Epaminondas (418-362 B.C.), a Theban hero, born of a noble but poor family. He soon made his mark as a public man, and in 371 he went to Sparta, to represent Thebes upon the question of negotiating a peace with Athens. The Thebans were excluded from the treaty, but he defeated Cleombrotus during the same year at Leuctra. In 369 he was appointed with Pelopidas joint dictator of his country, and the two invaded the Peloponnesus, freed the Messenians, and marched to Sparta, but owing to the generalship of Agesilaus they could do nothing but lay waste the surrounding country and retire. They were both impeached for holding office beyond the prescribed period, but were acquitted. In 368 Epaminondas again invaded the Peloponnesus, and was partially successful, but failed in an attack upon Corinth. He then went to Thessaly to rescue Pelopidas, who had been captured, and in 362, while at the head of a coalition against Athens and Sparta, he was killed while gaining the victory of Mantinea.