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H. seems to be putting his own ideas into the mouth of Mardonius (cf. ch. 10. ε, 46, &c.). Polybius (xiii. 3) says that the ancients fought on the principles here described from a desire for honourable and decisive battle. Grundy (Thucydides, ch. ix) finds the explanation in the geographical character of Greece, and in the necessity of fighting in the plain to defend its corn-crop.
So Pericles says of the Spartans (Thuc. i. 140) βούλονται δὲ πολέμῳ μᾶλλον ἢ λόγοις τὰ ἐγκλήματα διαλύεσθαι. Cf. Eur. Phoen. 515.
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