Sunday, July 05, 2015

2211 : If

I was reading a book and chanced about the Spartan response "If". I found it metaphorically and poetically very profound.

I could not find this story on the net easily, but found this here. Have cut paste part of the story that is relevant.

From http://www.harecoded.com/spartans-and-their-laconic-phrases-96348

---------------------the relevant part-----------------

The Spartans were especially famous for their dry wit, which we now know as "laconic humour" after the region and its people. This can be contrasted with the "Attic salt" or "Attic wit", the refined, poignant, delicate humour of Sparta's rival Athens. In modern parlance, "laconic" is used to describe speech and writing which uses few words and is terse and concise. One famous example comes from the time of the invasion of Philip IIof Macedon. With key Greek city-states in submission, he turned his attention to Sparta and sent a message: "You are advised 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." The Spartans sent back a one word reply: "If". Subsequently, both Philip and Alexander would avoid Sparta entirely.

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