In Herodotus' royal council scene, where Xerxes decides whether or not to punish the Greeks, the king's cousin and adviser Mardonius is made to say these famous lines (Hdt. 7.9β.1):
καίτοι [γε] ἐώθασι Ἕλληνες, ὡς πυνθάνομαι, ἀβουλότατα πολέμους ἵστασθαι ὑπό τε ἀγνωμοσύνης καὶ σκαιότητος. ἐπεὰν γὰρ ἀλλήλοισι πόλεμον προείπωσι, ἐξευρόντες τὸ κάλλιστον χωρίον καὶ λειότατον, ἐς τοῦτο κατιόντες μάχονται, ὥστε σὺν κακῷ μεγάλῳ οἱ νικῶντες ἀπαλλάσσονται· περὶ δὲ τῶν ἑσσουμένων οὐδὲ λέγω ἀρχήν, ἐξώλεες γὰρ δὴ γίνονται.
Yet, the Greeks do wage war, I hear, and they do so senselessly, in their poor judgement and stupidity. When they have declared war against each other, they find the finest, flattest piece of land and go down there and fight, so that the victors come off with terrible loss—I will not even begin to speak of the defeated, for they are utterly destroyed.