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τί ἂν λέγοντες—‘by what reasonable assertion can we hold back ourselves or make excuse to our allies there for refusing to aid them?’ Thus τί ἂν εἰκός belongs to both clauses. αὐτά is somewhat artificially contrasted with πρὸς τοὺς ἐκεῖ ξυμ.

μὴ βοηθοῖμεν—the μή because prevention is implied (M. T. § 292).

καὶ ξυνωμόσαμεν—‘we actually exchanged oaths with them.’ Classen says this refers to the παλαιὰ ξυμμαχία, for which see on c. 6, 2. The A. cannot have bound themselves by any oath which was unconditional, and they would be false to their oath only if they could not show that it was impossible for them to send help.

ἀντιτιθέναι—this sense of the verb may be compared with its noun ἀντίθεσις, Quintihan's contrapositum. ἡμῖν sc. ἐπήμυναν. Muller notes that Thuc. is very fond of compounds of ἀντί, which are well adapted to his style.

προσεθέμεθα—se. πρὸς τὴν ξυμμαχίαν.

ἐχθροῖς—Sparta had applied for ships from her allies in Sicily at the beginning of the war, but without result.

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