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Ephorus declares that Boeotia is superior to the countries of the bordering tribes, not only in fertility of soil, but also because it alone has three seas and has a greater number of good harbors; in the Crisaean and Corinthian Gulfs it receives the products of Italy and Sicily and Libya, while in the part which faces Euboea, since its seaboard branches off on either side of the Euripus, on one side towards Aulis and the territory of Tanagra and on the other towards Salganeus and Anthedon, the sea stretches unbroken1 in the one direction towards Egypt and Cyprus and the islands, and in the other direction towards Macedonia and the regions of the Propontis and the Hellespont. And he adds that Euboea has, in a way, been made a part of Boeotia by the Euripus, since the Euripus is so narrow and is spanned by a bridge to Euripus only two plethra2 long. Now he praises the country on account of these things; and he says that it is naturally well suited to hegemony, but that those who were from time to time its leaders neglected careful training and education, and therefore, although they at times achieved success, they maintained it only for a short time, as is shown in the case of Epameinondas; for after he died the Thebans immediately lost the hegemony, having had only a taste of it; and that the cause of this was the fact that they belittled the value of learning and of intercourse with mankind, and cared for the military virtues alone. Ephorus should have added that these things are particularly useful in dealing with Greeks, although force is stronger than reason in dealing with the barbarians. And the Romans too, in ancient times, when carrying on war with savage tribes, needed no training of this kind, but from the time that they began to have dealings with more civilized tribes and races, they applied themselves to this training also, and so established themselves as lords of all.

1 i.e., unbroken by an isthmus or other obstacle.

2 202 English feet.

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
load focus Greek (1877)
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