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αὐτῶν, the allied states. οὐ προὐθυμήθησαν ‘desired not to <*>.’ Cf. οὔ φημι, οὐ βούλομαι, etc. πρὶν . . . διεορτάσωσιν Thucydides agrees with the tragedians in the use of the subjunct. without ἂν, not only after πρὶν, μέχρι (i. 137, μέχρι πλοῦς γένηται; iv. 16, μέχρι οὗ ἐπανέλθωσιν), but also, if MSS. can be relied on, after ει (vi. 21, ἄλλως τε καὶ εἰ ξυστῶσιν). It is an error to call these ‘omissions’ of ἄν. For πρὶν with subj. see Goodwin, M. and T. § 648. τὰ Ἴσθμια cog. ace. These games were held in Corinthian territory, and under the presideney of Corinth. They were a τριετηρίς, and were held in spring or early summer. αὐτοῖς dat. eth. ‘They found Agis quite ready to oblige them.’ μὴ λύειν δὴ κ.τ.λ. Jowett's ‘Agis was prepared to respect their scruples, and to take the responsibility of the expedition on himself’ seems to miss the point. Agis is ambitious; he has been checked already in his fancy for acting alone, and he is quite ready to let the Corinthians stay at home and to take all the control upon himself. This gives more force to αὐτοῖς and ἑτοῖμος, more point to δὴ, and suits the strong ἑαυτοῦ ἴδιον. ἑτοῖμος is a strong word, ‘zealous,’ v. Dem. De F. L. § 408. δὴ is ironical, scilicet, not utique (as P-S); cf. c. 48, § 5. λύειν (not λῦσαι), ‘should not think of . . .’ ἑαυτοῦ ἴδιον may be joined, but it is as well to take the words as separate predicates. Cf. Soph. Antig. 546, μηδ᾽ ἃ μὴ 'θιγες ποιοῦ σεαυτῆς. Literally ‘they found Agis quite eager that, while they should not of course think of breaking the Isthmian truce, he should make the expedition a private one of his own.’ τὰς Ἰ. σπονδάς during which states at war with each other were allowed to send contestants and θεωροί to the common games, such visitors having a safe pass (ἀσφάλεια καὶ ἄδεια) to and from the celebration.
τὸ πιστὸν, in apposition to ναῦς σφίσι ξυμπέμπειν rather than ναῦς alone. See Jelf, § 580, and cf. the stock instance Ἑλένην κτάνωμεν, Μενελέῳ λύρην πικράν. The article implies that the Athenians naturally required some proof. Construe ‘and when they denied it, they bade them, as the proper guarantee, send, etc.’
οἱ πολλοὶ, whose sympathies were with democracies like Athens. Cf. the case of Corcyra, iv. 46. οἱ δ᾽ ὀλίγοι καὶ ξυνειδότες ‘while the oligarchical party, who were in the plot, . . .’
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