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77. 'However, the character of the Athenians is known to you already, and we do not come here1 to set forth their enormities, which would be an easy task, but rather to accuse ourselves. We have had a warning in the fate of the Hellenes elsewhere; we know that they were reduced to slavery because they would not stand by one another, And when the same tricks are practised upon us2, and we hear the old tale once more about the restoration of ‘our kinsmen the Leontines,’ and the succour of ‘our allies the Egestaeans,’ why do we not all rise as one man and show them that here they will find, not Ionians, nor yet Hellespontians, nor islanders, who must always be the slaves, if not of the Persian, of some other master; but Dorians3 and free inhabitants of Sicily, sprung from the independent soil of Peloponnesus? [2] Are we waiting till our cities are taken one by one, when we know that this is the only way in which we can be conquered? We see what their policy is: how in some cases their cunning words sow ill-feeling; in others they stir up war by the offer of alliance; or again, by some well-invented phrase specially agreeable to an individual state they do it all the mischief which they can. And does any one suppose that, if his countryman at a distance perishes, the danger will not reach him, or that he who suffers first will have no companions in ruin?

1 The old tales and the old tricks are being reheated here. Shall we allow ourselves to be taken in by then and to succumboneby one?

2 Cp. 4.61 med.

3 Cp. 1.124 init.; 5.9 init.; 7.5 fin.; 8.25 med.

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load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith)
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