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[4] Again, in the matter of athletic contests, he allowed the citizens to engage only in those where there was no stretching forth of hands.1 There are also handed down similar answers which he made by letter to his fellow-citizens. When they asked how they could ward off an invasion of enemies, he answered: ‘By remaining poor, and by not desiring to be greater the one than the other.’ And when they asked about fortifying their city, he answered: ‘A city will be well fortified which is surrounded by brave men and not by bricks.’ Now regarding these and similar letters, belief and scepticism are alike difficult.

1 After the manner of men begging their conquerors to spare their lives.

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