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ἀδῇον contr. for “ἀδήϊον”, “"unravaged,"” from “δήϊος” (“δῇος” Theogn. 552, always Dor. “δάϊος” in trag.), “"ravaging"” (“ΔΑϝ”, whence “δαίω”, to kindle):

σπαρτῶν ἀπ᾽ ἀνδρῶν, “"on the part of,"” “"from the quarter of"” the Thebans. For ἀπό, cp. Plat. Phaedo 83Bοὐδὲν τοσοῦτον κακὸν ἔπαθεν ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν”. Schaefer's ὑπό is admissible ( Plat. Rep. 366Aἀζήμιοι...ὑπὸ θεῶν”): but “ἀπό” is fitter here as including all peril from that region. When Cadmus was founding Thebes, he required water from a well guarded by a dragon, the offspring of Ares. He killed the dragon, and sowed its teeth in the ground. Armed men sprang up, who slew each other, all save five. These five, of whom Echion was chief, became the ancestors of the Cadmeans. Cp.

παρ᾽ ὑγρῶν
Ἰσμηνοῦ ῥείθρων, ἀγρίου τ᾽
ἐπὶ σπορᾷ δράκοντος

. Pind. fr. 6 Κάδμον, σπαρτῶν ἱερὸν γένος ἀνδρῶν”.

αἱ δὲ μυρίαι πόλεις, justifying his hint of possible danger from Thebes. “"Most cities are apt (gnomic aor.) to enter on aggression with a light heart (ῥᾳδίως), even though their neighbour is wellbehaved."” Cp. what he said of the Thebans in 619 f., where “ἐκ σμικροῦ λόγου” answers to “ῥᾳδίως” here. So the schol.:— “κἂν δικαίως τις πολιτεύηται, πολλαὶ πόλεις ἀδίκως ἐπέρχονται”.

Those who suspect αἱ μυρίαι should observe that Greek writers often use this phrase when they wish to express the notion of many probabilities against one. Cp. Her. 8.119ἐν μυρίῃσι γνώμῃσι μίαν οὐκ ἔχω ἀντίξοον”, “"among ten thousand opinions I have not one against me"”: i.e. not one man in 10,000 would dispute it. Xen. Anab. 2.1.19ἐγώ, εἰ μὲν τῶν μυρίων ἐλπίδων μία τις ὑμῖν ἐστι σωθῆναι πολεμοῦντας βασιλεῖ, συμβουλεύω μὴ παραδιδόναι τὰ ὅπλα”: “"if among the ten thousand forebodings (which the situation might suggest) there is one chance of your escape,"” etc. So, of “"facing fearful odds,"” Eur. fr. 588 “εἶς τοι δίκαιος μυρίων οὐκ ἐνδίκων

”. And so here αἱ μυρίαι is something more than a mere synonym for “αἱ πολλαί”. It suggests this notion:—“"Be Athens never so just, there are countless chances to one that Thebes will some day attack it."” (In citing Aeschin. or. 2 § 157 Blaydes has not noticed that “τοὺς μυρίους Ἀρκάδων” means the Pan-Arcadian “μύριοι”, not “μυρίοι”: cp. Grote c. 78, x. 317.)

κἂν εὖ τις οἰκῇ: cp. Plat. Rep. 423Aἕως ἂν πόλις σοι οἰκῇ σωφρόνως”. (It might also be transitive, “"governs,"sc.τὴν πόλιν”.) A compliment to Theseus and to Athens is implied: cp. 1125.

Others explain:—(1) “"The majority of cities, even though one governs them well, are prone to outrage"”: i.e. if you divulge the secret to the Athenians, it may be abused to the hurt of the State. A modification of this view is that “καθύβρισαν” refers to overweening confidence inspired at Athens by the new “ἀλκή”. Theseus must still be watchful. (2) “"The cities, with their multitudes (“μυρίαι"”), are prone to outrage,”—still referring to the Athenians. But for this sense we should at least need Wecklein's οἱ δὲ μυρίοι πόλεως.—Blaydes thought of “αἱ δὲ μωρίας πλέαι”: better would be “οἱ δὲ μωρίας πλέῳ” (Ai. 1112, 1150): but neither this, nor anything with “κύριος”, is either needful or probable.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aeschines, On the Embassy, 157
    • Herodotus, Histories, 8.119
    • Plato, Republic, 366a
    • Plato, Republic, 423a
    • Plato, Phaedo, 83b
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1112
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1123
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 2.1.19
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