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μηχαναῖς—Freeman says ‘it is strange that we have heard so little of engines of this kind during the whole war’ in Sicily. ‘They have not been mentioned before exeept when Nicias used them as materials for a fire’ (VI. 101).

παρατειχίσματος—N. in his letter had said that it was necessary to capture the ἐγκάρσιον τεῖχος πολλῇ στρατιᾷ ἐπελθών. The first attaek was made on the south side.

ξυνάρχοντας—Eurymedon, Menander, Euthydemus.

ὡς ἐπενόει, καὶκαὶ marks the carrying out of the plan that had been formed. In this idiom the rel. sense of ὡς, as, is hardly distinguishable from the temporal.

τὴν ἐπιχείρησιν— “they were to strive to win their way on the north side by the path by which he (Nicias) had first made a lodgment for the invaders on the hill of Syraeuse.” Freeman .

ἀδύνατα—the plur. marks the details of a complex aetion.

ἡμερῶν—gen. of measure, as constantly in expressions of magnitude.

τοξευμάτων—we expect rather a mention of some engine used in the destruction of walls, and it is just possible that τόξευμα here denotes a machine of some kind. The proposals are μοχλευμάτων Madvig, λαξευμάτων Meineke, τειχομάχων Widmann. 15

ἢν κρατῶσι—the pres. is used because κρατεῖν = to be master, like νικῶ. Otherwise the aor. would be necessary.

ἀπὸ πρώτου ὕπνου—concubia nocte; cf. περὶ πρῶτον ὕπνον II. 2.1; ἀπὸ τρίτης ὡρας Aets XXIII. 23. When the art, is omitted with expressions of time, a preposition is usually present, except with νυκτός, ἡμέρας.

τὴν πεζὴν—i.e. the foot at large who were able to take part. Some were left to guard the works. (The true reading πεζὴν eomes from Plut. Nic. 21.)

ἐν τοῖς τείχεσιν—it has been generally assumed that, since the completion of the Syr. eross - wall, the A. had abandoned the κύκλος altogether, and held only the low ground at the south; but there is no evidence for this, and probably Freeman is right in assuming that N. still guarded the Fort.

ὑπελείπετο—Classen well says that the imperf. refers to his task of guarding the lines.

ῃπερ καὶ προτέρα—referring to the ascent of the A. in the spring of 414.

τὸ τείχισμα—i.e. a fort on Euryelus, built by Gylippus and forming the western extremity of his cross-wall.

προτειχίσμασιν—defensive ‘outworks’ on the north side of the cross-wall.

τοῖς ἑξακοσίοις—a chosen band of hoplites now under the command of Hermociates. They had been appointed to keep a look-out on Epipolae in 414.

ἀμυνομένους—accus. because it is object of ἔτρεψαν only. Contrast c. 53.2 προσπεσόντες τοῖς πρώτοις τρέπουσι.

τοῦ περαίνεσθαιthat by means of the present impulse they might not be slow in the execution of the purpose for which they had come. The infin. is passive and depends on βραδεῖς γένωνται=ὑστερήσωσι.

ἄλλοι δὲ—i.e. others than Demosth. and his division.

ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης—temporal, ‘in the first instance.’ If τὸ ἀπὸ τῆς π. παρατείχισμα be retained with the MSS., the meaning is ‘the original cross-wall’; but there seems to be no reason why the cross-wall should be so qualified. There is no subsequently built wall with which it is contrasted.

οἱ δὲ Συρακόσιοι— “while the invaders were still engaged on their attempt on the wall (ἥ̣ρουν . . . καὶ . . . ἀπέσυρον), the garrisons of the other forts came forth to attack them.” Freeman .

διὰ παντὸς τοῦ μήπω μεμαχημένουthose parts of the army which had not yet come into action; neut. collective, as often.

διελθεῖνforce their way through. ‘They feared,’ says Freeman, ‘lest, if they relaxed for a moment, the whole force of the defenders should turn and come together against them.’

οἱ Βοιωτοὶ—i.e. the Thespians who in a single ship had met the Syracusan fleet at Locri (c. 25.3). The majority of the three hundred Bocotians referred to in c. 19.3 had not yet reached Syr. See c. 50.1.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.2.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.23
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.101
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.19.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.25.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.50.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.53.2
    • Plutarch, Nicias, 21
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