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But as to our public interests, the speakers who no sooner come before us than they inform us that we must compose our enmities against each other and turn against the barbarian,Artaxerxes II., king of Persia, 404-359 B.C. rehearsing the misfortunes which have come upon us from our mutual warfare and the advantages which will result from a campaign against our natural enemy—these men do speak the truth, but they do not start at the point from which they could best bring these things to pass
that they not only ceased from making expeditions against us, but even endured to see their own territory laid waste;Allusion is to the victory of Conon at the Eurymedon, 466 B.C. and we brought their power so low, for all that they had once sailed the sea with twelve hundred ships, that they launched no ship of war this side of PhaselisCf. Isoc. 7.80. There appears to have been a definite treaty setting bounds beyond which neither the sea nor land forces of Persia might go: see Isoc. 4.120 and Isoc. 12.59-61; also Dem. 19.273; Lyc. 1.73. This was the so-called Treaty of Callias: see Grote, Hist. v. pp. 192 ff. but remained inactive and waited on more favorable times rather than trust in the forces which they then possessed.
Reflecting on these things, we may well be indignant at the present state of affairs, and yearn for our lost supremacy: and we may well blame the Lacedaemonians because, although in the beginning they entered upon the warThe Peloponnesian War. with the avowed intentionSee words of Brasidas in Thuc. 4.85. of freeing the Hellenes, in the end they delivered so many of them into bondage, and because they induced the Ionians to revolt from Athens, the mother city from which the Ionians emigrated and by whose influence they were often preserved from destruction, and then betrayed themBy the Treaty of Antalcidas, negotiated by Sparta, the Ionian cities of Asia Minor and the neighboring islands were given over to Persia （Xen. Hell. 5.1.31）. to the barbarians—those barbarians in despite of whom they possess their lands and against whom they have never ceased to
Again, in the Rhodian War,The war between Persia and Sparta which ended with the battle of Cnidus, 394 B.C. Conon, after the battle of Aegospotami in which he had been one of the generals, took service with the Persians, and was the captain of the fleet in this battle. the King had the good will of the allies of Lacedaemon because of the harshness with which they were governed, he availed himself of the help of our seamen; and at the head of his forces was Conon, who was the most competent of our generals, who possessed more than any other the confidence of the Hellenes, and who was the most experienced in the hazards of war; yet, although the King had such a champion to help him in the war, he suffered the fleet which bore the brunt of the defense of Asia to be bottled up for three years by only an hundred ships, and for fifteen months he deprived the soldiers of their pay; and the result would have been, had it depended upon the King alone, that they would have been disbanded mor
Are not EgyptSee Isoc. 5.101; Isoc. 4.140. and CyprusSee Isoc. 4.141 and note. in revolt against him? Have not Phoenicia and SyriaEvagoras had ravaged Phoenicia and Syria, stormed Tyre, and made Cilicia revolt from Persia. See Isoc. 9.62. been devastated because of the war? Has not Tyre, on which he set great store, been seized by his foes? Of the cities in Cilicia, the greater number are held by those who side with us and the rest are not difficult to acquire. LyciaLycia was subjected to . in revolt against him? Have not Phoenicia and SyriaEvagoras had ravaged Phoenicia and Syria, stormed Tyre, and made Cilicia revolt from Persia. See Isoc. 9.62. been devastated because of the war? Has not Tyre, on which he set great store, been seized by his foes? Of the cities in Cilicia, the greater number are held by those who side with us and the rest are not difficult to acquire. LyciaLycia was subjected to Persia by Harpagus （Hdt. 1.176）, but never tamed. no Persian has ever subdu
It is well for me to speak to you also about the two Kings, the one against whom I am advising you to take the field, and the one against whom Clearchus made war, in order that you may know the temper and the power of each. In the first place, the fatherArtaxerxes II., 405-359 B.C. of the present King once defeated our cityThis is inexact. He is probably thinking of the defeat of the Athenians in the Peloponnnesian War in which Sparta had the assistance of Persia; but Artaxerxes II. came to the throne in the year of the battle of Aegospotami. and later the city of the Lacedaemonians,At the battle of Cnidus with the help of Conon, 394 B.C. while this KingArtaxerxes III., 359-339 B.C. has never overcome anyone of the armies which have been violating his territory.
From many considerations you may realize that you ought to act in this way, but especially from the experiences of Jason.Jason, tyrant of Pherae, in Thessaly. His “talked-of” expedition against Persia is mentioned also by Xen. Hell. 6.1.12. See General Introd. p. xl, footnote. For he, without having achieved anything comparable to what you have done, won the highest renown, not from what he did, but from what he said; for he kept talking as if he intended to cross over to the continent and make war upon the Ki
Then again you are doubtless well aware that possessions, whether private or public, when they have remained for a long time in the hands of their owner, are by all men acknowledged to be hereditary and incontestable. Now we took Messene before the Persians acquired their kingdomIn 559 B.C., when Cyrus became ruler of Persia. and became masters of the continent, in fact before a number of the Hellenic cities were even founded.