Thucydides’ History, Book 6

Nicias continues his speech here, and for a few more chapters.

Chapter 10

“For I say that although you left many enemies behind here to sail there, you desire to bring more again upon yourselves here. And perhaps you think that the treaty made with you is firm, but it is a treaty which, while you keep your peace, exists in name1 (for thusly both men from here did these things and also those on the other side), but should we be thrown down anywhere by a worthy power, the attempt our enemies make against us will be swift, enemies for whom this arrangement was first made under compulsion due to disasters and from a cause more shameful for them than for us, and further, in the thing itself, we have much that is the subject of dispute. There are those to this day who do not welcome this agreement, nor are they the weakest ; some openly make war, while others, because the Lacedaimonians also keep their peace, are themselves also restrained by the ten-day treaties. Quite possibly, if they caught us with our power divided, the very end for which we are now eager, they would by all means join in attack with the Sikeliots2, whom they valued before many to have as allies in an earlier time. Such that someone must examine these things, and he must not consent to endanger the city, held in the balance, nor deem it worthy to reach for another rule until we have secured what we have, if those Chalkidans at Thrace, for one, who have rebelled against us for so many years still remain unsubdued, then certain others also, all across the mainlands, would heed us but doubtfully. We are coming quickly to the aid of our Egestaioi allies for being wronged : but by those whom we are ourselves wronged, having so long ago rebelled, we still waver to punish.”

1. That is to say, no friendly sentiment lies behind the treaty.
2. The Sikeliots refer to the Hellenes who live in Sicily.

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