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ἵν᾽ εἴτ̓ ἐλάττων] (ἐστὶν ἡ φυλακὴ), ἡ φυλ. προστεθῇ, or perhaps rather, εἴτ᾽ ἐλλάττων (ἐστὶν) ἡ φυλακὴ, (αὕτη) προστεθῇ. περίεργος] is properly said of one ‘who troubles himself over much’ (περί), either about his own affairs, or those of others; (these two significations will be found illustrated in the Lexicons). Hence it acquires the general sense of ‘superfluity’, as here. Comp. Plat. Polit. 286 C, περίεργα λέγειν, and Apol. 19 B, Σωκράτη...περιεργάζεται ζητῶν τά τε ὑπὸ γῆς καὶ τὰ ἐπουράνια (of an idle curiosity). Dem.? Phil. δ̓ 150, 24, ἐξ ὧν ἐργάζῃ καὶ περιεργάζῃ τοὺς ἐσχάτους ὄντας κινδύνους. Ib. 143, 17, περίεργον καὶ μάταιον ἀνάλωμα, and elsewhere in Dem. and the other orators. Arist. Eccles. 220, εἰ μή τι καινὸν ἄλλο περιειργάζετο. See also in Ind. ad Fragm. Com. Graec. Meineke, Vol. v. Pt. 2. καὶ τοὺς ἐπιτηδείους τόπους τηρῶσι μᾶλλον] Translate the whole passage, ‘in order that whether the defence (defensive preparation) be too little, addition be made to it, or if superfluous, it be retrenched, and their attention be rather directed to the watching or guarding (fortification) of favourable positions’. ἐπιτηδείους τόπους are places favourable, defensible, suitable to the purpose for which they were intended, viz. for protecting the country. Thuc. II 20, ὁ χῶρος ἐπιτήδειος ἐφαίνετο ἐνστρατοπεδεῦσαι: Herod. IX 2, χῶρος ἐπιτηδεώτερος ἐνστρατοπεδεύεσθαι: VI 102, ἐπιτηδεώτατον χώριον ἐνιππεῦσαι, always apparently of a ‘favourable’ position, and this seems to be here the natural, as it is the usual, sense of ἐπιτήδειος and of the passage in general. And so Victorius, ‘et ut relictis parum opportunis locis magis idoneos tueantur.’ (There is another possible—but I think not probable—interpretation of ἐπιτηδείους τόπους, viz. loca commoda or opportuna, suitable or convenient to the enemy, easy of access, readily assailable: τηρεῖν, as before, being to guard or defend.)
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