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l 1. οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι—the subject of the subord. verb is put at the head of the sentence to contrast the action of Athenians and Lesbians sharply; a good parallel occurs at VII. 32 οἱ δὲ . . πρέσβεις . . ἐπειδὴ . . ἔμελλον ἄξειν τὸν στρατόν, ὁ Νικίας . . πέμπει. The imperf., ἑώρων (sc. τὰ γιγνόμενα), is used because the action overlaps that of ἀπήγγειλαν.
ἀπαράσκευοι qualifies πολεμεῖν, and is therefore co-ordinate with ἐξαίφνης: cf. e.g. I. 39 προύχοντα καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ἀσφαλοῦς, and c. 13, 2 θᾶσσον γεγένηται καὶ ἀπαράσκευος. ἔκπλουν τινα—for the use of τις cf. II. 22 ἱππομαχία τις βράχεια ἐγένετο. ναυμαχίαν—both dat. and accus. seem to occur with ὡς ἐπί of intention; but the MSS. often vary, as here. πρὸ τοῦ λιμένος—i.e. that harbour which was used by the fleet (cc. 3, 6; 6, 1), in which their ships had lam. (Steup's suggestion that τοῦ ἑτέρου λ. should be read is unnecessary.) Presently they were driven back into this same harbour. The northern harbour is meant. See Introd. P. xiv. ὀλίγον is accus. of space (cf. 104, 2); of time II. 8 ὀλίγον πρὸ τούτων. τὸ παραυτίκα . . ἀποπέμψασθαι—‘get the ships withdrawn for the time being,’ i.e. in order to gain time.
καί ‘accordingly.’ τῶν διαβαλλόντων—see c. 2, 3. The partic. becomes a subst, as in οἱ ἐπαγόμενοι II. 2, οἱ προδιδόντες II. 5. τὰς ναῦς is not object of πείσειαν, but only subject of ἀπελθεῖν, τὰς ναῦς ἀπελθεῖν being an exact citation of the proposal they would make in the Ecclesia, which was to be for a permanent withdrawal. The constr. is strange, however, and ποιήσειαν has been proposed.
ἐν τῇ Μαλέᾳ πρὸς β. πῆς πόλεως—the Malea that is known is the SE. point of Lesbos, 70 stadia from the city. A solution of the difficulty has been found, Introd. p. XV. (Those who suppose that the SE. point of the island is meant, take πρὸς β. τῆς πόλεως with ἀποστέλλουσι. But from the narrative that follows, it is clear the A. were lying to the north of the city (esp. c. 6, 1); and it is not likely they were so far distant as 70 stades. Some are driven to suspect that ἐν τῇ Μαλέᾳ may be corrupt or spurious.)
τοῖς is neut., and προχωρήσειν is epexegetic. διὰ τοῦ πελάγους—crossing the Aegean directly instead of sailing down the coast of Asia Minor, between Chios and Erythrae, before crossing among the islands. The alternative routes are clearly explained in Odyssey III. 170 f. and the risks of that across the μέσον πέλαγος are indicated. (Cf. Tozer, Islands of the Aegean, p. 170.) αὐτοῖς prob. = the Lesbians, and is dat. commodi with ἔπρασσον, as in V. 76, where those acting for Sparta at Argos are called οἱ τοῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις πράσσοντες. (Others take αὐτοῖς with ἥξει, or refer it to the Lacedaemonians.)
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