tribesmen and clansmen in times of danger ; whereas,
a band that is held together by the friendship
between lovers is indissoluble and not to be broken,
since the lovers are ashamed to play the coward
before their beloved, and the beloved before their
lovers, and both stand firm in danger to protect each
other. Nor is this a wonder, since men have more
regard for their lovers even when absent than for
others who are present, as was true of him who,
when his enemy was about to slay him where he lay,
earnestly besought him to run his sword through his
breast, "in order," as he said, "that my beloved
may not have to blush at sight of my body with
a wound in the back." It is related, too, that lolaiis,
who shared the labours of Heracles and fought by
his side, was beloved of him. And Aristotle says 2
that even down to his day the tomb of lolaiis was
a place where lovers and beloved plighted mutual
faith. It was natural, then, that the band should
also be called sacred, because even Plato calls the
lover a friend "inspired of God." 3 It is said, more-
over, that the band was never beaten, until the
battle of Chaeroneia; 4 and when, after the battle,
Philip was surveying the dead, and stopped at the

1 Iliad, ii. 363. Cf. Morals, p. 761 b.

* Fragment 97 (Rose). Cf. Morals, p. 761 d.

3 Symposium, p. 179 a. * 338 B.C.



Kara rovro TO j^wpiov ev c5
KelcrOat, rov$ rpiaKO&iovs, zvavriovs d
rat? o~apio~ais drravra^ ev rot? oVXot? Kai
a\\rj\.wv dvaueaiyfjievovs, Oavp-dcravra KOI irv6b-
/j,6vov ft)? 6 rwv epao~rwv /cal rwv epto/jLevcov OL/TO?
eit] Xo^o?, Ba/cpvaai Kai elirelv " 'ATroXo^ro
ol TOUTOU? rt TTOLelv r) 7rda")(LV ala~%pby


XIX. r/

ov%, (OGTrep ol TrotrjTa! Xeyovai, r)j3aloi<i
TO Aaibf 7ra$o? ap^rjv 7rapeo-%ev, aXX' o/ j'o/io-
Oerai TO ^>ucret ^i/yu-oetSe? CLVTMV Kai afcparov
avikvai Kai avwypaiveiv evdvs etc TraiSwv ftovXo-
, TTO\VV p,ev ave^i^avro KOI aTrouSfj Kai
a Trdarj TOV av\6v, ei? TI^V Kai irpoe&piav


ra ij0rj TWI> viwv.
2 bp9ws $6 7T/3O? rovro Kai rrjv e "Apeax; /cat 288
'A(jt/3oStT?;? ryeyovevat, Xeyo^vrjv 6ebv rfj 7ro\ei
GWWKeiwcrav, &>?, OTTOI; TO ^a^riKov Kai TTO\-
IJUKOV jjiakiara rut fj,ere%ovri ireidovs Kai

Kai crvvearw, et? rrjv efji^Le\ecrrdri]v

TroX.ireiav Si appovlas KaOtara-


3 Tov ovv lepbv \o%ov rovrov b JAGV Yopyioas
Staipwv et? TO, Trpwra vya Kai irap o\^]v rijv
(f)d\ayya rcov 67r\irwv 7rpo/3a\\6uevo$ eirtSrjXov
OVK eTroiel rrjv dperyv rwv dv^pwv, ouo* evpijTO
rfj ^vvdf^eL TT/JO? KOIVOV epyov, are Si} Bia\e\v-
pevrj Kai TT/JO? TTO\V fj.ep.L'y^evrj rb (f)av\6rpoi>,
6 Be TleXoTTt^a?, a>? ^e\ap,^rev avrwv /; dperrj
irepl Te^yjoa?, Ka6apws*Kal Trepl avrbv dyojvicra-

/ ' >/ ^"A '^V? 1 ' -v % '

f^evcov, OVK eri cieihev ovoe oteGTraaev, aXX


place where the three hundred were lying, all where
they had faced the long spears of his phalanx, with
their armour, and mingled one with another, he was
amazed, and on learning that this was the band
of lovers and beloved, burst into tears and said :
" Perish miserably they who think that these men
did or suffered aught disgraceful."

XIX. Speaking generally, however, it was not the
passion of Laius that, as the poets say, first made this
form of love customary among the Thebans ; l but
their law-givers, wishing to relax and mollify their
strong and impetuous natures in earliest boyhood,
gave the flute great prominence both in their work
and in their play, bringing this instrument into pre-
eminence and honour, and reared them to give love
a conspicuous place in the life of the palaestra, thus
tempering the dispositions of the young men. And
with this in view, they did well to give the goddess
who was said to have been born of Ares and Aphro-
dite a home in their city ; for they felt that, where
the force and courage of the warrior are most closely
associated and united with the age which possesses
grace and persuasiveness, there all the activities of
civil life are brought by Harmony into the most
perfect consonance and order.

Gorgidas, then, by distributing this sacred band
among the front ranks of the whole phalanx of men-
at-arms, made the high excellence of the men incon-
spicuous, and did not direct their strength upon a
common object, since it was dissipated and blended
with that of a large body of inferior troops ; but
Pelopidas, after their valour had shone out at Tegyra,
where they fought by themselves and about his own
person, never afterwards divided or scattered them,

1 Laius was enamoured of Chrysippus, a young son of
Pelops (Apollodorus, iii. 5, 5, 10).


wcrrrep crco/uem ^pai^ei/o? 6\qy TrpoeKii'Bvveve

4 rot? fjieyifTTOKf dywcriv. OHnrep 'yap ol LTTTTOI

Odacrov VTTO rot? ap/jLacriv 77 rcaP CIVTOVS e\avvo-

{JLeVOt OeOVCTlV, OV% OTl }Jid\\,OV

K/3iaovTai TOV aepa rw 7T\t]0ei p

OTI GweKKdiet, rov OV/JLOV r; /i,er' aX,X?;X<w^ ci/

>cal TO <f)i\6veiKOV, OI/T&>? (aero rovs a

V epycov

KOIVOV epyov elvai KOI
XX. 'E?rel Be AafceBai/jiovioi Trdat, rot? r/

elprjvrjv avvOepevoi 7T/3O?

e^rfve^Kav TOV 7r6\efj,oi' } evefte(3\r)Kei Be KXeo/x-
/3/30TO9 o /SacriXeL'9 aywv oTrXtra? /jLvpiovs, 'nrTrel^
Be ^tXioi/?, 6 Se fcivBvvos ov irepl wv Trporepov
r}V QiifBaiois, aXA,' avriicpvs aTretXrj KCU /caray-
ye\ia BioiKicrfjiov, KOI <^>o/3o? olo? OVTTO> T^V Botw-
, e^icov /lev K T^? otVta? o TleXo-
T% yvvaifcbs ev rw irpoirefMTreiv
KOL 7rapaKa\ovar)<; crto^eiv eawrov,
2 " Taura," elirev, " w yvvai, rot? IBianais %pr)
napaivelv, rot? e ap-^ovcnv OTTW? rou9 aAAou?
e\0(t)v Be et? TO aTparoTreBov /cal

KaTaXafiwv ou% o^
*}?i7ra/j,eivd)vBa TrpoaeffeTo
Bid /jLa%r)s levai rot? TroXe/itot?, f3oia>-
yu-ev ou/c aTroBeBeiypevos, dp^wv Be TOV
tepov \6^ov, teal TTiarTevo/Aevos, co? ?}v Bifcaiov
dvbpa Tr)\iKavTa BeBa)KOTa TTJ TraTpiBt, <rv/j,/3o'\,a


I'KLOPIDAS. xix. 3 xx. 2

but, treating them as a unit, put them into the fore-
front of the greatest conflicts. For just as horsrs
run faster when yoked to a chariot than when men
ride them singly, not because they cleave the air
with more impetus owing to their united weight,
but because their mutual rivalry and ambition in-
Hame their spirits ; so he thought that brave men
were most ardent and serviceable in a common cause
when they inspired one another with a zeal for high

XX. But now the Lacedaemonians made peace
with all the other Greeks and directed the war
against the Thebans alone ; l Cleombrotus their king
invaded Boeotia with a force of two thousand men-
at-arms and a thousand horse ; a new peril confronted
the Thebans, since they were openly threatened with
downright dispersion ; and an unprecedented fear
reigned in Boeotia. It was at this time that Pelopi-
das, on leaving his house, when his wife followed
him on his way in tears and begging him not to lose
his life, caid : "This advice, my wife, should be
given to private men ; but men in authority should
be told not to lose the lives of others." And when
he reached the camp and found that the boeotarchs
were not in accord, he was first to side with Epami-
nondas in voting to give the enemy battle. Now
Pelopidas, although he had not been appointed
boeotarch, was captain of the sacred band, and
highly trusted, as it was right that a man should be
who had given his country such tokens of his
devotion to freedom.

1 In 371 B.C.



3 '11? ovv e&eSoKro BiaKiv&vveveiv KOI rrepl rd
AevKrpa Tot? AatfeSat/uoiao/9 dvrecrrparorreSevov,
o-fyiv elSe Kara TOU? vrrvovs o ITeXoTrt'&a? ev /-taXa

avrov. eari yap ev r&> Aev/CTpi/c/S)
ft) rd cr^/tara TWf TOL) 2,/ceSdcrov
as AeuA-Tyo/Sa? Ka\ovcn 8i,a rov TOTTOV e'/cet
aurat? I/TTO %evtov ^Trapriarcov ftiacrOeicrais avv-

4 e/S?; racfrrjvai. ^evofjievr]^ Se %a\7rfjs ovra) KCU
Trapavo/jiov vr/oa^ea)?, 6 fjiev iraTrip, &>? OVK

ev ^aKe^aifjiovi &LKr)<t, dpa? Kara TWV ^
TWV a/oacrayLtefo? ecrfya^cv eavrbv eVt roi? ra
TrapOevwv, %pi]cr/jiol Se real \6yia rot? ^

del TTpov$>aivov evXa^elcrOai Kol <f)u\dr-
TO Aev/crpi/cov /Jitfvi/jia, ^ irdvv TWV
vT<>v, aXX a^^L^voovvrwv rov ro-
rroi>, drrel K.CLI r?}? AaKcovLicij^ irokL^VLOV rrpos rfj
dcra-r) Aevicrpov ovofjid^eraty teal rrpos MeydXy
TT)? 'Ap/^a^ta? TOTTO? ecrrlv o JJLWVV fjios . TO
9 rovro rro\v rwi> AevtcrpucMv rjv

XXI. 'O ^e IleXoTuSa? eV TW arparorreSrp
KaraKoifJL^Oeis eBo^e Ta? T6 rralSas opav rrepl
rd /jivr/fiara 0pr)vovaas /cal Karaputfjievas Tot?
, TOV re ^/ceSacrov K6\evovra TaZ?
crai rrapOevov %av9r)v, el /3ov\oiro
rwv 7ro\/jLLO)v 67rt/cparf)crai. Seivov Be KOL rra-

rov rrpocrry/jLaros avru>
as eKOivovro Tot? re fjbdvrecri KOI TOA? dp-
2 XOVCTIV. MV OL fJLev OVK el'cov rrapa/^e\ii> oi'5'
drreiOelv, rwv /Jiev 7ra\aiwv rrpofyepovres Mevoi/cea
rov Kpeo^To? KOI Mafeapiav rrjv f Hpa/cXeoi;9,
rwv S' varepov <&epKi>$r]v re rov (ro(>ov vrro
AaKe&ai/uLoviwv dvaipeOevra KOI rrjv Sopdv avrov


PELOPIDAS, xx. ;, \xi. 2

Accordiogly, it was decided to risk a battle, and at
Leuctra they encamped over against the Lacedae-
monians. Here Pelopidas had a dream which greatly
disturbed him. Now, in the plain of Leuctra are the
tombs of the daughters of Scedasus, who are called
from the place Leuctridae, for they had been buried
there, after having been ravished by Spartan
strangers. 1 At the commission of such a grievous
and lawless act, their father, since he could get no
justice at Sparta, heaped curses upon the Spartans,
and then slew himself upon the tombs of the
maidens ; and ever after, prophecies and oracles kept
warning the Spartans to be on watchful guard against
the Leuctrian wrath. Most of them, however, did
not fully understand the matter, but were in doubt
about the place, since in Laconia there is a little
town near the sea which is called Leuctra, and near
Megalopolis in Arcadia there is a place of the same
name. This calamity, of course, occurred long be-
fore the battle of Leuctra.

XXI. After Pelopidas had lain down to sleep in
the cam]), he thought he saw these maidens weeping
at their tombs, as they invoked curses upon the
Spartans, and Scedasus bidding him sacrifice to his
daughters a virgin with auburn hair, if he wished to
win the victory over his enemies. The injunction
seemed a lawless and dreadful one to him, but he
rose up and made it known to the seers and the
commanders. Some of these would not hear of the
injunction being neglected or disobeyed, adducing as
examples of such sacrifice among the ancients,
Menoeceus, son of Creon, Macaria, daughter of
Heracles ; and, in later times, Pherecydes the wise
man, who was put to death by the Lacedaemonians,

1 The damsels, in shame, took their own lives. Cf.
Pausanias, ix. 13, 3.



/card TI \oyiov VTTO ra)V
AewviSav re ry ^p^a/jiM rpojrov Tiva TrpoOua-d-
3 fjievov eavrov virep TT}? 'EXXaSo?, en Be rot"? VTTO
eyLUcrTO/cXeou? (K^ayLaaOevra^ war)arrrj AIOVIHTW
Trpb TT)? eV ^a\a^lvi vav yLca^ta?* eiceivois yap

TO, Karopdco/jiara' rovro Be, &>?
diro rwv avTWV 'A<ya[jL6/j,vovi TOTTWV
7rl TOVS CLVTOVS crrpaTv6/iLvov TroA.e/ztOL'? ijTrjO'e
77 ^eo? T^ Ovyarepa &(fod<yiov tcai ravrrjv
Tr)V Q-^LV ev A.V\L&L KOL/JLW^evo^, o 8' OUK

4 (TTpaTeiav aSo^ov Kal dreXfj 'yevo/jLevrjv. ol Be

> /J I r>p.\- /

TOwavTiov aTnyyopevov, w? ovoevt, TWV Kpeirrovcov
l vjrep ?;yLta? dpeorrrfv ovcrav ovra) fidpftapov
l Trapdvo/Jiov Ovaiav ov yap TOU? Tu^wya?
Kivov<s ov&e TOI;? Tiyavras dp^GLV, d\\d rov
Trarepa Oewv Kal dv9pu>TT(t)V Satyitoi/a?
dvOpwTratv ai^ari Kal <f)6vq) TU-

CTT6V61V JULV J'<Tft)5 Gdrlv a/3eA,T6yOOJ/, OVTWV $ TOL-

OVTCDV u/.ie\f]Teov w? dSwdrajv dcr9eveia jdp Kal

Kal Trapa/JizveLv ra?

aTo?rou9 KOI

XXII. 'Ev TOiovrois ovv BiaXoyois rwv
OVTWV, Kal adXicrra rov He\07riBov SiaTropovvros,
iTTTrayv e$; dyeXqs TrwXo? dirofyvyovcra Kal fapo-

/jLVr) Sid T(OV O7T\Q)V, O>? TjV QkoVGCL KaT* aUTOL/?

, eTrecrrrj' Kal rot? {lev aXXot? Oeav irapel-

r) T \poa aTiXftovaa TT}?


PELOPIDAS, xxi. 2-xxn. i

and whose skin was preserved by their kings, in
accordance with some oracle ; and Leonidas, who, in
obedience to the oracle, sacrificed himself, 1 as it
were, to save Greece ; and, still further, the youths
who were sacrificed by Themistocles to Dionysus
Carnivorous before the sea fight at Salamis ; 2 for the
successes which followed these sacrifices proved them
acceptable to the gods. iMoreover, when Agesilaiis,
who was setting out on an expedition from the same
place as Agamemnon did, and against the same
enemies, was asked by the goddess for his daughter
in sacrifice, and had this vision as he lay asleep at

Online LibraryPlutarchPlutarch's Lives (Volume 5) → online text (page 25 of 36)