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For who does not know how Teucer, the founder of our race, taking with him the ancestors of the rest of our people, came hither over seas and built for them a city and portioned out the land; and that, after his other descendants had lost the throne, my father, Evagoras, won it back again by undergoing the greatest dangers, and wrought so great a change that Phoenicians no longer rule over Salaminians, while they, to whom it belonged in the beginning, are today in possession of the kingdom?For this history, see introd. to II; Grote, History of Greece （new edition）, ix. pp. 228 ff.; Isoc. 9.29-
Now you, I know, following this reasoning, disdain my coming forward, and are confident that with this power you will hold all Hellas under your control. But as for myself, it is because of these very things that I am anxious; for I observe that those cities which think they are in the best circumstances are wont to adopt the worst policies, and that those which feel the most secure are most often involved in danger.
And these Thebans, who have recently behaved in such fashion toward your city and in times past have been guilty of betraying Greece as a whole,In the Persian Wars. have seen fit to demand for themselves forgiveness for their evil deeds willingly committed and so monstrous, yet to us, for acts done under compulsion, they think no mercy ought to be shown, but they, true Thebans as they are, have the effrontery to reproach others for siding with the Lacedaemonians, when they, as we all know, have for the longest time been in servitude to them and have fought more zealously for Spartan domination than for their own security!
And though Hellas was closed to us because of the war which had arisen, and though we were being robbed on every side, I solved most of these difficulties, paying to some their claims in full, to others in part, asking some to postpone theirs, and satisfying others as to their complaints by whatever means I could. Furthermore, though the inhabitants of the island were hostile to me, and the Great King, while outwardly reconciled, was really in an ugly mood,
In the first place, the scattered settlements and villages of which the state was composed he united, and made Athens into a city-stateA reference to the sunoikismo/s attributed to Theseus, i.e., the uniting of the scattered villages in Attica into a polis or city-state. Cf. Thuc. 2.15. so great that from then even to the present day it is the greatest state of Hellas: and after this, when he had established a common fatherland and had set free the minds of his fellow-citizens, he instituted for them on equal terms that rivalry of theirs for distinction based on merit, confident that he would stand out as their superior in any case, whether they practised that privilege or neglected it, and he also knew that honors bestowed by high-minded men are sweeter than those that are awarded by slavesWith this passage （Isoc. 10.34-35） Isoc. 4.38-89, with note, should be compared.. And he was so far from doing anything contrary to the will of the citiz
for to the latter they left the home country—sufficient for their needs—and for the former they provided more land than they had owned since they embraced in their conquests all the territory which we Hellenes now possess.For the traditional “Ionic migration,” led by Athens, in the course of which settlements were made in Samos and Chios and in the islands of the Cyclades, in Asia Minor, and on the shores of the Black Sea, see Isoc. 12.43-44, 166, 190; Thuc. 1.2.6; Grote, History of Greece （new edition）, ii. pp. 21 ff. And so they smoothed the way for those also who in a later time resolved to send out colonists and imitate our city; for these did not have to undergo the perils of war in acquiring territory, but could go into the country marked out by us and se
And the opportunity now serves you; for you would only be repaying the debt of gratitude which you owed them, but, because so much time has elapsed, they will credit you with being first in friendly offices. And it is a good thing to have the appearance of conferring benefits upon the greatest states of Hellas and at the same time to profit yourself no less than them.
And yet who can show a leadership more ancestral than this, which had its origin before most of the cities of Hellas were founded, or more serviceable than this, which drove the barbarians from their homes and advanced the Hellenes to so great prosperity?