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[6] Of this truth I might cite examples without number from the lives of individual men, since these are subject to the most frequent vicissitudes; but instances which are more important and better known to my hearers may be drawn from the experiences of our city and of the Lacedaemonians. As for the Athenians, after our city had been laid waste by the barbarians, we became, because we were anxious about the future and gave attention to our affairs, the foremost of the Hellenes;1 whereas, when we imagined that our power was invincible, we barely escaped being enslaved.2

1 Athens, then a walled city, was temporarily abandoned by her people before the battle of Salamis, and destroyed by the troops of Xerxes. After the Persian Wars, she became the head of the Confederacy of Delos. See Isoc. 6.42 ff., and Isoc. 4.71-72.

2 At the end of the Peloponnesian War, Athens was at the mercy of Sparta and the Spartan allies. The latter proposed that Athens be utterly destroyed and her citizens sold into slavery, but the Spartans refused to allow the city “which had done a great service to Hellas” to be reduced to slavery. Xen. Hell. 2.2.19-20. Cf. Isoc. 8.78, 105; Isoc. 14.32; Isoc. 15.319.

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hide References (15 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 123
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, PREPOSITIONS
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.5.2
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (3):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (6):
    • Isocrates, On the Peace, 8.78
    • Isocrates, Plataicus, 32
    • Isocrates, Antidosis, 319
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 71
    • Isocrates, Archidamus, 42
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.2.19
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