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δεῦρο—i.e. you have not to think only of the enemies you will find in Sicily. Already before the Pel. war Sparta had applied for help to Sicily: now the friends of Sparta there would be provoked to send it.

ἐπαγαγέσθαι—a vox media, being used equally of inviting in good and evil.


σπονδάς—the Peace of Nicias; Thuc. has more than once pointed out that it was delusive; but considering the enthusiasm felt for Nicias at Athens in 421 when the Peace was signed, it is curious to find Nicias admitting his failure.

ἔχειν τι βέβαιον—‘afford you some security’ (Bloomf.), because, if the Spartans refused to break the peace, no enemy from Sicily could come to attack Athens.

αἵ—‘so long as you refrain from action, the treaty will last as a nominal treaty—thanks to the action of certain persons at home and on the other side.’ ἡσυχάζειν, quiesco, is often contrasted with πολεμῶ:

ὀνόματι—‘as far as the name goes’: it will not be a reality.

ἄνδρες—at Athens Alcibiades, at Sparta certain of the ephors. ἔπραξαν αὐτάπράσσω not infrequently suggests the bad side of diplomacy, αὐτά=τὰ τῶν σπονδῶν, the matters connected with the treaty. The use of αὐτά referring to things connected with what has been mentioned is common; e.g. II. 43, 1 τὴν δύναμιν . . αὐτά, Eur. Bacchae 202 παραδοχὰς . . αὐτά.

σφαλέντων—sc. ἡμῶν, the gen. abs. as often in spite of the proximity of another case having the same reference. This has the effect of strongly emphasising the participial clause. . δυνάμει with σφαλέντων.

ἐπιχείρησιν ποιήσονται—see Index s.vv. ποιεῖσθαι and γίγνομαι.

διὰ ξυμφορῶν—‘in a condition of’=διὰ ξ. ὄντες: cf. 34, 2; 57, 3. Λακεδαίμων, says Thuc., μάλιστα δὴ κακῶς ἤκουσε καὶ ὑπερώφθη διὰ τὰς ξυμφοράς (v. 28) just after the Peace.

ἐκ τοῦ αἰσχίονος—‘in a manner more disereditable than we, that is, of necessity.’ We accepted peace voluntarily; they perforce. There is not much ground for this boast.

ἐν αὐτῇ ταύτῃ—‘while the treaty is actually in force’ we have many disputes; referring to the omission to carry out certain clauses of the treaty These disputes were concerned mainly with Amphipolis, Pylus, and Panactum.—A principal sentence is co-ordinated with a rel. clause.


οὐδὲ ταύτην—partial and unsatisfactory as it is.

οἱ μέν—the Corinthians. See c. 7, 2 n.

οἱ δὲ καί—the Boeotians and Chalcidians of Thrace. It is not uncommon to find καί thus inserted after οἰ δέ to emphasise the antithesis. καὶ αὐτοί=‘similarly.’


δίχα—part being in Sicily.

πρὸ πολλῶν—sc. ἀνθρώπων. ‘Aliter enim πρὸ πολλοῦ aut πρὸ πολλῶν χρημάτων dicendum erat’ (Stahl); cf. Andoc. 2, 21 ἐδεξάμην δ᾽ ἂν ἀντὶ πάντων χρημάτων. Isocr. 13, 11 has ἐγὼ δὲ πρὸ πολλῶν ἂν χρημάτων ἐτιμησάμην τηλικοῦτον δύνασθαι τὴν φιλοσοφίαν.


τινα—instead of ἡμᾶς. Cf. vii. 61 ἢν κρατήσωμεν . . ἔστι τῳ τὴν . . πόλιν ἐπιδεῖν. This use of τις increases the solemnity of a statement.

αὐτά—cf. § 2

τῇ πόλει—see crit. n.: ‘verba μετεώρῳ τῇ πόλει bene exponit Schol., dicens: τῆς πόλεως ἡμῶν οὐκ ἐν τῷ ἀσφαλεῖ ὁρμούσης μετενήνεκται δὲ τὸ ὄνομα (‘the metaphor is taken’) ἀπὸ τῶν μήπω ὡρμισμένων’ (Stahl). For the sentiment cf. Aristides 30, 35 τῆς παροιμίας οὐ πόρρω θέομεν τὸ νῦν<*> ἐπιθυμίᾳ γὰρ τῶν πλειόνων καὶ ἀπόντωνἀλλ̓ ἐάσω τὸ βλάσφημον. See c. 13, 1. πρὶν . . βεβαιωσώμεθαπρίν without ἄν appears four times in Thuc. with subjunct., but in other Attic prose writers the use is doubtful. See M.T. § 648.

ἔτη—sixteen years.

κατὰ τὰς ἠπείρους—this is purposely left vague. The subject allies showed great readiness to revolt after the disaster in Sicily.

ἐνδοιαστῶς—this word does not occur in any Attic prose writer except Thuc.

ἡμεῖς δέ—this clause does not, as Classen thought, depend on εἰ . . γε, but clearly stands in antithesis to χρὴ σκοπεῖν τινα, as Stahl explains. What we are doing is quite different from what we ought to be doing. The contrast between σκοπεῖν and ὀξέως (μεταχειρίσαι) is repeated in c. 12, 2.

δή—with βοηθοῦμεν Ἐγεσταίοις. The verbal contrasts between οὖσι ξυμμάχοις and πάλαι ἀφεστώτων, ἀδικουμένοις and αὐτοἰ ἀδικούμεθα, βοηθοῦμεν and ἀμύνεσθαι are good examples of antithesis in the enthymeme, or rhetorical inference. The enthymeme, which is very common in the speeches of Thuc., is ‘a syllogism drawn, not from the premisses proper to any particular seience—such as medicine—but from propositions relating to contingent things in the sphere of human action’ (Jebb): thus here:—proposition 1, we aid Segesta; proposition 2, we neglect our revolted subjects. The inference is that we are neglecting the city's interest in not reducing the revolted to obedience. The most approved form of enthymeme according to later rhetoricians is this, which Cieero calls sententia ex contrariis conclusa: e.g. Cic. pro Sulla § 22 an vero clarissimum virum generis vestri ac nominis nemo reprehendit qui filium suum vita privavit . . : tu rempublicam reprehendis, quae domesticos hostes . . necavit? One of the two premisses is often omitted, in which case the enthymeme becomes a mere statement backed up with a single reason.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.43
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.28
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.61
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