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Anaxandridas, the son of Leo. in answer to a man who took much to heart the sentence imposed upon him of exile from the country, said, ‘My good sir, be not downcast at being an exile from your country but at being an exile from justice.’

To a man who told the Ephors of things that were needful, but spoke at greater length than would have sufficed, he said, ‘My friend, in needless time you dwell upon the need !’ 2

When someone inquired why they put their fields in the hands of the Helots, and did not take care of them themselves, he said, ‘It was by not taking care of the fields, but of ourselves, that we acquired those fields.’

When someone else said that high repute works injury to men and that he who is freed from this will be happy, he retorted, ‘Then those who commit crimes would, according to your reasoning, be happy. For how could any man, in committing sacrilege or any other crime, be concerned over high repute ?’

When another person asked why the Spartans, in their wars, ventured boldly into danger, he said, ‘Because we train ourselves to have regard for life and not, like others, to be timid about it.’

When someone asked him why the elders continue the trials of capital cases over several days, and why, even if the defendant is acquitted, he is none the less still under indictment, he said, ‘They take many days to decide, because, if they make an error in a capital case, there can be no reversal of [p. 299] the judgement; and the accused continues, perforce, to be under indictment of the law, because, under this law, it may be possible, by deliberation, to arrive at a better decision.’ 3

1 King of Sparta, circa 560-520 B.C.

2 Attributed to Leo, the father of Anaxandridas, in Moralia, 224 F (3), and to Leonidas, the son of Anaxandridas, in Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xx. (52 B).

3 For the fact cf. Plato, Apology, chap. xxvii. (37 A); Thucydides, i. 132.

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