The treasury of the Acanthians at Delphi bears this inscription: ‘Brasidas and the Acanthians, with spoil from the Athenians.’ 1 For this reason many think that the marble figure standing within the edifice, by the door, is a statue of Brasidas. But it really represents Lysander, with his hair very long, after the ancient custom, and growing a generous beard. [2] For it is not true, as some state, that because the Argives, after their great defeat, shaved their heads for sorrow, the Spartans, in contrary fashion, let their hair grow long in exultation over their victory;2 nor was it because the Bacchiadae,3 when they fled from Corinth to Lacedaemon, looked mean and unsightly from having shaved their heads, that the Spartans, on their part, became eager to wear their hair long; but this custom also goes back to Lycurgus. And he is reported to have said that a fine head of hair makes the handsome more comely to look upon, and the ugly more terrible.4

1 In B.C. 424, Brasidas won Acanthus, a town on the Chalcidic peninsula, away from its alliance with Athens (Thuc. 4.84-88).

2 Hdt. 1.82

3 An oligarchical family, deposed from rule in Corinth by Cypselus, about 650 B.C. (Hdt. 5.92).

4 Cf. Plut. Lyc. 22.1.

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