THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS
those who with good reason entertain high thoughts, and who justly dispute the supremacy and who often make mention of their hereditary rights, should prove the origin of their race to be of this nature.
The advantages, then, which we possessed from the beginning, and which were bestowed upon us by fortune, are so great in magnitude; but of how great advantages we have been the cause to the rest we should thus best investigate, if we should go through in detail the time from the commencement, and the exploits of the State in succession; for we shall find that she not only [delivered us] from the dangers in respect of war, but also is the cause of that established order besides in which we dwell and with which we live as free citizens, and by means of which we are able to live.
Of the wars, indeed, the Persian was the most famous; the old achievements, however, are not less strong proofs for those who dispute about hereditary institutions. For when Greece was still in a lowly condition, the Thracians indeed came to our land with Eumolpus the son of Poseidon, and the Scythians with the Amazons the daughters of Mars, not at the same time, but at the time when each of them were rulers of Europe, hating, indeed, the whole race of the Greeks, but making charges against us separately, thinking that by this line of conduct they would incur danger against one state indeed, but would at the same time conquer all.