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εἰ γὰρ δυνατοί.—with the text before us, which (except for ἀντιμελλῆσαι) follows the MSS., we must render, ‘had we been in a position both to intrigue like them and to delay like them (i.e. to put off our attack, but at the same time to have our plan of attack ready), what need was there for us to remain, nevertheless, at their mercy?’ The M. might of course defer the attack, but if they waited for the Athenians to attack they were lost. This is fairly satisfactory, the only difficulty being that ἐκ τοῦ ἴσου and ἐκ τοῦ ὁμοίου (‘just as we were,’ aeque atque fuimus) have no correspondence. It is in connexion with the next sentence that doubts arise. (1) ἐπιχειρεῖν clearly corresponds to ἀντεπιβουλεῦσαι, and προαμύνασθαι to ἀντιμελλῆσαι (or ἀντεπιμελλῆσαι); (2) the statement ‘we need not have remained in their power’ is hardly equivalent to ‘we need not have revolted because we should have retained our independence’; (3) ἐπ᾽ ἐκείνοις εἶναι looks suspicious before έπ᾽ ἐκείνοις ὄντας. A great many changes have been proposed, and those of Heilmann and Kruger indicated in the crit. note and adopted by Classen give a much better correspondence and an improved sense. Yet I do not feel that the objections to the MS. reading are decisive. The general sense is: we cannot be blamed for taking the first move merely because they delayed to take action against us.
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