ἄδηλα γὰρ—Thuc. is extremely fond of γνῶμαι or general truths as arguments, whereas he does not use παραδείγματα or examples at all. The γνῶμαι have been collected by several critics, and, as might be supposed, they show a profound insight into the fundamental principles that actually guide human conduct. ἐξ ὀλίγου—‘suddenly.’ δι᾽ ὀργῆς— ‘on impulse.’ αἱ ἐπιχειρήσεις γίγνονται—the passive of τὰς ἐπι. ποιεῖσθαι I. 70, 7. τε—adds a third and important fact. [ δεδιὸς ἄμεινον]—
- 1. δεδιὸς obscures the point, which is that a large force, caught off its guard, has often been defeated by a small force. There is no room here for any reference to the apprehension or precautions of the smaller force.
- 2. No passage supports the idea that Archidamus is pointing out the advantage of δέος in action, ἐν τῷ ἀμύνεσθαι. It is then too late for δέος, which is valuable only ἐν τῷ παρασκευάζεσθαι.
- 3. The assumption that δεδιὸς is answered by διὰ τὸ καταφρονοῦντας ... γενέσθαι is not borne out by the form of the sentence.
- 4. Archidamus merely says ‘do not be careless, lest you be caught unprepared.’ 5. Of ἄμεινον there are two explanations