Isaac Walraven: The Death of Epaminondas (1726)


(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Epaminondas was a general and statesman of the 4th century BC of Thebes in Greece.  Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos were defeated by Sparta during the Corinthian War of 395-387 BC. after this war, Sparta installed a puppet government in Thebes and garrisoned the city. In 378 BC a Theban rebellion broke out during which the pro-Spartan leaders were killed and the Spartan garrison eventually surrendered. The Spartan king responded by sending an army to Thebes. This war with Thebes eventually resulted in the final Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. in this battle, the Theban army under the command of Epaminondas defeated the Spartan army, breaking the Spartan hegemony forever and reducing it to a second-rate power. For a period of about 10 years Thebes was the leading Greek city-state during which Epaminondas had a leading role. Epaminondas was eventually killed at the Battle of Mantinea on July 4, 362 BC. He was hit in the chest by a spear (you can see the point of the spear in the painting) and was carried back to the camp where he died. This painting of Isaac walraven is a so-called historical allegory and is from 1726.

Comments