Funke, Peter, and Nino Luraghi, eds. 2009. The Politics of Ethnicity and the Crisis of the Peloponnesian League. Hellenic Studies Series 32. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_FunkeP_LuraghiN_eds.The_Politics_of_Ethnicity.2009.
I. Between Mantinea and Leuctra: The Political World of the Peloponnese in a Time of Upheaval
1. Thebes and the Effects of the Battle of Leuctra (371 BCE)
The monument appears to have been erected immediately after the battle.  Ever since the inscription was published,  scholars have tried to connect the text to passages from ancient authors that mention the fact that, before the battle, the oracle of Trophonios in Lebadeia emphatically encouraged the Thebans to fight against the Spartans. Besides shorter references by Callisthenes (FGH 124 F 22a = Cicero On divination 1.74), Diodorus (15.53.4), and Polyaenus (2.3.8), a passage from Pausanias (4.32.4–6) deserves special attention. According to Pausanias, Epaminondas had asked Xenokrates, in accordance with an oracle, to fetch the shield of Aristomenes, a legendary hero presumably from the time of the Second Messenian War, that was kept in the temple of Trophonios in Lebadeia, and use it to decorate a victory monument erected before the battle, for all the Spartans to see.
Pausanias and Plutarch—and before them, presumably, already the Boeotian or Theban local historiography of the Hellenistic age—have contributed to overemphasizing the role of Thebes in such processes of political transformation.  It is the Thebans who decide after Leuctra to bring back the Mantineans to their city (Pausanias 8.8.10), and Epaminondas in particular is depicted not only as the founder of Messene, but also as being responsible for the Mantineans’ return and for the unification of Arcadia and the foundation of Megalopolis (Pausanias 9.14.4; Plutarch Pelopidas 24).
2. Sparta and the Consequences of the Battle of Mantinea (418 BCE)