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Thucydides, The History Of The Peloponnesian War, 1.145


nanSuch were the words of Pericles. The Athenians, persuaded of the wisdom of his advice, voted as he desired, and answered the Lacedaemonians as he recommended, both on the separate points and in the general; they would do nothing on dictation, but were ready to have the complaints settled in a fair and impartial manner by the legal method, which the terms of the truce prescribed. So the envoys departed home, and did not return again.


nannan, Such were the words of Pericles. The Athenians, persuaded of the wisdom of his advice, voted as he desired, and answered the Lacedaemonians as he recommended, both on the separate points and in the general; they would do nothing on dictation, but were ready to have the complaints settled in a fair and impartial manner by the legal method, which the terms of the truce prescribed. So the envoys departed home, and did not return again.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.23.4, 1.23.6, 1.78.4, 1.87-1.88, 1.87.2, 1.125.2, 1.139-1.144, 1.139.1-1.139.2, 1.139.4, 1.140.4, 1.141.1, 1.144.3, 3.60, 4.21.3, 7.18.2 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.23.4. which was begun by the Athenians and Peloponnesians by the dissolution of the thirty years' truce made after the conquest of Euboea . 1.23.6. The real cause I consider to be the one which was formally most kept out of sight. The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable. Still it is well to give the grounds alleged by either side, which led to the dissolution of the treaty and the breaking out of the war. 1.78.4. But we are not yet by any means so misguided, nor, so far as we can see, are you; accordingly, while it is still open to us both to choose aright, we bid you not to dissolve the treaty, or to break your oaths, but to have our differences settled by arbitration according to our agreement. Or else we take the gods who heard the oaths to witness, and if you begin hostilities, whatever line of action you choose, we will try not to be behindhand in repelling you.’ 1.87.2. He said that he could not determine which was the loudest acclamation (their mode of decision is by acclamation not by voting); the fact being that he wished to make them declare their opinion openly and thus to increase their ardor for war. Accordingly he said, ‘All Lacedaemonians who are of opinion that the treaty has been broken, and that Athens is guilty, leave your seats and go there,’ pointing out a certain place; ‘all who are of the opposite opinion, there.’ 1.125.2. This decided, it was still impossible for them to commence at once, from their want of preparation; but it was resolved that the means requisite were to be procured by the different states, and that there was to be no delay. And indeed, in spite of the time occupied with the necessary arrangements, less than a year elapsed before Attica was invaded, and the war openly begun. 1.139.1. To return to the Lacedaemonians. The history of their first embassy, the injunctions which it conveyed, and the rejoinder which it provoked, concerning the expulsion of the accursed persons, have been related already. It was followed by a second, which ordered Athens to raise the siege of Potidaea, and to respect the independence of Aegina . Above all, it gave her most distinctly to understand that war might be prevented by the revocation of the Megara decree, excluding the Megarians from the use of Athenian harbors and of the market of Athens . 1.139.2. But Athens was not inclined either to revoke the decree, or to entertain their other proposals; she accused the Megarians of pushing their cultivation into the consecrated ground and the unenclosed land on the border, and of harboring her runaway slaves. 1.139.4. There were many speakers who came forward and gave their support to one side or the other, urging the necessity of war, or the revocation of the decree and the folly of allowing it to stand in the way of peace. Among them came forward Pericles, son of Xanthippus, the first man of his time at Athens, ablest alike in counsel and in action, and gave the following advice:— 1.140.4. I hope that you will none of you think that we shall be going to war for a trifle if we refuse to revoke the Megara decree, which appears in front of their complaints, and the revocation of which is to save us from war, or let any feeling of self-reproach linger in your minds, as if you went to war for slight cause. 1.141.1. Make your decision therefore at once, either to submit before you are harmed, or if we are to go to war, as I for one think we ought, to do so without caring whether the ostensible cause be great or small, resolved against making concessions or consenting to a precarious tenure of our possessions. For all claims from an equal, urged upon a neighbor as commands, before any attempt at legal settlement, be they great or be they small, have only one meaning, and that is slavery. 1.144.3. It must be thoroughly understood that war is a necessity; but that the more readily we accept it, the less will be the ardour of our opponents, and that out of the greatest dangers communities and individuals acquire the greatest glory. 4.21.3. Foremost to encourage them in this policy was Cleon, son of Cleaenetus, a popular leader of the time and very powerful with the multitude, who persuaded them to answer as follows: First, the men in the island must surrender themselves and their arms and be brought to Athens . Next; the Lacedaemonians must restore Nisaea, Pegae, Troezen, and Achaia, all places acquired not by arms, but by the previous convention, under which they had been ceded by Athens herself at a moment of disaster, when a truce was more necessary to her than at present. This done they might take back their men, and make a truce for as long as both parties might agree. 7.18.2. But the Lacedaemonians derived most encouragement from the belief that Athens, with two wars on her hands, against themselves and against the Siceliots, would be more easy to subdue, and from the conviction that she had been the first to infringe the truce. In the former war, they considered, the offence had been more on their own side, both on account of the entrance of the Thebans into Plataea in time of peace, and also of their own refusal to listen to the Athenian offer of arbitration, in spite of the clause in the former treaty that where arbitration should be offered there should be no appeal to arms. For this reason they thought that they deserved their misfortunes, and took to heart seriously the disaster at Pylos and whatever else had befallen them.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
athens/athenians Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 35
attica Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 669
causation in thucydides, and truest cause of peloponnesian war Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 160
cleon Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 163
corcyra Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 669
corinth Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 669
desire, for more (πλεονεξία) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 160
hipparchos (son of peisistratus) Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 669
peace of nicias Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 160
pericles Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 35
pylos, significance of events at Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 160
sparta/spartans Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 35
sparta and spartans, and fear Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 160
techniques, narrative, gaps and omissions Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 35
thebes/thebans Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 35
thirty years peace Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 35; Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 498
thucydides, son of melesias, audience, reader Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 498
thucydides, son of melesias, causes, causality Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 498
thucydides, son of melesias, digressions Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 498
thucydides, son of melesias, documents, letters, treaties etc. Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 498
thucydides, son of melesias, historical accuracy Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 498
thucydides Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 35
xanthippus, father of pericles' Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 257
ἐλπίς (hope or expectation) and ἐλπίζω and εὔελπις, and athenians after pylos Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 160