Browsing named entities in Isocrates, Speeches (ed. George Norlin).
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For example, if the Thebans, after the battle which they won over the Lacedaemonians,The Battle of Leuctra, 371 B.C., the end of the Spartan supremacy and the beginning of the Theban hegemony, which lasted but nine years. had contented themselves with liberating the Peloponnesus and making the other Hellenes independentSee Isoc. 5.53 ff. and had thenceforth pursued peace, while we continued to make such blunders, then neither could this man have asked such a question nor could we ourselves have failed to realize how much better moderation is than meddlesomeness.
We have a most convincing proof of this. For imperialism worked the ruin not only of Athens but of the city of the Lacedaemonians also, so that those who are in the habit of praising the virtues of SpartaCf. Isoc. 12.200. cannot argue that we managed our affairs badly because of our democratic government whereas if the Lacedaemonians had taken over the empire the results would have been happy both for the rest of the Hellenes and for themselves. For this power revealed its nature much more quickly in their case.The Spartan supremacy lasted from 404 to 371; the Athenian from 478 to 405 B.C. Indeed it brought it to pass that a polity which over a period of seven hundred yearsFrom the reign of Eurysthenes and Procles, about 1072, to the battle of Leuctra, 371 B.C. For the stability of the Spartan constitution see Isoc. 12.257. had never, so far as we know, been disturbed by perils or calamities was shaken and all but destroyed in a short space of time.
You can see at once from this instance best of all how much milder and more moderate we were in our supervision over the affairs of the Hellenes, but you can see it also from what I shall now say. The Spartans remained at the head of Hellas hardly ten years,Isocrates elsewhere views the Spartan supremacy as lasting from the end of the Peloponnesian War, 405-404 B.C., to the battle of Leuctra, 371 B.C. See Isoc. 5.47. But later in Isoc. 5.63-64 he speaks of Conon's naval victory at the battle of Cnidus, 394 B.C., as the end of the Spartan rule, since it re-established the maritime influence of Athens. The latter is the version followed here. It is reasonable to say that Sparta's supremacy by sea ceased with the battle of Cnidus and her supremacy by land with Leuctra. while we held the hegemony without interruption for sixty-five years.See Isoc. 4.106, note. And yet it is known to all that states which come under the supremacy of others remain loyal for the longest time to those und
Now both Athens and Lacedaemon incurred the hatred of their subjects and were plunged into war and confusion, but in these circumstances it will be found that our city, although attacked by all the Hellenes and by the barbarians as well, was able to hold out against them for ten years,The last decade of the Peloponnesian War, from what he terms the Decelean War, 413 B.C. （see Isoc. 8.37, 84, note.）, to the fall of Athens 404-403 B.C. while the Lacedaemonians, though still the leading power by land, after waging war against the Thebans alone and being defeated in a single battle,Leuctra, 371 B.C. were stripped of all the possessions which they had held and involved in misfortunes and calamities which were very similar to these which overtook ourselves.See Isoc. 8.1
I wonder to what precedent in the past they will appeal, and what conceivable interpretation of justice they will give, when they admit that they dictate to us in such matters. For if it is to our ancestral customs they look, they ought not to be ruling over our other cities, but far rather to be paying tribute to the OrchomeniansOrchomenus, stronghold of the Minyans in prehistoric times, joined the Boeotian Confederacy after the battle of Leuctra, 371 B.C.; for such was the case in ancient times. And if they hold that the treaties are valid, which indeed in justice they should be, how can they avoid admitting that they are guilty of wrong and are violating them? For these treaties direct that our cities, the small as well as the large, shall all alike be autonomous.
on the contrary, we alone of those who have obtained great power suffered ourselves to live in more straitened circumstances than those who were reproached with being our slaves.Probably a taunt flung at the Euboeans and all who were under the protection and influence of Athens. And yet, had we been disposed to seek our own advantage, we should not, I imagine, have set our hearts on the territory of Scione （which, as all the world knows, we gave over to our Plataean refugees）,When their city was destroyed in the Peloponnesian War, 427 B.C., the Plataeans took refuge in Athens and were later settled in Scione. At the close of the war they were forced to leave Scione and again found refuge in Athens. By the Peace of Antalcidas they were restored to their own territory only to be driven from their homes by the Thebans in 372 B.C. Once more Athens became their refuge. See Isoc. 14.13 ff. and passed over this great territory which would have enriched us a
But one thing the Thebans will not be able to say—that they remain loyal to their associates, though there is reason to fear that we, having recovered our country, will desert to the Lacedaemonians; for you will find, Athenians, that we have twice been besiegedBy the Thebans in 427 （Thucydides iii. 52） and again in 373 B.C. and forced to surrender because of our friendship for you, while the Thebans often have wronged this
And the chief cause of our indignation is that we are so far from being judged worthy of equality with the rest of the Greeks that, although we are at peaceThis seems to be a reference to the peace of 374 B.C., made between Athens and Sparta （see Jebb, Attic Orators ii. p. 177）. and although treaties exist, we not only have no share in the liberty which all the rest enjoy, but that we are not considered worthy of even a moderate condition of servitu