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I acknowledge that I am going to speak at length of the institutions of Sparta, not taking the view, however, that Lycurgus invented or conceived any of them, but that he imitated as well as he could the government of our ancestors,See Isoc. 4.39 and note. establishing among the Spartans a democracy tempered with aristocracy—even such as existed in Athens—, enacting that the offices be filled, not by lot, but by electi
ordaining that the election of the Elders, who were to supervise all public affairs, should be conducted with the very same care as, they say, our ancestors also exercised with regard to those who were to have seats in the Areopagus, and, furthermore, conferring upon the EldersFor the Spartan Gerousia, Council of Elders, see Gilbert, Greek Constitutional Antiquities p. 47. the very same power which he knew that the Council of the Areopagus also had in Athens.
“For if one were to show them a discourse of the latter sort before I had explained it to them, they would inevitably hate you and dislike you for having written in denunciation of them. As it is, I think that while most of the Lacedaemonians will continue to abide in the ways to which they have been faithful in past times and will pay no more attention to what is written in Athens than to what is said beyond the Pillars of Heracles
The people of Chios, of Mytilen, and of Byzantium remained loyal, but the Thebans, although they dwelt in a city of such importance, did not have the fortitude even to remain neutral, but were guilty of such cowardice and baseness as to give their solemn oath to join the Lacedaemonians in attacking you, the saviors of their city. For this they were punished by the gods, and, after the Cadmea was captured, they were forced to take refuge here in Athens. By this they furnished the crowning proof of their perfidy;
Moreover, you will find that these men are able to carry on a profitable business in Athens alone; if they were to sail to any other place they would starve to death; while my resources, which this fellow has exaggerated, have all come to me from abroad.There is a story that Isocrates charged no fees to Athenian pupils. Then again you will find associated with them either men who are themselves in evil case or who want to ruin others, while in my company are those who of all the Hellenes lead the most untroubled lives.
All these men were crowned by Athens with chaplets of gold,It was common in the fourth century for Athens to recognize public services in this way. Cf. the contest between Demosthenes and Aeschines On the Crown. not because they were covetous of other people's possessions, but because they were honorable men and had spent large sums of their private fortunes upon the city.Suppose whatever you like as to the nature of my relations with them;