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τῶν πραγμάτων—‘by the scale of the requirements’: cf. c. 19, 2 παρασκευῆς πλήθει. The second ἢ = εἰ δὲ μή: the first is probably spurious. εἰ ἀναγκάξοιτο—if nobody would take the command instead. ἀσφαλῶς—another of N.'s catch-words, to which there is a sarcastic reference below.
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