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9. The ‘rhetra’ was introduced in the senate, and the senators were divided in opinion. Lysander therefore called together a general assembly and discussed the matter himself with the citizens, and Mandrocleidas and Agesilaüs begged them not to suffer the insolent opposition of a few to blind them to the prostration of Sparta's dignity, but to call to mind the earlier oracles which bade them beware of the love of riches as a fatal thing for Sparta, as well as the oracles which had lately been brought to them from Pasiphaë.

[2] Now there was a temple of Pasiphaë at Thalamae, and her oracle there was held in honour. Some say that Pasiphaë was one of the daughters of Atlas, and the mother of Ammon by Zeus, and some that Cassandra the daughter of Priam died at Thalamae, and was called Pasiphaë because she declared her oracles to all. Phylarchus, however, says that she was a daughter of Amyclas, Daphne by name, and that, fleeing the embraces of Apollo, she was changed into the tree of like name, after which she was honoured by the god with the gift of prophetic power. [3] Be this as it may, it was now said that the oracles brought from this goddess ordained that all Spartans should be on an equality according to the original law made by Lycurgus. And finally, King Agis came forward and after a brief discourse said that he offered very large contributions to the constitutions which he was trying to establish; for in the first place he put into the common stock his own estate, which included extensive tillage and pasture, and apart from this six hundred talents in money; and, besides, his mother and his grandmother did likewise, together with their relatives and friends, and they were the wealthiest among the Spartans.

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load focus Greek (Bernadotte Perrin, 1921)
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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), E´PHORI
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), RHETRA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), THA´LAMAE
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