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This webpage reproduces part of the essay
Apophthegmata Laconica

by
Plutarch

as published in Vol. III
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1931

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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(Vol. III) Plutarch, Moralia

Sayings of Spartans

p243 (208b)Agesilaus the Great1

1 Agesilaus the Great was once chosen by lot to be master of ceremonies at an evening party, and, when he was asked by the slave who poured the wine how much wine he should serve to each man, Agesilaus said, c"If much wine has been provided, as much as each one asks for; but if only a little, then give to all equally."

2 When a malefactor endured tortures without flinching, Agesilaus said, "What an out-and‑out p245villain the man is, devoting his endurance and fortitude to such base and shameful purposes!"

3 When someone praised an orator for his ability in making much of small matters, Agesilaus said that a shoemaker is not a good craftsman who puts big shoes on a small foot.2

4 When some said to him, "You have agreed," and kept repeating the same thing, Agesilaus said, "Yes, of course, if it is right; dbut if not, then I said so, but I did not agree." And when the other added, "But surely kings ought to carry out 'whatsoe'er they confirm by royal assent,' "3 Agesilaus said, "No more than those who approach kings ought to ask for what is right and say what is right, trying to hit upon the right occasion and a request fitting for kings to grant."

5 Whenever he heard people blaming or praising, he thought it was no less necessary to inform himself about the ways of those who spoke than of those about whom they spoke.4

6 When he was still a boy, at a celebration of the festival of the naked boys the director of the dance assigned him to an inconspicuous place; and he obeyed, although he was destined to be king,5 saying, e"Good! I shall show that it is not the places that make men to be held in honour, but the men the places."6

7 When a physician prescribed for him an over-elaborate p247course of treatment, not at all simple, he said, "Egad, it is not ordained that I must live at all hazards, and I refuse to submit to everything."7

8 As he was standing at the altar of Athena of the Brazen House sacrificing a heifer, a louse bit him; but he did not turn a hair, and, picking it off, he cracked it openly before the eyes of all, saying, "By Heaven, it is a pleasure to kill the plotter even at the altar."

f9 At another time he saw a mouse being dragged from a hole by a boy who had hold of him, and the mouse turned and bit the hand that held him and escaped; whereupon Agesilaus called the attention of the bystanders to this, and said, "When the smallest animal thus defends itself against those who do it wrong, consider what it becomes men to do."8

10 Desiring to bring about the war against the Persian for the sake of setting free the Greeks living in Asia, he consulted the oracle of Zeus at Dodona, and when the god bade him to go on, he reported the answer to the Ephors. 209And they bade him go to Delphi and ask the same question. Accordingly he proceeded to the prophetic shrine and put his question in this form: "Apollo, are you of the same opinion as your father?" And Apollo concurring, Agesilaus was chosen, and began the campaign.9

11 Tissaphernes, at the outset, in fear of Agesilaus, made a treaty, agreeing that the king should leave him the Greek cities free and independent, but, after sending for a great army from the king, he p249declared war on Agesilaus unless he should depart from Asia. Agesilaus gladly welcomed the transgression, and set forth as if he were intending to advance into Caria; band when Tissaphernes had concentrated his forces there, Agesilaus, by a rapid movement thence, invaded Phrygia; and having taken very many cities and a wealth of spoil, he said to his friends, "To do wrong after making a treaty is impious, but to outwit the enemy is not only right and reputable, but also pleasant and profitable."10

12 Finding himself inferior in horsemen, he retreated to Ephesus, and there made proclamation to the men of means that they should each provide a horse and a man, and thus gain their own release from service. As a result there were collected, in a very short time, both horses and capable men in place of wealthy cowards.11 cAgesilaus said he was emulating Agamemnon; for Agamemnon accepted a good mare and released from service a base man of wealth.12

13 When, in obedience to his orders that the prisoners of war be sold naked, those charged with selling the spoils so offered them, there were many buyers for the clothing, but as for the prisoners' bodies, altogether white and soft because of their indoor life, the buyers derided them as useless and worthless. And Agesilaus, stepping up, said, "These are the things for which you fight, and these are the men whom you fight."13

p251 14 Having routed Tissaphernes in the Lydian country and slain a great many of his men, dhe proceeded to overrun the king's country. The king sent money to him, and in return asked for a cessation of hostilities, but Agesilaus said that the State alone had the power to make peace, and that it gave him more pleasure to enrich his soldiers than to be rich himself, and that he thought it a grand thing that the Greeks did not accept gifts from the enemy, but took spoils instead.14

15 When Megabates, Spithridates' son, who was most fair of form, came near to him as if to greet him with a kiss because the boy felt that he was held in affection by Agesilaus, Agesilaus drew back. And when the boy stopped coming to see him, Agesilaus asked for him; whereupon his friends said that he had only himself to blame, because he shrank from coming within kissing distance of the fair one, eand if he would not act the coward, the boy would come again. Agesilaus, reflecting by himself for no brief time in uninterrupted silence, finally said "There is no need of our trying to persuade him; for I feel that I had rather be above such things than to take by storm the most populous city of our opponents, since it is better to preserve one's own liberty than to deprive others of theirs."15

16 In almost all matters he was exact in observing the law, but in anything affecting his friends he thought that too rigid justice in dealings with them p253was but a poor excuse. fAt any rate, there is a note of his in circulation addressed to Hidrieus the Carian, in which he asks for the release of one of his friends in this words: "If Nicias is not guilty, let him go; but if he is guilty, let him go for my sake; but let him go anyway."16

17 Such, then, was Agesilaus in his friends' behalf in most matters; but there are instances when, in meeting a critical situation, he showed more regard for the general weal. At any rate, on a time when camp was being broken in some disorder, and Agesilaus was leaving behind his loved one who was ill, and the loved one implored him and called him back with tears, Agesilaus, turning round, exclaimed, "How hard it is to be merciful and sensible at the same time!"17

18 The mode of living which he followed personally was in no wise better than that of his associates. He refrained always from overeating and from heavy drinking. Sleep he treated, not as a master, but as governed at all times by what he had to do; 210and such was his attitude towards heat and cold that he alone was able to make good use of the different seasons; and in his tent, which was in the midst of his soldiers, he had no better bed than anybody else.18

19 He was continually saying that the commander ought rightly to be superior to the privates not in soft living and luxury, but in endurance and courage.19

20 At any rate, when someone inquired what advantage the law of Lycurgus had brought to Sparta, he said, "Contempt for pleasures."

p255 21 In answer to the man who expressed surprise at the plainness of the clothes and the fare both of himself and of the other Spartans, he said, "From this mode of life, my friend, we reap a harvest of liberty."

b22 When someone else urged him to relax, and said that, because of the uncertainty of fortune, the opportunity for this might never come to him, he replied, "I accustom myself by training to seek to find a change in no change."

23 Even when he had grown old, he followed the same course; and in answer to someone who asked him the reason why, at his age, he went about with no undergarment in such very cold weather, he said, "So that the young men may imitate, having the oldest men and the officials as an example."20

24 The Thasians, as he was marching through their country with his army, sent to him flour, geese, sweetmeats, honey-cakes, cand other costly foods and drinks of all kinds. The flour alone he accepted, but the rest of the things he bade those who had brought them to carry back because these were of no use to the Spartans. But when the Thasians importuned him and begged him by all means to take all, he gave orders to distribute them among the Helots. And when the Thasians inquired the reason, he said, "It is not in keeping that those who practise manly virtues should indulge in such gormandizing, for things that allure the servile crowd are alien to free men."21

p257 25 At another time the Thasians, because of a feeling that they had been greatly befriended by him, dhonoured him with temples and deifications, and also sent an embassy to inform him of their action. When he had read the honours which the ambassadors proffered to him, he asked if their country had the power to deify men; and when they answered in the affirmative, he said, "Go to; make gods of yourselves first, and if you can accomplish this, then will I believe that you will be able to make a god of me also."

26 When the Greek peoples of Asia voted to erect statues of him in their most prominent cities, he wrote to them: "Let there be no image of me painted or sculptured or constructed."22

e27 Seeing in Asia a house roofed with square beams, he asked the owner if timber in that country grew square. And when the man said, "No, but round," he said, "Well, then, if they were square, would you finish them round?"23

28 Being asked once how far the bounds of Sparta extended, he said, with a flourish of his spear, "As far as this can reach."24

29 When someone else wished to know why Sparta was without walls, he pointed to the citizens in full armour and said, "These are the Spartans' walls."25

p259 30 When another person put the same question, fhe said, "Cities ought not to be fortified with stones and timbers, but with the strong virtues of their inhabitants."26

31 He advised his friends to endeavour to be rich, not in money, but in bravery and virtue.

32 Whenever he wished a task to be quickly performed by his soldiers, he himself took hold first in the sight of all.27

33 He found more cause for pride in his working quite as hard as anybody, and in his mastery over himself, rather than in his being king.28

34 When he saw a lame Spartan going forth to war and asking where he could get a horse, Agesilaus said, "Don't you realize that war has need, not of those who run away, but of those who stand their ground?"29

35 Being asked how he had fostered his great repute, he said, "By showing contempt for death."30

36 When someone desired to know why Spartans do battle amidst the sound of fifes, 211he said, "So that, as all keep step to the music, the cowardly and the brave may be plainly seen."31

37 When someone dwelt upon the great good fortune of the king of Persia, who was a very young man, Agesilaus said, "But even Priam at that time of life had not met with misfortune."32

38 When he had brought a great part of Asia p261under his control, he decided to march against the king himself, so that he might put an end to the king's spending his time in leisure and corrupting the popular leaders among the Greeks.33

39 When he was summoned home by the Ephors because of the war declared against Sparta by the surrounding Greek states, influenced by the money which had been sent to them by the Persian, he said that the good commander ought to be subject to the command of the laws, band sailed away from Asia, leaving behind a great yearning for him among the Greeks there.34

40 Inasmuch as the Persian coinage was stamped with the figure of a bowman, he said, as he was breaking camp, that he was being driven out of Asia by the king with thirty thousand bowmen; for such was the number of gold pieces brought to Athens and Thebes through Timocrates and distributed among the popular leaders; and thus the people were stirred to hostilities against the Spartans.35

41 He wrote a letter in reply to the Ephors as follows:

"Agesilaus to the Ephors greeting.

"We hae conquered the maist part of Asia, and made the barbarians rin, an' in Ionia we hae built mony an armed camp. cBut gin ye bid me come back as ye hae set the limit, I'll come after the letter, or I'll mebbe get there afore it; for I rule, no for masel', but for the State and oor allies. p263An' a mon truly rules richt whan he gangs wi' the laws an' the Ephors or whatever ither rulers there may be in the State."36

42 When he had crossed the Hellespont and was marching through Thrace he made no request of any of the barbarian peoples, but sent to each to inquire whether, das he passed through their country, he should find it friendly or hostile. Nearly all received him in a friendly manner, and helped him on; but the people called Trallians, to whom as it is said even Xerxes gave gifts, demanded of Agesilaus, as the price for passing through their land, an hundred talents of silver and an equal number of women. And he, making fun of them, asked why they did not come at once to get all this, and leading on his forces to where the Trallians were drawn up for battle, he engaged them, and having routed them with great slaughter, he marched through.37a

43 To the king of the Macedonians he sent to propound the same question; and when the king said that he would consider it, Agesilaus said, "Let him consider it, then, but we will be marching on." Amazed at his boldness, and fearful, the king accordingly bade him advance as a friend.37b

e44 Since the Thessalians were in alliance with his enemies, he ravaged their country. To Larissa, however, he sent Xenocles and Scythes to suggest an amicable agreement. But when these were seized and detained, the rest of his men bore it very ill, and thought that ought to encamp about Larissa and p265lay siege to it. But he declared that he would not lose either one of those men for the whole of Thessaly, and got them back by coming to terms with the enemy.38

f45 When he learned that a battle had been fought in the vicinity of Corinth,39 and that only a very few of the Spartans had fallen, but a vast number of the Corinthians and Athenians and the others on their side, he was not observed to be overjoyful or elated at the victory, but with a very deep sigh said, "Hech, sirs, for Greece, wha her ane sel' had killed sae mony men — as mony as micht pit doon a' the barbarians."40

46 When the Pharsalians beset him and harassed his army, he routed them with five hundred horsemen, and set up a trophy at the foot of Mount Narthacium. And he was better satisfied with this victory than with all others, because he himself by his own efforts had built up this company of cavalry,41 and with this alone he had overcome those who took the greatest pride in horsemanship.42

21247 Diphridas43 brought word to him from home that he should at once, as he passed by, invade Boeotia. It had been his purpose to do this later after making more adequate preparation, but he did not disobey those in authority, and, after sending for two divisions of the army in the field at Corinth, he entered Boeotia. At Coroneia he engaged p267in battle Thebans, Athenians, Argives, Corinthians, and the two Locrian peoples, and, although he was in desperate straits by reason of the many wounds in his body, he was victorious in the greatest battle, as Xenophon says,44 of those fought in his day.45

48 After he returned home he made no change in anything touching his life and his manner of living on account of so many successes and victories.46

b49 Seeing that some of the citizens thought themselves to be somebody and gave themselves great airs because they kept a racing stud, he persuaded his sister Cynisca to enter a chariot in the races at Olympia, for he wished to demonstrate to the Greeks that this sort of thing was no sign of excellence, but only of having money and being willing to spend it.47

50 He had with him Xenophon the philosopher, who was treated with marked consideration, and he urged Xenophon to send for his sons, and bring them up in Sparta, where they would be taught the fairest of all lessons — to rule and to be ruled.48

c51 On one other occasion he was asked what was the especial reason why the Spartans were fortunate above all other peoples, and he replied, "Because they, above all others, make it their practice to rule and to be ruled."49

p269 52 After Lysander's death he found a huge association banded together, which Lysander, immediately after his return from Asia, had organized against him, and he set out to show up Lysander by pointing out what kind of a citizen he had been when he was alive. So, after reading a speech which had been left among Lysander's papers, the author of which was Cleon of Halicarnassus, and which Lysander had been intending to appropriate and deliver before the people on the subject of revolution and changing the form of government, Agesilaus wished to make it public. dBut when one of the aged men read the speech, and was frightened at its cleverness, and advised him not to disinter the dead Lysander, but rather to inter the speech along with him, he took the advice and did nothing.50

53 Those who covertly opposed him he did not openly put to confusion, but managed to have some of them always sent out as generals and officers, and then he would proceed to demonstrate that they had proved themselves unprincipled and greedy in exercising their authority. Then later, when they were brought to trial, his rôle this time would be to help them and defend them at their trial; and thus he won their allegiance, and brought them over to his own side, so that there was nobody who opposed him.51

e54 Somebody wanted him to write to his friends in Asia so that the petitioner might meet with right treatment there. "But," said Agesilaus, "my friends of themselves do what is right, even if I do not write to them."

55 Somebody in a foreign land pointed out to Agesilaus the city wall, high towering and exceedingly massive in its construction, and asked Agesilaus p271if it looked grand to him. "Yes," said Agesilaus, "grand indeed, not for men though, but for women to live in."52

56 When a man from Megara boasted greatly about his city, Agesilaus said, "Young man, your words need a great power to back them."53

f57 Things which he saw other people admiring he seemed not even to notice. For example, once upon a time Callippides, the tragic actor,54 who had a name and repute among the Greeks, and was received everywhere with the most flattering attention, first of all put himself in front of Agesilaus and addressed him, and then pompously thrust himself into the company that was walking with him, thus making it plain that he expected the king to begin some friendly conversation, and finally he said, "Your Majesty, do you not recognize me, and have you not heard who I am?" At that Agesilaus looked towards him and said, "Are ye no Callippidas the shawman?" That is what the Spartans call the strolling players.55

58 When he was invited to hear the man who imitated the nightingale's voice, he begged to be excused, saying, "I hae heard the bird itsel' mony a time."56

21359 Menecrates the physician, who, because of his success in curing certain persons who had been given up to die, had come to be called Zeus, used to drag p273in this title on all occasions, and even went so far in his effrontery as to write to Agesilaus in this fashion: "Menecrates Zeus to King Agesilaus, health and happiness." Agesilaus did not read any further, but wrote in reply,

King Agesilaus to Menecrates, health and sanity!"57

60 When Conon and Pharnabazus with the Great King's fleet were masters of the sea and blockaded the Spartans' coast, and the walls of Athens had been rebuilt58 with the money provided by Pharnabazus, the Spartans made peace with the king.59 They sent one of their citizens, Antalcidas, to Tiribazus, and surrendered into the king's power those Greeks in Asia Minor for whose freedom Agesilaus had fought. It follows, therefore, that Agesilaus could not have had the slightest thing to do with this disreputable business; for Antalcidas was at enmity with him, and employed every resource in working for the peace, because he felt that the war made Agesilaus great and enhanced his repute and importance.60

b61 Yet, in answer to a man who said that the Spartans were becoming pro-Persian, Agesilaus said that rather the Persians were becoming pro-Spartan!61

c62 Being asked once which was better of the virtues, bravery or justice, he said that there is no use for bravery unless justice is also in evidence, and p275if all men should become just they would have no need of bravery.62

63 The inhabitants of Asia were accustomed to give to the king of Persia the title of 'The Great,' but Agesilaus said, "In what, pray, is he greater than I, unless he is more just and more self-controlled?"63

64 He used to say that the inhabitants of Asia were poor freemen, but good slaves.64

65 Being asked how one might most surely have a good name among men, he said, "If one say what is best and do what is most honourable."

66 He used to say that a general ought to be possessed of boldness towards the enemy and kindness towards the men under him.65

d67 When someone desired to know what boys ought to learn, he said, "That which they will use when they become men."66

68 Once when he was sitting as judge the accuser spoke well and the defendant poorly, merely repeating in answer to each point, "Agesilaus, a king must uphold the laws;" whereat Agesilaus said, "And if somebody had broken into your house, and if somebody had robbed you of your coat, should you expect that the builder of the house or the maker of the coat would come to your assistance?"a

69 After the peace was made,67 a letter from the king of Persia was brought to him, of which the p277Persian with Callias the Spartan was the bearer, in regard to hospitality and friendship; ebut Agesilaus would not receive it, bidding the man to take back word to the king that there was no need to send letters to him personally; that if the king showed himself to be a friend to Sparta and well disposed towards Greece, he himself, to the very best of his power, would be a friend to the king. But if the king should be caught plotting against Greece, he went on to say, "even if I receive many letters, let him not believe that he shall have me for a friend."68

70 He was unusually fond of children, and it is said that at home he used to mount astride a stick as a hobby-horse and play with his children when they were little. But when he was seen thus by one of his friends, he begged the man to tell nobody before he had children of his own.69

f71 He made war continually upon the Thebans, and when he was wounded in the battle,70 they say that Antalcidas exclaimed, "This is a fine reward which you are receiving from the Thebans for giving them lessons in fighting when they had no desire to fight, and no knowledge even of fighting!" For, as a fact, they say that the Thebans at that time were more warlike than they had ever been before, owing to the many campaigns of the Spartans against them.71 It was for this reason that Lycurgus of old, in his so‑called 'Decrees,' forbade campaigning frequently against the same peoples, so that these should not learn to make war.72

p279 72 When he heard once that the allies had come to be disaffected because of the continual campaigning (for they in great numbers followed the Spartans who were but few), wishing to bring their numbers to the proof, he gave orders that the allies all sit down together indiscriminately and the Spartans separately by themselves; and then, through the herald, he commanded the potters to stand up first; and when these had done so, he commanded the smiths to stand up next, and then the carpenters in turn, and the builders, and each of the other trades. As a result, pretty nearly all of the allies stood up, but of the Spartans not a single one; for there was a prohibition against their practising or learning any menial calling. And so Agesilaus, with a laugh, said, b"You see, men, how many more soldiers we send out than you do."73

73 In the battle of Leuctra many Spartans ran away to escape the enemy, and these were liable to disgrace as provided by the law. The Ephors, seeing the State bereft of men when it was in great need of soldiers, wished to do away with the disgrace, and also to observe the laws. Accordingly they chose Agesilaus as lawgiver; and he, coming into the public meeting, said, "I would not become a lawgiver to enact another set of laws, for in the present laws I would make no addition, subtraction, or revision. cIt is good that our present laws be in full force, beginning with the morrow."74

74 Although Epameinondas came on with such p281an overwhelming tide,75 and the Thebans and their allies were boasting mightily over the victory, nevertheless Agesilaus kept him out of the city and made him turn back, although the number of persons in the city was very small.76

75 In the battle of Mantineia he urged the Spartans to pay no attention to any of the others, but to fight against Epameinondas, for he said that only men of intelligence are valiant and may be counted upon to bring victory; if, therefore, they could make away with that one man, they would very easily reduce the others to subjection; for these were unintelligent and worthless. dAnd so it came to pass. For while the victory rested with Epameinondas, and the rout of the enemy was complete, as he turned and was cheering on his men, one of the Spartans struck him a fatal blow; and when he had fallen, Agesilaus's men, rallying from their flight, made the victory hang in the balance, and the Thebans showed themselves far inferior, and the Spartans far superior.

76 When Sparta was in need of money for war, and was supporting a mercenary force, Agesilaus set out for Egypt, having been summoned by the king of the Egyptians for a goodly remuneration. But because of the simplicity of his clothes he came into contempt among the people there; efor they had been expecting that they should see the king of Sparta, like the king of Persia, with his person magnificently apparelled — a sorry opinion for them to hold regarding kings. At any rate, he showed them, before they p283were done with him, that the proper way to acquire greatness and distinction is by understanding and manly virtues.77

77 When he saw that his men were on the point of capitulating, for fear of the oncoming danger because of the vast number of the enemy (two hundred thousand) and the small number with him, he determined, before drawing up the battle-line, fto forestall this by a plan unknown to the others. And upon his hand he wrote the word victory with the letters turned toward the left. Then, as he received the liver from the priest, he placed it on the hand which had the writing upon it. Holding it for rather a long time, he showed perplexity, and kept up a pretence of not knowing what to do, until the marks of the letters had been taken up by the liver and imprinted upon it. Then he exhibited it to those who with him were to engage in the struggle, saying that the gods through the letters had revealed victory. So his men, feeling that they had a sure sign that they were to overcome the enemy, became bold for the battle.78

78 While the enemy were digging a ditch to surround his position (as they could do by reason of their vast numbers), and Nectanabis, with whom he was allied, was insistent upon a sortie and a decisive battle, Agesilaus said that he would not hinder the enemy in their desire to put themselves on equal terms with the defenders. 215And when the trench lacked but little of completion, he drew up his men in the open space between the ends, and, fighting with equal numbers against equal numbers, p285he routed the enemy with great slaughter by means of few soldiers with him, and sent home much money for the State.79

79 On his way home from Egypt death came to him, and in his last hours he gave directions to those with him that they should not cause to be made any sculptured or painted or imitative representation of his person. "For if I have done any goodly deed, that shall be my memorial; but if not, then not all the statues in the world, the works of menial and worthless men, will avail."80


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Cf. the note on 190F, supra. Many anecdotes about Agesilaus may be found in Polyaenus, Strategemata, II.1.

2 Cf. Moralia, 224C, infra, and Cicero, De oratore, I.54 (231).

3 Adapted from Homer, Il. I.527.

4 In almost the same words, but with a different turn of the thought, in Xenophon, Agesilaus, 11.4.

5 Plutarch in his Life of Agesilaus, chaps. I and II (596A and 597B), says that Agesilaus was brought up as a private citizen, and did not become king until after the death of Agis.

6 Cf. Moralia, 149A. In 219, infra the remark is attributed to Damonidas, and Diogenes Laertius, II.73, assigns it to Aristippus.

7 Cf. the similar attitude of Pompey, 204B, supra.

8 Cf. the similar story about Brasidas in Moralia, 79E, 190B, and 219C.

9 Cf. Moralia, 191B, supra, and the note.

10 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. ix (600C); Xenophon, Hellenica, III.4.5 ff., Agesilaus, 1.10; Diodorus, XIV.79; Polyaenus, Strategemata, II.1.8‑9; Cornelius Nepos, xvii, Agesilaus, 2 and 3; Frontinus, Strategemata, I.8.12.

11 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. ix (600D); Xenophon, Hellenica, III.4.15, and Agesilaus, 1.24.

12 Cf. Moralia, 32F. The reference is to Homer, Il. XXIII.296 ff.

13 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. ix (600E); Xenophon, Hellenica, III.4.19, Agesilaus, 1.28; Polyaenus, II.1.5; Athenaeus, 550E.

14 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. x (601A‑B), where the remark is made to Tithraustes, who was sent by the king to supplant Tissaphernes. Cf. also Xenophon, Hellenica, III.4.25, and Agesilaus, 4.6.

15 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xi (602A); Moralia, 31C (81A); Xenophon, Agesilaus, 5.4‑5.

16 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xiii (603B); Moralia, 191B, supra.

17 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xiii (603C); Moralia, 191A, supra.

18 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xiv (603D); Xenophon, Agesilaus, 5.2‑3, and 9.5; Cornelius Nepos, XVII, Agesilaus, 5.2.

19 Cf. Xenophon, Agesilaus, 5.2.

20 Cf. Aelian, Varia Historia, VII.13.

21 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxxvi (616F), where the scene is laid in Egypt, as also in Cornelius Nepos, XVII, Agesilaus, 8.3‑4.The story is found also in Athenaeus, 657B, and in Aelian, Varia Historia, III.20, where it is told of Lysander.

22 Cf. Moralia, 191D, supra, and the note. By "constructed" he probably refers to the gold and ivory statues which were common among the Greeks.

23 Cf. Moralia, 227C, infra, and Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xii (47C).

24 Cf. Moralia, 190E (3), supra, and 217E (7), 218F (2), 229C (6), infra, and 267C.

25 Cf. Moralia, 217E, infra (Antalcidas); Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xix (52B); Plato, Laws, 778D; Epictetus, in Stobaeus, Florilegium, v. iii; Demosthenes, Oration xviii (De corona), 299 (325); Claudius Claudianus, (viii), Panegyr. de quarto consulatu Honorii, 508. Cf. also Moralia, 228E (28), infra.

26 See note d on previous page.

27 Cf. Xenophon, Agesilaus, 5.3. Plutarch tells the same sort of thing about C. Marius in his Life, chap. vii (409B).

28 Cf. Moralia, 198E (8), supra.

29 Cf. 217C, 234E, infra; Valerius Maximus, III.7, ext. 8.

30 Cf. 216C (18), infra.

31 Cf. Thucydides, V.70; Xenophon, Constitution of Sparta, 13.8; Lucian, On Dancing, 10; Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, II.16 (37); Valerius Maximus, II.6.2.

32 Cf. Moralia, 113E.

33 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xv (603E); Xenophon, Hellenica, III.5.1, and IV.1.41, and Agesilaus, 1.7.

34 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xv (603E); Xenophon, Hellenica, IV.2.1‑3, and Agesilaus, 1.36; Cornelius Nepos, xvii, Agesilaus, 4.1‑4.

35 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xv (604C); Life of Artaxerxes, chap. xx (1021D); Xenophon, Hellenica, III.5.1. Xenophon (l.c.) says that the Persian gold went to Thebes, Corinth, and Argos, and the Athenians were eager for the war (naturally, as it was a war of revenge) without being bribed.

36 The letter contains a suspicious number of words for a Laconic letter!

37a 37b Nos. 42, 43, and 44 are to be found consecutively in nearly the same word in Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xvi (604D‑E).

38 See note b on previous page.

39 In 394 B.C. Cf. Xenophon, Hellenica, IV.2.18 ff.

40 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xv (604F); Moralia, 191A (6), supra, and the note; Xenophon, Hellenica, IV.3.1, Agesilaus, 7.4; Diodorus, XIV.867; Cornelius Nepos, xvii, Agesilaus, 5.2.

41 See 209B, supra.

42 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xvi (605A); Xenophon, Hellenica, IV.3.3‑9, Agesilaus, 2.2‑5.

43 One of the Ephors.

44 Hellenica, IV.3.16, Agesilaus, 2.9. Xenophon took part in the battle (Anabasis, V.3.6).

45 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chaps. xvii and xviii (605A‑F); Xenophon, Hellenica, IV.3.15‑20, Agesilaus, 2.9‑16.

46 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xix (606B‑C).

47 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xx (606D); Xenophon, Agesilaus, 9.6; Pausanias, III.8.1‑2; III.15.1; V.12.5; VI.1.6; and the epigram in the Greek Anthology, XIII.16 (L.C.L, V p10), which records Cynisca's victory. Fragments of the original inscription, which was cut on the pedestal on which the statue of Cynisca stood, were found in the excavations at Olympia. See J. G. Frazer, Pausanias, IV p3; or Pausanis, ed. Hitzig and Blumner, II p532.

48 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xx (606D), and Diogenes Laertius, II.51 and 54.

49 Cf. Moralia, 215D, infra;º Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xxx (58C), and Life of Agesilaus, chap. i (596D); Xenophon, Agesilaus, 2.16.

50 Cf. Moralia, 229F, infra; Plutarch's Life of Lysander, chap. xxiv (447D), and chap. xxx (450E); Life of Agesilaus, chap. xx (606E).

51 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xx (606F).

52 Cf. Moralia, 190A, supra, 215D, 230C, infra, and Valerius Maximus, III.7, ext. 8.

53 The remark is usually attributed to Lysander; cf. Plutarch's Life of Lysander, chap. xxii (445D); Moralia 71E, 190E, supra, 229C, infra; Themistius, Oration xxvii. 334C. The idea was originally expressed by Adeimantus to Themistocles in Herodotus, VIII.61.

54 Famous for his impressive acting. Cf. Xenophon, Symposium, 3.11; Aristotle, Poetics, chap. 26; Plutarch, Moralia, 348E; Polyaenus, Strategemata, VI.10.

55 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxi (607D).

56 Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxi (607E); Moralia, 191B; Life of Lycurgus, chap. xx (52E). A similar remark is attributed to Pleistarchus, Moralia, 231C, infra.

57 Cf. Moralia, 191A (5), supra, and Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxi (607E). Ascribed to Philip of Macedon by Aelian, Varia Historia, XII.51, and Athenaeus, 289B.

58 In 393 B.C. (Xenophon, Hellenica, IV.8.10).

59 The peace of Antalcidas, 387 B.C. (Xenophon, Hellenica, V.1.29; Plutarch, Life of Artaxerxes, chap. xxi (1022A)).

60 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxiii (608C).

61 Ibid. 608D; cf. also Plutarch's Life of Artaxerxes, chap. xxi (1022C).

62 Cf. Moralia, 190F (3), supra, and Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxiii (608F).

63 Cf. the note on Moralia, 190F (2), supra.

64 Cf. the note on Moralia, 190F (1), supra.

65 Stobaeus, Florilegium, LIV.49, adds, "and reasoning power to meet crises."

66 Leotychidas (224D, infra) and Aristippus (Diogenes Laertius, II.80) expressed the same opinion, which has been repeated ad nauseam by professors of paedagogy.

67 The peace of Antalcidas, 387 B.C. See Moralia, 213A‑B, supra.

68 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxiii (608F); Xenophon, Agesilaus, 8.3 (in almost the same words as here); Aelian, Varia Historia, X.20.

69 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxv (610C); Aelian, Varia Historia, XII.15. Diogenes Laertius and Valerius Maximus (VIII.8, ext. 1), tell this story of Socrates.

70 In the invasion of Boeotia in 378 B.C.

71 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxvi (610D); Life of Pelopidas, chap. xv (285D); Moralia, 227C, infra.

72 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xiii (47D), Moralia, 189F, supra; Polyaenus, Strategemata, I.16.2.

73 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxvi (610E); Polyaenus, Strategemata, II.1.7.

74 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxx (612F); and the note on Moralia, 191C (10), supra.

75 The expression is that of Theopompus, as Plutarch tells us in his Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxxi (613B).

76 Cf. Xenophon, Hellenica, VII.5.10; Diodorus, XV.83; Cornelius Nepos, xvii, Agesilaus, 6.1‑3.

77 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxxvi (616B); Cornelius Nepos, xvii, Agesilaus, 7.2.

78 A similar trick of Alexander's is told by Frontinus, Strategemata, I.11.14.

79 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxxix (618A), Moralia, 191C (11), supra, and the note.

80 Cf. Moralia, 191D (12), supra, and the note.


Thayer's Note:

a Agesilaus was unacquainted with American tort law, in which the greed and rapacity of plaintiffs, and even more so their lawyers — who would surely find a way of suing the builder of the house for indirect liability — are matched only by those of the corporations in acquiring the disproportionate wealth that makes them such convenient targets.


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