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ἡμᾶς δέ—after explaining that A. has nothing to fear from a Syracusan empire, Nicias proceeds to explain by what means A. may inspire the Siceliots with most fear. ἔπειτα δὲ καί—the less desirable course. δι᾽ ὀλίγου—temporal, with ἀπέλθοιμεν. διὰ πλείστου—the edd. quote the maxim aseribed to Tiberius (Tac. An. 1, 47) major e longinquo reverentia, Virgil's minuit praesentia famam, etc. See crit. note. πεῖραν ἥκιστα—‘and whatever affords least opportunity for testing its reputation.’ Cf. Pericles' remark, II. 41 τῶν ἔργων τὴν ὑπόνοιαν ἡ ἀλήθεια βλάψει. Nicias in making this remark is making a point against the party of Alcibiades. Cf. c. 13, 1.
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