Plutarch was an admirer of the old Spartan virtues, and it seems altogether probable that the collection of sayings of Spartans was made by him as literary material for use in his writing, as he tells us was his custom (Moralia, 457 d and 464 f), and many of the sayings are actually found incorporated in his other works. That he did not use all the material which he had accumulated is no more than is to be expected from a discriminating author.

The title (Sayings of Spartans) stands as No. 169 in Lamprias's list of Plutarch's works.

A selection from the sayings of the more famous Spartans is incorporated in the Sayings of Kings and Commanders, which covers a broader field, including both Greeks and Romans, and so does not contain the entire collection of Spartan sayings. For example, in the Spartan Sayings, under the name of Agesilaus are found seventy-nine different sayings, but only twelve of these are selected for inclusion in the Sayings of Kings and Commanders, so that the Emperor Trajan (if the collection was made for him) should not. be overburdened in his reading !

The ms. tradition of these Spartan sayings is in sad confusion. The Spartans spoke in the Doric dialect, yet according to the ms. tradition of Plutarch they spoke sometimes Doric, more often Attic, and [p. 241] occasionally used Aeolie forms i It is not likely, for example, that the mother of Brasidas spoke Doric (190 c) and Attic (219 d) in making the same remark, or that Brasidas spoke sometimes Doric and sometimes Attic (219 c-d), or that Charillus said the same thing in both Doric (189 f) and Attic (232 c). The explanation probably is that Plutarch copied these anecdotes as he found them in the books from which he made his excerpts. Xenophon, for example, or Thucydides seldom uses Doric, but represents the Spartans as speaking Attic, as frankly as Herodotus or Aeschylus represents the Persians as spealdng Greek. So on the stage in England or America, or in novels, French or German characters speak English, or vice versa-a convention which is universally accepted. Hence it should not disturb us to find Plutarch recording remarks of Spartans in the Attic dialect, nor should we hastily conclude that the mss. are all wrong.

It would be possible, with our present knowledge, to translate all these Spartan sayings into the Doric dialect, but to do so would be a useless tour deforce. It would be as if the editor of a newspaper were to insist that every story about a Scotchman or a Yankee should be edited to conform to the correct Scotch or Yankee dialect-a rather futile proceeding. Hence no radical changes have been made in the ms. tradition. Only when the mss. show a distinct attempt to quote in Doric has an effort been made to make the Doric consistent in itself.

It will not escape the attentive reader that the names of the Spartans whose sayings are quoted are arranged in alphabetical order, for the purpose, without doubt, of facilitating reference to them.

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