Ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐδ’ ἐπὶ ἀδύνατον ἀμύνεσθαι οὕτω πόλιν ἐρχόμεθα, ἀλλὰ τοῖς πᾶσιν ἄριστα παρεσκευασμένην, ὥστε χρὴ καὶ πάνυ ἐλπίζειν διὰ μάχης ἰέναι αὐτούς, εἰ μὴ καὶ νῦν ὥρμηνται ἐν ᾧ οὔπω πάρεσμεν, ἀλλ’ ὅταν ἐν τῇ γῇ ὁρῶσιν ἡμᾶς δῃοῦντάς τε καὶ τἀκείνων φθείροντας. πᾶσι γὰρ ἐν τοῖς ὄμμασι καὶ ἐν τῷ παραυτίκα ὁρᾶν πάσχοντάς τι ἄηθες ὀργὴ προσπίπτει· καὶ οἱ λογισμῷ ἐλάχιστα χρώμενοι θυμῷ πλεῖστα ἐς ἔργον καθίστανται. Ἀθηναίους δὲ καὶ πλέον τι τῶν ἄλλων εἰκὸς τοῦτο δρᾶσαι, οἳ ἄρχειν τε τῶν
ἄλλων ἀξιοῦσι καὶ ἐπιόντες τὴν τῶν πέλας δῃοῦν μᾶλλον ἢ τὴν αὑτῶν ὁρᾶν. ὡς οὖν ἐπὶ τοσαύτην πόλιν στρατεύοντες καὶ μεγίστην δόξαν οἰσόμενοι τοῖς τε προγόνοις καὶ ἡμῖν
αὐτοῖς ἐπ’ ἀμφότερα ἐκ τῶν ἀποβαινόντων, ἕπεσθ’ ὅπῃ ἄν τις ἡγῆται, κόσμον καὶ φυλακὴν περὶ παντὸς ποιούμενοι καὶ τὰ παραγγελλόμενα ὀξέως δεχόμενοι· κάλλιστον γὰρ τόδε καὶ ἀσφαλέστατον, πολλοὺς ὄντας ἑνὶ κόσμῳ χρωμένους φαίνεσθαι.
(Thucydides, Hist. 2.11.6-9)
The city we are coming against is far from incapable of defending itself. It is supremely equipped in every way, so we must have every expectation that they will engage us in battle. Even if they are not already deployed pending our arrival, they will surely deploy when they see us in their territory, ravaging their land and destroying their property. Anger enters all men when they have in front of their own eyes the immediate sight of damage they have never seen before: and when reason retreats passion advances as the determinant of action. This is more likely to happen with the Athenians than with any others, since they presume the right to empire and expect to invade and ravage others’ territory rather than see it done to their own. Remember, then, that we are fighting a great city; and remember that on the result depends, for good or ill, the ultimate reputation we shall bring on our ancestors and ourselves. So follow your leaders; make discipline and security your absolute priorities; and be quick to respond to orders. Best and safest is when a large army is seen as a single disciplined body. (tr. Martin Hammond)