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τὸ εὔηθες—in the earliest, good sense of the word, according to its etymology (Plato, Rep. 400 E). πλεῖστον μετέχει—‘in which nobility of character is the chief element.’ Or, less probably, ‘which is a very important element of a noble mind.’ Cf. I. 84, 3. ἐπὶ πολὺ διήνεγκεν—‘gained the upper hand.’ ἐπἱ πολύ of space, ‘far and near.’
ὁ διαλύσων—‘there was nothing to . . neither.’ The fut. partic. as in Aesch. PV. 27 ὀ λωφήσων γὰρ οὐ πέφυκέ πω. (Steup is mistaken in supposing that ἦν must be the copula in our sentenee, if ὁ διαλύσων is taken as above.) κρείσσους . . βεβαίου—the best way of taking this is as follows: (1) all men when they had the upper hand, by reflecting on the hopelessness of security took precaution rather against attack than were capable of trust in others.’ Thus λογισμῷ . . βεβαίου is to be taken together and refers to προεσκόπουν. But two other versions must be noticed: (2) ‘finding more strength in calculation against the unexpected than in pledges.’ Then τοῦ βεβαίου=ἢ τῷ βεβαίῳ. (3) ‘Being more inclined in their calculations to despair of security’ (or ‘than to security’). The last seems an impossible version of κρείσσους ὄντες. The passage prob. repeats the thought of c. 82, 7.
γνώμην—‘understanding.’ ἐκ τοῦ πολυτρόπου—‘in consequence of their’—resemblance to Odysseus. φθάνωσι προεπιβουλευόμενοι—Gildersleeve is surely right in reading φθάνωσι here, in accordance with the law that φθάνω ποιῶν and ἔφθασα ποιήσας are the correct forms.
καταφρονοῦντες—causal. For the constr. cf. Xen. Hell. IV. 5, 12 κατεφρονοῦν μηδένα ἂν ἐπιχειρῆσαι.
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