Text derived from The Works of Xenophon by H. G. Dakyns, Macmillan and Co., 1897.
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For myself I hold to the opinion that the qualities of the leading statesmen in a state, whatever they be, are reproduced in the character of the constitution itself.1
As, however, it has been maintained by certain leading statesmen in Athens that the recognised standard of right and wrong is as high at Athens as elsewhere, but that, owing to the pressure of poverty on the masses, a certain measure of injustice in their dealing with the allied states2 could not be avoided; I set myself to discover whether by any manner of means it were possible for the citizens of Athens to be supported solely from the soil of Attica itself, which was obviously the most equitable solution. For if so, herein lay, as I believed, the antidote at once to their own poverty and to the feeling of suspicion with which they are regarded by the rest of Hellas.
I had no sooner begun my investigation than one fact presented itself clearly to my mind, which is that the country itself is made by nature to provide the amplest resources. And with a view to establishing the truth of this initial proposition I will describe the physical features of Attica.
In the first place, the extraordinary mildness of the climate is proved by the actual products of the soil. Numerous plants which in many parts of the world appear as stunted leafless growths are here fruit-bearing. And as with the soil so with the sea indenting our coasts, the varied productivity of which is exceptionally great. Again with regard to those kindly fruits of earth3 which Providence bestows on man season by season, one and all they commence earlier and end later in this land. Nor is the supremacy of Attica shown only in those products which year after year flourish and grow old, but the land contains treasures of a more perennial kind. Within its folds lies imbedded by nature an unstinted store of marble, out of which are chiselled4 temples and altars of rarest beauty and the glittering splendour of images sacred to the gods. This marble, moreover, is an obejct of desire to many foreigners, Hellenes and barbarians alike. Then there is land which, although it yields no fruit to the sower, needs only to be quarried in order to feed many times more mouths than it could as corn-land. Doubtless we owe it to a divine dispensation that our land is veined with silver; if we consider how many neighbouring states lie round us by land and sea and yet into none of them does a single thinnest vein of silver penetrate.
Indeed it would be scarcely irrational to maintain that the city of Athens lies at the navel, not of Hellas merely, but of the habitable world. So true is it, that the farther we remove from Athens the greater the extreme of heat or cold to be encountered; or to use another illustration, the traveller who desires to traverse the confines of Hellas from end to end will find that, whether he voyages by sea or by land, he is describing a circle, the centre of which is Athens.5
Once more, this land though not literally sea-girt has all the advantages of an island, being accessible to every wind that blows, and can invite to its bosom or waft from its shore all products, since it is peninsular; whilst by land it is the emporium of many markets, as being a portion of the continent.
Lastly, while the majority of states have barbarian neighbours, the source of many troubles, Athens has as her next-door neighbours civilised states which are themselves far remote from the barbarians.
All these advantages, to repeat what I have said, may, I believe, be traced primarily to the soil and position of Attica itself. But these natural blessings may be added to: in the first place, by a careful handling of our resident alien6 population. And, for my part, I can hardly conceive of a more splendid source of revenue than lies open in this direction. Here you have a self-supporting class of residents confering large benefits upon the state, and instead of receiving payment7 themselves, contributing on the contrary to the gain of the exchequer by the sojourners’ tax.8 Nor, under the term careful handling, do I demand more than the removal of obligations which, whilst they confer no benefit on the state, have an air of inflicting various disabilities on the resident aliens.9 And I would further relieve them from the obligation of serving as hoplites side by side with the citizen proper; since, beside the personal risk, which is great, the trouble of quitting trades and homesteads is no trifle.10 Incidentally the state itself would benefit by this exemption, if the citizens were more in the habit of campaigning with one another, rather than11 shoulder to shoulder with Lydians, Phrygians, Syrians, and barbarians from all quarters of the world, who form the staple of our resident alien class. Besides the advantage [of so weeding the ranks],12 it would add a positive lustre to our city, were it admitted that the men of Athens, her sons, have reliance on themselves rather than on foreigners to fight her battles. And further, supposing we offered our resident aliens a share in various other honourable duties, including the cavalry service,13 I shall be surprised if we do not increase the goodwill of the aliens themselves, whilst at the same time we add distinctly to the strength and grandeur of our city.
In the next place, seeing that there are at present numerous building sites within the city walls as yet devoid of houses, supposing the state were to make free grants of such land14 to foreigners for building purposes in cases where there could be no doubt as to the respectability of the applicant, if I am not mistaken, the result of such a measure will be that a larger number of persons, and of a better class, will be attracted to Athens as a place of residence.
Lastly, if we could bring ourselves to appoint, as a new government office, a board of guardians of foreign residents like our Guardians of Orphans,15 with special privileges assigned to those guardians who should show on their books the greatest number of resident aliens — such a measure would tend to improve the goodwill of the class in question, and in all probability all people without a city of their own would aspire to the status of foreign residents in Athens, and so further increase the revenues of the city.16
At this point I propose to offer some remarks in proof of the attractions and advantages of Athens as a centre of commercial enterprise. In the first place, it will hardly be denied that we possess the finest and safest harbourage for shipping, where vessels of all sorts can come to moorings and be laid up in absolute security17 as far as stress of weather is concerned. But further than that, in most states the trader is under the necessity of lading his vessel with some merchandise18 or other in exchange for his cargo, since the current coin19 has no circulation beyond the frontier. But at Athens he has a choice: he can either in return for his wares export a variety of goods, such as human beings seek after, or, if he does not desire to take goods in exchange for goods, he has simply to export silver, and he cannot have a more excellent freight to export, since wherever he likes to sell it he may look to realise a large percentage on his capital.20
Or again, supposing prizes21 were offered to the magistrates in charge of the market22 for equitable and speedy settlements of points in dispute23 to enable any one so wishing to proceed on his voyage without hindrance, the result would be that far more traders would trade with us and with greater satisfaction.
It would indeed be a good and noble institution to pay special marks of honour, such as the privilege of the front seat, to merchants and shipowners, and on occasion to invite to hospitable entertainment those who, through something notable in the quality of ship or merchandise, may claim to have done the state a service. The recipients of these honours will rush into our arms as friends, not only under the incentive of gain, but of distinction also.
Now the greater the number of people attracted to Athens either as visitors or as residents, clearly the greater the development of imports and exports. More goods will be sent out of the country,24 there will be more buying and selling, with a consequent influx of money in the shape of rents to individuals and dues and customs to the state exchequer. And to secure this augmentation of the revenues, mind you, not the outlay of one single penny; nothing needed beyond one or two philanthropic measures and certain details of supervision.25
With regard to the other sources of revenue which I contemplate, I admit, it is different. For these I recognise the necessity of a capital26 to begin with. I am not, however, without good hope that the citizens of this state will contribute heartily to such an object, when I reflect on the large sums subscribed by the state on various late occasions, as, for instance, when reinforcements were sent to the Arcadians under the command of Lysistratus,27 and again at the date of the generalship of Hegesileos.28 I am well aware that ships of war are frequently despatched and that too29 although it is uncertain whether the venture will be for the better or for the worse, and the only certainty is that the contributor will not recover the sum subscribed nor have any further share in the object for which he gave his contribution.30
But for a sound investment31 I know of nothing comparable with the initial outlay to form this fund.32 Any one whose contribution amounts to ten minae33 may look forward to a return as high as he would get on bottomry, of nearly one-fifth,34 as the recipient of three obols a day. The contributor of five minae35 will on the same principle get more than a third,36 while the majority of Athenians will get more than cent per cent on their contribution. That is to say, a subscription of one mina37 will put the subscriber in possession of nearly double that sum,38 and that, moreover, without setting foot outside Athens, which, as far as human affairs go, is as sound and durable a security as possible.
Moreover, I am of opinion that if the names of contributors were to be inscribed as benefactors for all time, many foreigners would be induced to contribute, and possibly not a few states, in their desire to obtain the right of inscription; indeed I anticipate that some kings,39 tyrants,40 and satraps will display a keen desire to share in such a favour.
To come to the point. Were such a capital once furnished, it would be a magnificent plan to build lodging-houses for the benefit of shipmasters in the neighbourhood of the harbours, in addition to those which exist; and again, on the same principle, suitable places of meeting for merchants, for the purposes41 of buying and selling; and thirdly, public lodging-houses for persons visiting the city. Again, supposing dwelling-houses and stores for vending goods were fitted up for retail dealers in Piraeus and the city, they would at once be an ornament to the state and a fertile source of revenue. Also it seems to me it would be a good thing to try and see if, on the principle on which at present the state possesses public warships, it would not be possible to secure public merchant vessels, to be let out on the security of guarantors just like any other public property. If the plan were found feasible this public merchant navy would be a large source of extra revenue.
I come to a new topic. I am persuaded that the establishment of the silver mines on a proper footing42 would be followed by a large increase in wealth apart from the other sources of revenue. And I would like, for the benefit of those who may be ignorant, to point out what the capacity of these mines really is. You will then be in a position to decide how to turn them to better account. It is clear, I presume, to every one that these mines have for a very long time been in active operation; at any rate no one will venture to fix the date at which they first began to be worked.43 Now in spite of the fact that the silver ore has been dug and carried out for so long a time, I would ask you to note that the mounds of rubbish so shovelled out are but a fractional portion of the series of hillocks containing veins of silver, and as yet unquarried. Nor is the silver-bearing region gradually becoming circumscribed. On the contrary it is evidently extending in wider area from year to year. That is to say, during the period in which thousands of workers44 have been employed within the mines no hand was ever stopped for want of work to do. Rather, at any given moment, the work to be done was more than enough for the hands employed. And so it is today with the owners of slaves working in the mines; no one dreams of reducing the number of his hands. On the contrary, the object is perpetually to acquire as many additional hands as the owner possibly can. The fact is that with few hands to dig and search, the find of treasure will be small, but with an increase in labour the discovery of the ore itself is more than proportionally increased. So much so, that of all operations with which I am acquainted, this is the only one in which no sort of jealousy is felt at a further development of the industry.45 I may go a step farther; every proprietor of a farm will be able to tell you exactly how many yoke of oxen are sufficient for the estate, and how many farm hands. To send into the field more than the exact number requisite every farmer would consider a dead loss.46 But in silver mining [operations] the universal complaint is the want of hands. Indeed there is no analogy between this and other industries. With an increase in the number of bronze-workers articles of bronze may become so cheap that the bronze-worker has to retire from the field. And so again with ironfounders. Or again, in a plethoric condition of the corn and wine market these fruits of the soil will be so depreciated in value that the particular husbandries cease to be remunerative, and many a farmer will give up his tillage of the soil and betake himself to the business of a merchant, or of a shopkeeper, to banking or money-lending. But the converse is the case in the working of silver; there the larger the quantity of ore discovered and the greater the amount of silver extracted, the greater the number of persons ready to engage in the operation. One more illustration: take the case of movable property. No one when he has got sufficient furniture for his house dreams of making further purchases on this head, but of silver no one ever yet possessed so much that he was forced to cry “enough.” On the contrary, if ever anybody does become possessed of an immoderate amount he finds as much pleasure in digging a hole in the ground and hoarding it as in the actual employment of it. And from a wider point of view: when a state is prosperous there is nothing which people so much desire as silver. The men want money to expend on beautiful armour and fine horses, and houses, and sumptuous paraphenalia47 of all sorts. The women betake themselves to expensive apparel and ornaments of gold. Or when states are sick,48 either through barrenness of corn and other fruits, or through war, the demand for current coin is even more imperative (whilst the ground lies unproductive), to pay for necessaries or military aid.
And if it be asserted that gold is after all just as useful as silver, without gainsaying the proposition I may note this fact49 about gold, that, with a sudden influx of this metal, it is the gold itself which is depreciated whilst causing at the same time a rise in the value of silver.
The above facts are, I think, conclusive. They encourage us not only to introduce as much human labour as possible into the mines, but to extend the scale of operations within, by increase of plant, etc., in full assurance that there is no danger either of the ore itself being exhausted or of silver becoming depreciated. And in advancing these views I am merely following a precedent set me by the state herself. So it seems to me, since the state permits any foreigner who desires it to undertake mining operations on a footing of equality50 with her own citizens.
But, to make my meaning clearer on the question of maintenance, I will at this point explain in detail how the silver mines may be furnished and extended so as to render them much more useful to the state. Only I would premise that I claim no sort of admiration for anything which I am about to say, as though I had hit upon some recondite discovery. Since half of what I have to say is at the present moment still patent to the eyes of all of us, and as to what belongs to past history, if we are to believe the testimony of our fathers,51 things were then much of a piece with what is going on now. No, what is really marvellous is that the state, with the fact of so many private persons growing wealthy at her expense, and under her very eyes, should have failed to imitate them. It is an old story, trite enough to those of us who have cared to attend to it, how once on a time Nicias, the son of Niceratus, owned a thousand men in the silver mines,52 whom he let out to Sosias, a Thracian, on the following terms. Sosias was to pay him a net obol a day, without charge or deduction, for every slave of the thousand, and be53 responsible for keeping up the number perpetually at that figure. So again Hipponicus54 had six hundred slaves let out on the same principle, which brought him in a net mina55 a day without charge or deduction. Then there was Philemonides, with three hundred, bringing him in half a mina, and others, I make no doubt there were, making profits in proportion to their respective resources and capital.56 But there is no need to revert to ancient history. At the present moment there are hundreds of human beings in the mines let out on the same principle.57 And given that my proposal were carried into effect, the only novelty in it is that, just as the individual in acquiring the ownership of a gang of slaves finds himself at once provided with a permanent source of income, so the state, in like fashion, should possess herself of a body of public slaves, to the number, say, of three for every Athenian citizen.58 As to the feasability of our proposals, I challenge any one whom it may concern to test the scheme point by point, and to give his verdict.
With regard to the price then of the men themselves, it is obvious that the public treasury is in a better position to provide funds than any private individuals. What can be easier than for the Council59 to invite by public proclamation all whom it may concern to bring their slaves, and to buy up those produced? Assuming the purchase to be effected, is it credible that people will hesitate to hire from the state rather than from the private owner, and actually on the same terms? People have at all events no hesitation at present in hiring consecrated grounds, sacred victims,60 houses, etc., or in purchasing the right of farming taxes from the state. To ensure the preservation of the purchased property, the treasury can take the same securities precisely from the lessee as it does from those who purchase the right of farming its taxes. Indeed, fraudulent dealing is easier on the part of the man who has purchased such a right than of the man who hires slaves. Since it is not easy to see how the exportation61 of public money is to be detected, when it differs in no way from private money. Whereas it will take a clever thief to make off with these slaves, marked as they will be with the public stamp, and in face of a heavy penalty attached at once to the sale and exportation of them. Up to this point then it would appear feasible enough for the state to acquire property in men and to keep a safe watch over them.62
But with reference to an opposite objection which may present itself to the mind of some one: what guarantee is there that, along with the increase in the supply of labourers, there will be a corrsponding demand for their services on the part of contractors?63 It may be reassuring to note, first of all, that many of those who have already embarked on mining operations64 will be anxious to increase their staff of labourers by hiring some of these public slaves (remember, they have a large capital at stake;65 and again, many of the actual labourers now engaged are growing old); and secondly, there are many others, Athenians and foreigners alike, who, though unwilling and indeed incapable of working physically in the mines, will be glad enough to earn a livelihood by their wits as superintendents.66
Let it be granted, however, that at first a nucleus of twelve hundred slaves is formed. It is hardly too sanguine a supposition that out of the profits alone,67 within five or six years this number may be increased to at least six thousand. Again, out of that number of six thousand — supposing each slave to being in an obol a day clear of all expenses — we get a revenue of sixty talents a year. And supposing twenty talents out of this sum laid out on the purchase of more slaves, there will be forty talents left for the state to apply to any other purpose it may find advisable. By the time the round number68 of ten thousand is reached the yearly income will amount to a hundred talents.
As a matter of fact, the state will receive much more than these figures represent,69 as any one here will bear me witness who can remember what the dues70 derived from slaves realised before the troubles at Decelea.71 Testimony to the same effect is borne by the fact, that in spite of the countless number of human beings employed in the silver mines within the whole period,72 the mines present exactly the same appearance today as they did within the recollection of our forefathers.73 And once more everything that is taking place today tends to prove that, whatever the number of slaves employed, you will never have more than the works can easily absorb. The miners find no limit of depth in sinking shafts or laterally in piercing galleries. To open cuttings in new directions today is just as possible as it was in former times. In fact no one can take on himself to say whether there is more ore in the regions already cut into, or in those where the pick has not yet struck.74 Well then, it may be asked, why is it that there is not the same rush to make new cuttings now as in former times? The answer is, because the people concerned with the mines are poorer nowadays. The attempt to restart operations, renew plant, etc., is of recent date, and any one who ventures to open up a new area runs a considerable risk. Supposing he hits upon a productive field, he becomes a rich man, but supposing he draws a blank, he loses the whole of his outlay; and that is a danger which people of the present time are shy of facing.
It is a difficulty, but it is one on which, I believe, I can offer some practical advice. I have a plan to suggest which will reduce the risk of opening up new cuttings to a minimum.75
The citizens of Athens are divided, as we all know, into ten tribes. Let the state then assign to each of these ten tribes an equal number of slaves, and let the tribes agree to associate their fortunes and proceed to open new cuttings. What will happen? Any single tribe hitting upon a productive lode will be the means of discovering what is advantageous to all. Or, supposing two or three, or possibly the half of them, hit upon a lode, clearly these several operations will proportionally be more remunerative still. That the whole ten will fail is not at all in accordance with what we should expect from the history of the past. It is possible, of course, for private persons to combine in the same way,76 and share their fortunes and minimise their risks. Nor need you apprehend, sirs, that a state mining company, established on this principle, will prove a thorn in the side77 of the private owner, or the private owner prove injurious to the state. But rather like allies who render each other stronger the more they combine,78 so in these silver mines, the greater number of companies at work79 the larger the riches they will discover and disinter.80
This then is a statement, as far as I can make it clear, of the method by which, with the proper state organisation, every Athenian may be supplied with ample maintenance at the public expense. Possibly some of you may be calculating that the capital81 requisite will be enormous. They may doubt if a sufficient sum will ever be subscribed to meet all the needs. All I can say is, even so, do not dispond. It is not as if it were necessary that every feature of the scheme should be carried out at once, or else there is to be no advantage in it at all. On the contrary, whatever number of houses are erected, or ships are built, or slaves purchased, etc., these portions will begin to pay at once. In fact, the bit-by-bit method of proceeding will be more advantageous than a simultaneous carrying into effect of the whole plan, to this extent: if we set about erecting buildings wholesale82 we shall make a more expensive and worse job of it than if we finish them off gradually. Again, if we set about bidding for hundreds of slaves at once we shall be forced to purchase an inferior type at a higher cost. Whereas, if we proceed tentatively, as we find ourselves able,83 we can complete any well-devised attempt at our leisure,84 and, in case of any obvious failure, take warning and not repeat it. Again, if everything were to be carried out at once, it is we, sirs, who must make the whole provision at our expense.85 Whereas, if part were proceeded with and part stood over, the portion of revenue in hand will help to furnish what is necessary to go on with. But to come now to what every one probably will regard as a really grave danger, lest the state may become possessed of an over large number of slaves, with the result that the works will be overstocked. That again is an apprehension which we may escape if we are careful not to put into the works more hands from year to year than the works themselves demand. Thus86 I am persuaded that the easiest method of carrying out this scheme, as a whole, is also the best. If, however, you are persuaded that, owing to the extraordinary property taxes87 to which you have been subjected during the present war, you will not be equal to any further contributions at present,88 what you should do is this:89 during the current year resolve to carry on the financial administration of the state within the limits of a sum equivalent to that which your dues90 realised before the peace. That done, you are at liberty to take any surplus sum, whether directly traceable to the peace itself, or to the more courteous treatment of our resident aliens and traders, or to the growth of the imports and exports, coincident with the collecting together of larger masses of human beings, or to an augmentation of harbour91 and market dues: this surplus, I say, however derived, you should take and invest92 so as to bring in the greatest revenue.93
Again, if there is an apprehension on the part of any that the whole scheme94 will crumble into nothing on the first outbreak of war, I would only beg these alarmists to note that, under the condition of things which we propose to bring about, war will have more terrors for the attacking party than for this state. Since what possession I should like to know can be more serviceable for war than that of men? Think of the many ships which they will be capable of manning on public service. Think of the number who will serve on land as infantry [in the public service] and will bear hard upon the enemy. Only we must treat them with courtesy.95 For myself, my calculation is, that even in the event of war we shall be quite able to keep a firm hold of the silver mines. I may take it, we have in the neighbourhood of the mines certain fortresses — one on the southern slope in Anaphlystus;96 and we have another on the northern side in Thoricus, the two being about seven and a half miles97 apart. Suppose then a third breastwork were to be placed between these, on the highest point of Besa, that would enable the operatives to collect into one out of all the fortresses, and at the first perception of a hostile movement it would only be a short distance for each to retire into safety.98 In the event of an enemy advancing in large numbers they might certainly make off with whatever corn or wine or cattle they found outside. But even if they did get hold of the silver ore, it would be little better to them than a heap of stones.99 But how is an enemy ever to march upon the mines in force? The nearest state, Megara, is distant, I take it, a good deal over sixty miles;100 and the next closest, Thebes, a good deal nearer seventy.101 Supposing then an enemy to advance from some such point to attack the mines, he cannot avoid passing Athens; and presuming his force to be small, we may expect him to be annihilated by our cavalry and frontier police.102 I say, presuming his force to be small, since to march with anything like a large force, and thereby leave his own territory denuded of troops, would be a startling achievement. Why, the fortified city of Athens will be much closer the states of the attacking parties than they themselves will be by the time they have got to the mines. But, for the sake of argument, let us suppose an enemy to have arrived in the neighbourhood of Laurium; how is he going to stop there without provisions? To go out in search of supplies with a detachment of his force would imply risk, both for the foraging party and for those who have to do the fighting;103 whilst, if they are driven to do so in force each time, they may call themselves besiegers, but they will be practically in a state of siege themselves.
But it is not the income104 derived from the slaves alone to which we look to help the state towards the effective maintenance of her citizens, but with the growth and concentration of a thick population in the mining district various sources of revenue will accrue, whether from the market at Sunium, or from the various state buildings in connection with the silver mines, from furnaces and all the rest. Since we must expect a thickly populated city to spring up here, if organised in the way proposed, and plots of land will become as valuable to owners out there as they are to those who possess them in the neighbourhood of the capital.
If, at this point, I may assume my proposals to have been carried into effect, I think I can promise, not only that our city shall be relieved from a financial strain, but that she shall make a great stride in orderliness and in tactical organisation, she shall grow in martial spirit and readiness for war. I anticipate that those who are under orders to go through gymnastic training will devote themselves with a new zeal to the details of the training school, now that they will receive a larger maintenance whilst105 under the orders of the trainer in the torch race. So again those on garrison duty in the various fortresses, those enrolled as peltasts, or again as frontier police to protect the rural districts, one and all will carry out their respective duties more ardently when the maintenance106 appropriate to these several functions is duly forthcoming.
But now, if it is evident that, in order to get the full benefit of all these sources of revenue,107 peace is an indispensable condition — if that is plain, I say, the question suggests itself, would it not be worth while to appoint a board to act as guardians of peace? Since no doubt the election of such a magistracy would enhance the charm of this city in the eyes of the whole world, and add largely to the number of our visitors. But if any one is disposed to take the view, that by adopting a persistent peace policy,108 this city will be shorn of her power, that her glory will dwindle and her good name be forgotten throughout the length and breadth of Hellas, the view so taken by our friends here109 is in my poor judgment somewhat unreasonable. For they are surely the happy states, they, in popular language, are most fortune-favoured, which endure in peace the longest season. And of all states Athens is pre-eminently adapted by nature to flourish and wax strong in peace. The while she abides in peace she cannot fail to exercise an attractive force on all. From the mariner and the merchant upwards, all seek her, flocking they come; the wealthy dealers in corn and wine110 and oil, the owner of many cattle. And not these only, but the man who depends upon his wits, whose skill it is to do business and make gain out of money111 and its employment. And here another crowd, artificers of all sorts, artists and artisans, professors of wisdom,112 philosophers, and poets, with those who exhibit and popularise their works.113 And next a new train of pleasure-seekers, eager to feast on everything sacred or secular,114 which may captivate and charm eye and ear. Or once again, where are all those who seek to effect a rapid sale or purchase of a thousand commodities, to find what they want, if not at Athens?
But if there is no desire to gainsay these views — only that certain people, in their wish to recover that headship115 which was once the pride of our city, are persuaded that the accomplishment of their hopes is to be found, not in peace but in war, I beg them to reflect on some matters of history, and to begin at the beginning,116 the Median war. Was it by high-handed violence, or as benefactors of the Hellenes, that we obtained the headship of the naval forces, and the trusteeship of the treasury of Hellas?117 Again, when through the too cruel exercise of her presidency, as men thought, Athens was deprived of her empire, is it not the case that even in those days,118 as soon as we held aloof from injustice we were once more reinstated by the islanders, of their own free will, as presidents of the naval force? Nay, did not the very Thebans, in return for certain benefits, grant to us Athenians to exercise leadership over them?119 And at another date the Lacedaemonans suffered us Athenians to arrange the terms of hegemony120 at our discretion, not as driven to such submission, but in requital of kindly treatment. And today, owing to the chaos121 which reigns in Hellas, if I mistake not, an opportunity has fallen to this city of winning back our fellow-Hellenes without pain or peril or expense of any sort. It is given to us to try and harmonise states which are at war with one another: it is given to us to reconcile the differences of rival factions within those states themselves, wherever existing.
Make it but evident that we are minded to preserve the independence122 of the Delphic shrine in its primitive integrity, not by joining in any war but by the moral force of embassies throughout the length and breadth of Hellas — and I for one shall not be astonished if you find our brother Hellenes of one sentiment and eager under seal of solemn oaths123 to proceed against those, whoever they may be, who shall seek124 to step into the place vacated by the Phocians and to occupy the sacred shrine. Make it but evident that you intend to establish a general peace by land and sea, and, if I mistake not, your efforts will find a response in the hearts of all. There is no man but will pray for the salvation of Athens next to that of his own fatherland.
Again, is any one persuaded that, looking solely to riches and money-making, the state may find war more profitable than peace? If so, I cannot conceive a better method to decide that question than to allow the mind to revert125 to the past history of the state and to note well the sequence of events. He will discover that in times long gone by during a period of peace vast wealth was stored up in the acropolis, the whole of which was lavishly expended during a subsequent period of war. He will perceive, if he examines closely, that even at the present time we are suffering from its ill effects. Countless sources of revenue have failed, or if they have still flowed in, been lavishly expended on a multiplicity of things. Whereas,126 now that peace is established by sea, our revenues have expanded and the citizens of Athens have it in their power to turn these to account as they like best.
But if you turn on me with the question, “Do you really mean that even in the event of unjust attacks upon our city on the part of any, we are still resolutely to observe peace towards that offender?” I answer distinctly, No! But, on the contrary, I maintain that we shall all the more promptly retaliate on such aggression in proportion as we have done no wrong to any one ourselves. Since that will be to rob the aggressor of his allies.127
But now, if none of these proposals be impracticable or even difficult of execution; if rather by giving them effect we may conciliate further the friendship of Hellas, whilst we strengthen our own administration and increase our fame; if by the same means the people shall be provided with the necessaries of life, and our rich men be relieved of expenditure on war; if with the large surplus to be counted on, we are in a position to conduct our festivals on an even grander scale than heretofore, to restore our temples, to rebuild our forts and docks, and to reinstate in their ancient privileges our priests, our senators, our magistrates, and our knights — surely it were but reasonable to enter upon this project speedily, so that we too, even in our own day, may witness the unclouded dawn of prosperity in store for our city.
But if you are agreed to carry out this plan, there is one further counsel which I would urge upon you. Send to Dodona and to Delphi, I would beg you, and consult the will of Heaven whether such a provision and such a policy on our part be truly to the interest of Athens both for the present and for the time to come. If the consent of Heaven be thus obtained, we ought then, I say, to put a further question: whose special favour among the gods shall we seek to secure with a view to the happier execution of these measures?
And in accordance with that answer, let us offer a sacrifice of happy omen to the deities so named, and commence the work; since if these transactions be so carried out with the will of God, have we not the right to prognosticate some further advance in the path of political progress for this whole state?
1 “Like minister, like government.” For the same idea more fully expressed, see “Cyrop.” VIII. i. 8; viii. 5.
2 Lit. “the cities,” i.e. of the alliance, tas summakhidas.
3 Lit. “those good things which the gods afford in their seasons.”
4 Or, “arise,” or “are fashioned.”
5 See “Geog. of Brit. Isles.” J. R. and S. A. Green, ch. i. p. 7: “London, in fact, is placed at what is very nearly the geometrical centre of those masses of land which make up the earth surface of the globe, and is thus more than any city of the world the natural point of convergence for its different lines of navigation,” etc. The natural advantages of Boeotia are similarly set forth by Ephorus. Cf. Strab. ix. 2, p. 400.
6 Lit. “metics” or “metoecs.”
7 misthos, e.g. of the assembly, the senate, and the dicasts.
8 The metoikion. See Plat. “Laws,” 850 B; according to Isaeus, ap. Harpocr. s.v., it was 12 drachmae per annum for a male and 6 drachmae for a female.
9 Or, “the class in question.” According to Schneider (who cites the atimetos metanastes of Homer, “Il.” ix. 648), the reference is not to disabilities in the technical sense, but to humiliating duties, such as the skaphephoria imposed on the men, or the udriaphoria and skiadephoria imposed on their wives and daughters in attendance on the kanephoroi at the Panathenaic and other festival processions. See Arist. “Eccles.” 730 foll.; Boeckh, “P. E. A.” IV. x. (Eng. tr. G. Cornewall Lewis, p. 538).
10 Or, reading megas men gar o agon, mega de kai to apo ton tekhnon kai ton oikeion apienai, after Zurborg (“Xen. de Reditibus Libellus,” Berolini, MDCCCLXXVI.), transl. “since it is severe enough to enter the arena of war, but all the worse when that implies the abandonment of your trade and your domestic concerns.”
11 Or, “instead of finding themselves brigaded as nowadays with a motley crew of Lydians,” etc.
12 Zurborg, after Cobet, omits the words so rendered.
13 See “Hipparch.” ix. 3, where Xenophon in almost identical words recommends that reform.
14 Or, “offer the fee simple of such property to.”
15 “The Archon was the legal protector of all orphans. It was his duty to appoint guardians, if none were named in the father’s will.”— C. R. Kennedy, Note to “Select Speeches of Demosthenes.” The orphans of those who had fallen in the war (Thuc. ii. 46) were specially cared for.
16 Or, “help to swell the state exchequer.”
17 Reading adeos after Cobet, or if edeos, transl. “in perfect comfort.”
18 Or, “of exchanging cargo for cargo to the exclusion of specie.”
19 I.e. of the particular locality. See “The Types of Greek Coins,” Percy Gardner, ch. ii. “International Currencies among the Greeks.”
20 Or, “on the original outlay.”
21 Cf. “Hiero,” ix. 6, 7, 11; “Hipparch.” i. 26.
22 to tou emporiou arkhe. Probably he is referring to the epimeletai emporiou (overseers of the market). See Harpocr. s.v.; Aristot. “Athenian Polity,” 51.
23 For the sort of case, see Demosth. (or Deinarch.) “c. Theocr.” 1324; Zurborg ad loc.; Boeckh, I. ix. xv. (pp. 48, 81, Eng. tr.)
24 See Zurborg, “Comm.” p. 24.
25 See Aristot. “Pol.” iv. 15, 3.
26 “A starting-point.”
27 B.C. 366; cf. “Hell.” VII. iv. 3.
28 B.C. 362; cf. “Hell.” VII. v. 15. See Grote, “H. G.” x. 459; Ephor. ap. Diog. Laert. ii. 54; Diod. Sic. xv. 84; Boeckh, ap. L. Dindorf. Xenophon’s son Gryllus served under him and was slain.
29 Reading kai tauta toutout men adelou ontos, after Zurborg.
30 Reading [uper] on an eisenegkosi with Zurborg. See his note, “Comm.” p. 25.
31 “A good substantial property.”
32 Or, “on the other hand, I affirm that the outlay necessary to form the capital for my present project will be more remunerative than any other that can be named.” As to the scheme itself see Grote, “Plato,” III. ch. xxxix.; Boeckh, op. cit. (pp. 4, 37, 136, 600 seq. Eng. tr.) Cf. Demosth. “de Sym.” for another scheme, 354 B.C., which shows the “sound administrative and practical judgment” of the youthful orator as compared with “the benevolent dreams and ample public largess in which Xenophon here indulges.” — Grote, op. cit. p. 601.
33 L40:12:4 = 1000 drachmae.
34 I.e. exactly 18 or nearly 20 per cent. The following table will make the arithmetic clear:—
6 ob. = 1 drachma 10 minae = 6000 ob.
100 dr. = 1 mina = 1000 dr.
600 ob. = 1 mina 1000 dr.:180 dr.::100:18 therefore nearly 1/5
3 ob. (a day) x 360 = 1080 ob. p.a. = nearly 20 per cent.
= 180 dr. p.a.
As to the 3 obols a day (= 180 dr. p.a.) which as an Athenian citizen he is entitled to, see Grote, op. cit. p. 597: “There will be a regular distribution among all citizens, per head and equally. Three oboli, or half a drachma, will be allotted daily to each, to poor and rich alike” [on the principle of the Theorikon]. “For the poor citizens this will provide a comfortable subsistence, without any contribution on their part; the poverty now prevailing will thus be alleviated. The rich, like the poor, receive the daily triobolon as a free gift; but if they compute it as interest for their investments, they will find that the rate of interest is full and satisfactory, like the rate on bottomry.” Zurborg, “Comm.” p. 25; Boeckh, op. cit. IV. xxi. (p. 606, Eng. tr.); and Grote’s note, op. cit. p. 598.
35 = L20:6:3 = 500 drachmae.
36 = I.e. 36 per cent.
37 = L4:1:3 = 100 drachmae.
38 I.e. 180 per cent.
39 Zurborg suggests (p. 5) “Philip or Cersobleptes.” Cf. Isocr. “On the Peace,” S. 23.
40 I.e. despotic monarchs.
41 Reading, with Zurborg, epi one te.
42 Or, “on a sound basis.”
44 Or, “at the date when the maximum of hands was employed.”
45 Reading epikataskeuazumenois, or, if episkeuazomenoi, transl. “at the rehabilitation of old works.”
46 Cf. “Oecon.” xvii. 12.
47 “The thousand and one embellishments of civil life.”
48 “When a state is struck down with barrenness,” etc. See “Mem.” II. vii.
49 Lit. “I know, however.”
50 Or, “at an equal rent with that which she imposes on her own citizens.” See Boeckh, “P. E. A.” IV. x. (p. 540, Eng. tr.)
51 Reading para ton pateron, with Zurborg, after Wilamowitz-Mollendorf.
52 See “Mem.” II. v. 2; Plut. “Nicias,” 4; “Athen.” vi. 272. See an important criticism of Boeckh’s view by Cornewall Lewis, translation of “P. E. A.” p. 675 foll.
53 Reading parekhein, or if pareikhen, transl. “whilst he himself kept up the number.” See H. hagen in “Journ. Philol.” x. 19, pp. 34-36; also Zurborg, “Comm.” p. 28.
54 Son of Callias.
55 = L4:1:3 = 600 ob.
56 Or, “whose incomes would vary in proportion to their working capital.”
57 See Jebb, “Theophr.” xxvi. 21.
58 According to the ancient authorities the citizens of Athens numbered about 21,000 at this date, which would give about 63,000 as the number of state-slaves contemplated for the purposes of the scheme. See Zurborg, “Comm.” p. 29. “At a census taken in B.C. 309 the number of slaves was returned at 400,000, and it does not seem likely that there were fewer at any time during the classical period.”—“A Companion to School Classics” (James Gow), p. 101, xiii. “Population of Attica.”
59 Or, “senate.” See Aristot. “Athen. Pol.” for the functions of the Boule.
60 So Zurborg. See Demosth. “in Mid.” 570; Boeckh, “P. E. A.” II. xii. (p. 212, Eng. tr.) See Arnold’s note to “Thuc.” iii. 50, 7.
61 Or, “diversation,” “defalcation.”
62 Or, “as far as that goes, then, there is nothing apparently to prevent the state from acquiring property in slaves, and safeguarding the property so acquired.”
63 Or, “with this influx (multiplying) of labourers there will be a corresponding increase in the demand for labour on the part of the lessees.”
64 Or, “got their mining establishments started.”
65 Or, “of course they will, considering the amount of fixed capital at stake,” or, “since they have large resources at their back.” I have adopted Zurborg’s stopping of this sentence.
66 See “Mem.” II. viii. 1, for an illustrative case.
67 “Out of the income so derived.”
68 Or, “full complement.”
69 Or, “a very much larger sum than we have calculated on.” Lit. “many times over that sum.”
70 Or, “tax.” See below, S. 49; for the whole matter see Thuc. vii. 27, vi. 91; Xen. “Mem.” III. vi. 12, in reference to B.C. 413, when Decelea had been fortified. As to the wholesale desertion of slaves, “more than twenty thousand slaves had deserted, many of them artisans,” according to Thucydides.
71 Or, “the days of Decelea.” Lit. “the incidents of Decelea.”
72 I.e. “of their working since mining began.”
73 Lit. “are just the same today as our forefathers recollected them to be in their time.”
74 Or, “whether the tracts already explored or those not yet opened are the more prolific.”
75 Or, “I have a plan to make the opening of new cuttings as safe as possible.”
76 “To form similar joint-stock companies.”
77 See “Cyneg.” v. 5.
78 Or, “deriving strength from combination.”
80 Reading ekphoresousi, after Cobet.
81 Or, “sinking fund.”
82 athrooi —“in a body.” It is a military phrase, I think. In close order, as it were, not in detachments.
83 “According to our ability,” a favourite Socratic phrase.
84 authis. See for this corrupt passage Zurborg, “Comm.” p. 31. He would insert, “and a little delay will not be prejudicial to our interests, but rather the contrary,” or to that effect, thus: kai authis an [anutoimen ou gar toiaute te anabole blaben genesthai an] emin oiometha “vel simile aliquid.”
85 Or, “it is we who must bear the whole burthen of the outlay.”
86 outos, “so far, unless I am mistaken, the easiest method is the best.”
87 Or, “heavy contributions, subscriptions incidental to,” but the word eisphoras is technical. For the exhaustion of the treasury see Dem. “Lept.” 464; Grote, “H. G.“xi. 326.
88 Or, “you will not be able to subscribe a single penny more.”
89 umeis de, you are masters of the situation. It lies with you to carry on, etc.; dioikeite is of course imperative.
90 Or, “taxes.”
91 Reading, after Zurborg, dia ta ellimenia. Or, if the vulg. dia en limeni, transl. “an augmentation of market dues at Piraeus.”
92 I.e. as fixed capital, or, “you should expend on plant.”
93 Or, adopting Zurborg’s emend, os an pleista eggignetai, transl. “for the purposes of the present scheme as far as it may be available.”
94 Or, “the proposed organisation.”
95 See ch. ii. above.
96 Or, reading en te pros mesembrian thalatte, “on the southern Sea.” For Anaphlystus see “Hell.” I. ii. 1; “Mem.” III. v. 25. It was Eubulus’s deme, the leading statesman at this date.
97 Lit. “60 stades.”
98 The passage sunekoi t an erga, etc., is probably corrupt. Ta erga seems to mean “the operatives;” cf. Latin “operae.” Others take it of “the works themselves.” Possibly it may refer to military works connecting the three fortresses named. “There might be a system of converging (works or) lines drawn to a single point from all the fortresses, and at the first sign of any thing hostile,” etc.
99 I.e. “they might as well try to carry off so many tons of stone.”
100 Lit. “500 stades.”
101 Lit. “more than 600 stades.”
102 The peripoloi, or horse patrol to guard the frontier. See Thuc. iv. 57, viii. 92; Arist. “Birds,“ii. 76. Young Athenians between eighteen and twenty were eligible for the service.
103 Or, “for the very object of the contest.” The construction is in any case unusual. peri on agonizontai = peri touton oi. Zurborg suggests peri ton agonizomenon.
104 I adopt Zurborg’s correction, prosphora for eisphora, as obviously right. See above, iv. 23.
105 I follow Zurborg in omitting e. If e is to stand, transl. “than they get whilst supplied by the gymnasiarch in the torch race,” or “whilst exercising the office of gymnasiarchs themselves.” See “Pol. Ath.” i. 13.
106 “State aid.”
107 Or, “to set these several sources of revenue flowing in full stream.”
108 Cf. “a policy of peace at any price,” or, “by persisting for any length of time in the enjoyment of peace.”
109 kai outoi ge. The speaker waves his hand to the quarter of the house where the anti-peace party is seated.
110 After Zurborg, I omit oukh oi eduoinoi.
111 Reading kai ap arguriou, with Zurborg.
112 Lit. “Sophists.” See Grote, “H. G.” viii. lxvii. note, p. 497.
113 E.g. chorus-trainers, musicians, grammarians, rhapsodists, and actors.
114 Or, “sacred and profane.”
115 Lit. “her hegemony for the city,” B.C. 476.
116 “And first of all.”
117 See Thuc. i. 96.
118 B.C. 378. Second confederacy of Delos. See Grote, “H. G.” x. 152.
119 B.C. 375. Cf. “Hell.” V. iv. 62; Grote, “H. G.” x. 139; Isocr. “Or.” xiv. 20; Diod. Sic. xv. 29.
120 B.C. 369 (al. B.C. 368). Cf. “Hell.” VII. i. 14.
121 See “Hell.“VII. v. 27.
123 See Thuc. v. 18, clause 2 of the Treaty of Peace, B.C. 422-421.
124 Reading, with Zurborg, peironto. Or, if the vulgate epeironto, transl. “against those who sought to step.”
125 Reading epanoskopoin.
126 Or, “But the moment peace has been restored.”
127 Reading, after Cobet, ei medena uparkhoimen adikountes. Or, if the vulgate ei medena parakhoimen adikounta, transl. “if we can show complete innocence on our own side.”
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