previous next

ὥσπερ ἔχομεν—‘as we are,’ without change of plan, here implying ‘at once,’ but not always so: the meaning implied depends on the context.

ἀνδρῶν depends on τὸ ἀφύλακτον, equivalent to τῶν; the gen. with neut. adj. or partic. as noun is a common constr. with Thuc.

καὶ πάνυ—‘most certainly,’ ‘undoubtedly,’ as in II. 11 καὶ πἀνυ ἐλπίζειν: here in contrast with είκὸς δέ . .

καὶ ἡμῶν ἀλκὴ τ. μάλιστα οὖσα—the version ‘where our strength chiefly lies’ is open to the objections (1) that the fleet was not stronger thau the Athenian fleet at Lesbos; that could not for a moment be maintained after Phormio's exploits; and (2) that the strength of the Pel. fleet, being unknown to A., could be no reason why there should be πολὺ τὸ ἀφύλακτον on the part of the enemy. Another rendering is ‘where defence happens to be in the main our rôle,’ but I cannot find that ἀλκή is ever used for ‘the defensive’ in opposition to ‘attack’; it means, on the contrary, ‘defence or resistance’ in opposition to ‘flight or submission’—something positive, not negative. In spite of the objections, the first rendering is prob. right; the reasoning that Thuc. puts into the mouth of speakers is not always exact: the strength of the Pel. is not intended to be compared with that of the A., and should have been referred to iu an independent sentence, but the love of antithesis has led to the connexion of ἐκεῖνοί τε . . καὶ ἡμῶν. τυγχἀνει οὖσα marks the circumstance as unusual, and the real comparison is between the military aud naval strength of Alcidas.

ὡς—‘conscious that.’


τὸ καινὸν τοῦ πολέμου lit. ‘the strangeness of war is just this sort of thing’; i.e. the carelessness of the victor with the corollary of a sudden and wholly unexpected attack. In φυλάσσοιτο and ἐνορῶν only the carelessness of the victor is kept in view, but that the corollary is included in τὸ τοιοῦτον is proved (1) by the vague inclusive pron. in place of τοῦτο, (2) by τὸ καινόν, which could not mean τὸ ἀφύλακτον merely, but must include τὸ ἀπροσδόκητον. (Steup conjectures τὸ κοινόν, ‘where war shows itself notoriously impartial’: this makes the sentence easier to understand, but I do not think καινόν impossible Many edd. see in τὸ καινόν a reference only to sudden attack—τὸ προσπεσεῖν ἄφνω. I do not understand how καὶ τοῖς πολεμίοις ἐνορῶν can be explained on this view. τὸ κενόν, ‘the vanity,’ is as tolerable as τὸ καινόν in itself, but is more likely to be a mistake for τὸ καινόν than vice versa.)

—governed by φυλάσσοιτο and ἐνορῶν, or perhaps—in strictness—αὐτό is supplied from it to ἐνορῶν, for the position of τε does not make this impossible.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (1 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.11
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: