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καίτοι . . εἴδει—‘you must surely consider the conditions under which.’

ἐτύγχανεν . . πολιτεύουσα—‘was in point of fact’: τυγχάνω, as often, not of a mere accident, but of the true state of things, as distinct from what might appear to be.

ἰσόνομον—where all the nobles are equal, and their rights are fixed by laws. But in a δυναστεία the few rulers are a law to themselves.

τῷ σωφρονεστάτῳ—‘the best order,’ i.e. an aristocracy or moderate democracy. No doubt this is said with reference to the constitution of Thebes, as existing in 427 B.C., with its two Boeotarchs and four assemblies confined to τοῖς κεκτημένοις πλῆθός τι χρημἀτων, as Theopompus or Cratippus says. (Several conjj. have been made on this unusual expression, e.g. τῷ σώφρονι πἀντων Herw.: τῷ σωφρονεστέρῳ Hude.)

τυράννου—for τυραννίδος: so δῆμος for δημοκρατία.

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