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τὰ σκῦλα—Plut. Nic. 27 says that the finest trees on the banks of the Assinarus were decked with A. panoplies.
κατεβίβασαν—by a decree passed in the assembly at Syr. after a debate of which Diodorus and Plutarch give details. The quarries are among the most striking features of Syracusan topography, most of them running in a long row along the S.E. side of Achradina. They are now disused and exceedingly picturesque. The date of the sentence is about the middle of September. ἄκοντος Γυλίππου—Hermocrates also, as Diod. and Plut. relate, spoke against the motion which was proposed by a leader of the democrats. ἀπέσφαξαν—we know from Plutarch that Philistus agreed with Thuc. that Demosth. and N. were put to death, and this confirmation by the contemporary Sicilian historian is too strong to be set aside by the story of Timaeus that they were allowed to commit suicide. (The manner of their death is unknown; in Plut. Nic. 28 Δημοσθένην δὲ καὶ N. ἀποθανεῖν Τίμαιος οὔ φησιν ὑπὸ τῶν Συρακοσίων καταλευσθέντας̣ (or κελευσθέντας), ὡς Φίλιστος ἔγραψε καὶ Θουκυδίδης, I believe that we should read καταδεθἐντας unless καταλευσθέντας could mean cast into the stone quarries, as Hesych. explams the word.) τοῖς ἄλλοις—sc. ἀγωνίσμασι.
νήσῳ—Sphacteria, in 425 B.C. ὥστε ἀφεθῆναι—depends on προυθυμήθη: cf. c. 62.4; 77.5.
διὰ τὴν πᾶσαν κ.τ.λ.—describe the ethical excellence of N.; for ἐπιτήδευσιν shows that Thuc. is not thinking of the military sense of ἀρετή. On the whole he uses ἀρετὴ as Plato does, i.e. as embracing the fonr cardinal virtues, ἀνδρεία, σωφροσύνη, δικαιοσύνη, φρόνησις, and, though later writers had an idea that N. was a coward, there is nothing to show that he was more than a moral coward. Thuc. himself admits moral cowardice on the part of N. when he attributes superstition to him. The construction is disputed, but it is natural to suppose that both πᾶσαν and νενομισμένην belong to ἐπιτήδευσιν, not to ἀρετήν. Trans. ‘because he had directed his course of life wholly in accordance with virtuous principles,’ i.e. in accordance with elementary ethical principles, not in accordance with any school of philosophy. νομίζω=I put into practice; ἐπιτήδευσις=a theory of life, on which concrete ἐπιτηδεύματα are based. Thuc. attributes οὐ δημοτικὴ παρανομία to Alcibiades. We recall too the sneer of Plato in Phaedo 82 A οἱ τὴν δημοτικήν τε καὶ πολιτικὴν ἀρετὴν ἐπιτετηδευκότες, ἣν δὴ καλοῦσι σωφροσύνην τε καὶ δικαιοσύνην, ἐξ ἔθους τε καὶ μελέτης γεγονυῖαν ἄνευ φιλοσοφίας τε καὶ νοῦ.
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