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Nicias was elected general against his will, and he was anxious to avoid the command most of all because of his fellow commander. For it had seemed to the Athenians that the war would go on better if they did not send out Alcibiades unblended, but rather tempered his rash daring with the prudent forethought of Nicias. As for the third general, Lamachus, though advanced in years, he was thought, age notwithstanding, to be no less fiery than Alcibiades, and quite as fond of taking risks in battle.

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