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l. 16 τό γ᾽ ἄν—the following clauses, (1) ἀποστῆναι, (2) ἀντιπολιορκεῖν, (3) ποιῆσαι, are in explanatory apposition to the preceding ἥν, which=φιλονικίαν. The ἂν belongs to all three clauses. Hence what would have seemed incredible is this: εἰ αὐτοὶ πολιορκοῖντο . . , οὑδ᾽ ἂν ὣς ἀποσταῖεν ἐκ Σ, ἀλλὰ . . ἀντιπολιορκοῖεν ἄν, καὶ τοσοῦτον ἂν τὸν παράλογον ποιήσειαν κ τ λ. Hence, trans. literally, ‘And yet (though they had two wars) their pertinacity was such that no man before it was experienced would have believed the account of it, that, even if they were themselves besieged by the P. by means of a permanent occupation, they would not even so withdraw from S., but would in turn lay siege in the same manner to Syr. (a city which taken alone is as large as A) and would astonish the Greeks with such a display of strength and audacity that, whereas at the beginning of the war the Greeks generally supposed that they would hold out perhaps for a year, perhaps for two years, possibly for three, but certainly not longer than three, if the P. should invade Attica, they on the contrary in the seventeenth year after the first invasion should actually go to S. . . . and voluntarily take on themselves another war.’ μηδ᾽ ὣς—ὣς (=οὕτως) only appears in prose in καὶ ὥς, οὐδ᾽ ὥς, μηδ᾽ ὥς; occasionally before οὖν, as III. 37.5. 20 αὐτήυ γε καθ᾽ αὑτὴυ—i e. without reckoning Sparta at all; that is to say, Syr. would have been a big city for A. to besiege even if she were not herself in difficulties at the time. (Others think this means (a) without counting the Athenian empire, (b) without reckoning allies on either side.) τοσοῦτον—answered by ὅσον. ὅσον—when two things, persons, or sets of persons are compared by means of τοσοῦτον . . . ὅσον, there are often two clauses following the ὅσον: these two clauses are then themselves contrasted by μὲν and δὲ—here οἱ μὲν . . . οἱ δὲ ἔτει—and they describe the extent of the difference between the two things compared in the τοσοῦτον clause. (See Appendix II.) Here ‘the A. astonished the Greek world so much that the Greek world thought they would hold out a year or two, whereas the A. after all these years undertook the Sicilian expedition’ <οἱ μὲν> ... οἱ μὲν ... οἱ δὲ ... οἱ δὲ ... γε ... οἱ δὲ—when these particles are thus repeated, it is usual to find the extremes contrasted, as here <οἱ μὲν> and the last οἱ δέ, i.e. the Greeks at large and Athens. The first <οἱ μὲν> is subdivided in the clauses that follow it. οἱ δὲ τριῶν γε ἐτῶν—δέ γε or δὲ . . . γε caps a previous statement. οὺδεὶς is in limiting apposition to οἱ δὲ, and τριῶν ἐτῶν is gen. of comparison. τὴν πρώτην ἐσβολὴν—in June 431. ἦλθον—Thuc. here proceeds as if he had said τοσοῦτον τὸν παράλογον έποἱησαν instead of τος οῦτον τὀν π. ποιῆσαι ἂν— shifting the point of view which was that of a person hearing of such vigour before he actually witnessed it. τῷ πολέμῳ . . . τετρυχωμένοι—at the time of the expedition A. had been recovering for seven years; but Thuc. here thinks of the state of A. in 415 as contrasted with her state in 431.
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