When the Lacedaemonians began to be annoyed by the increasing power of the Athenians, Pericles, by way of inciting the people to cherish yet loftier thoughts and to deem it worthy of great achievements, introduced a bill to the effect that all Hellenes wheresoever resident in Europe or in Asia, small and large cities alike, should be invited to send deputies to a council at Athens. This was to deliberate concerning the Hellenic sanctuaries which the Barbarians had burned down, concerning the sacrifices which were due to the gods in the name of Hellas in fulfillment of vows made when they were fighting with the Barbarians, and concerning the sea, that all might sail it fearlessly and keep the peace.
To extend this invitation, twenty men, of such as were above fifty years of age, were sent out, five of whom invited the Ionians and Dorians in Asia and on the islands between Lesbos and Rhodes; five visited the regions on the Hellespont and in Thrace as far as Byzantium; five others were sent into Boeotia and Phocis and Peloponnesus, and from here by way of the Ozolian Locrians into the neighboring continent as far as Acarnania and Ambracia;
while the rest proceeded through Euboea to the Oetaeans and the Maliac Gulf and the Phthiotic Achaeans and the Thessalians, urging them all to come and take part in the deliberations for the peace and common welfare of Hellas. But nothing was accomplished , nor did the cities come together by deputy, owing to the opposition of the Lacedaemonians, as it is said, since the effort met with its first check in Peloponnesus. I have cited this incident, however, to show forth the man's disposition and the greatness of his thoughts.