Introduction of Thebes
City in Boeotia, 33 mi NNW of Athens, centralGreece. The chief city of ancient Boeotia, it wasidentified in legend with King Cadmus who traditionallyfounded it in 1313 b.c., and with Oedipus, and was the locale of many Greek tragedies. A Mycenaeanpalace has been identified beneath the modern town.It entered into a power struggle with Athens at theend of the sixth century b.c. From 480 to 479 it sidedwith Persia against Athens but was defeated. Initiallya supporter of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, itlater joined a confederation against Sparta and defeated the Spartans at Leuctra in 371 b.c., brieflygaining the hegemony of Greece. Thebes was defeatedby Philip II of Macedon at Chaeronea in 338 b.c.,and the city was destroyed by Alexand er the Great in336 b.c. Although rebuilt in 316 b.c. by Cassand er,Thebes never regained its former importance. It wasdestroyed by Sulla in 86 b.c. Rebuilt, it was sacked ina.d. 248 and 396 by the Goths.In the Byzantine period Thebes was the capital ofByzantine Hellas. It was taken by the Bulgars in 1040,and in 1146 fell to the forces of George of Antioch, ofNorman Sicily. From here the Normans introducedsilk production into Sicily, and with a loss of its marketthe city declined. It fell to Boniface II of Montferratin 1205 during the Fourth Crusade and becamecapital of the duchy of Athens under Otto de la Roche.It withered completely under the Ottoman Turks.