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“The reception of the oaths, the discussion of the other questions, and the talk about the prisoners, all that sort of thing could have been done, I think, if the city had entrusted it to some of its petty servants and sent them. But to reach a right solution of the supreme question, so far as that is in our power or Philip's,1 this is now a task for wise ambassadors. I mean,” said I, “the question of the expedition to Thermopylae, which you see in course of preparation. That I am not wide of the mark in this matter, I will show you by weighty considerations.

1 The supreme question of the hour was the settlement of the long continued Phocian war. Whether Phocis was to be defeated and Thebes given a dangerous increase of power depended in large measure on what action Philip and the Athenians should decide to take, either jointly or severally. The Athenians had been unable to persuade Philip's ambassadors to include the Phocians among the states to be protected by the peace, but it was hoped that these ambassadors from Athens would be able to persuade Philip himself to favour Phocis as against Thebes.

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