The whole story portrays a dialogue between the Malians’ and Athenians ambassadors who were on a verge of war with each other and the representatives sent by the Athenian (an apparently strong figure of war) gathered the Melian hot heads of the state on the negotiation forum…
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Before this, the Athenians already had invaded an island Argos with a considerable amount of army and arrested their 300 men. Melos, like all the other islanders had refused the submissiveness towards the Athenians hence resulting in the revulsion from the Athenians empire. They were also offended by the Melian’s supportive towards the Sparta. They surrounded the Melos Island and before the attack they offered their options for the Melos, that if they surrender, then there should be no fight and the Athenians will not behead their men, and will bestow their and their loved ones’ lives. Athenian stated that they have ruled the place for so many years and they have the right to conquer and as Melian have never harmed them that’s why they are offering this great treaty of submission. Melians, unlike the Athenian representatives took a defensive stance towards the argument and asked another possibility of being a neutral friend between the Athenians and the Sparta. Athenian refused it, and said that their men think that as they were the warriors, it is their right to conquer the inferiors and subjugate others and if not done so, this will be considered as an act of shame and disgrace. Melians retorted by saying that, with such Athenian’s attitude, it reflects that any piece of land refuting the submission towards the Athenians would equivocally become the same as the Athenians as they refuse the Athenian’s governance over them. Then the discussion of God’s help flared up and with this Melian made their point that whatever the case may it is impossible for them to submit themselves, and give up the independence their men and women possessed for 700 years as this will be considered as the act of disgrace and shame from their side.
They believed that their gods will bless them with success and often in a fight the chances of weak side depends upon the odds and the battle plan as well. Athenian representatives riposted that they appreciate
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(Summary of Thucydides, The Melian Dialog. Summary of Machiavelli, Essay)
“Summary of Thucydides, The Melian Dialog. Summary of Machiavelli, Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1623505-summary-of-thucydides-the-melian-dialog-summary-of-machiavelli-chapter-18-of-the-prince.
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