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τὴν βουλήν. This council which decides the foreign policy of Argos cannot well be the later democratic βουλή (cf. Thuc. v. 47), but must be some smaller, more aristocratic body, perhaps the mysterious ‘eighty’ mentioned by Thucydides (l. c.). ἀνδρωθέωσι: the plea is specious if the defeat occurred within fifteen years (494 B. C.), hardly intelligible if it be placed thirty-five years before (before 515 B. C.). ἐπιλέγεσθαι depends on λέγουσι: it is followed by μή because it implies fear lest; cf. iii. 65. 3.
τῶν δὲ ἀγγέλων τούς. The Spartans come forward from among the other envoys, because the demands of the Argives affect Sparta most. ἀνοίσειν ἐς τοὺς πλεῦνας = ἐξενεῖκαι ἐς τὸν δῆμον, ix. 5. 1; cf. v. 79. 1. τοὺς πλεῦνας (cf. Thuc. viii. 73, 89) = τοὺς πολλούς, τὸ πλῆθος (iii. 81. 1, 80. 6). The ultimate decision lay with the Apella (called ἁλίη, ch. 134. 2). Cf. App. XVII, § 2. According to Pausanias (ii. 19. 2) the Argive kings in the second generation from Temenus lost all real power [Pheidon's reassertion of royal power later being regarded as a Tyranny], and ten generations later, Meltas, the last Heraclid, was deposed. Plutarch (Mor. 340 C) says that Aegon was made king after the fall of the Heracleids. Presumably the monarch only retained the old royal right to priesthood and other formal honours, perhaps presidency of the Boule. Since the law said to have been passed in the days of Cleomenes I (cf. v. 75), that only one king should go with the army, was observed in practice, the Spartan reply is a mere evasion. H. would seem to have forgotten his earlier statement.
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