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Πρὸς οὖν ἀταξίαν κ.τ.λ.—Therefore against such disorderly and such bitter enemies whose fortune has already submitted, let us advance with eagerness, and let us think that men act lawfully towards an enemy, when purposing to retaliate upon the aggressor they determine to satisfy their heart's animosity, and also that we shall have the delight of repelling our foes, and that this is proverbially most pleasant. ἀταξίαν . . . καὶ τύχην—referring back to παρασκευῆς and τύχης. νομιμώτατον εἶναι . . . οἳ ἂν—this kind of combination is idiomatic and oecurs throughout Attic. Cf. on c. 63.3 From the analogy of other constructions in Gk., and from a comparison of the instances, it is more likely that the idiom is based on a brachylogy than on a combination of two constructions. Cf. Xen. Hel. II. 3.51 νομίζω προστάτου ἔργον εἶναι οἵου δεῖ, ὃς ἂν . . . μὴ ἐπιτρέπη̣. ὡς ἐπὶ τιμωρίᾳ—ἐπὶ and a noun frequently take the place of a final clause. δικαιώσωσιν—an Ionic and old Attic word. ἀποπλῆσαι—explere, as τὴν φιλονικίαν ἐκπιμπλάναι III. 82.8. τῆς γνώμης τὸ θυμούμενον—cf. I. 90 τὸ βουλόμενον τῆς γνώμης; 2.59 τὸ ὀργιζόμενον τῆς γ.; III. 10.1 τὸ διαλάσσον τῆς γ.; V. 9 τὸ ἀνειμένον τῆς γ. For τὸ θυμούμενον wrath cf. Eur. Hec. 299. ἐκγενησόμενον—the partic. depends on νομίσωμεν, in spite of the infin. δίκαιον εἶναι (and ἥδιστον εἶναι). But then with the partic. νομίσωμεν=εἰδῶμεν. καί . . . ἥδιστον εἶναι—sc. τὸ ἐχθροὺς ἀμύνασθαι. They are to think that their conduct (1) νομιμώτατον εἶναι—is in accordance with custom and right, (2) ἥδιστον εἶναι—is in accordance with the proverb that expresses that custom. (I am unable to accept the interpretation hitherto given of this passage. See crit. note.) τὸ λεγόμενόν που—this is in accordance with the ancient love of revenge; but Thuc., like Euripides, had reason to know that there was something better. Cf. Eur. Ba. 877 τί τὸ κάλλιον | παρὰ θεῶν γέρας ἐν βροτοῖς | ἢ χεῖρ᾽ ὑπὲρ κορυφᾶς | τῶν ἐχθρῶν κατέχειν ; For the proverb cf. Juv. 13.180 at vindicta bonum vita jucundius ipsa, where Mayor refers to Iliad 18.108.
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