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τῶν πραγμάτων—‘by the scale of the requirements’: cf. c. 19, 2 παρασκευῆς πλήθει. The second ἢ = εἰ δὲ μή: the first is probably spurious. εἰ ἀναγκάξοιτο—if nobody would take the command instead. ἀσφαλῶς—another of N.'s catch-words, to which there is a sarcastic reference below.
τὸ μὲν ἐπιθυμοῦν—the partic. used as a noun occurs fairly often in Thuc., especially in the speeches. Like thc articular infin., and the frequent use of nouns in -σις and -τής, it is a mark of the σεμνότης, ‘dignity,’ of Thuc. Very similar is Dr. Johnson's use of long nouns of Latin origin. τοῦ πλοῦ—this is not the geu. usually employed with the noun-participle: in the ordinary type the partic. expresses a quality belonging to the substantive, as in τὸ ἡσύχαζον τῆς νυκτός VII. 83; τὸ θυμούμενον τῆς γνώμης VII. 68. ἀσφάλεια—δοκῶ, ‘seem,’ usually has thc personal construction. Goodwin, M.T. § 754. νῦν δή—‘now there would be no risk,’ since N. had explained the measures by which even he admitted it could be avoided.
ἔρως ἐνέπεσε—cf. Aesch. Agam. 332 ἔρως δὲ μή τις πρότερον ἐμπίπτῃ στρατῷ | πορθεῖν ἃ μὴ χρή. τοῖς μὲν γάρ—sc. ἔρως ἐνέπεσε. καταστρεψομένοις ἐφ̓ ἃ ἔπλεον—cf. VII. 11 κρατήσαντας Συρακοσίους ἐφ̓ οὓς ἐπέμφθημεν. ἢ ῾ὡς᾿ οὐδὲν ἂν σφαλεῖσαν μεγ. δύναμιν—the accus. abs., which with personal verbs requires ὡς or ὥσπερ. Goodwin, M.T. § 853. ἡλικίᾳ—i.e. the age for military service. τῆς ἀπούσης κτλ = ποθοῦντες ἰδεῖν καὶ θεωρεῖν τὰ ἄποντα, the expression being, as Bohme says, poetical. ὄψεως καὶ θ. = ‘sights and wonders,’ being passive in sense. εὐέλπιδες ὄντες—anacoluthon, as though οἱ δὲ ἐπόθουν had preceded. Cf. II. 53, 4 θεῶν φόβος . . οὐδεὶς α:πεῖργε, τὸ μὲν κρίνοντες: III. 36 ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς . . ἐπικαλοῦντες: Eur. Hec. 971 αἰδώς μ᾽ ἔχει . . τυγχανοῦσα. ὁ δὲ πολὺς ὅμιλος—sc. εὔελπις ὤν. καὶ στρατιώτης—Kruger quotes Plut. Per. 12 τὸν θητικὸν ὄχλον καὶ ἰδιώτην, and στρατ. is best taken as an adj., so that the phrase = οἱ πολλοὶ καὶ στρατιῶται. Classen and Bohme object that this leaves καί unexplained, and take καὶ στρατ. as part of the pred. with Dobree. But ὁ πολὺς ὄμιλος = that part of the ὄμιλος which was not so far στρατιώτης—had not, for whatever reason, served before. Thuc. makes two distinct points in the section: (1) all alike were eager to go, both young and old, and were confident; (2) the multitude and all those who had served before hoped to make money. These points would be much clearer if he had begun a new sentence after θεωρίας. ἀίδιον μισθοφοράν—this is explained by editors to mean that the addition of Sicily to the empire would lead to continual campaigns; but Gilbert rightly paraphrases: ‘they hoped to get permanent employment out of the acquisition somehow’: μισθοφορά is used loosely for pay for any services. ὑπάρξειν—the attraction of short rel. clauses into infin. in reported speech is less rare in Gk. than in Lat. Thuc. has nine instances.
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