Fighting On Foreign Soil is Nothing Like Defending Your Own Land (Aeneas the Tactician, Introduction)

[This is from the fragmentary “How It is Right to Defend A Besieged City”]

“Should some calamity occur on land or sea when men set out from their own land to meet danger or struggles, the survivors still may return to their home country, their city and fatherland—they are not completely destroyed. But for those who risk danger for the most important things—shrines, fatherland, children, parents and everyone else—the struggle is not equivalent or even similar. If they save themselves by defending nobly against their enemy, then their antagonists are more fearful and dissuaded for some time, but if they perform badly in the face of danger then no hope of safety remains.”

῞Οσοις τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐκ τῆς αὑτῶν ὁρμωμένοις χώρας ὑπερόριοί τε ἀγῶνες καὶ κίνδυνοι συμβαίνουσιν, ἄν τι σφάλμα γένηται κατὰ γῆν ἢ κατὰ θάλασσαν, ὑπολείπεται τοῖς περιγιγνομένοις αὐτῶν οἰκεία τε χώρα καὶ πόλις καὶ πατρίς, ὥστε οὐκ ἂν ἄρδην πάντες ἀναιρεθείησαν. Τοῖς δὲ ὑπὲρ τῶν μεγίστων μέλλουσι κινδυνεύειν, ἱερῶν καὶ πατρίδος καὶ γονέων καὶ τέκνων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων, οὐκ ἴσος οὐδὲ ὅμοιος ἀγών ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ σωθεῖσι μὲν καὶ καλῶς ἀμυναμένοις τοὺς πολεμίους φοβεροὺς τοῖς ἐναντίοις καὶ δυσεπιθέτους εἰς τὸν λοιπὸν χρόνον εἶναι, κακῶς δὲ προσενεχθεῖσι πρὸς τοὺς κινδύνους οὐδεμία ἐλπὶς σωτηρίας ὑπάρξει.

Aeneas the Tactician?

Xenophon, Apology of Socrates 1.5-7: This Philosopher is Ready to Die.

“Do you really find it shocking if it seems better to the god that I die now? Don’t you know that before today I would never agree that any man has lived better than I have? This is the greatest pleasure, to know that my entire life has been lived righteously and justly. For this reason I have regarded myself well and I have found that those who know me feel the same way. Now, if this age were to proceed, I know that I would have to pay the price of old age: that my vision would be worse, my hearing weaker and I would be poor at learning and, worse, more forgetful of the things I have learned. If I sense myself becoming worse and I fault myself for it, how would I be able to live well? Perhaps, as an act of kindness, the god is granting that I end my life not just at the right age, but also in the easiest manner.”

῏Η θαυμαστὸν νομίζεις εἰ καὶ τῷ θεῷ δοκεῖ ἐμὲ βέλτιον εἶναι ἤδη τελευτᾶν; οὐκ οἶσθα ὅτι μέχρι μὲν τοῦδε οὐδενὶ ἀνθρώπων ὑφείμην βέλτιον ἐμοῦ βεβιωκέναι; ὅπερ γὰρ ἥδιστόν ἐστιν, ᾔδειν ὁσίως μοι καὶ δικαίως ἅπαντα τὸν βίον βεβιωμένον• ὥστε ἰσχυρῶς ἀγάμενος ἐμαυτὸν ταὐτὰ ηὕρισκον καὶ τοὺς ἐμοὶ συγγιγνομένους γιγνώσκοντας περὶ ἐμοῦ. νῦν δὲ εἰ ἔτι προβήσεται ἡ ἡλικία, οἶδ’ ὅτι ἀνάγκη ἔσται τὰ τοῦ γήρως ἐπιτελεῖσθαι καὶ ὁρᾶν τε χεῖρον καὶ ἀκούειν ἧττον καὶ δυσμαθέστερον εἶναι καὶ ὧν ἔμαθον ἐπιλησμονέστερον. ἂν δὲ αἰσθάνωμαι χείρων γιγνόμενος καὶ καταμέμφωμαι ἐμαυτόν, πῶς ἄν, εἰπεῖν, ἐγὼ ἔτι ἂν ἡδέως βιοτεύοιμι; ἴσως δέ τοι, φάναι αὐτόν, καὶ ὁ θεὸς δι’ εὐμένειαν προξενεῖ μοι οὐ μόνον τὸ ἐν καιρῷ τῆς ἡλικίας καταλῦσαι τὸν βίον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ ᾗ ῥᾷστα.

Given the content of this speech, I am not quite sure Xenophon is doing Socrates many favors…But, perhaps Socrates was really ready to die.