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ἕκαστοι—‘separately.’ The statement is put vaguely, because after the experience of Sparta with regard to her Sicilian allies there could not be much ground for Athens to fear that the Siceliots, if undisturbed, would send help to Sparta. Observe that ὥς γε νῦν ἔχουσι is still implied both with νῦν μὲν γάρ and with ἐκείνως δ̓. ἐκείνωςεἰ ἄρξειαν αὐτῶν Συρ.

εἰκός—generally takes aor. inf., occasionally present. The argument (πίστις) from τὸ εἰκός is common in Thuc. Antiphon, Tetral. A, α, 4 is an example of a charge resting on τὸ εἰκός, probabile.

ἀρχὴν ἐπὶ ἀρχήν—the argument is not that it is unnatural for one empire (Syracuse) to attack another (Athens); but that if the Athenian power, the common enemy of Sparta and Syracuse, were destroyed, Sparta would soon come to regard the Syracusan power as the successor of the Athenian, and would grow jealous of it.

τῶν αὐτῶν—the Peloponnesians.

σφετέραν—the (secondary) reflexive, not ἐκείνων or αὐτῶν, because the thought of the Syracusans is represented.

διὰ τοῦ αὐτοῦ—neut.=‘similar means,’ i.e. by combination with other states. For the change from the dat. ἂν τρόπῳ to the gen. with διά, cf. Isocr. 15 τούτῳ (τῷ λόγῳ) ἐξελέγχομεν καὶ ἐγκωμιάζομεν: διὰ τούτου παιδεύομεν καὶ δοκιμάζομεν.

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