The Athenians and Lacedaemonians, then, were1
occupied with these things. As for the Thebans, after they had subdued the cities in Boeotia they made an expedition into Phocis also. And when the2
Phocians, on their side, sent ambassadors to Lacedaemon and said that unless the Lacedaemonians came to their assistance they would not be able to escape yielding to the Thebans, thereupon the Lacedaemonians sent Cleombrotus, the king, across to Phocis by sea, and with him four regiments of their own and the corresponding contingents3
of the allies.
At about this time Polydamas of Pharsalus also arrived from Thessaly and presented himself before the general assembly of the Lacedaemonians. This man was not only held in very high repute throughout all Thessaly, but in his own city was regarded as so honourable a man that, when the Pharsalians fell into factional strife, they put their Acropolis in his hands and entrusted to him the duty of receiving the revenues, and of expending, both for religious purposes and for the administration in general, all the sums which were prescribed in their laws.
And he did, in fact, use these funds to guard4
the Acropolis and keep it safe for them, and likewise to administer their other affairs, rendering them an account yearly. And whenever there was a deficit he made it up from his own private purse, and whenever there was a surplus of revenue he paid himself back. Besides, he was hospitable and magnificent, after the Thessalian manner. Now when this man arrived at Lacedaemon he spoke as follows:
“Men of Lacedaemon, I am your diplomatic agent and `benefactor,'5
as all my ancestors have been of whom we have any knowledge; I therefore deem it proper, if I am in any difficulty, to come to you, and if any trouble is gathering for you in Thessaly, to make it known to you. Now you also, I am very sure, often hear the name of Jason6
spoken, for the man has great power and is famous. This man, after concluding a truce with my city, had a meeting with me and spoke as follows:
`Polydamas, that I could bring over your city, Pharsalus, even against its will, you may conclude from the following facts. You know,' he said, `that I have as allies the greater number and the largest of the cities of Thessaly; and I subdued them when you were with them in the field against me. Furthermore, you are aware that I have men of other states as mercenaries to the number of six thousand, with whom, as I think, no city could easily contend. As for numbers,' he said, `of course as great a force might march out of some other city also; but armies made up of citizens7
include men who are already advanced in years and others who have not yet come to their prime. Furthermore, in every city very few men train their bodies, but among my mercenaries no one serves unless he is able to endure as severe toils as I myself.'
And he himself — for I must tell you the truth — is exceedingly strong of body and a lover of toil besides. Indeed, he makes trial every day of the men under him, for in full armour he leads them, both on the parade-ground and whenever he is on a campaign anywhere. And whomsoever among his mercenaries he finds to be weaklings he casts out, but whomsoever he sees to be fond of toil and fond of the dangers of war he rewards, some with double pay, others with triple pay, others even with quadruple pay, and with gifts besides, as well as with care in sickness and magnificence in burial; so that all the mercenaries in his service know that martial prowess assures to them a life of greatest honour and abundance.
“He pointed out to me, further, although I knew it before, that he already had as subjects the Maracians, the Dolopians, and Alcetas, the ruler in Epirus. `Therefore,' he said, `what have I to fear that I should not expect to subdue you easily? To be sure, one who did not know me might perhaps retort, “Then why do you delay, instead of prosecuting your campaign against the Pharsalians at once?” Because, by Zeus, it seems to me to be altogether better to bring you over to my side willingly rather than unwillingly. For if you were constrained by force, you, on the one hand, would be planning whatever harm you could against me, and I, on the other, should be wanting to keep you as weak as I could;8
but if it was through persuation that you joined with me, it is clear that we should advance one another's interests to the best of our ability.
Now I know, Polydamas, that your city looks to you, and if you make her friendly to me I promise you,' he said, `that I will make you the greatest, next to myself, of all the men in Greece; and what manner of fortune it is wherein I offer you the second place, hear from me, and believe nothing that I say unless upon consideration it appears to you true. Well, then, this is plain to us, that if Pharsalus and the cities which are dependent upon you should be added to my power, I could easily become Tagus9
of all the Thessalians; and, further, that whenever Thessaly is under a Tagus, her horsemen amount to six thousand and more than ten thousand men become hoplites.
And when I see both their bodies and their high spirit, I think that if one should handle them rightly, there would be no people to whom the Thessalians would deign to be subject. Again, while Thessaly is an exceedingly flat land,10
all the peoples round about are subject to her as soon as a Tagus is established here; and almost all who dwell in these neighbouring regions are javelin-men, so that it is likely that our force would be far superior in peltasts also.
Furthermore, the Boeotians and all the others who are at war with the Lacedaemonians are my allies, and they are ready to be my followers, too, if only I free them from the Lacedaemonians. The Athenians also, I know very well, would do anything to become allies of ours, but I do not think it best11
to establish a friendship with them; for I believe that I could obtain empire by sea even more easily than by land.
“`To see whether my calculations are reasonable, he said, `consider these points also. With Macedonia in our possession, the place from which the Athenians get their timber, we shall of course be able to construct far more ships than they. Again, who are likely to be better able to supply these ships with men, the Athenians or ourselves, who have so many serfs of so excellent a sort? And who are likely to be better able to maintain the sailors, we, who on account of our abundance even have corn to export to other lands, or the Athenians, who have not even enough for themselves unless they buy it?
Then as for money, we surely should be likely to enjoy a greater abundance of it, for we should not be looking to little islands for our revenues, but drawing upon the resources of peoples of the continent. For of course all who are round about us pay tribute as soon as Thessaly is under a Tagus. And you certainly know that it is by drawing upon the resources, not of islands, but of a continent, that the King of the Persians is the richest of mortals; and yet I think that it is even easier to reduce him to subjection than to reduce Greece. For I know that everybody there, save one person, has trained himself to servitude rather than to prowess, and I know what manner of force it was — both that which went up with Cyrus and that which went up with Agesilaus — that brought the King to extremities.'
“Now in answer to these statements I replied that while the other matters which he mentioned12
were worth considering, nevertheless for people who were friends of the Lacedaemonians to secede and go over to their enemies without having any charge to bring against them — this, I said, seemed to me to be impracticable. He thereupon, after commending me and saying that he must cling to me the more because I was that sort of a man, permitted me to come to you and say the truth, that he was intending to undertake a campaign against the Pharsalians if we did not yield to him. Therefore he bade me ask assistance from you. `And if,' said he, `the gods grant that you persuade them to send a supporting force large enough to make war with me, so be it,' he said, `and let us abide by whatever may be the result of the war; but if it seems to you that they do not give you adequate assistance, would you not justly be blameless thenceforth if you should follow the course that is best for your city, which honours you?'
“It is about these matters, then, that I have come to you, and I tell you the whole situation there as I myself see it and have heard it from his lips. And I believe that this is the case, men of Lacedaemon, that if you send thither a force such as shall seem, not to me only, but also to the rest of the Thessalians, large enough to make war upon Jason, the cities will revolt from him; for all of them are afraid of the lengths to which the man's power will go. But if you imagine that emancipated Helots and a private individual13
as commander will suffice, I advise you to remain quiet.
For, be well assured, the war will be against strong forces and against a man who is so sagacious a general that14
whatsoever he undertakes to accomplish, whether it be by secrecy, or by getting ahead of an enemy, or by sheer force, he is not very apt to fail of his object. For he is able to make as good use of night as of day, and when he is in haste, to take breakfast and dinner together and go on with his labours. And he thinks it is proper to rest only after he has reached the goal for which he had set out and has accomplished the things that are needful; moreover, he has accustomed his followers also to the same habits. Yet he also knows how to satisfy the wishes of his soldiers when by added toils they have achieved some success; so that all who are with him have learned this lesson too, that from toils come indulgences.
Again, he has greater self-control than any man I know as regards the pleasures of the body, so that he is not prevented by such things, either, from doing always what needs to be done. Consider, therefore, and tell me, as beseems you, what you will be able to do and intend to do.”
Thus he spoke. As for the Lacedaemonians, at the time they deferred their answer; but after reckoning up on the next day and on the third their regiments abroad, to see how many they numbered, and the regiments which were in the vicinity of Lacedaemon to be employed against the triremes of the Athenians and for the war upon their neighbours, they replied that at present they could not send him an adequate supporting force, and told him to go home and arrange his own affairs and those of his city as best he could.
He, then, after commending the straightforwardness of the state, departed. And he begged Jason not to force him to give over15
the Acropolis of the Pharsalians, his wish being that he might still keep it safe for those who had put it into his hands; but he gave his own children to Jason as hostages, with the promise not only to win over the city and make it his willing ally, but also to help in establishing him as Tagus. When, accordingly, they had exchanged pledges with one another, the Pharsalians at once observed peace, and Jason was speedily established by common consent as Tagus of the Thessalians.
Having become Tagus, he assessed the contingents of cavalry and hoplites that the cities were to furnish, according to the ability of each. And the result was that he had more than eight thousand horsemen, including the allies, his hoplites were reckoned at not fewer than twenty thousand, and there were peltasts enough to be set in array against the whole world; for it is a task even to enumerate the cities which furnished them. Further, he sent orders to all who dwelt round about to pay the same tribute as had been fixed in the time of Scopas.16
Thus these events were proceeding to their issue; I now return to the point at which I digressed when I took up the story of Jason.