How wars end

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After more than hundred years of fighting, the Hellenic city-states were no better off than at any other time. Xenophon nicely summarizes this in Hellenica:

“The effective result of these achievements was the very opposite of that which the world at large anticipated. Here, where well-nigh the whole of Hellas was met together in one field, and the combatants stood rank against rank confronted, there was no one doubted that, in the event of battle, the conquerors would this day rule; and that those who lost would be their subjects. But God so ordered it that both belligerents alike set up trophies as claiming victory, and neither interfered with the other in the act. Both parties alike gave back their enemy’s dead under a truce, and in right of victory; both alike, in symbol of defeat, under a truce took back their dead.And though both claimed to have won the day, neither could show that he had thereby gained any accession of territory, or state, or empire, or was better situated than before the battle. Uncertainty and confusion, indeed, had gained ground, being tenfold greater throughout the length and breadth of Hellas after the battle than before.”

Xenophon, Hellenica, translation by H.G. Dakyns

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Knowledge architect, futurist, enthusiast of new technologies and innovations, avid reader

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