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[2] For they did not regard Sicily itself as the prize of the war, but rather as a mere base of operations, purposing therefrom to wage a contest with the Carthaginians and get possession of both Libya and of all the sea this side the Pillars of Heracles.

Since, therefore, their hearts were fixed on this, Nicias, in his opposition to them, had few men, and these of no influence, to contend on his side. For the well-to-do citizens feared accusations of trying to escape their contributions for the support of the navy, and so, despite their better judgement, held their peace.

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