Andocides, On the Peace with Sparta

LCL 308: 498-499

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1Ὅτι μὲν εἰρήνην ποιεῖσθαι δικαίαν ἄμεινόν ἐστιν ἢ πολεμεῖν, δοκεῖτέ μοι, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, πάντες γιγνώσκειν· ὅτι δὲ οἱ ῥήτορες τῷ μὲν ὀνόματι τῆς εἰρήνης συγχωροῦσι, τοῖς δ᾿ ἔργοις ἀφ᾿ ὧν ἂν ἡ εἰρήνη1 γένοιτο ἐναντιοῦνται, τοῦτο δὲ οὐ πάντες αἰσθάνεσθε. λέγουσι γὰρ ὡς ἔστι δεινότατον τῷ δήμῳ, γενομένης εἰρήνης, ἡ νῦν οὖσα πολιτεία μὴ καταλυθῇ.

2Εἰ μὲν οὖν μηδεπώποτε πρότερον ὁ δῆμος ὁ [τῶν]2 Ἀθηναίων εἰρήνην ἐποιήσατο πρὸς Λακεδαιμονίους, εἰκότως ἂν ἐφοβούμεθα αὐτὸ διά τε τὴν ἀπειρίαν τοῦ ἔργου διά τε τὴν ἐκείνων ἀπιστίαν· ὅπου δὲ πολλάκις ἤδη πρότερον εἰρήνην ἐποιήσασθε3 δημοκρατούμενοι, πῶς οὐκ εἰκὸς ὑμᾶς πρῶτον ἐκεῖνα σκέψασθαι τὰ τότε γενόμενα; χρὴ γάρ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, τεκμηρίοις χρῆσθαι τοῖς πρότερον γενομένοις περὶ τῶν μελλόντων ἔσεσθαι.

3Ἡνίκα τοίνυν ἦν μὲν ὁ πόλεμος ἡμῖν ἐν Εὐβοίᾳ,


On the Peace with Sparta

On The Peace with Sparta

I think you all understand, gentlemen, that it is better to make peace on fair terms than to continue fighting. But some of you fail to see that although our political leaders have no objection to peace in the abstract, they are opposed to such measures as would lead to it, on the ground that the people would be in very grave danger of seeing the existing constitution overthrown once peace was concluded.

Now had the Athenian people never made peace with Sparta in the past, our lack of previous experience and the untrustworthy character of the Spartans might have justified such fears. But you have done so on a number of occasions since the establishment of the democracy; and it is therefore only logical that you should first of all consider the results which followed at the time; one must use the past as a guide to the future, gentlemen.

aNow take the days when we were fighting in

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.andocides-peace_sparta.1941