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πέμψαντες—this is the famous embassy that was headed by Gorgias of Leontini. The reticence of Thuc. on the matter is characteristic.

παλαιὰν ξυμμαχίαν—the only alliance we know of is that of 433 B.C., but six years seems too short a time to be denoted by παλαιός. Hence it is assumed that an earlier alliance existed. But some have thought that Thuc. wished to obscure the fact that Pericles was responsible for the alliance with Leontini, in order to make it appear that Pericles was in no sense responsible for the intervention in Sicily.

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