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In view of the great difficulty of the expedition, which must be regarded as an attempt to found a new city in hostile territory, I am willing to assume leadership only if furnished with quite sufficient means, and will gladly give place to another who thinks differently. ἢν γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἔλθωμεν ἐνθένδε κτἑ.: the substantiation with γάρ follows upon the urgent admonition of the whole preceding chapter, that by Athens herself most is to be provided, in provisions and money: “for even if we set out with means in every way superior, victory will still be not easy.” Everything is calculated to excite doubt.—ἢν αὐτοί: if we ourselves, i.e. not depending on allies like the Egestaeans.—ἀντίπαλον...παρασκευασάμενοι : (cogn. acc., like ναυμαχήσαντες ἀντίπαλα 7. 34. 23) limited immediately by the parenthetical selfevident admission, πλήν γε πρὸς τὸ μάχιμον αὐτῶν, τὸ ὁπλιτικόν, except indeed as regards their auailable force of hoplites, i.e. there can be no thought of our opposing them with an equally numerous hoplite force. See App.— 2. τὸ μάχιμον: as collective only here in Thuc., but freq. in Hdt. (2. 165. 6; 7. 186. 1). Cf. Xen. Cyrop. 5. 4. 46.— τὸ ὁπλιτικόν: epexegetical to τὸ μάχιμον, i.e. “in so far as it consists in hoplites.” τῶν μὲν κρατεῖν: neut., i.e. supremacy in Sicily. Cf. 30. 12.— τὰ δὲ καὶ διασῶσαι: the reference is not to their rule at home (Schol. τὰ οἰκεῖα), for their activity in Sicily was not to preserve this; nor yet, as most editorsassume, to their Siceliote allies, for Nicias had the fate of these little at heart; but to the Athenian army in Sicily. Cf. 24. § 3. καί not at least, as 90. 7; 1. 1. 7. but also, emphasizing διασῶσαι by the side of κρατῆσαι. Cf. οἱ δὲ καί 10. 12; τὰ δὲ καί 38. 20. πόλιν τε νομίσαι χρὴ...οἰκιοῦντας ἰέναι : with ἰέναι goes the general subj. implied in οἰκιοῦντας, as St. explains: and you must consider that men will set out to found a city amid alien and hostile peoples. κατάσχωσιν: land, as 4. 42. 13, 20; 57. 10; 8. 23. 12. κρατεῖν τῆς γῆς: to dominate the open country. See on 3. 85. 13.—ἢν σφάλλωνται: Steup would bracket these words as an interpolated explanation of ἤ, on the ground (1) that as placed the cond. belongsonly to ἕξουσιν, against the thought of the passage, and (2) that transposition would not help, since ἢ εἰδέναι ὅτι κτἑ. alone is much stronger. But these reasons are far from convincing.— πολέμια ἕξουσιν: for this favorite idiom of Thuc. (= πάντα ἔσται πολέμια), see on 1. 120. 9. εὖ βουλεύσασθαι: εὖ, though omitted by good Mss., indispensable as antithesis to εὐτυχῆσαι. πλείω : cogn. acc. with εὐτυχῆσαι as πολλά with βουλεύσασθαι (see on 12. 15).—χαλεπὸν...ὄντας : sc. πολλὰ εὐτυχῆσαι ἡμᾶς. Better taken, with Pp., as independent sent., than construed with εἰδώς, as Cl. does. ὅτι ἐλάχιστα...ἐμαυτόν : guiding motive of Nicias also in 5. 16. 16. ἀπὸ τῶν εἰκότων: in accordance with human calculations, as Plato, Legg. 941 E; 950 D. [ἐκπλεῦσαι]: bracketed as a gloss with Kr., as after the preceding ἐκπλεῖν neither the repetition nor the change of tense is explicable. Cl., retaining ἐκπλεῦσαι, emended ἀσφαλής to ἀσφαλεῖ, and rendered: “but only with an equipment which in all human probability is assured of success to sail out.” ταῦτα: i.e. the precautions recommended in all the foregoing.— 14. παρίημι αὐτῷ τὴν ἀρχήν: cf. the similar offer of Nicias to Cleon with reference to Sphacteria 4. 28.
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