'Men of Athens, as I see that you are thoroughly determined to go to war, I accept the1
decision, and will advise you accordingly, trusting that the event will be such as we all wish.
The cities which we are about to attack are, I am informed, powerful, and independent of one another; they are not inhabited by slaves, who would gladly pass out of a harder into an easier condition of life; and they are very unlikely to accept our rule in exchange for their present liberty2
. As regards numbers, although Sicily is but one island, it contains a great many Hellenic states.
Not including Naxos and Catana (of which the inhabitants, as I hope, will be our allies because they are the kinsmen of the Leontines), there are seven other cities fully provided with means of warfare similar to our own, above all Selinus and Syracuse, the cities against which our expedition is particularly directed.
For they have numerous hoplites, archers, and javelin-men, and they have many triremes which their large population will enable them to man; besides their private wealth, they have the treasures of the Selinuntian temples; and the Syracusans receive a tribute which has been paid them from time immemorial by certain barbarian tribes. Moreover, they have a numerous cavalry, and grow their own corn instead of importing it: in the two last respects they have a great advantage over us.