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ὧν ἂν δόξῃ πέρι—for περὶ ἐκείνων ἃ ἃν δόξῃ, ‘as regards measures that we have passed.’ Thus the neut. nom. ἅ is here attracted as in VII. 67 βλάπτεσθαι ἀφ᾽ ὧν ἡμῖν παρεσκεύασται. In (ἃ) ἂν δόξῃ the allusion is to ψηφίσματα passed in the Ecclesia. χείροσι νόμοις . . ἀκύροις—it has been thought that there is an allusion here to definite νόμοι that forbade a psephism to be reconsidered, perhaps within some fixed period (cf. n. on c. 36, 5); but the reference seems more general. (The objection that Cleon would, if there were such an allnsion, definitely threaten a γραφὴ παρανόμων has not much force, for (1) Thuc. does not deal in the technicalities of Attic legal procedure, which were not of sufficiently ‘universal’ interest for him, with his view of history; and (2) in VI. 14 sqq., where Nicias alludes to some rules about the re-discussion of a psephism, Alcibiades, in his rejoinder, makes no capital out of the rules at all—does not even allude to the point.) Arnold thought that the psephism under revision is itself meant under νόμοι, and that the confusion is meant to be intentional on Cleon's part. It is best, I think, to consider the passage intentionally vague and rhetorical: revision of psephisms leads easily to revision of laws in a democracy. This general application is borne out by ἀμαθία τε κτλ., which would be an odd addition to a clause containing a precise reference. κρείσσων ἐστίν—the personal constr.: ‘it is better for a state to have.’ (This explanation is strongly supported by ὠφελιμώτερον (sc. πόλει) and ἄμεινον οἰκοῦσι τὰς πόλεις. Classen says ‘is stronger’; but the point is what is good for a state, not what a state can do.) ἀμαθία μετὰ σωφροσύνης—‘ignorance when combined with self-restraint,’ no doubt a hit at the πεπαιδευμένοι, and the sentiment so outrageous to an educated Athenian, that we must assume that it was really uttered by Cleon in substance. For the evil results of ἀμαθία note the following passage (Euripides, frag.): γνώμαις γὰρ ἀνδρὸς εὖ μὲν οἰκοῦνται πόλεις εὖ δ᾽ οἶκος, εἴς τ᾽ αὖ πόλεμον ἰσχύει μέγα: σοφὸν γὰρ ἓν βούλευμα τὰς πολλὰς χέρας νικᾷ σὺν ὄχλῳ δ᾽ ἀμαθία πλεῖστον κακόν. σωφροσύνη and ἀκολασία are often contrasted in the language of popular philosophy: εὑρήσετε τὴν μὲν ἀκολασίαν . . τῶν κακῶν αἰτίαν γιγνομένην, τὴν δὲ σωφροσύνην τῶν ἀγαθῶν, Isocr. de pace § 119. In οἵ τε φαυλότεροι κτλ. we meet a sentiment that is frequent in Euripides. πρός—‘as compared with.’
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