After the Battle of Leuctra, many Spartan soldiers returned to Sparta who had thrown down their shield in battle, and were therefore, according to the laws, supposed to lose their citizenship.  So many had done so, though, that to enforce the law would have depopulated the Spartan citizenry.  King Agesilaus thought long and hard about a way out of this conundrum, and finally came to the following answer.  He called the citizens together and spoke thusly, saying that Sparta’s laws were fine indeed, and that they would be followed…tomorrow, and for today, the law was ignored, preserving both the citizenry and the constitution of Sparta.


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