Panegyr. [IV] §§ 103— 106.
In the Panegyrikos
the first Athenian empire is used as an argument for making Athens equal leader with Sparta in a war against Asia. An implied contrast with the Spartan influence from 405 to 380 B.C. runs through the whole:—
‘All, I think, would expect that State to be the best president of Greece under whose former rule those who accepted it were, as a fact, happiest. Now it will be found that under our leadership private households throve best and cities, too, became greatest. We were not jealous of the growing States; we did not sow the seeds of strife by setting up in them a government adverse to their own, in order that they might be divided by faction and that both factions might pay court to us; rather, holding the concord of our allies to be a common good, we governed all the cities by the same laws, debating their affairs in the federal spirit, not in a spirit of absolutism; watching over the interests of the whole league, but leaving every member of it free,—helping the commons and warring against despotisms,—thinking it a shame that the many should be under the few, that men worse than their fellows in nothing but fortune should be scouted for office, aye, and that, when Greece is the mother of us all, some Greeks should be tyrants while others are barely residents on sufferance, and that a franchise
bestowed by nature should be cancelled by law. Finding these vices, and more than these, in Oligarchy, we gave to our allies the same form of government under which we lived ourselves—one which I see no need to praise at much length when it can be described so shortly. Under that government the allies lived for seventy years unvexed by tyrants, independent of barbarians, at unity among themselves, at peace with all the world.’