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Headword: Epaminôndas
Adler number: epsilon,1949
Translated headword: Epaminondas, Epameinondas
Vetting Status: high
When the Athenians and Mantineans had fought [sc. the Thebans] Epaminondas received a war-wound; and they carried him, wounded but still alive, out of the line. For a while he kept his hand on the wound and was in a bad way as he watched his allies; but once the combat had ended with honors even, he took his hand away from the wound; and when he had died they buried him on the site of the battle. On the grave stands a pillar and there is a shield on it, bearing the carving of a dragon. The dragon is meant to signify that Epaminondas belonged to the race of the Sparti.[1] One must give Epaminondas praise as the Greeks' most famous general, or [at any rate] make him second to none.
Epaminondas received an oracle [advising him] to be on his guard against 'ocean'. And he was [accordingly] afraid to board a boat. However, by 'ocean' the deity meant the grove 'Ocean'[2] and not the sea. Places of the same name [also misled Hannibal... and the Athenians].[3]
Greek Original:
Epaminôndas: hoti Athênaiôn kai Mantineôn machesamenôn Epaminôndas titrôsketai kata ton polemon: kai tetrômenon auton komizousin ek tês parataxeôs eti zônta. ho de teôs men tên cheira echôn epi tôi traumati etalaipôrei kai es tous summachous apheôra: labontos de ison tou agônos to peras, houtô tên cheira apesche tou traumatos, kai auton aphenta tên psuchên ethapsan, entha sphisi gegonen hê sumbolê. tôi taphôi de kiôn ephestêke kai aspis ep' autôi, drakonta echousa epeirgasmenon. êthele de ho drakôn sêmainein tou genous tôn Spartôn onta ton Epaminôndan. ton de Epaminôndan stratêgias heneka tôn par' Hellêsin eudokimêsantôn malista epainesai tis an, ê oudenos poiêsaito husteron. hoti egegonei tôi Epaminôndai chrêsmos pelagos auton phulattesthai. kai ho men epibênai ploiou deima eiche. tôi de ara pelagos drumon kai ou thalassan proulegen ho daimôn. chôria de homônuma.
Of Thebes, died 362 BCE; one of the twin architects (with Pelopidas: see under pi 705, and cf. epsilon 3834) of the Theban hegemony of Balkan Greece in this era. See also under pi 3120 and phi 409. (The Plutarch Life of him has not survived, but the one written by Cornelius Nepos may be found at web address 1.) See generally J.F. Lazenby in OCD(4) s.v. The material of the present entry comes from Pausanias 8.11.5-10.
[1] Descendants of those Thebans sprung from the dragon's teeth planted by Cadmus (see under gamma 416, and cf. kappa 15, kappa 17, kappa 19), to people his newly founded city. See phi 790.
[2] On the battlefield at Mantineia (where he met his death). Pausanias has mentioned this grove in 8.11.5.
[3] For the Hannibal instance, about being buried in 'Libya', see already under alpha 2452. For the Athenian instance, about colonising 'Sicily', see also there and again under sigma 389.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: art history; biography; geography; history; medicine; military affairs; mythology; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 19 May 2003@07:24:04.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth on 2 July 2003@01:13:45.
David Whitehead (added x-refs and keyword) on 2 July 2003@02:54:18.
David Whitehead (more x-refs) on 2 July 2003@06:41:08.
Catharine Roth (added link) on 2 July 2003@22:18:57.
David Whitehead (supplemented translation; added note; cosmetics) on 3 July 2003@06:46:15.
David Whitehead (cosmetic) on 3 November 2003@04:32:23.
David Whitehead (augmented n.3; another keyword) on 7 June 2007@08:15:30.
David Whitehead on 28 September 2012@07:13:13.
David Whitehead on 3 August 2014@08:06:05.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 5 July 2017@17:15:23.


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