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τοιαύτας—the asyndeton when a demonstrative pron. sums up what precedes is common.

αἰτίας is ‘grievances’ (Cornford), not synonymous with προφάσεις.

σαφεῖς τοῖς ἀκούουσι γνῶναι as in κάλλιστον ίδεῖν τοῖς φίλοις Xen. Oec. VIII. 6; but an unusual kind of example. The words are appropriate to a pleader.


βουλομένους—what is to be supplied?

ἀποστήσεσθαι δ. ἀπόστασιν—the figura etymologica, as in VI. 56 τοὺς τὴν πομπὴν πέμψοντας, VIII. 58 κοινῇ πὸν πόλεμον πολεμούντων. It is usually said that Thuc. plays upon the double meaning of ἀφίστασθαι here. (1) ‘abstain from.’ (2) ‘revolt from.’ With Poppo and Classen I cannot think this is so. The passage clearly corresponds to c. 10, 3 ξύμμαχοι ἐγενόμεθα οὐκ . . Ἀθηναίοις, ἀλλὰ . . τοῖς Ἔλλησι, and the M. had ‘revolted from’ the Greeks who formed the Delian league just as much as they had ‘revolted from’ the Athenians. Nor is the view of the majority borne out by μέντοι ἀπόστασις κτλ.

ξὺν κακῶς ποιεῖν—referring to καταδούλωσις τῶν Ἑλλήνων c. 10. Cf. Xen. An. V. 5, 21 ἂν μέν τις εὖ ποιῇ, ἀντ᾽ εὖ ποιεῖν (ἀντευποιεῖν MSS.), ἂν δὲ κακῶς, ἀλέξασθαι (Stallbaum on Plato, Gorg. 520 E).


χρή—sc. ὑμᾶς.

καὶ μᾶλλον i.e. in addition to the δίκαιον and ἀρετή (c. 10, 1) or doing so.

βοήθειαν ἀποστέλλειν—the M. really suggest two plans, both of which were adopted (c. 15, 1; 16, 3; cf. 25, 1), viz. (1) that a fleet shall be sent to Lesbos, and (2) that there shall be another invasion of Attica, though there had already been one this year. But the second proposal is put forward only as according with the interest of Sparta (either the enemy will not resist you, or—if they do—they must withdraw from the Peloponnese (cf. § 3) as well as from Lesbos, § 4). The second proposal only was at first carried out, but it did not have the desired effect (c. 16, 2). In the following year, accordingly, both schemes were to be carried out concurrently (c. 26), but even then the Pel. were slack about no. 1 (c. 27, 1). (I see no ground for thinking the text deficient here, as Steup supposes. The two courses are not proposed as alternatives, and, on the other hand, they are with good reason not announced as two parts of a scheme for helping Lesbos.)

καὶ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ—this point is explained in what follows: so far it has not been touched upon. To this

καιρὸς . . πρότερον refers.

ἐφθάραται—the old plur. terminations in -αται, -ατο, are rarely found in Attic prose, as Xen. An. IV. 8, 5: Thuc. varies.

αἱ μέν—see c. 7.

περιουσίαν νεῶν ἔχειν—a number large enough to protect the harbours and coast of Attica without recalling those that were out. This forecast was entirely falsified by the event; but it might very well be entertained because (1) in spite of the fall of Potidaea (in 429 B.C.), no Athenian fleet had been sent out to the Peloponnese in 429; (2) only thirty ships had been sent out this year in answer to the Spartan invasion of Attica, whereas in 431 and 430 the number had been 100; (3) late in 429 a Peloponnesian fleet had made an abortive attempt to seize the Piraeus: reflexion on the result of this mismanaged affair may have led them, with good reason, to underrate the naval resources of Athens.

ἐπεσβάλητε—‘make an additional invasion’: τὸ δεύτερον emphasizes the ἐπ-.

γὰρ δοκεῖ . . παρέξει—‘if anyone is thinking that L. is far away, the advantage will be given to him close at hand’; that will come home to him.

ἐν τῇ Ἀττικῇ ἔσται—‘will turn on Attica, but (on the country) through which . . ,’ i.e. ἐν τῇ ξυμμαχικῇ; the issue depends on the action of the ξύμμαχοι The need is to transfer the resources (cf. ὠφελίαν . . ὠφελεῖται) of the ξύμμαχοι from the Athenian to the Spartan side. Cf. Tac. Hist. II. 28 sin victoriae columen in Italia verteretur.

οἱ πρὶν δουλεύοντες—i.e. those who were made ὐποτελεῖς before us.

βοηθησάντων—a remarkable ex of the gen. abs. where the subject of the verb is the same; cf. c. 112, 6.

εἴχετε—‘have up till now’ is the meaning given by Poppo; but ‘had’ before the war is more natural, and more in accordance with the action of Sparta.

ἐλευθεροῦντες—a good point: at the outbreak of the war the Lac. had claimed to be ‘the liberators of Greece.’

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hide References (13 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (13):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.28
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.10
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.112
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.15
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.16
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.26
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.27
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.7
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.8
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.56
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.58
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.6
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