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Philopoemen and Machanidas

So true it is that a single word spoken by a man of
Philopoemen's own example.
credit is often sufficient not only to turn men from the worst courses, but even to incite them to the noblest. But when such a speaker can appeal to his own life as in harmony with his words, then indeed his exhortation carries a weight which nothing can exceed. And this was above all others the case with Philopoemen. For in his dress and eating, as well as in all that concerned his bodily wants, he was plain and simple; in his manners to others without ceremony or pretence; and throughout his life he made it his chief aim to be absolutely sincere. Consequently a few unstudied words from him were sufficient to raise a firm conviction in the minds of his hearers; for as he could point to his own life as an example, they wanted little more to convince them. Thus it happened on several occasions, that the confidence he inspired, and the consciousness of his achievements, enabled him in a few words to overthrow long and, as his opponents thought, skilfully argued speeches.

So on this occasion, as soon as the council of the league separated, all returned to their cities deeply impressed both by the words and the man himself, and convinced that no harm could happen to them with him at their head. Immediately afterwards Philopoemen set out on a visitation of the cities, which he performed with great energy and speed. He then summoned a levy of citizens and began forming them into companies and drilling them; and at last, after eight months of this preparation and training, he mustered his forces at Mantinea, prepared to fight the tyrant Machanidas in behalf of the freedom of all the Peloponnesians.

War against Machanidas, tyrant of Sparta. B. C. 208-207.

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