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[87] "In like manner the Athenians, when they became a maritime people, grew mightily, but they fell as suddenly. Naval prowess is like merchants' gains -- a good profit to-day and a total loss to-morrow. You know that those very people whom I have mentioned, when they had extended their sway over the Ionian Sea to Sicily could not restrain their greed until they had lost everything, and were compelled to surrender their harbor and their ships to their enemies, to receive a garrison in their city, to demolish their own long walls, and to become almost exclusively an inland people. And this very thing kept them going a long time. Believe me, Carthaginians, country life, with the joys of agriculture and freedom from danger, is much more wholesome. Although the gains of agriculture are smaller than those of mercantile life, they are surer and a great deal safer. In fact, a maritime city seems to me to be more like a ship than like solid ground, being so tossed about on the waves of trouble and so much exposed to the vicissitudes of life, whereas an inland city enjoys all the security of terra firma. For this reason the ancient seats of empire were generally inland, and in this way those of the Medes, the Assyrians, the Persians, and others became very powerful.


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