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περιουσίαν νεῶν ἔχειν—a number large enough to protect the harbours and coast of Attica without recalling those that were out. This forecast was entirely falsified by the event; but it might very well be entertained because (1) in spite of the fall of Potidaea (in 429 B.C.), no Athenian fleet had been sent out to the Peloponnese in 429; (2) only thirty ships had been sent out this year in answer to the Spartan invasion of Attica, whereas in 431 and 430 the number had been 100; (3) late in 429 a Peloponnesian fleet had made an abortive attempt to seize the Piraeus: reflexion on the result of this mismanaged affair may have led them, with good reason, to underrate the naval resources of Athens.

ἐπεσβάλητε—‘make an additional invasion’: τὸ δεύτερον emphasizes the ἐπ-.

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