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τῇ τε πρότερονthey would purposely employ the system of charging prow to prow, which was before considered want of skill in their pilots. τὸ ἀντίπ ρῳρον ξυγκροῦσαι is put as the supposed definition of ἀμαθία τῶν κυβερνητῶν, and the form of the sentence is an example of the effect which Thuc. produces by emphasising single words—here ἀμαθίᾳ. Thuc. much prefers giving definitions to giving examples; whereas in later oratory examples, παραδείγματα, are commoner. For the example, cf. II. 42.2, δοκεῖ δέ μοι δηλοῦν ἀνδρος ᾶρετὴν (‘virtue in a man,’ as ἀμαθίᾳ κυβερνητοῦ here) . . . νῦν τῶνδε καταστροφή.

ἀντίπρῳρον—agreeing with the indef. subject of ξυγκροῦσαι.

ξυγκροῦσαι—probably trans., as elsewhere in classical Greek. It is easy to supply τὴν ναῦν.

πλεῖστον . . . σχήσειν—as there is no other case of the superl with ἔχειν, Kruger wishes to read πλέον for πλεῖστον, Stahl περισχήσειν for σχήσειν. But πλεῖστον σχήσειν does not mean they would be very superior to, but rather ‘they would find very great (advantage)’ The phrase may be compared with Aristoph. Acharn. 474 ἐν ᾧπέρ ἐστι πάντα μοι τὰ πράγματα. Thuc. rather affects ἔχω in place of ἐστι, as in II. 4 ἐμπείρους ἔχοντες τοὺς διώκοντας instead of ἔμπειροι ἧσαν αὐτοῖς οἱ δ.; and here the other construction immediately follows. So too the phrases πλέον ἔχω and πλέον ἐστι are the same. Aristoph. Plut. 531 τί πλέον πλουτεῖν ἐστιν;

τὴν γὰρ ἀνάκρουσινfor if driven back the A. would not be able to back in any direction except on to the shore, and that only through a short distance and to a small part, namely in the coast-line of their own camp. άνάκρουσις means backing for a new attack.

ἐξωθουμένοις—technical word for being thrust back or ashore in a sea fight, and driven back in a land battle.

ταύτην—sc. τὴν γῆν. Both the distance to the land and the stretch of coast in their power would be small.

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