Boeotia is characterized by a large lake situated at its center, Lake Kopais, which in turn holds the ancient ruins of Gla. West of this was Orchomenus which, in the time before the Peloponnesian War, was a prosperous city.
During that tumultuous conflict, the region was embroiled in civil unrest, so much that it was virtually a perpetual battleground. Atrocities committed by local militia ran high, with a notable example being that of Mykelenos, a village that was razed to the ground. As a result of frequent pillaging, the previously self-sufficient, agricultural Boeotia saw much of its farmland destroyed, resulting in an extreme scarcity of resources during this era.