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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Agis II.

  • [King of Sparta, 427 B.C.; defeated the Athenians and their allies at Mantinea, about 414; died 399.]
  • The Spartans do not inquire how many the enemy are, but where they are.

  • PLUTARCH: Laconic Apothegms. Being asked what was chiefly learned at Sparta, he replied, “To know how to govern, and to be governed.”—Ibid.
  • He said to an orator who asserted that speech was the best thing, “You, then, when you are silent, are worth nothing.”—Ibid.
  • Agis IV., called by Plutarch “the younger,” king of Sparta 244–240 B.C., replied to the jeer of an Athenian at the Lacedæmonian short-swords, “The jugglers would easily swallow them,” by saying, “And yet we can reach our enemies’ hearts with them.”—Apothegms of Kings and Great Commanders.