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In Greece the Athenians after the victory at Plataea brought their children and wives back to Athens from Troezen and Salamis, and at once set to work fortifying the city and were giving their attention to every other means which made for its safety. [2] But the Lacedaemonians, observing that the Athenians had gained for themselves great glory by the actions in which their navy had been engaged, looked with suspicion upon their growing power and decided to prevent the Athenians from rebuilding their walls. [3] They at once, therefore, dispatched ambassadors to Athens who would ostensibly advise them not at present to fortify the city, as not being of advantage to the general interests of the Greeks; for, they pointed out, if Xerxes should return with larger armaments than before he would have walled cities ready to hand outside the Peloponnesus which he would use as bases and thus easily subjugate the Greeks. And when no attention was paid to their advice, the ambassadors approached the men who were building the wall and ordered them to stop work immediately. [4]

While the Athenians were at a loss what they should do, Themistocles, who enjoyed at that time the highest favour among them, advised them to take no action; for he warned them that if they had recourse to force, the Lacedaemonians could easily march up against them together with the Peloponnesians and prevent them from fortifying the city. [5] But he told the Council in confidence that he and certain others would go as ambassadors to Lacedaemon to explain the matter of the wall to the Lacedaemonians; and he instructed the magistrates, when ambassadors should come from Lacedaemon to Athens, to detain them until he himself should return from Lacedaemon, and in the meantime to put the whole population to work fortifying the city. In this manner, he declared to them, they would achieve their purpose.

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Lacedaemon (Greece) (3)
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GRAEĀ“CIA
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