Nothing which happened during the war caused greater amazement in Hellas; for it was universally1
imagined that the Lacedaemonians would never give up their arms, either under the pressure of famine or in any other extremity, but would fight to the last and die sword in hand.
No one would believe that those who surrendered were men of the same quality with those who perished. There is a story of a reply made by a captive taken in the island to one of the Athenian allies who had sneeringly asked 'Where were their brave men-all killed?'2
He answered that 'The spindle' (meaning the arrow) 'would be indeed a valuable weapon if it picked out the brave.' He meant to say that the destruction caused by the arrows and stones was indiscriminate.