Quote of the day–Spartan ephor

If.

Spartan ephor
Via the Wikipedia entry on Laconic phrase. This must be the ultimate example.

Direct quote from Wikipedia:

From the time of the invasion of Philip II of Macedon. With key Greek city-states in submission, he turned his attention to Sparta and sent a message: “If I win this war, you will be slaves forever.” In another version, Philip proclaims: “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.” The Spartan ephors sent back a one word reply: “If.”[17] Subsequently, both Philip and Alexander would avoid Sparta entirely.

[Very cool.–Joe]