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λελωφήκαμενλωφᾷ: παύεται Hesych.: λωφᾷ τῆς ὀδύνης, Plat. Phaedr. 251 C; cf. II. 49, 5 μετὰ ταῦτα λωφήσαντα, of symptoms abating.

χρήμασι καὶ τοῖς σώμασιν—for the rather unusual art., cf. Demosth. 16, 12 καὶ χρήματ᾽ εἰσφέρειν καὶ τοῖς σώμασι κινδυνεύειν: 22, 55 εἰς χρήματα τὴν δίκην προσήκει λαμβάνειν. δὲ εἰς τὰ σώματα . . ἐποιήσατο τὰς τιμωρίας. Clas. thinks the art. is added to give prominence to the more important item.

ηὐξῆσθαι—the perf. infin. is rare after ὥστε, but it is here required to express a state in the present.

δίκαιον—sc. έστί. It is probably right to omit εἶναι after ἐνθάδε with C; for, apart from the awkwardness of construction, it is far more pointed to state dogmatically that justice (to ourselves) demands that we should use what we have recovered for ourselves, than to say that we should think it just to do so: and δίκαιόν (ἐστι) is in antithesis to χρήσιμόν (ἐστι) below.

ἐνθάδε—within the limits of our own empire.

ἀναλοῦν—old form of ἀναλίσκειν.

φυγάδων—an exaggeration: only the Leontines could be ealled φυγάδες. Cf. c. 6, 2.

τό τε ψεύσασθαι—‘whom it suits to lie plausibly,’ by promising help and advantage to those who would help them.

τῷ τοῦ π. κ—‘while others face danger, and they themselves provide nothing of their own but pretenees, either, if they succeed, to make no adequate return, or, if they fail at all, to involve their friends in disaster.’ χρήσιμον belongs to ξυναπολέσαι, and the sentiment that ‘there are states which it suits to involve their friends in their own failure’ is in aceordance with a maxim well known in ancient times that trouble is lighter when the burden is shared by many. It was at least recognised in the ease of individuals, and nothing is clearer than that Nicias here, as elsewhere—as he did apparently throughout his career—confuses the political attitude of states with the ethics of the individual. There is therefore nothing strange in χρήσιμον. Nor is there a zeugma in τῷ τοῦ πέλας κινδύνῳ: it belongs equally to κατορθώσαντας and to πταίσαντας —whether they succeed or fail, the danger to their friends is the same.


τις—Alcibiades, as eager to accept the command as Nieias was reluctant.

ἄρχειν—sc. στρατιᾶς, chosen from the board of ten strategi to command the army. Nicias does not mean, as is generally assumed, elected strategus. Alcibiades had held that office, (1) July 420-419, (2) July 419-418, (3) July 416-415, and had at this time been elected to hold office a fourth time, 415-414. Jokes had been made, especially by the comic poet Eupolis, about Alc.'s youth in 419. He was now about thirtysix, but was ‘young for his age.’ For ἐς sec Index.

μόνον—instead of the interests of the state. This, says N., is what Alc. is doing, and one reason is that he is too young for so responsible a post.

θαυμασθῇ μέν—from the rather strange expression we must assume N. to mean that Alc. wanted the command in order to increase his establishment and to get means to pay for it. There is nothing ‘disordeily’ in this sentence, as is sometimes said.

ἱπποτροφίας—‘so expensive was the keeping of horses in most parts of Greece (see Pind. Isth. iv. 49, Aesch. Pr. V. 475, Aristot. Pol. VI. 7), that such was regarded as an evidence of ample fortune, and, when attached to any one's ancestors, of high gentility. In Hdt. vi. 35 it is mentioned as a proof of Miltiades' gentility, that he was descended οἰκίης ἀπὸ τεθριπποτρόφου’ (Bloomfield). Cf. Isocr. 16, 33 of Alc., ἱπποτροφεῖν ἐπιχειρήσας τῶν εὐδαιμονεστάτων ἔργον ἐστίν: and the νόσος ἱππική of Aristoph. Nub.

μηδὲ τούτῳ—‘do not allow him either,’ any more than Segesta.

ἐλλαμπρύνεσθαι—i.e. λαμπρύνεσθαι ἐν τῷ . . κινδύνῳ.

μὴ οἷον νεωτέρους β—‘not one for young men to decide and to carry out in a hurry.’ οἷος=τοιοῦτος ὥστε, as often.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.49
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.49
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.35
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.7
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