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For what words can match the measure of such men, who so far surpassed the members of the expedition against Troy that, whereas the latter consumed ten years beleaguering a single cityA favorite comparison. Cf. 186, Isoc. 5.111-112, Isoc. 9.65. they, in a short space of time, completely defeated the forces that had been collected from all Asia, and not only saved their own countries but liberated the whole of Hellas as well? And from what deeds or hardships or dangers would they have shrunk so as to enjoy men's praise while living—these men who were so ready to lay down their lives for the sake of the glory they would have when dead
Then came the later expedition,The second campaign is described by Hdt. 7-9. which was led by Xerxes in person; he had left his royal residence, boldly taken command as general in the field, and collected about him all the hosts of Asia. What orator, however eager to overshoot the mark, has not fallen short of the truth in speaking of this king,
And, furthermore, not even the present peace, nor yet that “autonomy” which is inscribed in the treatiesAbove all, the Treaty or Peace of Antalcidas, 387 B.C. Cf. Isoc. 4.120 ff. Xen. Hell. 5.1.31, quotes from this treaty: “King Artaxerxes thinks it just that the cities in Asia, and the islands of Clazomene and Cyprus, shall belong to him. He thinks it just also to leave all the other cities autonomous, both small and great—except Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros, which are to belong to Athens, as they did originally. Should any parties refuse to accept this peace, I will make war upon them, along with those who are of the same mind, by land as well as by sea, with ships and with money” （Trans. by Grote, Hist. ix. p. 212）. See General Introduction. p. xliii, and introduction to Panegyricus. but is not found in our governments, is preferable to the rule of Athens. For who would desire a condition of things where pirates command the seasIn the absence of the Athenian fleet. and
they sacked and razed the city of Mantinea,In 383 B.C. Cf. Isoc. 8.100; Xen. Hell. 5.2.7. after peace had been concluded; they seized the CadmeaIn the same year. See Xen. Hell. 5.2.25. The Cadmea was the citidel of Thebes. in Thebes; and nowThis helps in dating the Panegyricus. they are laying siege to Olynthus and Phlius:The siege of Olynthus was begun in 382 B.C. See Xen. Hell. 5.2.11. The siege of Phlius was begun in 380 B.C. See Xen. Hell. 5.2.8. on the other hand, they are assisting Amyntas, king of the Macedonians,Amyntas, the father of Philip, was aided by the Spartans against Olynthus 383 B.C. See Isoc. 6.46 and Isoc. 5.106. and Dionysius,For the sympathy between Sparta and Dionysius see Isoc. 8.99, Isoc. 6.63. the tyrant of Sicily, and the barbarian king who rules over Asia,By the Peace of Antalcidas. to extend their dominions far and wide.
It is my opinion that if anyone should come here from another part of the world and behold the spectacle of the present state of our affairs, he would charge both the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians with utter madness, not only because we risk our lives fighting as we do over trifles when we might enjoy in security a wealth of possessions, but also because we continually impoverish our own territory while neglecting to exploit that of Asia.
for the Cyprians, who are in revolt against him, are not only on friendly terms with usSee Isoc. 9.53-54; Xen. Hell. 4.8.24. but are also seeking the protection of the Lacedaemonians; and as to the forces which are led by Tiribazus, the most effective troops of his infantry have been levied from these parts,Greeks who sold their services as mercenary troops because of poverty at home. See Isoc. 4.168 and note. and most of his fleet has been brought together from Ionia; and all these would much more gladly make common cause and plunder Asia than risk their lives fighting against each other over trifling issues.
for he has attained what no one of his ancestors ever did: Asia has been conceded both by us and by the Lacedaemonians to belong to the King; and as for the cities of the Hellenes, he has taken them so absolutely under his control that he either razes them to the ground or builds his fortresses within them. And all this has come about by reason of our own folly, not because of his power.
But after Cyrus had been killed, and all the people of Asia had joined forces, even under these favorable conditions they made such a disgraceful failure of the war as to leave for those who are in the habit of vaunting Persian valor not a word to say. For they had to deal with only six thousand HellenesXen. Anab. 5.3.3 gives the survivors of the battle of Cunaxa as 8600.—not picked troops, but men who, owing to stress of circumstances, were unable to live in their own cities.Cf. Isoc. 4.168; Isoc. 5.96, 120, 121; Isoc. Letter 9.9. These were, moreover, unfamiliar with the country; they had been deserted by their allies; they had been betrayed by those who made the expedition with them; they had been deprived of the general whom they had followed