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βραχεῖαι—the average duration of the previous invasions had only been about a month, i.e. as long as provisions held out.

ὁτὲ μὲν . . . ὁτὲ δὲ—does not occur elsewhere in good Attic prose. Xen. Hier. 1, 5 has ἔστι μὲν ὄτε . . . ἔστι δ᾽ ὅτε, and the edd. compare Plato, Phacdo, p 59 A ὁτὲ μὲν . . . ἑνίοτε δὲ and Theaet. p. 207 D ὁτὲ μὲν . . . τοτὲ δέ.

πλειόνων ἐπιόντων—VIZ. arriving from the Peloponnese to overrun Attica. The Spartans expected the occupation of Decelea would at once cripple the A. in Sicily. It did not do so: therefore special efforts were from time to time made by sending extra troops. The A. had done much the same at the beginning of the war in the case of Potidaea.

ἐξ ἀνάγκηςof necessity, to provision the garrison.

τῆς ἴσης φρουρᾶςthe normal garrison; in ἴσης he is thinking of the successive garrisons.

οὐκ ἐκ παρέργου—non obiter. His father Archidamus had been accused of slackness in his conduct of the war.

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