[111a] and at that period, in addition to their fine quality it produced these things in vast quantity. How, then, is this statement plausible, and what residue of the land then existing serves to confirm its truth? The whole of the land lies like a promontory jutting out from the rest of the continent far into the sea and all the cup of the sea; round about it is, as it happens, of a great depth. Consequently, since many great convulsions took place during the 9000 years—for such was the number of years [111b] from that time to this1—the soil which has kept breaking away from the high lands during these ages and these disasters, forms no pile of sediment worth mentioning, as in other regions, but keeps sliding away ceaselessly and disappearing in the deep. And, just as happens in small islands, what now remains compared with what then existed is like the skeleton of a sick man, all the fat and soft earth having wasted away, and only the bare framework of the land being left. But at that epoch the country was unimpaired, and for its mountains it had [111c] high arable hills, and in place of the “moorlands,”2 as they are now called, it contained plains full of rich soil; and it had much forestland in its mountains, of which there are visible signs even to this day; for there are some mountains which now have nothing but food for bees, but they had trees no very long time ago, and the rafters from those felled there to roof the largest buildings are still sound. And besides, there were many lofty trees of cultivated species; and it produced boundless pasturage for flocks. Moreover, it was enriched by the yearly rains from Zeus, [111d] which were not lost to it, as now, by flowing from the bare land into the sea; but the soil; it had was deep, and therein it received the water, storing it up in the retentive loamy soil and by drawing off into the hollows from the heights the water that was there absorbed, it provided all the various districts with abundant supplies of springwaters and streams, whereof the shrines which still remain even now, at the spots where the fountains formerly existed, are signs which testify that our present description of the land is true. [111e] Such, then, was the natural condition of the rest of the country, and it was ornamented as you would expect from genuine husbandmen who made husbandry their sole task, and who were also men of taste and of native talent, and possessed of most excellent land and a great abundance of water, and also, above the land, a climate of most happily tempered seasons. And as to the city, this is the way in which it was laid out at that time. In the first place, the acropolis, as it existed then, was different from
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