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2. For it is evident that that which now is called Hellas was not of old constantly inhabited; but that at first there were often removals, everyone easily leaving the place of his abode to the violence always of some greater number. [2] For whilst traffic was not, nor mutual intercourse, but with fear, neither by sea nor land, and every man so husbanded the ground as but barely to live upon it without any stock of riches and planted nothing (because it was uncertain when another should invade them and carry all away, especially not having the defence of walls), but made account to be masters, in any place, of such necessary sustenance as might serve them from day to day, they made little difficulty to change their habitations. And for this cause they were of no ability at all, either for greatness of cities or other provision. [3] But the fattest soils were always the most subject to these changes of inhabitants, as that which is now called Thessalia, and Boeotia, and the greatest part of Peloponnesus, except Arcadia, and of the rest of Greece, whatsoever was most fertile. [4] For the goodness of the land increasing the power of some particular men both caused seditions, whereby they were ruined at home, and withal made them more obnoxious to the insidiation of strangers. [5] From hence it is that Attica, from great antiquity for the sterility of the soil free from seditions, hath been inhabited ever by the same people. [6] And it is none of the least evidences of what I have said that Greece, by reason of sundry transplantations, hath not in other parts received the like augmentation. For such as by war or sedition were driven out of other places, the most potent of them, as to a place of stability, retired themselves to Athens; where receiving the freedom of the city, they long since so increased the same in number of people, as, Attica being incapable of them itself, they sent out colonies into Ionia.

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load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant)
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