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κατὰ τοῦ λέγειν ἀδυνασίαν—the omission of τὴν after κατὰ shows that Nicias did not know that they actually were incompetent.

ἀδυνασίαν—this form, in place of the commoner ἀδυναμία, is found in Herod., and was perhaps used also by Antiphon.

γιγνόμενοι—notice that in expressing the two causes, Thuc. varies the construction (κατὰ and causal participle).

πρὸς χάριν—cf. II. 65.8 πρὸς ἡδονήν τι λέγειν, and πρὸς ὀργήν τι ἀντειπεῖν. The phrases are useful.

τὰ ὄνταthe facts.

ἐπιστολήν—litteras. In Lat. down to the empire epistula means a private letter. (Contrast the verbosa et grandis epistula from Capreae.)

ἐν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ—in the hands of, i e. through. Cf Aeschin. 2.104 ἐν ἡμῖν ἀποκινδυνεύειν. Common both in prose and verse.

μαθόντας=μαθεῖν καὶ—so that μάλιστα belongs to μαθόντας as well as to βουλεύσασθαι.

βουλεύσασθαιcome to a decision.

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