77.For because in our suits with our allies, regulated by treaty, we do not even stand
upon our1 rights, but have instituted the practice of deciding them at Athens and by
Athenian2 law, we are supposed to be
None of our opponents observe why others, who exercise dominion elsewhere and are less
moderate than we are in their dealings with their subjects, escape this reproach.Why is it? Because men who practise violence have no longer any need of law.
But we are in the habit of meeting our allies on terms of equality, and, therefore, if
through some legal decision of ours, or exercise of our imperial power, contrary to
their own ideas of right, they suffer ever so little, they are not grateful for our
moderation in leaving them so much, but are far more offended at their trifling loss
than if we had from the first plundered them in the face of day, laying aside all
thought of law.For then they would themselves have admitted that the weaker must give way to the
Mankind resent injustice more than violence,because the one seems to be an unfair
advantage taken by an equal, the other is the irresistible force of a superior.
They were patient under the yoke of the Persian, who inflicted on them far more
grievous3 wrongs; but now our dominion is odious in their eyes.And no wonder: the ruler of the day is always detested by his subjects.
And should your empire supplant ours, may not you lose the good-will which
you owe to the fear of us? Lose it you certainly will, if you mean again to exhibit the temper of which you gave a
specimen when, for a short time, you led the confederacy against the Persian.For the institutions under which you live are incompatible with those of foreign
states; and further, when any of you goes abroad, he respects neither these nor any
other Hellenic customs4
They were thought to be litigious, because they allowed their subjects a law
other than the law of the stronger.
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