Next, when the barbarian invaded Hellas, they
say that they were the only Boeotians who did not Medise; and this is where they most glorify themselves and abuse us.
We say that if they did not Medise, it was because the Athenians did not do
so either; just as afterwards when the Athenians attacked the Hellenes they, the
Plataeans, were again the only Boeotians who Atticized.
And yet consider the forms of our respective governments when we so acted.Our city at that juncture had neither an oligarchical constitution in which
all the nobles enjoyed equal rights nor a democracy, but that which is most
opposed to law and good government and nearest a tyranny—the rule
of a close cabal.
These, hoping to strengthen their individual power by the success of the
Mede, kept down by force the people, and brought him into the town.The city as a whole was not its own mistress when it so acted, and ought
not to be reproached for the errors that it committed while deprived of its
Examine only how we acted after the departure of the Mede and the recovery
of the constitution; when the Athenians attacked the rest of Hellas and endeavored to subjugate
our country, of the greater part of which faction had already made them
masters.Did not we fight and conquer at Coronea and liberate Boeotia, and do we not
now actively contribute to the liberation of the rest, providing horses to
the cause and a force unequalled by that of any other state in the
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
An XML version of this text is available for download,
with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted
changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.