Browsing named entities in Isocrates, Speeches (ed. George Norlin).
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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
And that this state of affairs was due to the valor of our ancestors has been clearly shown in the fortunes of our city: for the very moment when we were deprived of our dominion marked the beginning of a dominionFor this play of words— a)rxh/, “beginning,” and arxh/, “dominion”—cf. Isoc. 3.28, Isoc. 8.101, Isoc. 5.61. of ills for the Hellenes. In fact, after the disaster which befell us in the Hellespont,Battle of Aegospotami 405 B.C. when our rivals took our place as leaders, the barbarians won a naval victory,At the battle of Cnidus, but with the help of Conon. became rulers of the sea, occupied most of the islands,See Xen. Hell. 4.8.7. made a landing in Laconia, took Cythera by storm, and sailed around the whole Peloponnesus, inflicting damage as
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.
for we did not become dwellers in this land by driving others out of it,In contrast particularly to the ancestors of the Spartans when they established themselves in the Peloponnesus. nor by finding it uninhabited, nor by coming together here a motley horde composed of many races; but we are of a lineage so noble and so pure that throughout our history we have continued in possession of the very land which gave us birth, since we are sprung from its very soilThe “autochthony” of the Athenians was a common theme of Athenian orators and poets: Isoc. 8.49, Isoc. 12.124-125; Thuc. 1.2.5; Eur. Ion 589 ff.; Aristoph. Wasps 1076. and are able to address our city by the very names which we apply to our nearest k
“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<
For they alone of those who dwelt outside of the Peloponnesus, although they saw that the strength of the barbarians was irresistible, did not think it honorable to consider the terms imposed upon them,These terms were to give earth and water, in token of submission, to the heralds of the Great King. Hdt. 7.133. but straightway chose to see their city ravaged rather than enslaved. Leaving their own country,Cf. Isoc. 4.96. and adopting Freedom as their fatherland, they shared the dangers of war with us, and wrought such a change in their fortunes that, after being deprived of their own possessions for but a few days, they became for many years masters of the rest of the world.Cf. Isoc. 4.72.