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Σικελιῶται δ᾽ ἄν κτλ—this is explained in two ways: (1) After ὥς γε νῦν ἔχουσι supply οὐ δεινοὶ εἶναι by an ellipse such as Herbst thinks characteristic of Thuc. and calls ‘beautiful.’ Clas. thinks that there is a lacuna after ἔχουσι. The Schol. and others support this view. Cf. note in Jowett. (2) ‘Looking at the actual state of Sicily, I should say that the island would be even less formidable to us’: so Arnold, Bloomf., Stahl, etc. This version misses the antithesis between ὤς γε νῦν ἔχουσι and εἰ ἄρξειαν which is carried on in νῦν . . ἐκείνως. Now it is not certain that νῦν μὲν γάρ . . is epexegetic of ὤς γε νῦν ἔχουσι: for καὶ ἔτι ἂν ἧσσον may quite well=καὶ ἔτι ἂν ἧσσον ἢ νῦν εἰσι. The real difficulty is to settle the meaning of ὤς . . ἔχουσι. According to Stahl ‘the present state of the S.’ means ‘their state while they are independent.’ Much more probably ‘uninvaded as they are by us’ is the sense. Should we invade Sicily, the conditions would be altered. If we won, we should not gain: if we lost, then Syracuse might get the upper hand, and of course then would join Sparta. Cf. Class. Rev. July 1895. ἄρξειοιν—ingressive. ὅπερ—internal acens. to ἐκφοβοῦσι.
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