previous next
80. At my age, Lacedaemonians, I have had experience of many wars, and I see several of you1 who are as old as I am, and who will not, as men too often do, desire war because they have never known it, or in the belief that it is either a good or a safe thing. [2] Any one who calmly reflects will find that the war about which you are now deliberating is likely to be a very great one. [3] When we encounter our neighbours in the Peloponnese, their mode of fighting is like ours, and they are all within a short march. But when we have to do with men whose country is a long way off, and who are most skilful seamen and thoroughly provided with the means of war,—having wealth, private and public, ships, horses, infantry, and a population larger than is to be found in any single Hellenic territory, not to speak of the numerous allies who pay them tribute,—is this a people against whom we can lightly take up arms or plunge into a contest unprepared? To what do we trust? [4] To our navy? There we are inferior; and to exercise and train ourselves until we are a match for them, will take time. To our money? Nay, but in that we are weaker still; we have none in a common treasury, and we are never willing to contribute out of our private means.

1 We are no match for the Athenians.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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.

load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant)
load focus Notes (Charles D. Morris)
load focus English (1910)
load focus Greek (1942)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
hide References (36 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: