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On this page: Epagathus – Epaine – Epaminondas



g., vii. pp. 294, d., 297, c., 304, d.? 305, e., 312, b., 313, b., ix. pp. 371, e., 395, f., xii. p. 516, c., xiv. p. 662, d.)

EPAGATHUS, a profligate freedman, who along with Theocritus, a personage of the same class and stamp with himself, exercised unbounded influence over Caracalla, and was retained in the service of his successor. After the disastrous battle of Antioch, he was despatched by Macrinus to place Diadumenianus under the protection of the Parthian king, Artabanus; and at a subse­ quent period we find that the death of the cele­ brated Domitius Ulpianus was ascribed to his machinations, although the causes and circum­ stances of that event are involved in deep obscu­ rity. Alexander Severus, apprehensive lest some tumult should arise at Rome, were he openly to take vengeance on -Epagathus, nominated him Praefect of Egypt; but soon afterwards recalling him from thence, caused him to be conducted to Crete, aud there quietly put to death. [macri­ nus ; diadumenianus ; ulpianus]. (Dion. Cass. Ixxvii. 21, Ixxviii. 39, Ixxx. 2.) [W. R.]

EPAINE ('E7raH4), that is, the fearful, a sur­ name of Persephone. (Horn. II. ix. 457.) Plu­ tarch (de Aud. poet. p. 23, a.) derives the name from ali/os, which suggests, that it might also be understood in a euphemistic sense as the praised goddess. [L. S.]

EPAMINONDAS ('Biro^eu/t^as, 'ETra^toV 5as), the Theban general and statesman, son of Polymnis, was born and reared in poverty, though his blood was noble. In his early years he is said to have enjoyed the instructions of Lysis of Taren-tum, the Pythagorean, and we seem to trace the practical influence of this philosophy in several passages of his later life. (Plut. Pelop. 3, de Gen. Soc. 8, &c.; Ael. V. H* ii. 43, iii. 17, v. 5, xii. 43 ; Paus. iv. 31, viii. 52, ix. 13; C. Nep. Epam. 1, 2; comp. Fabric. Bill. Graec. vol. i. p. 851, and the works of Dodwell and Bentley there re­ferred to.) His close and enduring friendship with Pelopidas, unbroken as it was through a long series of years, and amidst all the military and civil offices which they held together, strikingly illustrates the tendency which contrast of character has to cement attachments, when they have for their foundation some essential point of similarity and sympathy. According to some, their friend­ship originated in the campaign in which they served together on the Spartan side against Man-tineia, where Pelopidas having fallen in a battle, apparently dead, Epaminondas protected his body at the imminent risk of his own life, b. c. 385. (Plut. Pelop. 4; Xen. Hell. v. 2. § 1, &c.; Diod. xv. 5, 12 ; Paus. viii. 8.) When the Theban patriots engaged in their enterprise for the recovery of the Cadmeia, in b. c. 379, Epaminondas held aloof from it at first, from a fear, traceable to his Pythagorean religion, lest innocent blood should be shed in the tumult. To the object of the attempt, however,—the delivery of Thebes from Spartan domination,—he was of course favourable. He had studiously exerted himself already to raise the spirit and confidence of the Theban youths, urging them to match themselves in gymnastic exercises with the Lacedaemonians of the citadel, and rebuking them, when successful in these, for the tameness of. their submission to the invaders ; and, when 'the first step in the enterprise had been and Archias and Leontiades were slain9 he


came forward and took part decisively with Pelo­pidas and his confederates. (Plut. Pelop. 5, 12, de Gen. Soc. 3; Polyaen. ii. 2 ; Xen. Hell. v. 4. § 2, &c.) In b. c. 371, when the Athenian envoys went to Sparta to negotiate peace, Epami­nondas also came thither, as an ambassador, to look after the interests of Thebes, and highly dis­tinguished himself by his eloquence and ready wit in the debate which ensued on the question whether Thebes should be allowed to ratify the treaty in the name of all Boeotia, thus obtaining a recogni­tion of her claim to supremacy over the Boeotian towns. This being refused by the Spartans, the Thebans were excluded from the treaty altogether, and Cleombrotus was sent to invade Boeotia. The result was the battle of Leuctra, so fatal to the Lacedaemonians, in which the success of Thebes is said to have been owing mainly to the tactics of Epaminondas. He it was, indeed, who most strongly urged the giving battle, while he em­ployed all the means in his power to raise the courage of his countrymen, not excluding even omens and oracles, for which, when unfavourable, he had but recently expressed his contempt. (Xen. Hell. vi. 3. §§ 18—20, 4. §§ 1—15 ; Diod. xv. 38,51—56; Plut. ^5.27,28, Pelop. 20—23, Cam. 19, Reg. et Imp. ApopJi. p. 58, ed. Tauchn., De seips. cit. inv. laud. 16, De San. Tuend. Praec. 23 ; Paus. viii. 27, ix. 13 ; Polyaen. ii. 2 ; C. Nep. Epam. 6 ; Cic. Tusc. Disp. i. 46, de Off. i. 24; Suid. s. v. ^EiraiMvoovdas.) The project of Lycomedes for the founding of Megalopolis and the union of Arcadia was vigorously encouraged and forwarded by Epaminondas, b. c. 370, as a barrier against Spartan dominion, though we need not suppose with Pausanias that the plan originated with him. (Xen. Hell. vi. 5. § 6, &c.; Paus. viii. 27, ix. 14 ; Diod. xv. 59 ; Aristot. Polit. ii. 2, ed. Bekk.) In the next year, b. c. 369, the first invasion of the Peloponnesus by the Thebans took place, and when the rest of their generals were anxious to return home, as the term of their com­mand was drawing to a close, Epaminondas and Pelopidas persuaded them to remain and to advance against Sparta. The country was ravaged as far as the coast, and the city itself, thrown into the utmost consternation by the unprecedented sight of an enemy's fires, and endangered also by treachery within, was saved only by the calm firm­ness and the wisdom of Agesilaus. Epaminondas, however, did not leave the Peloponnesus before he had inflicted a most serious blow on Sparta, and planted a permanent thorn in her side by the restoration of the Messenians to their country and the establishment of a new city, named Messene, on the site of the ancient Ithome,—a work which was carried into effect with the utmost solemnity, andj as Epaminondas wished to have it be­lieved, not without the special interposition of gods and heroes. [aristomenes,] Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians had applied successfully for aid to Athens ; but the Athenian general, Iphicrates, seems to have acted on this occasion with less than his usual energy and ability, and the Theban army made its way back in safety through an unguarded pass of the Isthmus. Pausanias tells us that Epa­minondas advanced to the walls of Athens, and that Iphicrates restrained his countrymen from marching out against him; but the several accounts of these movements are by no means clear. (Xen. Hell. vi. 5. § 22, $c., 33—52, vii. 1. § 27; Arist,

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