Epaminondas: a humane military leader
The son of fivanets Polimnida Epaminondas (418–362 BC) came from a poor, but not able family Kadm Sparta. Kadm is the son of the Phoenician king Agenor and the founder of fortress of Kadm, future city of Thebes. Kadm Sparta were the best soldiers.
Epaminondas got a fine education and even after achievement of mature age long time kept away from policy, studying philosophy which was taught running from Tarent and to the death by the Pythagorean living in of Epaminondas s family.
Epaminondas wasn’t the ardent admirer of ruling parties – democracies and oligarchies. In each separate case its actions was the love for the country directed. Thanks to modesty, softness, mind and the will power developed by education it managed to unite such qualities as the genius of the military leader and the humane person.
Epaminondas reached the highest position of the geotarkh (the military post) in 371 BC. It was the most critical time in all history of Thebes. This period allowed the commander to show the military talent.
By this period of Thebes managed to restore the Boeotarchs union which state center was Thebes, and felt so strong that at peace conference in Sparta in 371 BC could draw on recognition beyond Thebes’s values not only the independent city, but also the state true.
War for the right to be a state of Thebes Epaminondas glorified as a talented military commander and permanently changed the political map of the form.
When Epaminondas’s requirement to replace in the text of the contract the word “people of the Thebe” was rejected by the word “Boeotarchs “, and fivan were eliminated the states participating in conclusion of the contract, Thebes quietly accepted a call and entered the agreement with the governor Yason wishing to win against Sparta.
To force Thebes to acceptance of the world, allies set troops under command of the opponent Kleombrot. Having taken fortress Kravis, it went to Thebes.
On August 5 371 years BC the city of Leuctra (in 11 kilometers from Thebes) had a battle between Spartan and fivans troops. The number of Spartan army considerably surpassed forces of fivans. But Epaminondas found a wise way out of this situation.
Before the battle, contrary to the established tradition, Epaminondas concentrated on the left flank not only the best soldiers, but also the main forces which basis was made by “sacred group” 50 ranks in depth and a reserve of three hundred perfect soldiers. Having created thus significant superiority in forces on the right flank of the opponent on which there was their commander, fivans took away the weak center and the right flank back.
Epaminondas ‘s blow by perfect forces of the left flank on the right flank of Spartans turned an outcome of battle in which Spartans invincible before were crushed and the tsar Kleombrot was lost.
Thus, battle at Leuctra was the foundation to application of the tactical principle of uneven distribution of troops on the front for concentration of forces for drawing the main blow on the decisive direction was laid. This principle became the main military weapon for many centuries.
New city built by Epaminondas, became the center of Boeotarh. This allowed to cut off the flow of economic main enemy – Sparta.
Having won a victory at Leuctra, fivans got many allies. They destroyed the Peloponnesian union of Sparta and in many places the democratic movements arose.
In 370 BC on democratic principles the new Arcadian union which center was again built city of Meganopol was formed. Formation of the Arcadian union didn’t manage peacefully. The disorders which occurred in Tibia gave to Sparta a reason to come to the rescue of oligarchic party .
Epaminondas wasn’t slow to be in Peloponnese on a call for help of the allies. Epaminondas intruded in Laconia. The campaign was made by forces three separate columns. As action was in the middle of the winter, the opponent had to disperse forces and to weaken resistance. The victory of the ingenious commander became a result of this war.
After war, Epaminondas built Meson’s city on the mountain Itom. This city became the new state of after war, Epaminondas build Meson’s city on the mountain Itom. This city became the new state of Messenia. This city departed under board of enemies of Epaminondas and was a guarantee of prevention of their military plans in the future.
Epaminondas founded of the new city-state the Megalopolis in Arcady. Sparta was due to this political and economic occupation. This has undermined the military power of the enemy. And Epaminondas showed wisdom as commander, and the governor.
Next year it was sent with army to Thessaly against Alexander with whom Epaminondas it was succeeded to sign the contract. Under this contract Thebes received Pharsalus, and the friend and the colleague Epaminondas is Pelopid.
Epaminondas is the excellent tactician. He knew how to inspire warriors to battle for their country – favorite Thebes.
The attempts of Greeks which followed in 368–367 years BC to make the general peace didn’t bring to anything. As any of the main Greek states wanted to renounce nothing in the requirements, and in 366 BC Epaminondas appeared in Peloponnese with army again. First of all it attached to the union of the Achaeans remaining neutral. But soon Akhaya departed from the Boeotarch union because the Thebe government, despite Epaminondas’s objection again, by force approved again an attached cities democracy.
As a result, though temporary, Epaminondas’s resignations the democratic party of Thebes because of the wrong policy and diplomacy lost the advantages won for themselves. It gave the chance to allies of Thebes to oppose their management. In 362 BC Thebes was presented with a choice: to confirm the power with force or to offer the prestige.
For transformation of Thebes into the sea power Epaminondas decided to create fleet and drew on construction of one hundred the grain-cleaning machine and expedition departure to the east. Byzantium came over to the side of Thebes, and the islands of Chios and Rhodes also concluded the alliance with Epaminondas.
But soon against Boeotarch rather strong coalition which included such large states as Athens, Sparta, Mantinea was formed. This coalition was headed by the tsar Agesilay took a strong position 1,6 km wide in most bottleneck of the valley.
In the summer Epaminondas moved directly to camp of the opponent, having forced it to construct the troops in a fighting order the front in the direction of the expected Epaminondas’s approach. However, without reaching several kilometers camp of Spartans, he showed a talent in the military again. He unexpectedly turned to the left, having taken cover from supervision of the opponent over heights. This sudden maneuver created threat to their right flank. To upset even more fighting orders of Spartans, Epaminondas, having stopped, ordered the army to lay down arms, showing as if is going to camp. The deceived opponent upset the fighting orders.
Meanwhile Epaminondas under cover of easy parts already finished creation of the troops. Then it gave a signal to attack, and soldiers, having quickly disassembled the weapon, were rushed forth. The right wing of Spartans was already injured, and fivans restricted the center. But Epaminondas was fatally wounded in this turning point of battle. In troops of Boeotarch there was a confusion which turned into the general retreat.
Epaminondas’s death was stopped by ascension of the new state. But the contribution which was made by Epaminondas in science of military tactics, is invaluable.
Epaminondas (418–362 BC) . This is one of the greatest commanders of Greece differing in ingenuity in military science.