History of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides

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

I affirm, then, that you leave many enemies behind you here to go yonder and bring more back with you.

You imagine, perhaps, that the treaty which you have made can be trusted; a treaty that will continue to exist nominally, as long as you keep quiet—for nominal it has become, owing to the practices of certain men here and at Sparta—but which in the event of a serious reverse in any quarter would not delay our enemies a moment in attacking us; first, because the convention was forced upon them by disaster and was less honourable to them than to us; and secondly, because in this very convention there are many points that are still disputed.

Again, some of the most powerful states have never yet accepted the arrangement at all.

Some of these are at open war with us; others (as the Lacedaemonians do not yet move) are restrained by truces renewed every ten days,

and it is only too probable that if they found our power divided, as we are hurrying to divide it, they would attack us vigorously with the Siceliots, whose alliance they would have in the past valued as they would that of few others.

A man ought, therefore, to consider these points, and not to think of running risks with a country placed so critically, or of grasping at another empire before we have secured the one we have already; for in fact the Thracian Chalcidians have been all these years in revolt from us without being yet subdued, and others on the continents yield us but a doubtful obedience.

Meanwhile the Egestaeans, our allies, have been wronged, and we run to help them, while the rebels who have so long wronged us still wait for punishment.