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εἰ δὲ βούλει: polite formula, marks a transition to another phase of the subject.

αὐτοὶ καθ᾽ αὑτούς: contrasted with καὶ μετὰ Πελοποννησίων below. The battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) is meant. Although the Athenians had on that occasion the assistance of 1,000 Plataeans, the phrase αὐτοὶ κτλ. may pass, as a rhetorical exaggeration.— τοὺς κυριεύοντας κτλ.: i.e. the Persians. See Grote, Hist. of Greece, cc. xxxii-xxxiv.

πλείστην τῶν προγεγονότων: equivalent to πλείονα τῆς τῶν προγεγονότων. See on καινότερον τῶν ἄλλων i. 1. 3.

μέγιστα ἔργα: i.e. the achievements of Cyrus and Darius in establishing the Persian empire.

οἳ δὴ καί: who also, we see, refers to οἱ ἐκείνων ἀπόγονοι, and hence does not include the Peloponnesians, whom the argument does not touch.

λέγονται γάρ: they are indeed. Cf. οἶδα γάρ 2.

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