(tr H.G. Dakyns)
state, have an air of inflicting various disabilities on the resident aliens. And I would further relieve them from the obligation of serving as hoplites side by side with the citizen proper; since, beside the personal risk, which is great, the trouble of quitting trades and homesteads is no trifle. Incidentally the state itself would benefit by this exemption, if the citizens were more in the habit of campaigning with one another, rather than shoulder to shoulder with Lydians, Phrygians, Syrians, and barbarians from all quarters of the world, who form the staple of our resident alien class. Besides the advantage [of so weeding the ranks], it would add a positive lustre to our city, were it admitted that the men of Athens, her sons, have reliance on themselves rather than on foreigners to fight her battles. And further, supposing we offered our resident aliens a share in various other honourable duties, including the cavalry service, I shall be surprised if we do not increase the goodwill of t
This appears to be a political address to reinvigorate Athenian public finances following their utter defeat at the hands of the Spartans. Reading this gives me the impression that Xenophon may not be quite right in the head. He’s a clear writer; there’s no doubt about it. He’s recommending that Athens buy tens of thousands of slaves and force them to work in the silver mines. Surely they’d be better off freeing the slaves and at a stroke create a huge consumer market? I like Xenophon but he really could be a muppet at times. Highly recommended as an insight into ancient Athens.
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