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It was Nicias, then, who, when an embassy came from Egesta and Leontini1 seeking to persuade the Athenians to undertake an expedition against Sicily, opposed the measure, only to be defeated by the ambitious purposes of Alcibiades. Before the assembly had met at all, Alcibiades had already corrupted the multitude and got them into his power by means of his sanguine promises, so that the youth in their training-schools and the old men in their work-shops and lounging-places would sit in cluster drawing maps of Sicily, charts of the sea about it, and plans of the harbors and districts of the island which look towards Libya.

1 In the spring of 415 B.C.

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