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[2] This king, they say, on being reviled by his wife because the royal power, when he handed it over to his sons, would be less than when he received it, said: ‘Nay, but greater, in that it will last longer.’ And in fact, by renouncing excessive claims and freeing itself from jealous hate, royalty at Sparta escaped its perils, so that the Spartan kings did not experience the fate which the Messenians and Argives inflicted upon their kings, who were unwilling to yield at all or remit their power in favour of the people. And this brings into the clearest light the wisdom and foresight of Lycurgus, when we contrast the factions and misgovernment of the peoples and kings of Messenia and Argos, who were kinsmen and neighbours of the Spartans.

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