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Pammenes (in Greek Παμμενης; lived 4th century BC) was a Theban general of considerable celebrity. He was connected with Epaminondas by political and friendly ties. When Philip, the future king of Macedonia, was sent as hostage to Thebes, he was placed under the care of Pammenes.1 In 371 BC, when Megalopolis was founded, as it was apprehended that the Spartans would attack those engaged in that work, Epaminondas sent Pammenes at the head of 1000 picked troops to defend them.2 In 352 BC, a party amongst the Megalopolitans were for dissolving the community, and returning to their own cantons, and called upon the Mantineans and other Peloponnesians, for aid. The Megalopolitans who opposed this dissolution of the state called in the aid of the Thebans, who sent Pammenes with 3000 foot soldiers and 300 cavalry to their assistance. With this force Pammenes overcame all resistance, and compelled those who had left Megalopolis to return.3

When Artabazus revolted in 356 BC against Artaxerxes III, king of Persia, Pammenes led a body of 5000 Thebans to the aid of the former, and overcame the forces of the king in two great battles.4 But Artabazus, suspecting that he was intriguing with his enemies, arrested him, and handed him over to his brothers, Oxythras and Dibictus.5

Pammenes is spoken of as being greatly addicted to paederastia. It is difficult to say what degree of credit should be attached to the story, that, while Philip was under the charge of Pammenes, the latter maintained a homosexual relationship with the young prince.6


Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Pammenes (2)", Boston, (1867)


1 Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Pelopidas", 26

2 Pausanias, Description of Greece, viii. 27

3 Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xv. 94

4 Ibid., xvi. 34

5 Polyaenus, Stratagemata, v. 16, vii. 33

6 Plutarch, Moralia, "Symposiacs", i. 2, "Dialogue on Love", 17; Libanius, Oratio in Aeschinem


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1867).

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