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Also I think that not only the people of the Peloponnesus in general but even the adherents of democracy,Those in Peloponnesus who are not definitely committed to an oligarchic government. whom we consider to be especially unfriendly to us, are already yearning for our protection. For by revolting from us they have gained nothing of what they anticipated; on the contrary, they have got just the opposite of freedom; for having slain the best of their citizens, they are now in the power of the in Peloponnesus who are not definitely committed to an oligarchic government. whom we consider to be especially unfriendly to us, are already yearning for our protection. For by revolting from us they have gained nothing of what they anticipated; on the contrary, they have got just the opposite of freedom; for having slain the best of their citizens, they are now in the power of the worst; instead of securing self-government, they have been plunged into misgovernment of many terrible kinds;
having ceased sacrificing victims at the altars they slaughter one anotherPossibly Isocrates may have in mind the massacre at Corinth in 392 B.C. （Xen. Hell. 4.4.3）, the murder of certain Achaean suppliants, who took refuge in the temple of Heliconian Poseidon （Pausanias vii. 25）, or the slaughter of 1200 prominent citizens in Argos in 371 B.C. （Diodorus xv. 58）. Cf. Isoc. 5.52. there instead; and more people are in exile now from a single city than before from the whole of the Peloponnesus. But although the miseries which I have recounted are so many, those which remain unmentioned far outnumber them; for all the distress and all the horror in the world have come together in this
If we have the courage for such a course and never falter in it, you will see those who now issue commands imploring and beseeching us to take back Messene and make peace.For what state in the Peloponnesus could withstand a war such as would in all likelihood be waged if we so willed? What people would not be stricken with dismay and terror at the assembling of an army which had carried out such measures, which had been roused to just wrath against those who had driven it to these extremes, and which had been rendered desperate and reckless of life
We know, moreover, that those who became the founders of this city entered the Peloponnesus with but a small army and yet made themselves masters of many powerful states.For example, of Corinth, Sicyon and Megara. It were fitting, then, to imitate our forefathers and, by retracing our steps, now that we have stumbled in our course, try to win back the honors and the dominions which were formerly ours.
Likewise the Lacedaemonians, after having set out in ancient times from obscure and humble cities, made themselves, because they lived temperately and under military discipline, masters of the Peloponnesus;See Isoc. 4.61; Isoc. 12.253 ff. whereas later, when they grew overweening and seized the empire both of the sea and of the land, they fell into the same dangers as ourselves.The Spartan supremacy began with the triumph over Athens in 404 B.C. and ended with the defeat at Leuctra, 371 B.C. See Vol I. p. 402, footnote. Cf. Isoc. 5.47. After Leuctra, Athens, in her turn, saved Sparta from destruction. See Isoc. 5.44 and note.
For example, if the Thebans, after the battle which they won over the Lacedaemonians,The Battle of Leuctra, 371 B.C., the end of the Spartan supremacy and the beginning of the Theban hegemony, which lasted but nine years. had contented themselves with liberating the Peloponnesus and making the other Hellenes independentSee Isoc. 5.53 ff. and had thenceforth pursued peace, while we continued to make such blunders, then neither could this man have asked such a question nor could we ourselves have failed to realize how much better moderation is than meddlesomeness.
However, they were not satisfied with perpetrating these crimes, but about the same time were ravaging the Asiatic coast,Greek settlements in Asia Minor. See Isoc. 4.144. committing outrages against the islands,For example, Samos （Xen. Hell. 2.3.6）, by expelling the democratic faction and setting up “decarchis” there. subverting the free governments in Italy and Sicily, setting up despotisms in their stead,Sparta supported Dionysius the tyrant of Syracuse in extending his power over Greek cities in Sicily and Italy. See Diodorus xiv. 10 and cf. Isoc. 4.126, which should be read in this connection. overrunning the Peloponnesus and filling it with seditions and wars. For, tell me, against which of the cities of Hellas did they fail to take the field? Which of them did they fail to
and in consequence, we experienced a change so great that, although in former times any barbarians who were in misfortune presumed to be rulers over the Greek cities （for example, Danaus, an exile from Egypt, occupied Argos, Cadmus of Sidon became king of Thebes, the Carians colonized the islandsCf. Thuc. 1.4 and Isoc. 12.43., and Pelops, son of Tantalus, became master of all the Peloponnese）, yet after that war our race expanded so greatly that it took from the barbarians great cities and much territo