Speech of Archidamus (1.80-1.85)

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The book “On justice, power and human nature” by writer Woodruff, examines the history of the Peloponnesian war as well as exploring the actions of the political government. His analysis carries various speeches from important figures that were present during the war. In the speech of Archidamus, Thucydides expresses what the king conveyed to the attendees in the congress of Sparta. I will argue how the speech of Archidamus expresses that being unprepared and to charge against the high resourceful Athenian population would be unwise, harmful and dangerous. His decision for expressing these words is mainly based on historical facts. King Archidamus claims that if their unprepared population decides to ignore these facts, it will bring a greater harm to their population. In contrast, their foe, the Athenians have access to a variety of essential resources such as, a strong navy and their numerous tax-paying allies allows them to achieve a higher chance of victory at war. (1.80). Therefrom, due to these important facts, the wise king Archidamus strongly encourages their population to postpone their attack and to prepare their army instead. In preparation for their postponed war, the Spartans must gather new allies and new resources. By doing so, they will establish a better position in countering their Athenians foes. (1.82) Moreover, King Archidamus argues that to abstain their attack and act cautious is not an act of cowardice, but an act of bravery. He agrees that they’re indeed slow, but their action is nothing but self control. He says “This slowness of ours is really nothing but a clear headed self control.” (1.84). This expressive statement from the wise king means that by taking their time is not because they’re cowards, rather they’re controlling themselves from making an irrational action due to bad judgment. Thus, the act of courage is the abstinence
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