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[6] for the former put into our minds the expectation both of regaining our possessions in the several states and of recovering the power which we formerly enjoyed,1 while the latter hold forth no such hope, insisting rather that we must have peace and not crave great possessions contrary to justice,2 but be content with those we have3—and that for the great majority of mankind is of all things the most difficult.

1 As head of the Confederacy of Delos, which developed into the Athenian Empire. During the period of supremacy, which lasted from the close of the Persian Wars to the end of the Peloponnesian War, Athens frequently disciplined recalcitrant confederate states by expelling their citizens and settling Athenians on their lands. Such settlements were called cleruchies. When Athens formed the new naval confederacy in 378 B.C. it was expressly stipulated by her allies and agreed to by Athens that such abuse of power should not be repeated. But the jingoistic orators advocated nothing less than the restoration of the former empire with all its powers and practices.

2 The state which seizes and holds foreign possessions is a robber. Isocrates throughout this discourse proposes to make the moral code within the state the basis of her foreign policy.

3 A proverbial tag. Cf. Isoc. 1.29.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.1
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    • Isocrates, To Demonicus, 29
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