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17. When they came to Athens, only a few of them had houses or could find homes among1 friends or kindred. The majority took up their abode in the vacant spaces of the city, and in the temples and shrines of heroes, with the exception of those on the Acropolis, the Eleusinium, and any other precinct which could be securely closed. The Pelasgian ground, as it was called, which lay at the foot of the citadel, was under a curse forbidding its occupation. There was also a halfline of a Pythian oracle to the same effect:—
Better the Pelasgian ground left waste.
Yet even this was filled under the sudden pressure of necessity. [2] And to my mind the oracle came true in a sense exactly contrary to the popular expectation; for the unlawful occupation to which men were driven was not the cause of the calamities which befell the city, but the war was the cause of the occupation; and the oracle without mentioning the war foresaw that the place would be inhabited some day for no good. [3] Many also established themselves in the turrets of the walls, or in any other place which they could find; for the city could not contain them when they first came in. [4] But afterwards they divided among them the Long Walls and the greater part of the Piraeus. [5] At the same time the Athenians applied themselves vigorously to the war, summoning their allies, and preparing an expedition of a hundred ships against the Peloponnese.

1 The new-comers, having no homes of their own, occupy the temples and waste spaces in the city.

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