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Pelopidas(pĭlŏp`ĭdəs), d. 364 B.C., Theban general. When the Spartans seized the citadel of Thebes (now Thívai) in 382, he fled to Athens and prepared the coup that recovered the city (379). He fostered and commanded the Sacred Band, an elite corps that sparked the Theban victories against Sparta at Tegyra (375) and Leuctra (371). Under Epaminondas he joined in the invasion (370–369) of the Peloponnesus. On an expedition into Macedon (368) he was captured by the Thessalian Alexander of Pherae, but Epaminondas rescued him. Pelopidas went the next year to Persia as ambassador to Artaxerxes. He was killed at the hour of victory in a battle with the Thessalians at Cynoscephalae (now Khalkodhónion hills). Plutarch wrote his life.
Born circa 410 B.C., in Thebes; died 364 B.C. Ancient Greek statesman and general.
Pelopidas helped organize an anti-Spartan democratic coup in Thebes in 379 B.C. In 378 B.C. and in subsequent years he was repeatedly elected boeotarch, one of the chief magistrates of the Boeotian League. Under his leadership the Thebans were victorious over the Spartans at Tanagra in 377 and Tegyra in 375. In 371 B.C., Pelopidas played an important role in routing the Spartans at Leuctra, and in 369 B.C. he led the Thebans against Macedonia and the tyrant Alexander of Pherae. He was killed in a battle against the latter at Cynoscephalae.