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[129] and made his punishment a proof to all that even divine assistance is not vouchsafed to traitors.1 And it is right that it should not be; for impiety towards the gods is the first crime by which they show their wickedness, since they deprive them of their traditional cults. But I have yet to give you the best illustration of the prevailing practice at Sparta. They passed a law, covering all who refused to risk their lives for their country, which expressly stated that they should be put to death. Thus the punishment which they laid down was the very fate which traitors most fear; survival after war was to be subject to a scrutiny which might involve disgrace and death. Let me convince you that what I have said can be proved and that my examples are genuine. Produce the law for them.“The Law of the Spartans

1 Pausanias was, in actual fact, regent for Pleistarchus, not king (Hdt. 9.10). Though he led the Greeks at Plataea and was afterwards commander of the allied fleet he was later deposed an a charge of Medism and attempted subversion of the Spartan constitution. For the full story of his last days see Thuc. 1.94-134.

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