And perhaps my observation may receive some
support from ancient history. For, among many other indications, it is a fact that the Messenians did set up a pillar
close to the altar of Zeus Lycaeus in the time of Aristomenes,1
according to the evidence of Callisthenes, in which they inscribed the following verses:
“A faithless king will perish soon or late!
tracked him down right easily,
The traitor:—perjury must meet its fate;
Glory to Zeus, and life to Arcady!
The point of this is, that, having lost their own country, they
pray the gods to save Arcadia
as their second country.2
it was very natural that they should do so; for not only did
the Arcadians receive them when driven from their own land,
at the time of the Aristomenic war, and make them welcome
to their homes and free of their civic rights; but they also
passed a vote bestowing their daughters in marriage upon those
of the Messenians who were of proper age; and besides all
this, investigated the treason of their king Aristocrates in the
battle of the Trench; and, finding him guilty, put him to death
and utterly destroyed his whole family.
But setting aside
these ancient events, what has happened recently after the
restoration of Megalopolis
will be sufficient to
support what I have said. For when, upon
the death of Epaminondas leaving the result
of the battle of Mantinea
doubtful, the Lacedaemonians
endeavoured to prevent the Messenians from being included.
in the truce, hoping even then to get Messenia
own hands, the Megalopolitans, and all the other Arcadians
who were allied with the Messenians, made such a point of
their being admitted to the benefits of the new confederacy,
that they were accepted by the allies and allowed to take the
oaths and share in the provisions of the peace; while the
Lacedaemonians were the only Greeks excluded from the
treaty. With such facts before him, could any one doubt the
soundness of the suggestion I lately made?
I have said thus much for the sake of the Arcadians and
Messenians themselves; that, remembering all the misfortunes
which have befallen their countries at the hands of the
Lacedaemonians, they may cling close to the policy of mutual
affection and fidelity; and let no fear of war, or desire of peace,
induce them to abandon each other in what affects the highest
interests of both.