IF

King Philip II of Macedon conquered almost all of mainland Greece, except for Sparta, who, despite their greatly decreased power from their height after the Peloponnesian War, still possessed a martial reputation and their historical independent spirit.  Wanting to conquer them without a fight, he sent to the ephors the following message: “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your lands, I will burn your farms, slay your people, and raze your villages.”  To which the Spartans replied, “If.”

King Philip let them be.

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