The expedition which followed produced negative successes, but the absence of any positive success and the pressure of financial difficulty, coupled with the defection of Jason (probably before 37 1), and the high-handed action of Thebes in destroying Plataea (373), induced Athens to renew the peace with Sparta which Timotheus had broken.
A revulsion of feeling was completed in 338 by the orator Demosthenes, who persuaded Thebes to join Athens in a final attempt to bar Philip's advance upon Attica.
Survival of fair hair and complexion and light eyes among the upper classes in Thebes and some other localities shows that the blonde type of mankind which is characteristic of north-western Europe had already penetrated into Greek lands before classical times; but the ascription of the same physical traits to the Achaeans of Homer forbids us to regard them as peculiar to that latest wave of pre-classical immigrants to which the Dorians belong; and there is no satisfactory evidence as to the coloration of the Spartans, who alone were reputed to be pure-blooded Dorians in historic times.
In the XXIst dynasty the secondary line of priest kings of Thebes upheld his dignity to the best of their power, and the XXIInd dynasty favoured Thebes: but as the sovereignty weakened the division between Upper and Lower Egypt asserted itself, and thereafter Thebes would have rapidly decayed had it not been for the piety of the kings of Ethiopia towards Ammon, whose worship had long prevailed in their country.
More sensible is a rod of stone wall that bounds an honest man's field than a hundred-gated Thebes that has wandered farther from the true end of life.
Farther south are the stupendous ruins of Thebes on both sides of the river, the temple of Esna, the ruins and tombs of El Kab, the temple of Edfu, the quarries of Silsila and the temple of Ombos, followed by the inscribed rocks of the First Cataract, the tombs and quarries of Assuan and the temples of Philae.
The states which she protected were indisposed to commit themselves permanently to her tutelage, and the renewed rivalry of Athens, which had been linked with Thebes since 395 in a common fear of Sparta, but since 371 had endeavoured to maintain the balance of power against her ally, prevented the formation of a Theban empire.
When war broke out afresh with Thebes the king twice invaded Boeotia (37 8, 377), and it was on his advice that Cleombrotus was ordered to march against.
In the XVIIIth Dynasty tomb of Rekhmara at Egyptian Thebes as bearing vases of peculiar forms, were of some Mediterranean race, neither their precise habitat nor the degree of their civilization could be determined while so few actual prehistoric remains were known in the Mediterranean lands.
Overtures were unquestionably made by Thebes for an alliance with Aegina c. but they came to nothing.