Leuctra


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Leuctra

(lo͞ok`trə), village of ancient Greece, in Boeotia, 7 mi (11.3 km) SW of Thebes. There the Spartans were defeated (371 B.C.) by the Thebans under EpaminondasEpaminondas
, d. 362 B.C., Greek general of Thebes. He was a pupil of Lysias the Pythagorean, but his early life is otherwise obscure. As the Theban delegate to the peace conference of 371 B.C. he refused to surrender his claim to represent all Boeotia.
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. A brilliant tactical success, the battle also dealt a severe blow to Spartan hegemony.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leuctra

 

a city in Boeotia (central Greece), 11 km from Thebes, near which occurred a battle between the Spartans, commanded by King Cleombrotus (10,000 hoplites and 1,000 horsemen), and the Thebans, commanded by Epaminondas (about 6,000 hoplites and 1,500 horsemen) on Aug. 5, 371 B.C.

Epaminondas deployed his troops in what was called an oblique formation, concentrating a striking force 50 ranks deep and a reserve force of 300 crack troops on his left flank, while positioning a phalanx eight ranks deep in the center and along his right flank against the 12-rank phalanx (along the entire front) of the Spartans. An attack with superior forces against the crack troops of the Spartans, who were on the Thebans’ right flank, decided the outcome of the battle, which ended with the rout of the Spartans, who were previously invincible on land, and the death of Cleombrotus.

In the words of F. Engels, the Battle of Leuctra was the first time that “a great tactical principle” was applied: “the unequal deployment of troops along a front with the aim of concentrating one’s forces for the main blow at the decisive point” (Izbr. voen. proizvedeniia, 1956, p. 181). As a result of the defeat, Sparta lost its hegemony in Greece. The Peloponnesian League fell apart, and the short-lived hegemony of Thebes began.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Leuctra

an ancient town in Greece southwest of Thebes in Boeotia: site of a victory of Thebes over Sparta (371bc), which marked the end of Spartan military supremacy in Greece
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(39) Plutarch's statement that Epaminondas "used to say that of all the fair and goodly fortune that had fallen to his lot the thing that gave him the greatest gratification was that his victory over the Spartans at Leuctra came while his father and mother were still living" would also fit perfectly in a Plutarchian biography.
So when Cleombrotus, the Spartan king leading the invading force in 371 BC, finally broke through the Boeotian defences and arrived at the plain at Leuctra, he and his Spartan army were determined to force a fight and reclaim their reputation (Paus.
The end of the Spartan control of Messenia that, by the time of Leuctra, had been in place for three centuries or more must have led to profound, if largely unrecorded, transformations in all dimensions of Messenian life.
T <0.000001 0.015 Shredders Peltoperlidae P 0.089 0.003 Leuctra spp.
There were no taxa whose fraction of carbon derived from bacteria was higher in the litter-excluded stream than the reference stream during both December and July; for some taxa (e.g., Leuctra, Diplectrona) the values were lower in the litter-excluded stream.
Most of the more abundant taxa decreased in density following the May flood [Ameletus (-87%), Paraleptophlebia (-82%), Leuctra (-54%), Neophylax (-98%), and Chironomidae (-80%) [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 5 OMITTED], Table 4].
Their defeat at Leuctra destroyed at a blow the military supremacy the Spartans had enjoyed for centuries in Greece.
The Theban phalanx smashed the Spartan line at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C., and with that one military defeat, the Spartans lost their leadership forever.
(38) The intent was to recreate a modern version of the classical Theban victory over Sparta by single envelopment at Leuctra (371 B.C.): Fourth and Fifth armies were to act as hammer, hitting from west-to-east across northern Galicia, to smash Habsburg armies against the advancing Third Army, acting as anvil.
This helps account for the shifting alliances that typified the era between the Peloponnesian War and the Peace of Leuctra. Edward Rung's chapter suggests that the Persians had more success through diplomacy then they ever did in war against the Greeks.