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Peacemakers (before the sermon on the mount)

July 30, 2016

Men, Spartans:

In your foreign post, I am not alone. Father to father to father it’s been held, given to generations.

I wish to make this clear to you all also. The City State holds all of us to this final goal. Yes, when there is war, she has had to raise us up as generals. Still, when longing for calm, she sends us out as peacemakers.

I myself have twice already traveled for her to destroy war. In each of these two ancient assignments I have acted effectively. And this is for you all, also for you all, for peace.

Still, now this third time I’m travelling, leading out for full social justice now should dialogue be achieved.

ὦ ἄνδρες Λακεδαιμόνιοι,

τὴν μὲν προξενίαν ὑμῶν οὐκ ἐγὼ μόνος, ἀλλὰ καὶ πατρὸς πατὴρ πατρῴαν ἔχων παρεδίδου τῷ γένει.

βούλομαι δὲ καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν δηλῶσαι, ὡς ἔχουσα ἡ πόλις διατελεῖ πρὸς ἡμᾶς. ἐκείνη γάρ, ὅταν μὲν πόλεμος ᾖ, στρατηγοὺς ἡμᾶς αἱρεῖται, ὅταν δὲ ἡσυχίας ἐπιθυμήσῃ, εἰρηνοποιοὺς ἡμᾶς ἐκπέμπει.

κἀγὼ πρόσθεν δὶς ἤδη ἦλθον περὶ πολέμου καταλύσεως, καὶ ἐν ἀμφοτέραις ταῖς πρεσβείαις διεπραξάμην καὶ ὑμῖν καὶ ἡμῖν εἰρήνην:

νῦν δὲ τρίτον ἥκω, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πολὺ δικαιότατα νῦν ἂν διαλλαγῆς τυχεῖν.

Xenophon, Hellenica (6.3.4) with English translation by J. K. Gayle

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