124.On every ground you will be right in going to war: it is our united advice;1 and if you2 believe community of interests to be the surest ground of strength both to
states and individuals, send speedy aid d to the Potidaeans, who are Dorians and now
besieged by Ionians (for times have changed), and recover the liberties
which the rest of the allies have lost. We cannot go on as we are: for some of us are already suffering, and if it is known
that we have met, but do not dare to defend ourselves, others will soon share their
Acknowledging then, allies, that there is no alternative, and that we are advising you
for the best, vote for war; and be not afraid of the immediate danger, but fix your
thoughts on the durable peace which will follow.For by war peace is assured, but to remain at peace when you should be going to war may
be often very dangerous.
The tyrant city which has been set up in Hellas is a standing menace to all alike; she
rules over some of us already, and would fain rule over others.Let us attack and subdue her, that we may ourselves live safely for the future and
deliver the Hellenes whom she has enslaved.Such were the words of the Corinthians.
1 Reading ταὐτά: or, with all the
MSS. retaining ταῦτα: 'And as it is most certain
that the policy which we recommend is for our advantage both as states and
individuals, send speedy aid' etc.
We cannot go on as we are. War is the way to peace; but peace may be the way to
Thucydides translated into English; with introduction, marginal analysis, notes, and indices. Volume 1. Thucydides. Benjamin Jowett. translator. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1881.
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