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. . .Thus1 rightly spoke the great Themistocles to the generals who succeeded him, for whom he had opened a way for their subsequent exploits by driving out the barbarian host and making Greece free. And rightly will it be spoken also to those who pride themselves on their writings ; for if you take away the men of action, you will have no men of letters. Take away Pericles' statesmanship, and Phormio's trophies for his naval victories at Rhium, and Nicias's valiant deeds at Cythera and Megara and Corinth, Demosthenes' Pylos, and Cleon's four hundred captives, Tolmides' circumnavigation of the Peloponnesus, and Myronides'2 victory over the Boeotians at Oenophyta-take these away and Thucydides is stricken from your list of writers. Take away Alcibiades ' spirited exploits in the Hellespontine region, and those of Thrasyllus by Lesbos, and the overthrow by Theramenes of the oligarchy, Thrasybulus and Archinus and the uprising of the Seventy3 from Phyle against the Spartan hegemony, and Conon's restoration of Athens to her [p. 495] power on the sea - take these away and Cratippus4 is no more.

Xenophon, to be sure, became his own history by writing of his generalship and his successes and recording that it was Themistogenes5 the Syracusan who had compiled an account of them, his purpose being to win greater credence for his narrative by referring to himself in the third person, thus favouring another with the glory of the authorship. But all the other historians, men like Cleitodemus, Diyllus,6 Philochorus, Phylarchus, have been for the exploits of others what actors are for plays, exhibiting the deeds of the generals and kings, and merging themselves with their characters as tradition records them, in order that they might share in a certain effulgence, so to speak, and splendour. For there is reflected from the men of action upon the men of letters an image of another's glory, which shines again there, since the deed is seen, as in a mirror, through the agency of their words.

1 Probably Plutarch began with his favourite tale of Themistocles' remark (dealing with the festival day and the day after) to the generals who came after him; cf. 270 c, supra, and the note.

2 Cf. Thucydides, i. 108; iv. 95.

3 Cf. Xenophon, Hellenica, ii. 4. 2.

4 An historian who continued Thucydides, claiming to be his contemporary (see E. Schwartz, Hermes, xliv. 496).

5 Cf. Xenophon, Hellenica, iii. 1. 2; M. MacLaren, Trans. Amer. Phil. Assoc. lxv. (1934) pp. 240-247.

6 Cf. Moralia, 862 b; Müller, Frag. Hist. Graec. ii. 360-361.

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