IN 200 B.C.

"Alexander of Philip, and the Greeks without Lacedaemonians--"


We would be quite correct if we assumed
that nobody gave any thought at Sparta
to this inscription. "Without Lacedaemonians"
was understood. There were no Spartans there
to guide them and to order them about
as valued servants. Then again,
a Panhellenic expedition, if without
a Spartan king to lead it on,
would hardly seem of permanent significance.
Ah yes, of course, "without Lacedaemonians".


This is a point of view. One understands it well.


And thus: Without Lacedaemonians first at Granicus; or
at Issus, later on; or at the final battle, where
was swept away the dread array
that at Arbela by the Persians was amassed--
that from Arbela marched for victory, but soon was swept away.


Now, out of this amazing panhellenic drive,
victorious ever, and magnificent,
so highly praised, in glory crowned
in ways no other had been glorified,
and most incomparably so, we are now raised,
a new Hellenic world, supremely great.


We all--the Alexandrians, the Antiochians,
the Seleucidians, the numerous
remaining Greeks of Egypt and of Syria,
and those in Media, in Persis, and the rest--
amid extensive commonwealths,
amid the divers influences of well-thought-out relationships,
and we brought Greek, our Common Tongue,
right up to Bactria, and to the Indians as well.


So why waste words on the Lacedaemonians!

Go BackReturn to home page