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[181] But why make a long story by detailing all the outrages which were visited upon the common people? Why not, rather, mention the greatest of their misfortunes and refuse to be burdened with the rest? For over these people, who have from the beginning suffered evils so dreadful, but in present emergencies are found so useful, the Ephors have the power to put to death without trial as many as they please,1 whereas in the other states of Hellas it is a crime against the gods to stain one's hands with the blood of even the basest of slaves.

1 The Perioeci, like the Helots, were subject to military service more and more as the pure Spartan population declined; but Isocrates' complaint that they were made to take the brunt of danger is probably an exaggeration. However, the power of the Spartan magistrates, the Ephors, to condemn them to death without trial is well attested. See Gilbert, Greek Constitutional Antiquities p. 58.

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