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Speaking of the war, Pericles, after defending his course in well-considered words, enumerated first the multitude of allies Athens possessed and the superiority of its naval strength, and then the large sum of money which had been removed from Delos to Athens and which had in fact been gathered from the tribute into one fund for the common use of the cities; [2] from the ten thousand talents in the common fund four thousand had been expended on the building of the Propylaea1and the siege of Potidaea; and each year there was an income from the tribute paid by the allies of four hundred and sixty talents. Beside this he declared that the vessels employed in solemn processions and the booty taken from the Medes were worth five hundred talents, [3] and he pointed to the multitude of votive offerings in the various sanctuaries and to the fact that the fifty talents of gold on the statue of Athena for its embellishment was so constructed as to be removable; and he showed that all these, if dire need befell them, they could borrow from the gods and return to them again when peace came, and that also by reason of the long peace the manner of life of the citizens had made great strides toward prosperity. [4]

In addition to these financial resources Pericles pointed out that, omitting the allies and garrisons, the city had available twelve thousand hoplites, the garrisons and metics amounted to more than seventeen thousand, and the triremes available to three hundred. [5] He also pointed out that the Lacedaemonians were both lacking in money and far behind the Athenians in naval armaments. After he had recounted these facts and incited the citizens to war, he persuaded the people to pay no attention to the Lacedaemonians. This he accomplished readily by reason of his great ability as an orator, which is the reason he has been called "The Olympian." [6] Mention has been made of this even by Aristophanes, the poet of the Old Comedy, who lived in the period of Pericles, in the following tetrameters2:“ O ye farmers, wretched creatures,
listen now and understand,
If you fain would learn the reason
why it was Peace left the land.
Pheidias began the mischief,
having come to grief and shame,
Pericles was next in order,
fearing he might share the blame,
By his Megara-enactment
lighting first a little flame,
Such a bitter smoke ascended
while the flames of war he blew,
That from every eye in Hellas
everywhere the tears it drew.
”And again in another place:“ The Olympian Pericles
Thundered and lightened and confounded Hellas.
Aristoph. Ach. 531-532And Eupolis the poet wrote3:“ One might say Persuasion rested
On his lips; such charm he'd bring,
And alone of all the speakers
In his list'ners left his sting.

1 The entrance to the Acropolis.

2 Aristoph. Peace 603 ff. (in imitation of Archilochus). The translation is that of Rogers in the L.C.L., slightly changed where the Greek of Diodorus varies from the accepted text and because of the missing lines.

3 Eupolis fr. 94, 11.5-7 (Kock). Eupolis was a contemporary of Aristophanes and one of the most brilliant writers of the Old Comedy.

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