chapter  24
18 Pages

THE ‘HEGEMONY’ OF THEBES, 371–362

THEBES, 371-362 Fifth-century Greece had been dominated by the two super-powers, Athens and Sparta, but in the first thirty years of the fourth century, Boeotia, led by Thebes, became a major force in Greek politics. After the Boeotians regained their independence from Athens in 447 at the battle of Coroneia, they restored the Boeotian League which was the source of their strength. This federal league was divided into eleven administrative constituencies, each one providing 60 members for the 660-strong federal Council which was the chief decision-making body of the Boeotians. The main executive functions of the League were carried out by a board of public officials, known as the eleven Boeotarchs, annually elected, one from each of the constituencies. As Thebes covered four of these constituencies, and thus had 240 councillors and 4 Boeotarchs, it naturally assumed the position of leadership within the League, although this was disputed by its main rival Orchomenus.