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[1380] κάλλιστ᾽ ἀνὴρ εἷς ... τραφείς. εἷς in connection with a superlative, is strictly correct only where one is compared with several: as Thuc. 8.40οἱ γὰρ οἰκέται τοῖς Χίοις πολλοὶ ὄντες καὶ μιᾷ γε πόλει πλὴν Λακεδαιμονίων πλεῖστοι γενόμενοι”: Eur. Heraclid. 8πλείστων μετέσχον εἶς ἀνὴρ Ἡρακλέει.” So Soph. Trach. 460πλείστας ἀνὴρ εἷς ... ἔγημε.” But here, where the question is of degree in nobility, it merely strengthens κάλλιστ᾽: cp. Thuc. 8.68πλεῖστα 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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