Isocrates, Discourses 8. On the Peace

LCL 229: 6-7

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Steph. p. [159]Ἅπαντες μὲν εἰώθασιν οἱ παριόντες ἐνθάδε ταῦτα μέγιστα φάσκειν εἶναι καὶ μάλιστα σπουδῆς ἄξια τῇ πόλει, περὶ ὧν ἂν αὐτοὶ μέλλωσι συμβουλεύσειν· οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾿ εἰ καὶ περὶ ἄλλων τινῶν πραγμάτων ἥρμοσε τοιαῦτα προειπεῖν, δοκεῖ μοι πρέπειν καὶ περὶ τῶν νῦν παρόντων ἐντεῦθεν ποιήσασθαι τὴν 2ἀρχήν. ἥκομεν γὰρ ἐκκλησιάσοντες περὶ πολέμου καὶ εἰρήνης, ἃ μεγίστην ἔχει δύναμιν ἐν τῷ βίῳ τῷ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, καὶ περὶ ὧν ἀνάγκη τοὺς ὀρθῶς βουλευομένους ἄμεινον τῶν ἄλλων πράττειν. τὸ μὲν οὖν μέγεθος, ὑπὲρ ὧν συνεληλύθαμεν, τηλικοῦτόν ἐστιν.

3Ὁρῶ δ᾿ ὑμᾶς οὐκ ἐξ ἴσου τῶν λεγόντων τὴν ἀκρόασιν ποιουμένους, ἀλλὰ τοῖς μὲν προσέχοντας τὸν νοῦν, τῶν δ᾿ οὐδὲ τὴν φωνὴν ἀνεχομένους. καὶ θαυμαστὸν οὐδὲν ποιεῖτε· καὶ γὰρ τὸν ἄλλον χρόνον εἰώθατε πάντας τοὺς ἄλλους ἐκβάλλειν, πλὴν τοὺς συναγορεύοντας ταῖς ὑμετέραις ἐπιθυμίαις.

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On the Peace,

The Orations of Isocrates

I. On the Peace

All those who come before you on this platform are accustomed to assert that the subjects upon which they are themselves about to advise you are most important and most worthy of serious consideration by the state.a Nevertheless, if it was ever appropriate to preface the discussion of any other subject with such words, it seems to me fitting also to begin with them in speaking upon the subject now before us. For we are assembled here to deliberate about War and Peace, which exercise the greatest power over the life of man, and regarding which those who are correctly advised must of necessity fare better than the rest of the world. Such, then, is the magnitude of the question which we have come together to decide.

I observe, however, that you do not hear with equal favour the speakers who address you, but that, while you give your attention to some, in the case of others you do not even suffer their voice to be heard.b And it is not surprising that you do this; for in the past you have formed the habit of driving all the orators from the platformc except those who

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.isocrates-discourses_8_peace.1929