κάλλιστ᾽ ἀνὴρ εἷς ... τραφείς. εἷς in connection with a superlative, is strictly correct only where one is compared with several: as Thuc. 8.40 “οἱ γὰρ οἰκέται τοῖς Χίοις πολλοὶ ὄντες καὶ μιᾷ γε πόλει πλὴν Λακεδαιμονίων πλεῖστοι γενόμενοι”: Eur. Heraclid. 8 “πλείστων μετέσχον εἶς ἀνὴρ Ἡρακλέει.” So Soph. Trach. 460 “πλείστας ἀνὴρ εἷς ... ἔγημε.” But here, where the question is of degree in nobility, it merely strengthens κάλλιστ᾽: cp. Thuc. 8.68 “πλεῖστα εἶς ἀνήρ, ὅστις ξυμβουλεύσαιτό τι, δυνάμενος ὠφελεῖν”: which, notwithstanding πλεῖστα, is really like our passage, since we cannot suppose a contrast with the collective wisdom of several advisers.ἔν γε ταῖς θήβαις the γε, by adding a second limitation, helps, like εἶς ἀνήρ, to emphasise the superlative. If the glories of Thebes can rejoice the sight, no Theban at least had a better right to that joy: （and who could have a better right than Thebans?）
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