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φασι...Κλέωνα The capture of Pylos by Cleon took place more than seventy-five years before this (B.C. 425). Cf. Thuc. IV 28, 29 and Ar. Eq. 55, 702, 740. The preference, even at this late period, for oral instruction rather than for reading written histories, will account for the expression ‘they say that Cleon captured the prisoners at Pylos.’ Compare λέγεται Ἀλκιβιάδης γενέσθαι in Mid. § 143. It is not meant that a mere vague or uncertain story is referred to. [Cf. note on Dem. Lept. § 11 λέγονται ed. Sandys.]

This casual mention of Cleon, and of his reputation for the event, μάλιστα πάντων εὐδοκιμῆσαι, is interesting. Aristophanes, in pure spite, says that ἔλαμψε τῆς τύχης χάριν, ‘he became distinguished by favour of fortune,’ Vesp. 62. On the importance attached to στρατηγεῖν, see Or. 34 § 50. By τῶν προγόνων it is merely meant that the ancestors of some of the present jury might have served under Cleon.

τὸν ἐκείνου υἱὸν Not merely ‘his son’ (Kennedy), but ‘the son of that distinguished man, now deceased’ (§ 28).

οὐ προσῆκεν ‘It was not consistent with the wealth and position of the family.’

εἰκός ἐστιν An argument from the probabilities of the case, which is continued in §§ 26, 7. See on Or. 34 § 14.

αὐτοὺς Ipsos; ‘they would themselves (i.e. out of their own property) have added to it.’ As a mere accusative of the subject, the word would here be superfluous. Reiske proposed, and Schaefer approves, the insertion of ἂν before αὐτούς. Rather we should expect, in this case, ἀλλ: αὐτοὺς ἂν προσ- θέντας. But this cannot be necessary. [Goodwin's Moods and Tenses § 49, 2, note 3, § 416 ed. 1889.] We know from §§ 6, 7, 19, that a talent was the dower the lady brought both to her first and to her second husband. Hence it does not appear that the brothers really increased the dower, though they may have given her presents beside.

καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι See § 19.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Demosthenes, Against Phormio, 14
    • Demosthenes, Against Phormio, 50
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