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Philopoemen in the Peloponnese, B. C. 207

"Brightness in the armour," he said," contributes much
Speech of Philopoemen urging reform.
to inspire dismay in the enemy; and care bestowed on having it made to fit properly is of great service in actual use. This will best be secured if you give to your arms the attention which you now bestow on your dress, and transfer to your dress the neglect which you now show of your arms. By thus acting, you will at once save your money, and be undoubtedly able to maintain the interests of your country. Therefore the man who is going to take part in manœuvres or a campaign ought, when putting on his greaves, to see that they are bright and well-fitting, much more than that his shoes and boots are; and when he takes up his shield and helmet, to take care that they are cleaner and more costly than his cloak and shirt: for when men take greater care of what is for show, than of what is for use, there can be no doubt of what will happen to them on the field. I beg you to consider that elaboration in dress is a woman's weakness, and a woman of no very high character either; but costliness and splendour in armour are the characteristics of brave men who are resolved on saving themselves and their country with glory."

The whole audience were so convinced by this speech and so much struck with the wisdom of the advice, that, immediately after leaving the council-chamber, they began pointing with scorn at the over-dressed dandies, and forced some of them to quit the market-place; and what is more, in future manœuvres and campaigns they kept a stricter watch on each other in these points.

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Peloponnesus (Greece) (1)

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207 BC (1)
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