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When the news of the victory came to Athens, the people, contemplating the unexpected good fortune which had come to the city after their former disasters, were elated over their successes and the populace in a body offered sacrifices to the gods and gathered in festive assemblies; and for the war they selected from their most stalwart men one thousand hoplites and one hundred horsemen, and in addition to these they dispatched thirty triremes to Alcibiades, in order that, now that they dominated the sea, they might lay waste with impunity the cities which favoured the Lacedaemonians. [2] The Lacedaemonians, on the other hand, when they heard of the disaster they had suffered at Cyzicus, sent ambassadors to Athens to treat for peace, the chief of whom was Endius.1 When permission was given him, he took the floor and spoke succinctly and in the terse fashion of Laconians, and for this reason I have decided not to omit the speech as he delivered it. [3]

"We want to be at peace with you, men of Athens, and that each party should keep the cities which it now possesses and cease to maintain its garrisons in the other's territory, and that our captives be ransomed, one Laconian for one Athenian. We are not unmindful that the war is hurtful to both of us, but far more to you. [4] Never mind the words I use but learn from the facts. As for us, we till the entire Peloponnesus, but you only a small part2 of Attica. While to the Laconians the war has brought many allies, from the Athenians it has taken away as many as it has given to their enemies. For us the richest king to be found in the inhabited world3 defrays the cost of the war, for you the most poverty-stricken folk of the inhabited world. [5] Consequently our troops, in view of their generous pay, make war with spirit, while your soldiers, because they pay the war-taxes out of their own pockets, shrink from both the hardships and the costs of war. [6] In the second place, when we make war at sea, we risk losing only hulls among resources of the state, while you have on board crews most of whom are citizens. And, what is the most important, even if we meet defeat in our actions at sea, we still maintain without dispute the mastery on land—for a Spartan foot-soldier does not even know what flight means—but you, if you are driven from the sea, contend, not for the supremacy on land, but for survival.

' [7] 'It remains for me to show you why, despite so many and great advantages we possess in the fighting, we urge you to make peace. I do not affirm that Sparta is profiting from the war, but only that she is suffering less than the Athenians. Only fools find satisfaction in sharing the misfortunes of their enemies, when it is in their power to make no trial whatsoever of misfortune. For the destruction of the enemy brings no joy that can balance the grief caused by the distress of one's own people. [8] And not for these reasons alone are we eager to come to terms, but because we hold fast to the custom of our fathers; for when we consider the many terrible sufferings which are caused by the rivalries which accompany war, we believe we should make it clear in the sight of all gods and men that we are least responsible of all men for such things."

1 Endius, an ex-ephor, was an hereditary friend of Alcibiades and had served before on such a mission (Thuc. 5.44.3; Thuc. 8.6.3).

2 From Deceleia, some 13 miles north and a little east of Athens, which the Lacedaemonians had seized and fortified, they could raid the larger part of Attica.

3 The King of Persia, who was contributing to the maintenance of the Peloponnesian fleet, but not as yet so generously as toward the end of the war.

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