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ἐνόμιζε μὲν—Freeman says rightly, ‘They were, he allowed, in evil case; but it would not do openly to proclaim the fact.’ In his speech in the council N did not disguise his opinion. Hence in ἐνόμιζε μὲν . . . τῷ δὲ λόγῳ the antithesis is not so much between what he thought and what he said, as between what he both thought and admitted in the council and the impression which he wished his words to produce outside the council. His admission was to be kept secret. πόνηρα—here bears the sense calamitous, dangerous, like our word evil, as in the phrase in evil case. Bloomfield. See not. crit., for the accent. τῷ δὲ λόγῳ—by his speech, with ἀποδεικνύναι. It was not to be publicly known that he felt they were in evil case; nor was a report to reach the enemy that they were openly voting for a retreat. ἐμφανῶς—with ψηφιζομένους. This seems to be merely a plea for secrecy by Nieias. He urged that if they voted for retreat, every one would know of it and so the enemy would hear about it. μετὰ πολλῶν—has been thought to refer to a subsequent and larger council to be held, at which the taxiarchs would attend; but prob. N. only means that if they voted for retreat, their vote would accord with the opinion of many in command, and that the enemy would hear that this was so. καταγγέλτους γίγνεσθαι—cf. III. 30.1 ἐκπύστους γενέσθαι, γίγνομαι making a passive with verbal adjs. λαθεῖν—antithesis to ἐμφανῶς and = μὴ φανεροὶ γενέσθαι. τοῦτο ποιοῦντες—the edd. all say this means άναχωροῦντες. But it should be ψηφιζόμενοι τὴν άναχώρησιν. N. urges that no formal vote may be now taken, because every one must know of it. ‘Let us wait, and decide the matter in secret and informally should retreat become necessary’ He is not at present dealing with the question of retreating immediately, but is arguing on the assumption that an immediate retreat is impossible. Cf. c. 50, ll. 30, 31. ποιοῦντες—ἐβούλετο is here lost sight of, and the Obliqua is used. Nicias is part of the subject, and so the nom. is possible.
τὸ δέ τι—Thuc. has told us why N. objected to an open vote, and now proceeds to explain why N. thought an immediate retreat unnecessary, and indeed impossible. This is shown below by ἢν καρτερῶσι προσκαθήμενοι as distinct from οὐδ᾽ ἐμφανῶς σφᾶς ψηφιζομένους κ.τ.λ. above. ἀφ᾽ ὧν—judging from private (ἐπὶ πλέον ἢ οἱ ἄλλοι) information that he received of them. ἀφ᾽ ὧν . . . αυτῶν= ἀπ᾽ ἐκείνων ἃ αὐτῶν, and αὐτῶν is neut., referring to τὰ τῶν πολεμίων. ἐλπίδος τι—cf. c. 69 λαμπ ρότητός τι. χρημάτων γὰρ—they would wear out the Syr. by want of supplies. θαλασσοκρατούντων—sc. σφῶν; the gen. abs. in spite of the subject being the same as that of ἐκτρυχώσειν. This has the effect of strongly emphasising the participial clause and of contrasting the position of the A. with that of the Syr. (Hw. here reads θαλασσοκρατοῦντες; Stahl inserts σφῶν, and it is not quite clear that any of the passages where this construction occurs are parallel to this one.) The same phenomenon appears in Latin; e.g. Livy 23.24.10 pontem fluminis petentes, obsesso ante ab hostibus ponte. ἦν γάρ τι—cf. c. 4.2. τὰ πράγματα ἐνδοῦναι—place the government in their hands. ἐπεκηρυκεύετο—the subject must be taken from the paren thesis, just as the ohject is in III. 70.3 καί (ἦν γὰρ Πειθίας . . .) ὑπάγουσιν αὐτόν. οὐκ εἴα—urged him not.
ἃ ἐπιστάμενος—sums up the motives that prompted Nicias. Cf. I. 42 ὧν ἐνθυμηθέντες; VI. 60 ὧν ἐνθυμούμενοι. τῷ μὲν ἔργῳ . . . τῷ δ᾽ ἐ. . . . λόγῳ—the antithesis occurs about fifty times in Thuc. ‘In reality he held back, inclining both ways and considering, but in his public speech at the time.’ ἐπ᾽ ἀμφότερα ἔχων—on the analogy of ἔχειν with adverbs. τῷ δ᾽ ἐμφανεῖ—then follows the summary of his official speech. As Thuc has such a clear knowledge of the motives given above, we may assume that Nicias began by making admissions which he did not wish to be taken as part of his ἐμφανὴς λόγος. (We could scarcely suppose that Thuc., sympathising with N., merely inferred his motives) σφῶν—in them; for the constrn. Fr. Muller compares θαυμάζειν τί τινος. ὥστε—introduces the epexegesis of ταῦτα; cf. II. 40.3 διαφερόντως γὰρ καὶ τόδε ἔχομεν ὥστε τολμᾶν, namely that they should depart without an order from them. καὶ γὰρ οὐ τοὺς αὐτοὺς—we shall not, he said, ‘then have the same body of persons both voting about ourselves and making up their minds from seeing the facts with their own eyes as we do instead of merely hearing them from the faultfinding of others.’ For τῶν αύτῶν cf. I. 22.3 οὐ ταὐτὰ περὶ τῶν αύτῶν ἔλεγον, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἑκατέρων τις εὐνοίας ἢ μνήμης ἔχοι; III. 56.7. ὥσπερ καὶ αὐτοὶ—sc. ὁρῶσιν. But the accus. might be used with ὥσπερ, corresponding with ὁρῶντας. ἐξ ὧν ἄν τις—they will let themselves be persuaded by the calumnies of a clever speaker. With εὖ λέγων διαβάλλειν cf. καλῶς ἐπιτιμᾶν III. 38.4; εὖ διαβαλὼν III. 42.2.
καὶ—immo. ὑπὸ χρημάτων—been bribed to turn traitors and depart. ἐπιστάμενος—the timidity of Nicias in this matter is in marked contrast with the outspoken boldness of Pericles. Thirlwall doubted whether N. really feared the A. so much as he professed to do. ἐπ᾽ αἰσχρᾷ τε αἰτίᾳ—viz. on a γραφὴ προδοσίας, which might be brought by any citizen even against a general by means of an impeachment (εἰσαγγελία) in the Ecclesia. The penalties were very severe, involving death, confiscation, and burial outside the state, ἀτιμία for the convict's descendants, and the entry of the man's name on a black list. The case would be tried before the Thesmothetae, who also superintended the εύθυναι—accounts—of retiring στρατηγοί, and a Court of heliasts. μᾶλλον ἢ κ.τ.λ.—he would sooner run the risk, and die on his own account at the hands of the enemy, if die he must. ἰδίᾳ—there is no need to suspect this word with Kr. and Hw.; to die at the hands of the public executioner is δημοσίᾳ ἀποθανεῖν; N. desires to die otherwise. There is also abundant evidence that difficulties arising at Athens out of the στρατηγία were regarded as especially δημόσια.
ἔφη—when long passages of Oratio Obliqua are attempted in Greek, the verb of ‘saying’ is frequently repeatcd. The structure of this c. is similar to II. 13. ξενοτροφοῦντας—these mercenaries were partly Sicel, partly Arcadian. Mercenary service was traditional among the Arcadians. It only became general in Greece after the Pel. war. The Pel. employed many—probably 3000—in 426 against Demosthenes in Aetolia, and Brasidas had 1000 in Thrace. Cf. c. 19.4. ἐν περιπολίοις—forts for the protection of the open country, with home-garrisons, as distinct from στρατειαί. Cf. VI. 45 of the Syr., ἐς τὰ περιπόλια τὰ ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ φρουρὰς ἐσεκόμιζον. ἔτι—besides. βόσκοντας—when used of men, βόσκειν implies contempt or trouble. Cf. Herod. VI. 39 βόσκων ἐπικούρους. The participles belong to ἀπορεῖν and ἀμηχανήσειν alike. τὰ μὲν ἀπορεῖν κ.τ.λ.—were in difficulties, and would hereafter be at a loss. ἀπορεῖν refers to want of money, ἀμηχανήσειν to the diminution of their παρασκευὴ which would result from this ἀπορία. ἔτι—with the future is used thus in threats and prophecies. ἤν τε . . . ἐκλίπωσι—contrast c. 13.1 εἰ ἀφαιρήσομέν τι καὶ βραχὺ τῆς τηρήσεως, and see on c. 8.1 for the difference in the protasis. τῆς νῦν παρασκευῆς—their present forces, depending on ὀτιοῦν. Of course the forces would fall off if the pay were not forthcoming. ἐπικουρικὰ—mercenaries would serve for anyone that hired them. But the Athenians served δι᾽ ἀνάγκης, as men compellcd by law and duty.
τρίβειν—remain; cf. c. 49.2. καὶ μὴ χρήμασιν, ὧν κ.τ.λ.—and not to leave defeated by the money of an enemy than whom they were far better off. χρήμασιν, ὧν = χρήμασιν ἐκείνων ὧν. Nicias has alluded in χρήματα only to the financial straits of the enemy, and adroitly says ‘are wc to let ourselves be beaten by an enemy who, even if he is for the moment stronger, is yet so much poorer that he must lose if we remain?’ (Other edd. take χρήμασιν differently. Most reject ὧν of B and either render ὡς since, or alter it. Thuc does not use ὡς since with indic. elsewhere.) ὧν—antecedent omitted. This cannot be connected with νικηθέντας, as νικᾶν with gen. is exclusively poetical. πολὺ κρείσσους—Herbst says that πολλῷ κρείσσους is always used by Thuc. for to be much better off, and that πολὺ κρείσσους=νικᾶν. But here νικᾶν is itself used in a metaphorical sense, of being beaten by money. And Nicias chooses words which will bear both senses, as they help to disgnise the weakness of the A.
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