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Another, as she handed her son his shield, exhorted him, saying, ‘Either this or upon this.’ 1

1 Referred to Gorgo as the author by Aristotle in his Aphorisms, as quoted by Stobaeus, Florilegium, vii. 31, but it is often spoken of as a regular Spartan custom. Cf., for example, the scholium on Thucydides, ii. 39.

Ancient writers were not agreed whether the second half meant to fall upon the shield (dead or wounded) or to be brought home dead upon it. In support of the second (traditional) interpretation cf. Moralia, 235 a, and Valerius Maximus, ii. 7, ext. 2.

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