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

Archidamus III.

  • [King of Sparta; resisted successfully the attack of Epaminondas, 362 B.C.; ascended the throne, 361; having passed over to Sicily to aid the Tarentines, was killed in battle, 328.]
  • If you measure your shadow, you will find it no greater than before the victory.

  • To Philip of Macedon, who sent him a haughty letter after the battle of Chæronea.—PLUTARCH: Laconic Apothegms.
  • When asked how much land the Spartans possessed, he replied, “As much as their spears reach.”—Ibid.
  • Periander was a skilful physician, but wrote very bad poems, which caused the king to say to him, “Why, Periander, instead of a good physician, are you eager to be called a bad poet?”—Ibid.
  • The allies were consulting together in regard to the amount of treasure necessary to carry on the Peloponnesian War, and how they should raise it. Archidamus thought the discussion futile. “War,” he said, “cannot be put on a certain allowance;” or, as Plutarch also gives it in his “Apothegms of Kings and Great Commanders,” “War has a very irregular appetite.”
  • When he saw for the first time a dart shot out of an engine brought from Sicily, he exclaimed, thinking the fashion of war would be thereby changed, “Good God! true valor is gone forever!”—Laconic Apothegms.