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A second precept for ‘answering’. ‘When a conclusion is being drawn, if your opponent puts the conclusion in the form of a question, you must add the cause of your conduct’. συμπεραινόμενον is a neuter accusative absolute. It is here passive, not middle, though the vetus translatio renders it concludentem, which is contrary to the sense required and to the general use of the verb, which is rarely found in the middle. Spengel even asserts non dicitur media forma, but this assertion (unless I misunderstand his meaning) is refuted by Top. H 5, 150 a 33, ῥᾷον γὰρ ἓν συμπεράνασθαι πολλά, and by Eth. Nic. I I, 1094 b 22, ἀγαπητὸν περὶ τοιούτων καὶ ἐκ τοιούτων λέγοντας παχυλῶς...τἀληθὲς ἐνδείκνυσθαι καὶ περὶ τῶν ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ καὶ ἐκ τοιούτων λέγοντας τοιαῦτα καὶ συμπεραίνεσθαι (which cannot be taken as any other than the middle voice).

Σοφοκλῆς] On this statesman and orator (not the poet), and on the ten πρόβουλοι of whom he was one, see note on I 14. 3.

εὐθυνόμενος τῆς ἐφορίας] ‘called to account for his administration of the office of ephor’. The ephors are charged with being liable to venality in Pol. II 9, 1270 b 10, διὰ τὴν ἀπορίαν ὤνιοι. The ephor in the present instance repudiates the charge, and insists that he had not acted on the prompting of bribery, but ‘on principle’ (γνώμῃ).

οὔτ᾽ ἐπερωτᾶνἀληθοῦς] ‘hence (to avoid being thus foiled), you should neither put a further question after drawing the conclusion nor express the conclusion itself in the form of a question, unless the truth of the facts is superabundantly clear’. Comp. Top. Θ 2, 154 a 7, already quoted on § 2.

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