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ἀνάγκη δέ—sc. αὐτοὺς ἄρξαι τῆς Σικελίας. (H. Kleist points out that this ehapter is an example of the ἐπιχείρημα, or conclusion based on a major and a minor premiss: (a) major premiss —propositio—ἀνδρὶ δὲ τυράννῳ . . γίγνεσθαι: (b) minor premiss —assumptio—καὶ ἡμᾶς τοῦτο ὠφελεῖ. This is supported by a proof—assumptionis probatio—in ἀπιστεῖν δὲ . . Πελοποννησίοις: (c) conclusion—complexio—ὤστε καὶ τἀνθάδε . . καθίστασθαι. The ἐπιχείρημα differs from the syllogism essentially in that neither of the premisses need be true.)
τὸ ἔργον—i.e. the fact mentioned immediately afterwards. τὸ γὰρ πρότερον—in 427. προσείοντες φόβον—the metaphor is from shaking swords or spears at an enemy to alarm him (Bloomfield). Cf. Eur. Her. Fur. 1189 τί μοι προσείων χεῖρα σημαίνεις φόβον; and V. 17 ἤδη παρασκευή τε προεπανεσείσθη ἀπὸ τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων. (The other meaning of προσείειν, ‘to entice animals’ with food, is not in keeping with the present passage)
μείζονι πρὸς τὴν τῶνδε ἰσχύν—most edd. render ‘with a force larger (than necessary) in comparison with the strength of S.’ But in the note in Jowett it is pointed out that the speaker's objeet is to minimise the power of Athens in Sieily. Henee μείζονι=‘greater’ than before, viz. in 427, and πρός=‘with a view to,’ ‘so as to cope with.’ ὑποπτεύεσθαι—sc. ἡμᾶς. ἀπιστεῖν—sc. ὑμᾶς.
ἡμεῖς μέν γε—‘we at least’ are powerless in any case to keep possession of Sieily, or even to obtain a footing in it without your aid. οὔτε is answered by τε. μὴ μεθ̓ ὑμῶν=ἄνευ ὑμῶν. κατεργασαίμεθα—sc. ὑμᾶς. This is an answer to the argument of cc. 76, 77. ἀπορίᾳ φυλακῆς πόλεων κτλ—‘through the difficulty of garrisoning large eities that possess the forces of a continental power’—i.e. cavalry and infantry as opposed to a fleet. οὐ στρατοπέδῳ—sc. ὥσπερ ἡμεῖς. τῆς ἡμετέρας παρουσίας—‘than the force we have here.’ ἐποικοῦντες—the proximity of Syr. is as bad as a permanent hostile settlement. καιρὸν . . ἑκάστου—‘an opportunity for any particular attempt.’ ἑκάστου is best taken as nent., and not as masc., ‘an opportunity for attacking each of you.’ ἄλλα—internal accns., ‘in other cases.’
τολμῶσιν κτλ—‘they have the boldness to ask for your aid against the men who try to prevent this and hitherto have saved Sicily from falling into their power—as though you were blind’ and could not see through their design. From Athens really proceeds the opposition (κωλύοντας) that saves Sicily from being subject to Syracuse.
τὴν ὑπάρχουσαν κτλ—‘the safety that we and you alike gain from each other.’ ἀμφοτέροις belongs to ὑπάρχουσαν. ‘Nous ne pouvons sauver les uns sans les autres’ (Tanaquil Faber). παρασχήσειν—impersonal, commonest in the form παρασχόν: an Ionic use of παρέχει. τῷ ὑπόπτῳ—‘through suspicion.’ ἔτι βουλήσεσθε—ἔτι is often so used in threats and prophecies. ὅτε—‘at a time when.’ ὅτε is the regular particle for introducing a reference to a date.
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