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Many times have I wondered at those who first convoked the national assemblies and established the athletic games,1 amazed that they should have thought the prowess of men's bodies to be deserving of so great bounties, while to those who had toiled in private for the public good and trained their own minds so as to be able to help also their fellow-men they apportioned no reward whatsoever,2

1 Pan-Hellenic gatherings at the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian games, including also the Pan-atheniac festival at Athens. See Gardner and Jevons, Manual of Greek Antiquities, pp. 269 ff.

2 This is not quite exact (see Lys. 33.2), nor consistent with § 45 where he mentions contests of intellect and prizes for them. But the mild interest which these evoked served but to emphasize the excess of enthusiasm for athletics against which Isocrates here and elsewhere protests. Cf. Isoc. 15.250 and Isoc. Letter 8.5. The complaint is older than Isocrates. See Xenophanes, Fr. 19.

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