“My too brave son, thy courage will destroy Thee,”{14}{hom. Il. 6:409.}

some one may say with reference to such persons. (113) However is the death of such combatants glorious when it is encountered for the sake of some wild olives and parsley-leaves, and must it not be much more so when endured for the sake of freedom, the love of which, if one must tell the plain truth, is firmly established in the soul alone, as if it were some extraordinary portion of it firmly united with it, which if it were cut off the whole composition of the man must necessarily be destroyed? (114) The indomitable spirit of a Lacedaemonian boy, whether derived from his birth or from nature, is celebrated, in which nation they are accustomed to hunt carefully for the virtues; for when he had been carried off as a prisoner by some one of the soldiers of Antigonus, he submitted to whatever was put upon him which became a free man, but refused to submit to menial offices, saying that he was not going to be a slave; and yet by reason of his age he could not as yet have been thoroughly educated in the laws of Lycurgus, because he had only tasted them, but he judged a violent death preferable to the life which was before him, and, despairing of any deliverance, he cheerfully slew himself. (115) It is also related that some Dardanian women who had been taken prisoners by the Macedonians, looking upon slavery as the most disgraceful of all evils, threw their children, whom they were carrying in their bosoms, into the deepest part of the river, saying at the same time, “At all events you shall not be slaves, but, before you can begin to experience such a miserable life, you shall cut off all such necessity, and travel in freedom the inevitable and last road of human existence.” (116) Again, the tragedian, Euripides, introduces Polyxena disregarding death, and thinking only of freedom, on which account she speaks in the following manner: