—at any rate
the immunity of Attica was due to its barrenness; it is therefore likely that the troubles of other districts were due to their fertility.
τοῦ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον
, ‘the remotest time.’ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον
, adverbial (‘extending farthest back’), has the art. like τὸ πρίν
—(1) the constant use of neut. adj. or partic. for a subst. is a feature of Thuc.'s style; (2) the soil of Attica is in general stony and dry. The Attic Plain is watered by the Ilissus and Cephisus, but in summer the former is almost dry and the latter “μειοῦται τελέως
”: the land yields a return only to diligent cultivation. Of course in these early times the land was not setentifically dealt with; and it is noteworthy, as bearing on Thuc.'s point, that it looks
more barren than it is.