For though the supremacy which the Persians enjoy entails, for the satisfaction of
cupidity, the gifts they require, yet a tyrant's greed does not overlook even any small
For the surest guardian of
safety is mistrust.
children, when they are being ill treated, turn for aid to their parents, but states turn to
the peoples who once founded them.2
A tyrant's greed does not rest
satisfied with what he possesses, but it yearns after the property of others and is never
As for those whose
character will oppose his domination, he will not, when the opportunity offers, allow them to
For you are
descendants of those men who have bequeathed to glory their own virtues, deathless after their
For as the reward for
the alliance it is not money he requires, which one can often see despised by even the lowest
man in private life when he has once gained wealth, but praise and glory, to gain which noble
men do not hesitate to die; for the reward which glory offers is to be preferred above silver.
For the inheritance which the
Spartans receive from their fathers is not wealth, as is the case with all other men, but an
eagerness to die for the sake of liberty, so that they set all the good things which life can
offer second to glory.
not in our eagerness for mercenary troops throw away our own citizen forces, and, in reaching
for what is unseen, lose our mastery of that which is in sight.
I deny that I am dismayed at the magnitude of the
Persians' armaments; for valour decides the issue of war, not numbers.
For the inheritance they have received
from their fathers is to live their own lives, and to die in response to their country's need.
Why should we fear the gold
with which they deck themselves out as they go into battle, as women deck themselves for
marriage, since as a result victory will bring us the prize not only of glory, but of wealth?
For valour fears not gold, which cold steel has ever taken captive, but the military skill of
For every army
which exceeds the proper proportion carries in itself its undoing in almost every case. For
before the serried ranks have heard the command we shall have anticipated them in obtaining our
objectives.Const. Exc. 4, pp. 301-302.