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τοσαῦτα κτλ—observe the chiastic form of the summary: Ἑλλήνων=c. 3, 1; βαρβάρων=c. 2, 6; τοσαῦτα ἔθνη=c. 2, 1; τοσήνδε οὖσαν=c. 2, 1 (previous senfence). The same arrangement occurs in II. 7, 8, 9.

προφάσει—in one other passage of Thuc. of the real motive, I. 23, τὴν μὲν γὰρ ἀληθεστάτην πρόφασιν, ἀφανεστάτην δὲ λόγῳ. Cf. Demosth. de Cor. 201 ὅτι τὴν μὲν ἀληθῆ πρόφασιν τῶν πραγμάτων ἀπεκρύπτετο. In this use πρόφασις is the excuse which the writer gives as the true one in contrast with the alleged cxcuse. C. D. Morris quotes Bacon's ‘the truest cause of this war, though least voiced.’

ἄρξαι—ingressive, as often with the aor. of ἄρχω.

ἅμα—i.e. Thuc. admits this as a secondary motive, and says that it was the one avowed in order to attract (εὐπρεπῶς).

τοῖς ἑαυτῶν ξ—i.e. the Chalcidians of Naxos, Catana, Leontini, as Ionians.

προσγεγενημένοις—Kruger, Hude, Stein, Sitzler accept this reading against προ-. ‘The allies who had jomed them’ in addition to their kinsmen. Thus in III. 86 we have αἱ Χαλκιδικαὶ πόλεις καὶ Καμάρινα aiding Leontini in 426; in v. 5 Phaeax in 422 persuades Acragas and Camarina to join with the allies of Athens against Syr. The Sicels also had joined in 426, III. 103. For Segesta see § 2.


τε]—those who retain τε—Classen, Böhme, Muller, Sitzler—assume an anacolnthon, supposing the construction to be broken by ὅμοροι γάρ, and to be resumed at § 3 ὧν ἀκούοντες: so that Thuc. intended Ἐγεσταἰων τε πρὲσβξις . . καὶ οἱ ξυναγορεύοντες. But, as Stahl points out, if this were so, the parenthesis would be added from a wish to say something about Ἐγεσταίων πρὲσβεις as distinct from οἱ ξυναγορεύοντες. But, in fact, the explanation applics to both, as § 3 shows. It often happens in the MSS. of Thuc. that τε is found in some MSS. and not in others. Each passage has to be dealt with on its own merits.


γαμικῶν τινων—‘Notwithstanding difference of origin, not withstanding frequent quarrels, a right of connubium must have existed between the Greek and the barbarian city’ (Freeman).

γῆς ἀμφισβητήτου—the Mazarus formed a boundary between the lands of the two cities.

ὥστε—quamobrem, a use of ὥστε and indic. common in Thuc. and other prose authors, and by far the commonest use of ὤστε with indic. in Soph. and Eurip.

ἐπὶ Λάχητος—see on c. 1, 1. This alliance with Segesta is not mentioned before; but an alliance is here plainly implied. [

Λεοντίνων]—has been taken with πολὲμου, which is not a proper definition of the war of 426, and with ξυμμαχίαν, which is contrary to fact, since the alliance with Leontini—as is known from an inscription—was made in 433, not in the previous war.

ἀναμιμνῄσκοντες—with two accus., as Demosth. 45, 34 τοῦθ̓ ὑμᾶς άναμνήσω. αὐτῶντῶν Ἀθηναίων. Syr. had already destroyed Leontini in 422. The only remaining question was whether the act was to go unpunished: if it was not punished, then Syr. might proceed to destroy the other Athenian allies as well, and so get possession of all Sicily.

διαφθείραντες—this is much better than the pres. partic. (see crit. note), which would mean time concurrent with σχήσουσι. Clas. explains the pres. of the successive conquests But this use of the pres. partic. to express a process not contemporary with the time of the main verb can only be shown to exist where the time of the partic. is absolutely past (see the exx. in M. T. § 140), as in II 51 ἕτερος ἀφ̓ ἑτέρου θεραπείας ἀναπιμπλάμενοι ὥσπερ τὰ πρόβατα ἔθνῃσκον, whereas διαφθείροντες would refer to time absolntely future. Krüger understands ‘they will get possession of the whole power of S. while destroying’; but this is scarcely satisfactory. Moreover, the order τὴν ἅπασαν shows that the sum of all the items that make up the power is meant; and it is illogical to combine this with a distributive expression. κίνδυνον εἶναιλέγοντες has here the infin.; cf. vii. 21 λέγων . . εἶναι: but in II. 5 λέγοντες ὅτι . . The pres. partic. with infin. is found in I. 38; II. 13; III. 70; IV. 22, 70; v. 49 λέγοντες μὴ ἐπηγγέλθαι πω τὰς σπονδάς, 46; VI. 52, 58 λέγοντες οὐδὲ ἐπαγγεῖλαι τὴν άρχήν, 79; VIII. 70, 93. In v. 49 the μή is due to ἀντέλεγον μή . . preceding. In none of these passages does λέγω mean ‘to command.’ There are at least as many instances in Thuc. of λέγων=‘saying’ with infin. as of λέγων with ὅτι or ὡς.

Δωριῆς τε Δ—the figure called polyptoton. It is a common means of emphasising an idea both in Gk. and Lat. ἐκείνωντῶν Ἀθηναίων, so that it applies to the same persons as αὐτῶν above. Cf. c. 61 κατέγνωσαν αὐτοῦ τε καὶ τῶν μετ᾽ ἐκείνου, where see n. τόντὸν μέλλοντα, Schol.

ἀκούοντες—the pres. is used because the partic. is influenced by ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις. There were several meetings of the Ecclesia specially held (ξυγκλητοὶ ἐκκλησίαι) to hear the arguments. Cf. Demosth. 3, 4 πολλῶν δὲ λόγων καὶ θορύβου γιγνομένου παρ᾽ ὑμῖν, ἐψηφίσασθε τριήρεις καθέλκειν.

τῶν ξυναγ—Alcibiades and his followers. These gens. are absolute.

πρῶτον—before finally deciding.

τὰ τοῦ πολέμου . . πρὸς τοὺς Σελινουντίους—unless πόλεμος can be considered as (a) a verbal noun, this order is impossible, because there is (b) no other epithet to πολέμου than πρὸς τοὺς Σελ. Cf. (a) II. 52 ξυγκομιδὴ (verbal noun) ἐκ τῶν ἀγρῶν: (b) I. 110 τὰ κατὰ τὴν μεγάλην στρατείαν Ἀθηναίων.

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hide References (16 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (16):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.110
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.23
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.38
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.13
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.52
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.7
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.103
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.70
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.86
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.22
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.49
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.52
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.21
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.70
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