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ἐν πολλῇ ἔριδι ἦσαν, ὡς—cf. II. 54 ἐγένετο ἔρις τοῖς ἀνθρώποις μὴ λοιμὸν ὠνομάσθαι. οὐδ᾽ ἀληθῆ ἐστιν ἃ λέγοιτο—for the dependent verb in opt. in O.O. when the leading verb retains the indic., M T. § 690. See crit. note, and Intr. p. xxiii. οἱ δέ—the sentenee proceeds as if ἔλεγον in place of έν ἕριδι ἦσαν were the verb. On the MSS. reading τοῖς δέ Stahl notes that whereas there are examples of a passing from an oblique case into the nom. (e.g. c 24, 3 n.; and not unfrequent in tragedy), there are no other examples of a passing from the nom. into an oblique ease. The difference ean be appreciated by comparing Eur. Phoen. 1474 (Poppo) ἦν δ᾽ ἔρις στρατηλάταις, | οἱ μὲν πατάξαι πρόσθε Πολυνείκην δορί, | οἱ δ᾽ ὡς θανόντων οὐδαμοῦ νίκη πέλοι. εἰ καὶ ἕλθοιεν—the brevity of the form finely expresses the keenness of the ἔρις. αὐτούς—more regularly σφᾶς. ἐς γέλωτα ἔτρεπον—Aristoph. Wasps 1253 εἰς γέλων τὸ πρᾶγμ̓ ἔτρεψας. τὸ πιστεῦον—the neut. is often so used by Thuc colleetively for the masc. plur.; cf. c. 69, 3 τὸ ὑπηκοον τῶν ξυμμάχων, and with adverb without partic. τὸ μὴ ἐκποδὼν τετίμηται II. 45; πᾶν τὸ ἐξ ἐναντίας, καὶ εἰ φίλιον εἴη τῶν φευγόντων VII. 44. Ἀθηναγόρας—nothing more is heard of him, but, from the mention of his name and the description given of him, he must have been famous. He would, however, as leader of the popular party and opposed to Hermocrates, be promment only in time of peace. δήμου προστάτης—cf. c. 28, 2 δήμου προεστάναι. The phrase is often applied to unofficial leaders of a popular party, and in Ath. Pol. is interchanged with δημαγωγός, and is contrasted with τῶν γνωρίμων, εὐπόρων, ἐπιφανῶν, προστάτης. He was ‘the man whom the multitude expected to come forward as their champion—ἐν τῷ παρόντι, as long as they eontinued to trust him’ (Freeman). Of course he might be a στρατηγός, as Pericles, but was not necessarily in any official position. The speech that follows is very remarkable; like the Funeral Oration (II. 35), it does not apply only to the matter immediately under consideration, but has a wider range as illustrating the politics of Syracuse, and indeed of all democracies. It shows how ‘it is much easier to draw up a democratic constitution than to work it, when drawn up, in a democratic spirit’ (Freeman).
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