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Thucydides
0455 - 0400

Author of The History of the Peloponnesian War (c. 413 BC)


War is an evil thing; but to submit to the dictation of other states is worse.... Freedom, if we hold fast to it, will ultimately restore our losses, but submission will mean permanent loss of all that we value.... To you who call yourselves men of peace, I say: You are not safe unless you have men of action on your side.

c. 413 BC - from The History of the Peloponnesian War
As the revolutionary spirit grew in intensity, men surpassed their predecessors in the ingenuity of their plots and the brutality of their revenge. Words no longer meant what they had before, but were distorted to serve personal and party purposes; recklessness was called loyal courage; prudent delay, cowardice; restraint, weakness of will; frantic energy, true manliness. The ties of party were stronger than those of family, because a partisan would act without daring to ask why. No agreements were binding if there was opportunity of breaking them successfully.

c. 413 BC - from The History of the Peloponnesian War