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τοῦ ξύμπαντος—not merely τοῦ δήμου: they were for the constitution, and were no mere party leaders. In the case of some of the Alcmaeonidae there is truth in this, but Alc. was not a party leader only because he pursued a purely selfish policy. He is not even mentioned in the Ath. Pol., where the statesmen who held a commanding position are enumerated.

ὅπερ ἐδεξατό τις κτλ—‘to help to preserve what he had inherited.’

δικαιῶ is Ionic.

ἐπεὶ δημοκρατίαν γε κτλ—‘though, to be sure, the nature of democracy was quite well understood by every man of insight.’ The

καί implies ‘in addition to having received it as an inheritance,’ and the words are sarcastic, meaning ‘we knew too much about it to approve of it.’

καὶ αἰτὸς ἂν κτλ—i.e. καὶ αὐτὸς οὐδενὸς ἂν χεῖρον φρονοίην, ὅσῳ κἂν λοιδορήσαιμι, ‘and the superiority of my insight (the insight that you would attribute to me) would be measured by the amount of abuse I might pour on it’; only, he continues, it is impossible to say anything new of a constitution of which the folly is admitted. (It is usual to assume that the text of this much-disputed passage is corrupt. See crit. note. Only Herbst among lecent clities defends it; and he understands οὐδενὸς ἂν χεῖρον (γιγνώσκοιμι) ὅσῳ καὶ (οὐδενὸς ἂν χεῖρον) λοιδορήσαιμι: but the sense so obtained is by no means clear. The rendering of Wilkins, ‘perhaps, indeed, it was better known to me than any one, as I have had more reason to complain of it than any one,’ does not correspond to the Greek, and is itself obscure.) Alcibiades says ‘I might exhibit the extent of my insight by the amount of knowledge I might show of the nature of democracy, i.e. by abusing it’; but, he says, the task is superfluous. Then, by a common rhetorical trick, he throws in a specimen of abuse (ὁμολογουμένη ἄνοια). Thus λοιδορἡσαιμι corresponds with ἐγιγνώσκομεν: the knowledge would be extensive and peculiar, being gathered from experience of the tyranny of democracy, and it would be expressed in a λοιδορία. The Scholium is αὐτὸς ἂν ἐγὼ οὐδενὸς χεῖρον λοιδορήσαιμι, ὅσῳ καὶ μέγιστα ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς ἠδίκημαι, which gives in a paraphrase the trne meaning, but is incomplete.

ὅσῳ καί—see on c. 11, 6.

λοιδορήσαιμι—this would not have been seemly in a public address at this time. Cf. Ath. Pol. c. 28, of Cleon, πρῶτος ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἀνέκραγε καὶ έλοιδορήσατο . . τῶν ἄλλων ἐν κόσμῳ λεγόντων.

ὁμολογουμένης ἀνοίας—a phrase made to please his audience. Theognis l. 847 λὰξ ἐπίβα δήμῳ κενεόφρονι.

καὶ τὸ μεθιστάναι—goes back to δικαιοῦντες . . τοῦτο (τὸ σχῆμα) ξυνδιασῴζειν. αύτήν=τὴν δημοκρατίαν. Wilkins quotes Napoleon III.'s Julius Caesar, ‘All political change is fatal in the presence of a foreigner invading the soil of a fatherland.’ And even the desire for political change vanishes in the presence of a war—as the same Napoleon well knew.

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