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οὔτοι παντελῶς...εὐκαταφρόνητόν ἐστιν, sc. τὸ τοῦτο παραστῆσαι αὐτῷ: ποιήσαιτ᾽ ἂν τοῦτο, i.e. ὁρμήσαιτ᾽ ἄν. It is no contemptible gain to inspire Philip with this fear, even if you would not actually (if occasion required) carry out my suggestion. The expression is, however, decidedly obscure, and the opinion of commentators as to the exact meaning is far from harmonious.

The use of the optative with ἂν in the protasis of a conditional sentence is rare: it can only occur when the condition itself is regarded as contingent upon some further condition: it is here equivalent to εἰ οὕτω διακεῖσθε ὥστε οὐκ ἂν ποιήσαιτε (sc. εἰ δέοι). The selection of this form is probably due to the influence of ἂν ὁρμήσαιτε, the sense of which is here repeated. Cf. Dem. 24. 154 οὐδὲ σπέρμα δεῖ καταβάλλειν, οὐδ᾽ εἰ μή πω ἂν ἐκφύοι, ‘even if (supposing you did so) it would not grow yet’ (Goodwin, M.T. 506—7).

It is certainly best to understand the sentence as a parenthesis, as the following ἵνα-clause depends most satisfactorily on δεῖ... παραστῆσαι.

εὐτρεπεῖς, sc. ὄντας; the participle is not often omitted after verbs of knowing and perceiving, but cf. inf. § 41 ἂν ἐν Χερρονήσῳ πύθησθε Φίλιππον.

παριδών, ‘overlooking,’ looking past, instead of at a thing, somewhat like περιιδεῖν.

μηδενός, neuter; not οὐδενός, because of the dependence on ἵνα and the conditional character of the whole sentence.

ἂν ἐνδῷ καιρόν, ‘if he offers us a chance’; so Aristoph. Knights 847λαβὴν γὰρ ἐνδέδωκας”. The inferior MSS. give καιρός, ‘if opportunity allows.’

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    • Aristophanes, Knights, 847
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