from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A village of ancient Greece southwest of Thebes. It was the site of a major Spartan defeat by the Thebans (371 B.C.).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. Thebes defeated Sparta in 371 BC; the battle ended Sparta's military supremacy in Greece


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  • Cleombrotus lost no time, and with a military skill which Spartans rarely showed he evaded the pass which Epaminondas held, followed a narrow mountain-track, captured Creusis, the port of Thebes, with twelve war-ships in the harbor, and then marched to a place called Leuctra, within an easy march of Thebes, yet which left open communication with

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  • They had been crucial in the defeat of the Spartans at Leuctra and were the finest soldiers Greece had ever produced.

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  • Philip was fortunate to be assigned to the household of the Theban general Pammenes, who was a great friend of Epaminondas, the victor of Leuctra.

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  • For instance, beginning with their victory over the Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, the Thebans enjoyed substantial hegemony for nearly a decade, only to be undone by overextension: a rematch against the Spartans at Mantineia weakened both sides, ultimately leaving Philip II of Macedon to clean up the mess. » 371

  • For all intents and purposes, the Spartans themselves were exhausted by the Peloponnesian War and finished off at Leuctra.

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  • In 371, the Theban commander Epaminondas defeated the Spartans at Leuctra, and later, he invaded the Peloponnese, where he liberated the helots of Messenia.

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  • Thebans at Leuctra, and the indisputable fact that they had invaded and laid waste the territory of Laconia.


  • As to the date of its foundation Pausanias (VIII.xxvii. 8) says “a few months after the battle of Leuctra,” before midsummer B.C.


  • And, indeed, the Boeotians one and all were resolute in their military manouvres and devotion to arms,608 exulting in the victory of Leuctra.


  • Nor did his acts belie his words; but so long as he lived he was ever faithful to the code of Spartan chivalry; and at Leuctra, fighting in front of the king side by side with Deinon the polemarch, thrice fell or ever he yielded up his breath — foremost of the citizens amidst the foe.



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