Xenophon’s programmatic preface to his narrative of the revolution at Thebes (Hellenica 5.4.1) in 378 B.C.E. suggests that the author positions the stasis there as an interpretive model for the larger contemporary wars over mainland hegemony, similar to Thucydides with Corcyra. Accordingly, the abuses of the Spartan-backed government at Thebes and the resentment that these provoke provide a blueprint for understanding the broader disintegration of support for Sparta’s hegemony in the period before Leuctra. However, Sparta’s contrastingly fair resolution of a stasis at Phlius and the enduring loyalty that this engenders further provided Xenophon with the opportunity to introduce an alternative paradigm of benevolent hegemony.

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