The 's Speech Of Archidamus

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It is remarkable how timeless the Speech of Archidamus is. One could easily imagine the Spartan King were speaking to a modern occupied territory, itching for a revolt. King Archidamus urges the Spartans to head caution when entering war with Athens. He has “seen too many wars” [pg 25, 80] The battles he has witnessed in his lifetime have swayed him of any naive fascination with war. He has learned that violence begets violence, so one should only enter a battle they are prepared to win. Archidamus explains that Athens is stronger in terms of wealth, military might and political power. If the Spartans take the offensive route under these circumstances, they will surely loose both in combat and in terms of public relations. [pg 26, 81] Furthermore, Archidamus explains later that Athens had agreed to mediation, making any fight that Sparta were to start an unlawful preemptive attack. [pg 28, 85] The King assures his people he is not blind to their suffering, he just envisions better ways of ending it. [pg 26, 82] One of these methods would be to create partnerships with other nations who would lend armed forces and capital to the cause. To be done in tandem with confederation would be the accumulation of Sparta’s assets. Archidamus predicts that under these circumstances, Athens could be motivated to surrender. Under the very different circumstances from which he is speaking, the King pushes to avoid war at all costs citing that “complaints can be resolved, whether they are
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