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17.

When they arrived at Athens, though a few had houses of their own to go to, or could find an asylum with friends or relatives, by far the greater number had to take up their dwelling in the parts of the city that were not built over and in the temples and chapels of the heroes, except the Acropolis and the temple of the Eleusinian Demeter and such other places as were always kept closed. The occupation of the plot of ground lying below the citadel called the Pelasgian had been forbidden by a curse; and there was also an ominous fragment of a Pythian oracle which said—

Leave the Pelasgian parcel desolate, woe worth the day that men inhabit it!
” [2]

Yet this too was now built over in the necessity of the moment. And in my opinion, if the oracle proved true, it was in the opposite sense to what was expected. For the misfortunes of the state did not arise from the unlawful occupation, but the necessity of the occupation from the war; and though the god did not mention this, he foresaw that it would be an evil day for Athens in which the plot came to be inhabited. [3] Many also took up their quarters in the towers of the walls or wherever else they could. For when they were all come in, the city proved too small to hold them; though afterwards they divided the long walls and a great part of Piraeus into lots and settled there. [4] All this while great attention was being given to the war; the allies were being mustered, and an armament of a hundred ships equipped for Peloponnese. [5] Such was the state of preparation at Athens.

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load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1891)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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