The north and Phaleric walls were perhaps founded by Cimon, and were completed about 457 B.C. in the early administration of Pericles; the middle wall was built about 445 B.C. The lines of the north and middle walls have been ascertained from the remnants still existing in the 18th century and the scantier traces now visible.
It is the expression of the ultimate sovereignty of the people, and its existence gives to the working both of the Federal government and of the several state governments, a certain fixify and uniformity which the European, and especially the British, reader must constantly bear in mind, because under such a constitution every legislative body enjoys far scantier powers than in the United Kingdom and most European countries.
In the mountains the flora is, naturally, scantier than in these two more favoured regions, but even here there is a rich variety.
Attention has been called to the fact that the bare rocks and steep gradients which are common in the Western Division allow of the heavy rainfall running off the surface rapidly, while the flat and often clayey lands of the Eastern Division retain the scantier rainfall in the soil for a longer time, so that for agricultural purposes the effect of the rainfall is not very dissimilar throughout the country.
The older and scantier underlying ruins are supposed to be those of the once large and prosperous city of Itil or Atel (Etel, Idl) of the Arab geographers, a residence of the khan of the Khazars, destroyed by the Russians in 969.