VISSA (Ancient demos) LAVREOTIKI
But I reckon that, even in the event of war, the mines (of Laurion) need not be abandoned. There are, of course, two fortresses in the mining district, one at Anaphlystus on the south side, the other at Thoricus on the north. The distance between them is about seven miles and a half. Now suppose that we had a third stronghold between them on the highest point of Besa. The works would then be linked up by all the fortresses, and at the first intimation of a hostile movement, every man would have but a short distance to go in order to reach safety. In case an enemy came in force, he would, no doubt, seize any corn or wine or cattle that he found outside; but the silver ore, when he had got it, would be of as much use to him as a heap of stones. And how could an enemy ever go for the mines? The distance between Megara, the nearest city, and the silver mines, is of course much more than five hundred furlongs; and Thebes, which is next in proximity, lies at a distance of much more than six hundred furlongs from them. Let us assume, then, that an enemy is marching on the mines from some such point. He is bound to pass Athens; and if his numbers are small, he is likely to be destroyed by our cavalry and patrols. On the other hand, to march on them with a large force, leaving his own property unprotected, is no easy matter; for when he arrived at the mines the city of Athens would be much nearer to his own states than he himself would be. But even supposing that he should come, how is he to stay without supplies? And to send part of their forces in search of food may mean destruction to the foraging party and failure to achieve the ends for which he is contending; or if the whole force is continually foraging it will find itself blockaded instead of blockading.
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