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The Old Man and the Olympian Games

 

The Spartans, the bravest of all the tribes that peopled ancient Greece, were renowned among the nations of antiquity for their reverence for old age. No young Spartan would keep his seat if an old man was standing near. It happened once at the Olympian games, in which all Greece took part, that an elderly gentleman could not find a place to sit. He wandered about the amphitheater, but no one would give up his seat to him. But when he came to where the Spartans were seated, all the young men stood up and respectfully made room for him. Thereupon the old man said: “All Greeks know what virtue is; the Spartans alone practice it.”

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