Diodorus Siculus

BOOK XIII - The Library of History

Page 325


The Spartans seek for Peace. The Speech of Endius. The Athenians refuse.

THe Lacedemonians receiving certain intelligence of their rout at Cyzicum, sent Embassadors to Athens to treat of Peace, the chief of whom was Endius. When he was admitted Audience, he came in, and spoke in the Laconick manner, in a short and pithy Stile; whose Oration I judge not fitting to omit.

The Oration of Endius.

WE have determin'd to make Proposals of Peace to you, O ye Athenians, upon these Conditions, That the Cities gain'd on either side be retain'd: That the Garrisons every where be dismiss'd: That all Prisoners be releas'd, one Athenian for one Laconian: For we are not ignorant that the War is very mischievous to us both, but much more to you, which I shall make apparent from the things themselves, if you hearken a while to what I say. For our use all Peloponesus is improv'd and sow'd, but of Attica which is not so large, you have but a part in Tillage. This War has brought over many Confederates to the Laconians; on the contrary, the Athenians have lost as many as we have gain'd. The richest King of the World maintains our Armies, but you force the charge of the War from the poorest of the Nations. Our Souldiers therefore being so well paid, fight chearfully, but yours (being forc'd every one to bear their own Charges) seek to avoid both the Toyl and the Expence. Moreover, when our Fleet is out at Sea, we are more in want of Ships than Men; but the greatest part of your Men are in your Ships. And that which is most considerable, although we are inferior to you at Sea, yet by the Agreement of all we are your Superiors at Land; for the Spartan knows not how to fly in a Battel at Land. On the other hand you fight at Sea, not with any hopes to gain the Sovereignty at Land, but to preserve your selves from utter Destruction. Now it remains that I give you satisfaction, why when we thus far excel you in feats of Arms, we should seek to you for Peace. In truth, though I cannot say, that Sparta has gain'd any thing by this War, yet I dare affirm their Damage has not been so great as that of the Athenians. But it's the height of folly, to take pleasure in common Calamities, because our Enemies are Fellow Sufferers; whereas it had been much better neither of us had had the Experience. Neither does the content and satisfaction by the destruction of thine Enemy, ballance the sorrow that is conceiv'd at the loss of thy Friend. But it is not for these Reasons only that we desire to put an end to the War, but we are prompted hereunto by the Custom of our Country; for when we saw by these Wars so many horrid Murthers, and so much Blood lamentably shed, we conceiv'd it our duty to make it manifest both to the Gods and Men, that we are the least concern'd in the causing of it.

When the Laconian had spoke this and some other things to the like effect, the more moderate of the Athenians were inclin'd to Peace; but those who were accustom'd to sow the Seeds of Dissention, and to make a private gain of the publick Disorders, were for War. Of this Opinion was Cleopho, a Man of great interest among the People, who coming into the Assembly after he had said many things pertinent to the business in hand, he chiefly incourag'd the People, by magnifying the greatness of their late Successes, and urging all in such a manner as if Fortune (contrary to her usual Custom) had now forgot to dispose and order the Successes of War, by turns and mutual Changes to each

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