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§ 2-50 Discussion (ἀπόδειξις) including (1) sketch of the situation (διήγησις) §§ 2—12, (2) proposals (πρόθεσις) §§ 13—30, and (3) arguments in their support (πίστεις) §§ 31—50.

§ 2-6 Do not despair. Remember that your misfortunes have arisen from your own slackness, so that you may hope to retrieve them by diligence (2). Remember again that when Sparta was at the height of her power we were able by dint of diligence to withstand her (3). Remember also the example of Philip. He did not throw up the game because the advantages were on our side; and now through his diligence they are all on his (4—6).

γάρ ἐστι χείριστον. The paradox, repeated in Phil. 3. 5, serves to excite the hearers' curiosity from the outset.

ποιούντων ὑμῶν. The genitive absolute, as frequently, contains an idea more important than that of the main clause to which it is attached: ‘the fact that the evil plight of your affairs is due to your neglect of all proper measures.’

πραττόντων. The subject of a participle used absolutely in the genitive is sometimes omitted when (1) it can be supplied easily from the context, or (2) it is indefinite.

γενέσθαι refers of course to time which, in relation to ἐλπὶς ἦν, is future. But after verbs and verbal phrases expressing hope the aorist infinitive is sometimes so employed. Cf. Thuc. IV.24 τὸ Ῥήγιον ἤλπιζον ῥᾳδίως χειρώσασθαι. Indeed the aorist, except in the indicative and in the infinitive and participle where these in some sense represent indicatives, carries no significance of time. ἂν must of course be taken with ἦν.

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  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.24
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