Let me take you back in time. To an era of ancient Greece. A turning point in Greek history, where great change is afoot.
This story is set in the year 369BC and Greece is once again in turmoil. The General and leader Epaminondas, of Thebes is vying for control over central Greece and the Peloponnese. By defeating the Spartans two years earlier at the battle of Leuktra, the Thebans had done something remarkably rare, the Spartans weren't the invincible peoples that the rest of Greece had once believed.
The city-state of Thebes had consolidated the region of Boeotia under itself in the Boeotian confederacy and reformed its army. Athens, wary of the growing power of Thebes sent envoys to Sparta to arrange a new peace. The new peace would include autonomy for the various cities involved in the conflict. Sparta signed the treaty for the Peloponnese – the entire region of southern Greece. Athens signed, along with its allies. Though when Epaminondas signed for the entire Boeotian federation, King Agesilaus of Sparta demanded that the Boeotian cities sign for themselves. Epaminondas refused, and Agesilaus scratched Thebes off the treaty. The other Spartan King, Cleombrotus was nearby Boeotia, in the region of Phocis with an army, hoping to force the Theban general's hand.
Outnumbered, Epaminondas and another Boeotarch Pelopidas, led their small force to what should have been the death of them. Though with no other options available, Epaminondas did something that had not been tried before. He stacked his left flank fifty ranks deep with his strongest hoplites. Now is a good time for me to point out that, phalanx warfare almost always followed set rules, the right flank was reserved for the strongest and bravest. This was an honourable position, because if the weaker or less brave men were placed on the right flank, then the entire phalanx would end up moving to the right, to gain the cover of his neighbour's shield. Whoever's army's right flank broke the opposing left flank first, would win the battle, since the army could now be flanked and destroyed. The loser would surrender first. So now the Theban Sacred Band, - 150 pairs of male lovers - led by Pelopidas would be facing Sparta's finest warriors. Epaminondas did something else unseen in hoplite warfare. The right flank was angled back, away from the enemy line. This is known today as a delaying tactic. Since they were now so thinly stretched. By doing this, it would buy his left flank time to defeat the Spartan right and disallow the enemy any flanking manoeuvre.
Epaminondas won the battle, with thousands of Spartans and their king being killed, but only hundreds of his own, dead. The defeat of the Spartans paved the way for what was known as Theban hegemony. "Hegemony is the geopolitical method of indirect imperial dominance, with which the hegemon (leader state) rules subordinate states, by the threat of intervention, an implied means of power, rather than by direct military force, that is, invasion, occupation, and annexation." Now Sparta is the weakest it has ever been and as a direct result, the Greeks are not as strong. In general, the peoples all over Greece held one opinion or another on the Spartans, but many either despised them, as the Athenians did, or were in awe of them.
In this story, Epaminondas is known as Dionysos, and Pelopidas is known as Arkimedes, they are both secondary characters.
Cadmus is another Boeotarch but is a creation of my own and is a secondary character.
Perikles, his uncle, (Pamphilos) his brothers (Alexios and Lysander) and friends (Hermokrates and Koradelas) are creations of mine and my brothers and are secondary characters. His mercenary band is hired by various city-states throughout Greece to fight on their behalf. This was common practice during this era.
Athanas is a creation of my own and will fulfil the role of protagonist.
Elana is a spy and a secondary character.
Kalliope is an excellent archer, part of Perikles' mercenary band and leader of his archers.
Alexandros is Elana's brother and plays a minor role as a new member of Perikles' mercenary band: 'The Wings of Ares'.
General words and phrases
Khaire - A general greeting
Kyrios - Like the modern use of the word sir.
Boeotarch - One of several voted in leaders of the region of Boeotia. They could only stay on for one year.
Archon - An oligarchic leader of a city-state.
Chiton - wool or linen tunic
Himation - Type of long female dress
Boule - The council of a cities male citizens.
Ecclesia - The building where governance took place.
Agora - The marketplace and centre of trade.
Hellas - The Greek term for Greece.
Anatolia - The Greek term for Modern day Turkey
Polis - City
Polies - Plural of city
Oligarchy - a small group of people having control of a country or organization
Lokhogos - Captain of a "squad" or regiment.
Lokhos - A "squad" or regiment of hoplites.
Lokhogoi - Plural form of Lokhogos.
Lokhoi - Plural form of Lokhos.
Epilektoi - Trained hoplitae (as opposed to the cities workforce).
Agema - Veteran hoplitae.
Decasteros - An "officer" rank in the hoplite lokhos and assistant to the lokhogos.
Decadarchos - An "officer" rank in the hoplite lokhos and assistant to the lokhogos.
Dimoerites - An "officer" rank in the hoplite lokhos.
Ouragos - Rear ranking "officer" in the hoplite lokhos.
Tetrarch - An "officer" rank in the hoplite lokhos.
Toxotai - An archer
Peltastai - A javelin thrower
Lithoboloi - A small rock slinger
Aspis - A round, bronze and wood shield
Aspides - Plural of aspis
Doru - A spear
Dory - Plural of spear
Xiphos - A short leaf shaped sword for slashing or thrusting.
Makhaira - A slightly curved dagger
Kranos - A bronze helmet
Hoplite or hoplitae - An armoured man or soldier that carried an aspis, doru and xiphos and wore a linothorax or bronze cuirass and kranos.
Akontia - A wooden, bronze tipped javelin
Linothorax - A layered linen piece of armour that would wrap around the body and was strapped over the shoulders. It usually contained small, layered, bronze disks.
Bronze cuirass - An older type of breastplate that those with a higher status would wear during this period. It usually contained muscular designs.
Pteriges – the layered linen or leather strips that would hang from the waste to protect the groin and thigh region.
Greaves - Bronze plates fitted for the shin and calf.
Panoply - Used to describe all the equipment of a hoplitae.
Salpinx - trumpet
Each region in Hellas contained many city-states, but one or more city-states stood out as the most powerful in the region.
In Thessaly, it was Larissa.
In Lakonia, (and Messenia) it was Sparta.
In Arkadia, it was Tegea and Mantinea.
In Elis, it was Elis.
In Argolis, it was Argos.
In Achaea, it was Patrae.
In Korinthia, it was Korinth.
In Megaris, it was Megara.
In Attica, it was Athens.
In Boeotia, it was Thebes, whose rival was Thespiae.
In Eoboea, it was Chalkis.
In Aetolia, it was Thermon.