Skip to main content


Pelopidas (pĬlŏp´Ĭdəs), d. 364 BC, Theban general. When the Spartans seized the citadel of Thebes (now Thívai) in 382, he fled to Athens and prepared the coup that recovered the city (379). He fostered and commanded the Sacred Band, an elite corps that sparked the Theban victories against Sparta at Tegyra (375) and Leuctra (371). Under Epaminondas he joined in the invasion (370–369) of the Peloponnesus. On an expedition into Macedonia (368) he was captured by the Thessalian Alexander of Pherae, but Epaminondas rescued him. Pelopidas went the next year to Persia as ambassador to Artaxerxes. He was killed at the hour of victory in a battle with the Thessalians at Cynoscephalae (now Khalkodhónion hills). Plutarch wrote his life.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pelopidas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 23 Mar. 2018 <>.

"Pelopidas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (March 23, 2018).

"Pelopidas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved March 23, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.