History of the Peloponnesian War


Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.

To apply these rules to ourselves, if we are now kindling war it is under the pressure of injury, and with adequate grounds of complaint; and after we have chastised the Athenians we will in season desist.

We have many reasons to expect success,—first, superiority in numbers and in military experience, and secondly our general and unvarying obedience in the execution of orders.

The naval strength

which they possess shall be raised by us from our respective antecedent resources, and from the monies at Olympia and Delphi.

A loan from these enables us to seduce their foreign sailors by the offer of higher pay.

For the power of Athens is more mercenary than national; while ours will not be exposed to the same risk, as its strength lies more in men than in money.

A single defeat at sea is in all likelihood their ruin: should they hold out, in that case there will be the more time for us to exercise ourselves in naval matters; and as soon as we have arrived at an equality in science, we need scarcely ask whether we shall be their superiors in courage.

For the advantages that we have by nature they cannot acquire by education; while their superiority in science must be removed by our practice.

The money required for these objects shall be provided by our contributions: nothing indeed could be more monstrous than the suggestion that, while their allies never tire of contributing for their own servitude, we should refuse to spend for vengeance and self-preservation the treasure which by such refusal we shall forfeit to Athenian rapacity, and see employed for our own ruin.