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κακῶς αἱρούμενοι: making unfortunate choices, in cases where they have to decide what is suited to their powers.

ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀδοξοῦσι: but they also lose reputation. In addition to the concrete losses sustained by the failure of their plans, come chagrin and ill repute.

τῶν πόλεων ὅτι: emphatic position before ὅσαι, to heighten the contrast of πόλεων with the individuals just mentioned.

ἐξ ἐλευθέρων: from a condition of freedom. See on ἐκ παίδων ii. 1. 21.

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