5.For in ancient times both the Hellenes, and those Barbarians, whose homes were on the
coast of the mainland or in islands, when they began to find their way to one another by
sea had recourse to piracy. They were commanded by powerful chiefs, who took this means
of increasing their wealth and providing for their poorer followers.They would fall
upon the unwalled and straggling towns, or rather villages, which they plundered,and
maintained themselves chiefly by the plunder of them; for, as yet, such an occupation
was held to be honourable and not disgraceful.
This is proved by the practice of certain tribes on the mainland who, to the present
day, glory in piratical exploits, and by the witness of the ancient poets, in whose
verses the question is invariably asked of newly-arrived voyagers, whether they are
pirates1; which implies that neither those who are questioned disclaim, nor those who are
interested in knowing censure the occupation.
On land also neighboring communities plundered each other;and there are many parts of
Hellas in which the old practices still continue, as for example among the Ozolian
Locrians, Aetolians, Acarnanians, and the adjacent regions of the continent.The fashion of wearing arms among these continental tribes is a relic of
their old predatory habits.
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