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ἐὰν -- τοιοῦτοι is bracketed by Herwerden. The words are certainly difficult, if σμικρά γε κακά be taken as ironical, for we have no right to render ἐάν by ‘even if’: “a small catalogue of evils—(even) if there are only a few such men!” J. and C. But there is no irony. The meaning is ‘True, they are small evils, if such men are few in number.’ ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘for small is small in comparison with great.’ Adimantus' caveat prepares us for ὅταν γὰρ δὴ πολλοὶ κτλ. below. πονηρίᾳ: ‘in respect of a city's wretchedness and misery.’ For the datives cf. VI 509 D (σαφηνείᾳ καὶ ἀσαφείᾳ), VIII 555 A and infra 576 C. Its union with ἀθλιότητι seems to shew that πονηρία is here ‘wretchedness’ rather than ‘vice,’ although the Greeks did not clearly separate the two ideas (see on I 335 B), and in Plato wickedness is misery. οὐδ᾽ ἴκταρ βάλλει: ‘are not within sight of.’ The proverb means οὐδὲ ἐγγύς ἐστιν (Diogen. III 46. The other sources are given in Leutsch u. Schneidewin Paroem. Gr. II p. 43). Eustathius (in Od. II 292. 27, quoted by Schneider) argues for the rough breathing ἵκταρ (see cr. n.), on the ground that the word comes from ἱκνοῦμαι; but it is clear from his argument, as well as from the other authorities, that ἴκταρ was the regular pronunciation. ὅταν γὰρ δὴ κτλ. The tyrannical man is like the philosopher in one respect. He does not attain to his full development except in a city meet for him. See VI 497 A and Nettleship Lect. and Rem. II p. 318. With μετὰ δήμου ἀνοίας cf. Solon Frag. 11 ed. Bergk.
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