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If, then, one views Athens in this light and compares her, not with any city chosen at random, but with the city of the Spartans, which most people praise moderately while some1 extol her as though the demigods had there governed the state, then Athens, in her power, in her deeds and in her benefactions to the Hellenes, will be seen to have outdistanced Sparta more than Sparta the rest of the world.

1 The oligarchical party in Athens, generally, admired Spartan institutions. Among writers, Xenophon especially (see Xen. Const. Lac.) was emphatic in his praise of them. The Athenian philosophers, also, were wont to contrast the rigor and discipline of the Spartan with the slackness of the Athenian ways of life. See Isoc. 3.24 and note.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Isocrates, Nicocles or the Cyprians, 24
    • Xenophon, Constitution of the Lacedaimonians, 1
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