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And so it resulted from the policy which we pursued that Hellas waxed great, Europe became stronger than Asia, and, furthermore, the Hellenes who were in straitened circumstances received cities and lands, while the barbarians who were wont to be insolent were expelled from their own territory and humbled in their pride; whereas the results of the Spartan policy were that their city alone became strong, dominated all the cities in the Peloponnesus, inspired fear in the other states, and was courted by them for her favor.
the Spartans, although they were masters of the Peloponnesus, contributed to the sea-fight which determined the issue of the whole war only ten triremes, whereas our ancestors, although they were homeless, having abandoned AthensSee Isoc. 4.96; Isoc. 6.43. because the city had not been fortified with walls at that time, furnished not only a greater number of ships, but ships with a greater fighting force, than all the rest combined who fought together in that battle.See Isoc. 4.98, note.
When, then, the Dorians who invaded the Peloponnesus divided into three parts both the cities and the lands which they had taken from their rightful owners, those of them who received Argos and Messene as their portions ordered their affairs very much as did the Hellenes in general. But the third division of them, whom we now call Lacedaemonians, were, according to close students of their history, more embroiled in factional strife than any other people of Hellas. Moreover, the party which looked down upon the multitude, having got the upper hand, did in no wise adopt the same measures regarding the issues of that conflict as the other Hellenes who had gone through a similar experience.
“These were victories won with the aid of all who joined in that expedition. But after they had divided the territory with the Argives and the Messenians and for themselves had settled in Sparta—at this juncture, as you say, they were so proud that although they then numbered no more than two thousand menThe Spartans at the time of the Persian Wars numbered eight thousand according to Hdt. 7.234. Aristotle （Aristot. Pol. 2.9） states that in his day there were hardly one thousand. they considered themselves unworthy to live unless they could make themselves masters of all the cities in the Peloponnesus<
Alone of the Greeks you Athenians owe us this contribution of succor, to rescue us now that we have been driven from our homes. It is a just request, for our ancestors, we are told, when in the Persian War your fathers had abandoned this land, alone of those who lived outside of the Peloponnesus shared in their perils and thus helped them to save their city.Cf. Isoc. 12.93. It is but just, therefore, that we should receive in return the same benefaction which we first conferred upon you.
For who does not know that Corcyra has the best strategic position among the cities in the neighborhood of the Peloponnese; Samos, among the cities of Ionia; Sestos and Crithôte, among those in the Hellespont; and Potidaea and Torône among the settlements in Thrace?All these cities he has taken and presented to you, with no great outlay of money, without imposing burdens upon your present allies, and without forcing you to pay many taxesSpecial taxes levied for military purposes. into the treasury