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II. Union of military and political functions.

II. In the true Greek conception the citizen was at once general and statesman. So long as this identity lasted, the men at the head of the State neither had leisure for the laborious training necessary to eminence in artistic oratory, nor felt its attainment to be of paramount importance. It was the separation of military from political functions that enabled some men to become finished speakers while others became accomplished soldiers. Perikles spoke the epitaph of those whom he had led to battle; but he had neither opportunity nor inducement to cultivate the art of war with the exactness of an Iphikrates, or the art of oratory with the exactness of a Demosthenes1. Yet the division of labour, when it came, was a proof that the civic life of Athens was decaying. Kleon's disaster at Amphipolis was enough, indeed, to indicate that such a division would thenceforth be the rule. The versatility of Alkibiades combined the two parts with a success which had no later parallel. But the definite and recognised separation of military from political leadership cannot be put much above the days of Timotheos and Kallistratos2.

1 Macaulay, observing that the rise of Athenian oratory was contemporaneous with the decline of Athenian character and power, argues that this division of labour was the chief cause. (On the Athenian Orators: Miscellaneous Writings I 137 f.) As regards political oratory, it was certainly one of the chief causes. Macaulay's remark there, as to the silent and rapid downfall of Sparta having been due to the cultivation by others of scientific warfare, had been anticipated. The old advantage of Sparta in war and athletics —then lost—was due, says Aristotle, simply to Sparta studying these while her rivals did not: τῷ μόνον μὴ πρὸς ἀσκοῦντας ἀσκεῖν, Arist. Polit. V (VIII) iv § 4.

2 See Freeman, Historical Essays (Second Series) IV. ‘The Athenian Democracy,’ p. 138.

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