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72. To this appeal Archidamus rejoined:—

'What you say, Plataeans, is just, but your acts should correspond to your words. Enjoy the1 independence which Pausanias granted to you, but also assist us in freeing the other Hellenes who were your sworn confederates in that time of danger and are now in subjection to the Athenians. With a view to the emancipation of them and of the other subject states, this great war has been undertaken and all these preparations made. It would be best for you to join with us, and observe the oaths yourselves which you would have us observe. But if you prefer to be neutral, a course which we have already once proposed to you, retain possession of your lands, and receive both sides in peace, but neither for the purposes of war; [2] and we shall be satisfied.'

The Plataean ambassadors then returned to the city and reported these words of Archidamus to2 the people, who made answer that they could not do what they were asked without the sanction of the Athenians, in whose power they had left their wives and children, and that they also feared for the very existence of their state. When the Lacedaemonians were gone the Athenians might come and not allow them to carry out the treaty; or the Thebans, who would be included in the clause requiring them 'to receive both sides,' might again attempt to seize their town. [3] To this Archidamus, wanting to reassure them, made the following answer:—

'Then deliver over your city and houses to the Lacedaemonians; mark the boundaries of3 your land, and number your fruit-trees and anything else which can be counted. Go yourselves whithersoever you please, while the war lasts, and on the return of peace we will give back to you all that we have received. Until then we will hold your property in trust, and will cultivate your ground, paying you such a rent as will content you.'

1 Archidamus offers peace if they will either join the Lacedaemonian confederacy or remain neutral.

2 The Plataeans reply that they cannot act without the Athenians, and also that they distrust the Thebans.

3 Archtdamus then asks them to surrender the city till the end of the war

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