For instance, it is evident that the country
now called Hellas had in ancient times no settled population; on the contrary, migrations were of frequent occurrence, the several tribes
readily abandoning their homes under the pressure of superior numbers.
Without commerce, without freedom of communication either by land or sea,
cultivating no more of their territory than the exigencies of life required,
destitute of capital, never planting their land （for they could not
tell when an invader might not come and take it all away, and when he did
come they had no walls to stop him）, thinking that the necessities
of daily sustenance could be supplied at one place as well as another, they
cared little for shifting their habitation, and consequently neither built
large cities nor attained to any other form of greatness.
The richest soils were always most subject to this change of masters; such as the district now called Thessaly, Boeotia, most of the Peloponnese,
Arcadia excepted, and the most fertile parts of the rest of Hellas.
The goodness of the land favoured the aggrandizement of particular
individuals, and thus created faction which proved a fertile source of ruin.It also invited invasion.
Accordingly Attica, from the poverty of its soil enjoying from a very
remote period freedom from faction, never changed its inhabitants.
And here is no inconsiderable exemplification of my assertion, that the
migrations were the cause of there being no correspondent growth in other
parts.The most powerful victims of war or faction from the rest of Hellas took
refuge with the Athenians as a safe retreat;and at an early period, becoming naturalized, swelled the already large
population of the city to such a height that Attica became at last too small
to hold them, and they had to send out colonies to Ionia.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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