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And let no one suppose that I fail to realize that I am giving a different version of these same events from that which I shall be found to have written in the Panegyricus. But I do not think that anyone of those who can grasp the meaning of these events is so obsessed by stupidity and envy as not to commend me and consider me discreet for the manner in which I have treated them then and now.The version here is less offensive to the Thebans, perhaps because Athens is now cultivating friendlier relations with Thebes.
On this topic, then, I know that I have written wisely and expediently. But how pre-eminent our city stood in war at that time—for it was with the desire to show this that I discussed what happened at Thebes—is, I consider, clearly revealed to all by the circumstances which compelled the king of the Argives to become a suppliant of Athens and which so disposed the authorities at Thebes towards
At times, you know, they attempt to maintain that they have subjected us to this treatment because we were unwilling to be members of their federation.That is, to join the Boeotian Confederation, of which Thebes held the hegemony, and thus to be tributary （ SUNTELEI=N） to the Thebans. But I ask you to consider, first, if on such grounds it is just to inflict penalties so contrary to justice and so cruel; next, if it seems to you consistent with the dignity of the city of the Plataeans, without their consent but under compulsion, to accept such dependence under the Thebans. For my part, I consider that there exists no people more overbearing than those who blot out the cities of each of us and compel us, when we have no use for it, to participate in their form of poli
Besides this, they are clearly inconsistent in their dealings with others and with us. For when they were unable to gain our consent, they should have gone no farther than to compel us to submit to the hegemony of Thebes as they compelled Thespiae and Tanagra; for in that case we should not have suffered irremediable misfortunes. But as it is, they have made it clear that it was not their intention to give us that status; on the contrary, it was our territory they coveted.
They accuse the Lacedaemonians because they occupied the Cadmea and established garrisons in their cities, yet they themselves, not sending garrisons, but razing the walls of some and entirely destroying others, think they have committed no atrocity; nay, they have come to such a pitch of shamelessness that while they demand that all their allies should be guardians of the safety of Thebes, yet they arrogate to themselves the right to impose slavery upon everybody else.
And not content with their other base misrepresentations, they now say that they pursued this course for the common good of the allies. And yet what they ought to have done, inasmuch as there is an Hellenic CouncilAthens' Second Confederacy, organized in 377 B.C. For this Council cf. § 18 above. here and your city is more competent than Thebes to advise prudent measures, is, not to be here now to defend the acts they have already committed, but to have come to you for consultation before they took any such action.
Accordingly, to these Thebans no plea is left, such is the magnitude of their crimes, and to those who wish to speak on their behalf only this—that Boeotia is now fighting in defense of your country, and that, if you put an end to your friendship with them, you will be acting to the detriment of your allies; for it will be a matter of great consequence if the city of Thebes takes the side of the Lacedaemonians