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That oracle, moreover, which all would acknowledge to be the most ancient and the most widely accepted and the most trustworthy in existence, recognized Messene as ours, not only at the time when it commanded us to receive the country as a gift from the sons of Cresphontes and to go to the aid of the wronged, but also later, when the war dragged on and both sides sent delegations to Delphi, the Messenians appealing for deliverance and we inquiring how we could most speedily make ourselves masters of their city, the god gave them no answer, thus showing that their appeal was unjust, while to us he revealed both what sacrifices we should perform and to whom we should send for aid.1

1 in the second Messenian War, 685-668 B.C., the Athenians are said to have sent Tyrtaeus, the lame school-master, to the aid of the Spartans. See Pausanias iv. 15.

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