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Οὐ ζηλούσῃ—the institutions of Sparta were based on those of Crete.

παράδειγμα—probably a reference to the embassy sent from Rome to Athens in 454 B.C. to examine the laws of Solon. Livy III. 31. (Hertz, N. Jahrb. 1881, p. 283 fol.)

ὄντες—the partic. is constructed with the subject instead of with πολιτείᾳ, so that the pride of the people is directly appealed to.

ὄνομα—adverb. accus.

ἐς ὀλίγους . . οἰκεῖν—‘the administration is in the hands not of a few but of the majority.’ οἰκεῖν is here intrans. = ‘to be administered,’ and the subject is πολιτεία. Cf. Plat. Rep. VIII p. 547 C πῶς οἰκήσει (αὕτη πολιτεία);

δ. κέκληται—‘our constitution is called a democracy.’ Then μέτεστι δὲ κ.τ.λ. explains that, though named a democracy, the name does not mean that the claims of excellence are disregarded.

πρὸς τὰ ἴδια δ——‘in protecting their private interests,’) (ἐς τὰ κοινὰ below.

πᾶσι— i.e. ὀλίγοι, as well as δῆμος. The two cardinal principles on which the democracy rested were ἰσονομία and ἐλευθερία. All being equal in the eyes of the law, the majority of necessity controlled the state. Pericles was convinced that complete democracy was necessary, as only under such a government had all an equal chance of developing their abilities; all being, as Isocr. says, ἐκ τῆς δημοκρατίας πεπαιδευμένοι. κατὰ δὲ—antithesis to μέτεστι πᾶσι rather than to κατὰ μὲν τοὺς νόμους. ἀξίωσιν—existimatio, the consideration accorded to merit, recognition of personal claims

εὐδοκιμεῖ—he alludes especially to officials elected by show of hands, such as the strategi. Those offices which required no special knowledge were filled by lot. Whether the best men were always elected is doubtful. Pericles only claims that nothing stood in the way of merit.

οὐκ ἀπὸ μέρους— ‘not on account of his rank so much as.’ μέρος = a particular class, such as the ὁμοῖοι of Sparta.

ἀγαθόν τι δρᾶσαι—see c. 64, 1; Plat. Rep. I. 332 A.

ἀξιώματος ἀφανείᾳ—the result of ἀξίωσις is ἀξίωμα, a position in the state: ‘by the obscurity of his position.’

κεκώλυται—sc. ἀγαθόν τι δρᾶσαι τὴν πόλιν, a clear statement that abilities are to be devoted to the advancement of the state. (This was the theory of all the best Athenian statesmen: there was some sense in the Seriphian's insult to Themistocles, οὐ δι᾽ αὑτὸν ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν πόλιν εὐδοκιμεῖ.)

Ἐλευθέρως—the same liberal spirit that we show in public life underlies all our private relations.

τά τε .. καὶ —parataxis: ‘as ... so.’

πολιτεύομεν—lit. live in the state, τὰ πρὸς τὸ κ. being internal accus. ‘as regards our public life,’ quod attinet ad rempublicam.

ἐς τὴν ὑποψίαν—‘in respect of that mutual suspicion often felt (τὴν) in the daily business of life.’

ἐπιτηδευμάτων—the outcome of following any particular ἐπιτήδευσις (see c. 36, 4).

δι᾽ ὀργῆς . . ἔχοντες —c. 13, 2.

εἰ ... δρᾷ—this merely = τὸν δρῶντα, i.e. no time is referred to at all. If it were, ἐάν τι δρᾷ would be required. Cf. c. 64, 6.

καθ᾽ ἡδονήν τι δρᾷ—genio indulget, ‘does as he likes.’ This is true generally; but in their religious opinions the Athenians were intolerant.

ἀχθηδόνας προστιθέμενοι—‘assuming an ill-humoured expression.’ τῇ ὄψει ‘on our faces’ may be omitted in trans.; unless, indeed, it belongs not to προστιθέμενοι, but to λυπηράς, ‘annoying to see.’ ἀζημίους is active in meaning. ἀχθηδὼν (= ἄχθος) is poetic. Thuc. still alludes to Sparta, where people could not do as they liked, through the rigorous system of police control enforced by the ephors.

Ἀνεπαχθῶς—‘yet, in spite of this freedom from restraint in our private intercourse, we are in our public acts most careful to reverence the laws.’ Both τὰ ἴδια and τὰ δημόσια are adverbial.

αἰεὶ—constantly used of the officials who held office for a year, and denoting the continuous succession of magistrates.

ἀκροάσει—‘showing respect to,’ = ἀκροώμενοι, which means lit. ‘listening eagerly to.’ Cf. c. 21, 3.

αὐτῶν—with ὅσοι. ἄγραφοιSoph. Antig. 454 ἄγραπτα κἀσφαλῆ θεῶν|νόμιμα δύνασθαι θνητὸν ὄνθ᾽ ὑπερδραμεῖν. Xen. Mem. IV. 4, 19. They are the natural laws that are engraved on the heart of every right-minded individual, so that none doubt it is disgraceful to transgress them. Cf. Milton: ‘Those unwritten, or at least unconstraining laws of virtuous education.’

αἰσχύνην ... φέρουσι—‘bring universally admitted disgrace,’ sc. τοῖς παρανομοῦσι.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 454
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.4
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