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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

William Smith, A Smaller History of Ancient Greece

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XII

The Peloponnesian War. - Second Period, from the Peace of Nicias to the Defeat of the Athenians in Sicily, B.C. 421-413

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

HOMER

PLATO

ARISTOTLE

THE GREEK OLD TESTAMENT (SEPTUAGINT)

THE NEW TESTAMENT

PLOTINUS

DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE

MAXIMUS CONFESSOR

SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN

CAVAFY

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Page 2

Such was the man who now opposed the application of the Lacedaemonian ambassadors. Their reception had been so favourable, that Alcibiades alarmed at the prospect of their success, resorted to a trick in order to defeat it. He called upon the Lacedaemonian envoys, one of whom happened to be his personal friend; and he advised them not to tell the Assembly that they were furnished with full powers, as in that case the people would bully them into extravagant concessions, but rather to say that they were merely come to discuss and report. He promised, if they did so, to speak in their favour, and induce the Assembly to grant the restitution of Pylus, to which he himself had hitherto been the chief obstacle. Accordingly on the next day, when the ambassadors were introduced into the Assembly, Alcibiades, assuming his blandest tone and most winning smile, asked them on what footing they came and what were their powers. In reply to these questions, the ambassadors, who only a day or two before had told Nicias and the Senate that they were come as plenipotentiaries, now publicly declared, in the face of the Assembly, that they were not authorized to conclude, but only to negotiate and discuss. At this announcement, those who had heard their previous declaration could scarcely believe their ears. A universal burst of indignation broke forth at this exhibition of Spartan duplicity; whilst, to wind up the scene, Alcibiades, affecting to be more surprised than any, distinguished himself by being the loudest and bitterest in his invectives against the perfidy of the Lacedaemonians.

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