- 371 BC
* A fresh peace congress is summoned at
Sparta. At the peace conference, the Spartan King Agesilaus II(with the support of Athens) refuses to allow the Thebans to sign the treaty on behalf of all Boeotia. The Theban statesman Epaminondas, who is boeotarch(one of the five magistrates of the Boeotian federation), maintains Thebes' position, even when it leads to the exclusion of Thebes from the peace treaty.
* Thebes' actions at the peace congress lead to a war between Sparta and Thebes. The Spartans have an army stationed on Thebes' western frontier, waiting to follow up their diplomatic success by a crushing military attack. However, at the
Battle of Leuctra, the Theban generals, Epaminondasand Pelopidas, win a decisive victory over the Spartans under the other Spartan king, Cleombrotus I(who is killed in the battle). Epaminondas wins the battle with a tactical innovation which involves striking the enemy first at their strongest, instead of their weakest, point, with such crushing force that the attack is irresistible. As a result of this battle, the Boeotian federation is saved.
Athensdoes not welcome the Theban victory, fearing the rising aggressiveness of Thebes. After the Theban victory, the old alliance between the Persians and the Thebans is restored.
* With the unexpected defeat of Sparta by the Thebans, the
Arcadians decide to re-assert their independence. They rebuild Mantinea, form an Arcadian Leagueand build a new federal city, Megalopolis.
Agesipolis IIsucceeds his father Cleombrotus Ias king of Sparta.
* It is suggested that the original
cometassociated with the Kreutz Sungrazersfamily of comets passes perihelionat this time. It is thought to have been observed by Aristotleand Ephorusduring this year.
Cleombrotus I, king of Sparta(killed in the Battle of Leuctra)
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