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οἱ . οὐκ ἐθελήσαντες—sc. ἀντεκεκρούκεσαν. Cf. IV. 26 αἴτιον δὲ ἦν οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι προειπόντες ἐσάγειν σῖτον.

πρῶτον ἤρξαντο—often combined to emphasise the moment of beginning.

πείθειν—of attempt.

εἰκὸς ἦν—sc. ξυστρατεύειν, as also with πείθειν.

προσδεχομένῳ ἦν—this idiom is found also with γίγνομαι. The same in Lat. with volenti esse, and once with other words, viz. Tac. An. I. 59 ut quibusque bellum invitis aut cupientibus erat.

καὶ ἀλογώτερα—‘even more incomprehensible’ than it was unexpected. The antithesis clearly implies οὐ προσδεχομἐνοις ἦν. (These words are explained in various ways: (1) ‘even more incomprehensible than the defection of the Rhegians,’ Stahl, Jowett; (2) ‘even more unexpected than it was expected by Nicias,’ Fr. Muller, etc.; (3) ‘upset their calculations all the more because they had believed the reports of the envoys,’ Classen; (4) ‘somewhat disconcerting,’ Hertland, Journ. Philol. XXIV.) Stein reads άπορώτερα.

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