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Many times have I wondered at those who first convoked the national assemblies and established the athletic games,Pan-Hellenic gatherings at the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian games, including also the Pan-atheniac festival at Athens. See Gardner and Jevons, Manual of Greek Antiquities, pp. 269 ff. amazed that they should have thought the prowess of men's bodies to be deserving of so great bounties, while to those who had toiled in private for the public good and trained their own minds so as to be able to help also their fellow-men they apportioned no reward whatsoever,This is not quite exact （see Lys. 33.2）, nor consistent with § 45 where he mentions contests of intellect and prizes for them. But the mild interest which these evoked served but to emphasize the excess of enthusiasm for athletics against which Isocrates here and elsewhere protests. Cf. Isoc. 15.250 and Isoc. Letter 8.5. The complaint is older than Isocrates. See Xenophanes, Fr.
Now the founders of our great festivals are justly praised for handing down to us a custom by which, having proclaimed a truceThe armistice or “Peace of God”—the sacred month as it was called at Olympia—during which the states participating in the games ceased from war. See Gardner and Jevons, Manual of Greek Antiquities, p. 270. and resolved our pending quarrels, we come together in one place, where, as we make our prayers and sacrifices in common, we are reminded of the kinship which exists among us and are made to feel more kindly towards each other for the future, reviving our old friendships and establishing new ties.Lys. 33.1, speaks of Heracles as having founded the Olympic festival out of good will for
On account of these services it becomes all thinking men to be deeply grateful to us, much rather than to reproach us because of our system of colonization;Allotments of lands to Athenian colonists in Greek territory, as in Scione and Melos. See note on 101. For these “cleruchies,” as they were called, see Gardner and Jevons, Manual of Greek Antiquities, pp. 602 ff. for we sent our colonies into the depopulated states for the protection of their territories and not for our own aggrandizement. And here is proof of this: We had in proportion to the number of our citizens a very small territory,The total population including foreign residents and slaves is reckoned at about 500,000; the total area is about 700 square miles. but a very great empire; we possessed twice as many ships of war as all the rest combined,See Thuc. 2.13 and Thuc. 8.79. and these were strong enough to engage double their number; at the very borders of Attica lay Eubo