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The Cadmeia, or Cadmea (Greek: Καδμεία), was the citadel of ancient Thebes, named after the legendary founder of Thebes, Cadmus. The area is thought to have been settled since at least the early Bronze Age, although the history of settlement can only be reliably dated from the late Mycenaean period (c. 1400 BC onwards).

Classical period

In the Classical and early Hellenistic periods, the Cadmeia served a similar purpose to the Acropolis of Athens; many public buildings were situated there, and the assemblies of Thebes and the Boeotian Confederacy are thought to have met there. During the Spartan (382-379 BC) and Macedonian occupations of Thebes, the foreign garrisons were stationed on the Cadmeia.

Destruction and rebuilding

The Cadmea was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 335 BC, who razed the city of Thebes as a warning to other Greek cities contemplating revolt against his rule. Cassander, the Macedonian general who inherited the Greek territorial possessions of Alexander the Great after his death, rebuilt the Cadmeia in 316 BC.

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