'Even if the rumour of their coming should turn out to be true, I am sure that Sicily is more1
fit than Peloponnesus to maintain a great war. The whole island is better supplied in every way, and our own city is herself far more than a match for the army which is said to be threatening us; aye, and for another as great. I know that they will not bring cavalry with them, and will find none here, except the few horsemen which they may procure from Egesta. They cannot provide a force of hoplites equal to ours2
, for they have to cross the sea; and to come all this distance, if only with ships and with no troops or lading, would be work enough3
I know too that an armament which is directed against so great a city as ours will require immense supplies4
Nay, I venture to assert that if they came hither, having at their command another city close upon our border as large as Syracuse, and could there settle and carry on war against us from thence, they would still be destroyed to a man; how much more when the whole country will be their enemy (for Sicily will unite), and when they must pitch their camp the moment they are out of their ships, and will have nothing but their wretched huts and meagre supplies, being prevented by our cavalry from advancing far beyond their lines? Indeed I hardly think that they will effect a landing at all. So far superior, in my judgment, are our forces to theirs.