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οἱ πράσσοντες not, as Jowett, ‘the promoters of the change,’ but = οἱ τὰ τῆς πόλεως πράγματα πρ. (= οἱ τῶν πραγμάτων μετέχοντες). Dem. 240 (45) and Aristot. Pol. vii. 2, 4, combine πολιτεύεσθαι καὶ πράττειν. καὶ τὴν ὑπερόριον ἀσχολίαν. καὶ might be explanatory, but as opposed to στρατείας the reference may be to such other business as takes men abroad, e.g. commerce and service as mariners, etc. ἐς οὐδὲν πρᾶγμα κ.τ.λ. lit. ‘the Athenians had never yet come to debate any matter of such dimensions that in dealing with it 5000 had assembled,’ which is another way of saying that ‘no matter, even the greatest in their history, had ever drawn together 5000 persons.’ (οὕτω μέγα) . . . ἐν . . . = ὥστε ἐν αὐτῷ. Cf. Ar. Ach. 736; Eur. Alc. 194; Hdt. iv. 28, δυσχείμερος αὕτη χώρη οὕτω δή τι ἐστὶν, ἔνθα . . . The statement must perhaps be taken cum grano, though it is apparently a fact that the number was generally less than 5000, and at least the assertion must have borne the appearance of truth. It is argued that 6000 votes were required for ostracism like that of Hyperbolus. But ostracism was a matter of voting and not of deliberation. Though 6000 persons were required to vote on the fixed day, the number of those attending the previous ἐκκλησία (which decided whether such a vote should be taken) was not specified. The word βουλεύσοντας is of importance.

ἄλλα τ᾽ ἐπιστείλαντες κ.τ.λ. either ἐπιστείλαντές τε εἰπεῖν ἄλλα τὰ πρέποντα, or join τὰ πρέποντ᾽ εἰπεῖν, ‘and giving them further instructions, (viz.) what was suitable to say.’

κατάστασιν sc. ἐς ἀρχήν. Cf c. 70, § 1, καθιστάμενοι ἐς τὴν ἀρχήν.

μὴ . . . οὔτ᾽ αὐτὸς . . . σφᾶς τε i.e. ‘would neither itself abide by . . . nor suffer them to keep it.’ In the antithesis σφᾶς is put first for emphasis. μὴ after σφᾶς is redundant.

ναυτικὸς ὄχλος a specially democratic element in the state. Cf. c. 73, § 5, and c. 84, § 3.

ἀρξαμένου τοῦ κακοῦ ‘that the mischief might begin there and . . .’ τοῦ κακοῦ, the feared (or possible) mischief. The expression appears to have been proverbial. Cf. ἀρχέκακος, Il. v. 63; ἀρχὴ κακῶν, Hdt. v. 97; οὐ σμικρῶν κακῶν ἦρξεν, Soph. Tr. 871.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Aristotle, Politics, 7.1324a
    • Euripides, Alcestis, 194
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.28
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.97
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.63
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.70.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.73.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.84.3
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 871
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 736
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