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[5] When the Assembly convened to consider the matter, Pericles, who far excelled all his fellow citizens in skill of oratory, persuaded the Athenians not to rescind the action, saying that for them to accede to the demands of the Lacedaemonians, contrary to their own interests, would be the first step toward slavery. Accordingly he advised that they bring their possessions from the countryside into the city and fight it out with the Spartans by means of their command of the sea.

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