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The facts, then, about Timotheus I can put most concisely and in the most comprehensive terms by saying that he has taken more cities by storm than any other man has ever done, and I include all generals who have led armies into the field whether from Athens or from the rest of Hellas. And among these cities were some whose capture compelled all the surrounding territory to make terms with Athens; so great was their importance in each case.
And yet I did not permit these disabilities to dishearten me nor did I allow myself to sink into obscurity or utter oblivion, but since I was barred from public life I took refuge in study and work and writing down my thoughts, choosing as my field, not petty matters nor private contracts, nor the things about which the other orators prate, but the affairs of Hellas and of kings and of states.See General Introduction. Wherefore I thought that I was entitled to more honor than the speakers who come before you on the platform in proportion as my discourses were on greater and nobler themes than theirs. But nothing of the sort has come to pass.
Now although we have shown ourselves to be of such character and have given so convincing proof that we do not covet the possessions of others, we are brazenly denounced by those who had a hand in the decarchiesIn Athens and in other states under ther influence there was in the oligarchical party a group of Spartan sympathizers who out-Spartaned the Spartans. After the downfall of Athens at the close of the Peloponnesian war, when Sparta became the supreme power in Greece, 404 B.C., governing commissions of ten （“decarchies”） composed of these extremists, with a Spartan harmost and garrison to support them, were set up in most of these states by the Spartan general Lysander （Xen. Hell. 3.4.2）. In Athens the “decarchy” succeeded the rule of the thirty tyrants. Compare what Isocrates says here about the decarchies with Isoc. 5.95 and Isoc. 12.54.—men who have befouled their own countries, who have made the crimes of the past seem insignificant, and have left the would-be
When Heracles saw that Hellas was rife with wars and factions and many other afflictions, he first brought these troubles to an end and reconciled the cities with each other,See Diod. iv. 17. and then showed by his example to coming generations with whom and against whom it was their duty to go to war. For he made an expedition against Troy,Isoc. 9.16. which was in those days the strongest power in Asia, and so far did he excel in generalship those who at a later time waged war against this same city, that,
while they with the combined strength of Hellas found it difficult to take Troy after a siege which lasted ten years, he, on the other hand, in less than as many days, and with a small expedition, easily took the city by storm. After this, he put to death to a man all the princesChiefs, of barbarian tribes, such as Diomedes, Mygdon, Sarpedon, Busiris, Antaeus. of the tribes who dwelt along the shores of both continentsEurope and Asia. Cf. Isoc. 4.35.; and these he could never have destroyed had he not first conquered their armies. When he had done these things, he set up the Pillars of Heracles, as they are called, to be a trophy of victory over the barbarians, a monument to his own valor and the perils he had surmounted, and to mark the bounds of the territory of the Hellenes.
If, then, you heed my advice you will stop taking counsel in your utterly haphazard fashion and give your attention to your own and the state's welfare; pondering and searching into these questions: What is it which caused these two states—Athens and Sparta I mean—to rise, each one of them, from obscure beginnings to be the first power in Hellas and then to fall, after they had attained a power second to none, into peril of being enslav
For when all Hellas fell under the power of Athens, after the naval victory of Conon and the campaign of Timotheus, we were not able to hold our good fortune any time at all, but quickly dissipated and destroyed it.In the disastrous “Social War.” For we neither possess nor do we honestly seek to obtain a polity which can properly deal with our affai
It is therefore the duty of a man who is high-minded, who is a lover of Hellas, who has a broader vision than the rest of the world, to employ these bands in a war against the barbarians, to strip from that empire all the territory which I defined a moment ago, to deliver these homeless wanderers from the ills by which they are afflicted and which they inflict upon others, to collect them into cities, and with these cities to fix the boundary of Hellas, making of them buffer states to shield us therefore the duty of a man who is high-minded, who is a lover of Hellas, who has a broader vision than the rest of the world, to employ these bands in a war against the barbarians, to strip from that empire all the territory which I defined a moment ago, to deliver these homeless wanderers from the ills by which they are afflicted and which they inflict upon others, to collect them into cities, and with these cities to fix the boundary of Hellas, making of them buffer states to shield us all.
For as things now are, who would not have reason to be amazedFor this and what follows cf. Isoc. 4.133-136. at the turn events have taken and to feel contempt for us, when among the barbarians, whom we have come to look upon as effeminate and unversed in war and utterly degenerate from luxurious living,Persian effeminacy is described at length in Isoc. 4.150 ff. men have arisenDareius, Xerxes. who thought themselves worthy to rule over Hellas, while among the Hellenes no one has aspired so high as to attempt to make us masters of Asia?
Therefore, since the others are so lacking in spirit, I think it is opportune for you to head the war against the King; and, while it is only natural for the other descendants of Heracles, and for men who are under the bonds of their polities and laws, to cleave fondly to that state in which they happen to dwell, it is your privilege, as one who has been blessed with untrammeled freedom,Cf. 14, 15. to consider all Hellas your fatherland,Cf. Isoc. 4.81. as did the founder of your race, and to be as ready to brave perils for her sake as for the things about which you are personally most concerned.