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The allegation that Sparta attempted to cripple a possible rival by destroying her liberties (ch. 78) and restoring tyranny may be derived from Attic tradition. As a rule, Sparta favoured narrow oligarchies as more congenial to her own temper and institutions, and more conformable to her interests (Thuc. i. 19. 76; Ar. Pol. 1307 b 24).


δόξαν φύσας, ‘having got (or grown) a spirit.’ Cf. Soph. O. C. 804φύσας φανεῖ φρένας”, on the analogy of physical growth as γλῶσσαν (ii. 68. 3), κέρεα (iv. 29 ad fin.), πώγωνα (viii. 104).

τις καὶ ἄλλος. This vague prediction of future evils applies primarily to Corinth (ch. 93. 1), but also to Sparta herself (ch. 90. 2). It was fully justified by the event; indeed, it is no doubt a ‘vaticinium post eventum’.

ὑμαρτών, ‘that he has committed an error.’ The participle must also be supplied with ἐκμεμαθήκασι, for though the Boeotians and Chalcidians had not, like Sparta and Corinth, made the mistake of helping the Athenians, they had carelessly allowed their power to grow. But it is better to change ὥστε to ὥσπερ (Stein) or ὥς γε (Abicht) and to make ἁμαρτών conditional = ‘if he be so foolish as to reject our counsel’.

Grote (iv. 101) remarks on the interest and importance of this occasion, the first recorded instance of the consultation of her allies by Sparta. The practice thus begun made the Peloponnesian league a true confederacy, organized probably by the vigorous and successful king, Cleomenes (cf. Appendix XVII, § 3). The necessity of such consultations was shown by the dispersion of the allies during the last campaign against Athens (ch. 75).

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Politics, 5.1307b
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 804
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.19.76
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