Spartan Reply

Having subdued (or formed alliances with) all of the other major Greek city-states, Philip II (the father of Alexander the Great) finally turned his attention to Lacedaemon, home of the recalcitrant Spartans (from whom the word 'laconic' derives). "You are advised," he warned, "to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Philip soon received the enemy's reply: "If."

[Philip, well aware of the Spartans's military prowess and incomparable discipline, wisely elected to leave them alone.]

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