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Besides, there is the following accidental circumstance which applies to them: subject peoples on land can combine small cities and fight collectively,1 but subject peoples at sea, by virtue of being islanders, cannot join their cities together into the same unit. For the sea is in the way, and those now in power are thalassocrats. If it is possible for islanders to combine unnoticed on a single island, they will die of starvation.

1 Cf. the formation of the Chalcidic League in 432 (Thuc. 1.58. 2), but these words need hardly be an allusion to it.

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