Ancient Thebes was one of the most powerful ancient Greek cities that dominated the Greek territory for a long period of the 4th century BC. It was the strongest of the Boeotian cities and held a leading position in the Koinon (league) of the Boeotians. It bore the great general and politician Epaminondas, who altered the political charter of Greece, severely challenged the military power of Sparta and elevated Thebes to the leading power of the Hellenic area.
Epaminondas defeated the Spartans, who were considered invincible until then, at the battle of Lefktra (371 BC).
There the Theban General applied for the first time in the history of warfare a new military tactic which made him one of the most brilliant generals of all times.
Instead of the tactic of a single front line that had been followed up to that time, he divided his phalanx into two sections, one of which carried out attack and the other defence. This lineup was named by its inventor the “Oblique Order”
In modern Thiva, visitors can admire the magnificent bronze statue of General Epaminondas, the work of the award-winning sculptor Georgios Kalakallas, which is located at the entrance of the pedestrian street of the same name (Epaminondas pedestrian street).
The Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero described Epaminondas as “the first man of Greece”. Modern Thebans in honor of Epaminondas placed a magnificent statue at the entrance of the pedestrian street of the same name, while every year they organize the Half Marathon “Epaminondas Run”.