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Thucydides

ἑαυτῶν ἀπολείποντες, βιαζόμενοι ὑπό τινων αἰεὶ 2πλειόνων. τῆς γὰρ ἐμπορίας οὐκ οὔσης οὐδ᾿ ἐπιμιγνύντες ἀδεῶς ἀλλήλοις οὔτε κατὰ γῆν οὔτε διὰ θαλάσσης, νεμόμενοί τε τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἕκαστοι ὅσον ἀποζῆν καὶ περιουσίαν χρημάτων οὐκ ἔχοντες οὐδὲ γῆν φυτεύοντες, ἄδηλον ὂν ὁπότε τις ἐπελθών, καὶ ἀτειχίστων ἅμα ὄντων, ἄλλος ἀφαιρήσεται, τῆς τε καθ᾿ ἡμέραν ἀναγκαίου τροφῆς πανταχοῦ ἂν ἡγούμενοι ἐπικρατεῖν οὐ χαλεπῶς ἀπανίσταντο, καὶ δι᾿ αὐτὸ οὔτε μεγέθει πόλεων 3ἴσχυον οὔτε τῇ ἄλλῃ παρασκευῇ. μάλιστα δὲ τῆς γῆς ἡ ἀρίστη αἰεὶ τὰς μεταβολὰς τῶν οἰκητόρων εἶχεν, ἥ τε νῦν Θεσσαλία καλουμένη καὶ Βοιωτία Πελοποννήσου τε τὰ πολλὰ πλὴν Ἀρκαδίας 4τῆς τε ἄλλης ὅσα ἦν κράτιστα. διὰ γὰρ ἀρετὴν γῆς αἵ τε δυνάμεις τισὶ μείζους ἐγγιγνόμεναι στάσεις ἐνεποίουν ἐξ ὧν ἐφθείροντο, καὶ 5ἅμα ὑπὸ ἀλλοφύλων μᾶλλον ἐπεβουλεύοντο. τὴν γοῦν Ἀττικὴν ἐκ τοῦ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον διὰ τὸ λεπτόγεων ἀστασίαστον οὖσαν ἄνθρωποι ᾤκουν οἱ 6αὐτοὶ αἰεί. καὶ παράδειγμα τόδε τοῦ λόγου οὐκ ἐλάχιστόν ἐστι διὰ τὰς μετοικήσεις1 τὰ ἄλλα μὴ ὁμοίως αὐξηθῆναι· ἐκ γὰρ τῆς ἄλλης Ἑλλάδος οἱ πολέμῳ ἢ στάσει ἐκπίπτοντες παρ᾿ Ἀθηναίους οἱ δυνατώτατοι ὡς βέβαιον ὂν ἀνεχώρουν, καὶ πολῖται γιγνόμενοι εὐθὺς ἀπὸ παλαιοῦ μείζω ἔτι

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Book I

forced to do so by any people that was more numerous. For there was no mercantile traffic and the people did not mingle with one another without fear, either on land or by sea, and they each tilled their own land only enough to obtain a livelihood from it, having no surplus of wealth and not planting orchards, since it was uncertain, especially as they were yet without walls, when some invader might come and despoil them. And so, thinking that they could obtain anywhere the sustenance required for their daily needs, they found it easy to change their abodes, and for this reason were not strong as regards either the size of their cities or their resources in general. And it was always the best of the land that was most subject to these changes of inhabitants—the districts now called Thessaly and Boeotia, most of the Peloponnesus except Arcadia, and the most fertile regions in the rest of Hellas. For the greater power that accrued to some communities on account of the fertility of their land occasioned internal quarrels whereby they were ruined, and at the same time these were more exposed to plots from outside tribes. Attica, at any rate, was free from internal quarrels from the earliest times by reason of the thinness of its soil, and therefore was inhabited by the same people always. And here is an excellent illustration of the truth of my statement that it was owing to these migrations that the other parts of Hellas did not increase in the same way as Attica; for the most influential men of the other parts of Hellas, when they were driven out of their own countries by war or sedition, resorted to Athens as being a firmly settled community, and, becoming citizens, from the very earliest times made the city still greater in the

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.thucydides-history_peloponnesian_war.1919