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TIL Philip of Macedon sent a message to Sparta saying, “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army on your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people and raze your city.” Sparta replied “If”. Neither Philip nor Alexander the Great ever attacked Sparta(r/todayilearned)
This was really less about the Spartans wanting to taunt Philip and more about their way of speaking in general. Laconic speech, at the time at least, was short and to the point, with no wasted effort but a lot of thought and deliberation concerning words to be used.
Plutarch lays down the finer points of Spartan (Read: Laconic) speech in his Life of Lycurgus, which is a historical narrative of the life of the man-god Lycurgus who founded the Spartan city-state.
“The boys were also taught to speak in a way which was brusque but elegant, and which contained a great deal of food for thought in a few words… a simple short sentence had to convey a great deal of subtle meaning. He turned out boys with the ability, trained by long periods of silence, of giving pointed, honed responses.”
So while this one instance is a good indicator of a decent, “fuck you” response, in reality there are a good number of equally as short and offensive statements made by Spartans throughout their reign as the most powerful of the Greek city states.
Unfortunately, this one was uttered after Sparta had already conceded its position in the region as the most powerful city state to Thebes, having lost the battle at Leuctra to them in 371 BCE.
Edit: For posterity, the reference that I’m using here is Greek Lives by Plutarch, as translated by Robin Waterfield. The Google Book preview has the entire “Life of Lycurgus” viewable online, but I am unsure of the other “Life of” stories.
Edit 2: If you’d like to read more on Sparta, Athens, the Greco-Persian War, etc. I’ve suggested these two books in addition to the one linked previously:
The Landmark Herodotus’ “The Histories” is another one I’d recommend. Herodotus is a bit more dry than Plutarch, but a big reason is he’s not giving personalized narratives concerning lives, and instead is giving in depth historical accounts of the Greco-Persian Wars.
And if you’d like to get really dry, pick up Raphael Sealey’s A History of the Greek City States 700-338 B.C. This one was the hardest for me to read, but really gives you the most historical depth in relation to what modern discoveries we’ve made concerning the works of the previously mentioned authors and other ancient scribes of the time.