Ausonius, Epigrams 23
An oft-repeated anecdote showing the warlike nature of the Spartans, as well as illustrating their ‘laconic’ manner of speaking.
mater Lacaena clipeo obarmans filium
‘cum hoc,’ inquit, ‘aut in hoc redi.’
As she was arming her son with his shield, the Spartan mother said, ‘Come home either with this or on it.’