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ἑταιρείας μὴ ποιεῖσθε: the word ἑταιρεῖαι originally meant ‘brotherhoods’ or ‘clubs’, the purpose of which was probably usually social, though they were sometimes religious in character. Such ‘clubs’ soon lost their original character and became political; though before the Persian wars, if we are to believe Isocrates (τὰς ἑταιρείας συνῆγον οὐχ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἰδίᾳ συμφερόντων ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τῇ τοῦ πλήθους ὠφελείᾳ, Paneg. 79), their object was a patriotic one. During the Peloponnesian War the term comes to be applied to the followers of great statesmen such as Cimon and Pericles. But they were increasingly employed for unconstitutional purpose; the best example of this is perhaps the use made of them by Alcibiades in 412 B.C. The ἑταιρεῖαι became a constant source of danger in Greek political life at Athens, and Isocrates is no doubt giving voice to his own feelings when he puts these words into the mouth of Nicocles.

συνόδους, ‘gatherings’ of a more general kind than the organized ἑταιρεῖαι.

ἐν ταῖς ἄλλαις πολιτείαις: Isocrates is perhaps thinking of the use made by Lysander of the ἑταιρεῖαι in the Greek cities of Asia Minor, where he either used existing political organizations or founded others to assist the introduction of Spartan rule.

πλεονεκτοῦσιν: used absolutely ‘are advantageous’; see note on E. 11.

ἐν οἷς: for the relative introducing a consecutive sentence see note on E. 35 οὐδείς ἐστιν οὕτω ῥᾴθυμος ὅστις.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Isocrates, Evagoras, 11
    • Isocrates, Evagoras, 35
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 79
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