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κομίσαντα ναῦς Φοινίσσας, as if Ἕλληνας πλείους were to follow. The expression, however, is varied, and strictly should in consequence have been transposed before κομίσαντα. We learn more of these Phoenician ships (147 in number) in c. 87. Phoenicia came into the Persian empire under Cambyses (circ. 529 B.C.) and remained more or less loosely attached till the conquest by Alexander. The Phoenician was the most important contingent at the battle of Lade (B.C. 494), and played a large part at Salamis (B.C. 480).

Ἕλλησι πλέοσι i.e. not to make the Peloponnesian force on the Asiatic coast too large.

τοῖς αὐτοῖς τε γῆς κ.τ.λ. By joining a Phoenician fleet to the Peloponnesian the enemies of Athens would sweep her fleets from the sea. The Peloponnesians would thus become masters not only of their natural element, the land (for the Lacedaemonians were held to be superior in that department), but also on the sea (where the Athenians were superior). τοῖς αὐτοῖς, se. the Lacedaemonians. It was better policy to leave both sides (ἀμφοτέρους) in possession of their respective superiorities.

τοὺς αὐτῷ λυπηροὺς This reading seems necessary in place of the αὐτοῦ or αὐτοὺς of MSS. Cf. vi. 18, τοῖς ἐκεῖ ἐχθροῖς λυπηροί. Bohme quotes as some defence of the nounuse Xen. Hell. v. 2, 33, τοῖς ὑμετέροις δυσμενέσι. One may add Aesch. Suppl. 376, ἄγος μὲν εἴη τοῖς ἐμοῖς παλιγκότοις, and combinations like tui benevolentis (Plaut. Trin. 46). The possessive adjectives are, however, by no means complete evidence for the genitive, even with the same words; and the quality of the noun-adjective itself must be considered. Arnold's quotation, Xen. Mem. i. 5, 3, κακοῦργος τῶν ἄλλων, is much easier, and πολέμιος, ἐχθρός, δυσμενής τινος can hardly warrant λυπηρός τινος. A just possible rendering of αὐτοῦ = ‘there’ is in the circumstances hardly worth considering. The only objection to αὐτῷ is that it appears rather unlikely to have been corrupted. See critical note.

τῆς ἐς γῆν . . . ἀρχῆς, to avoid the cacophony of genitives (Hertlein). For the ἐς of extension to, Kr. compares i. 6, τῶν ποτε καὶ ἐς πάντας ὁμοίων διαιτημάτων.

οἷς = οἷστισι (P-S). Another, though less probable, syntax is ἀπορεῖν ἂν (τούτων), οἷς κ τ.λ.

ἀπορεῖν ἂν αὐτὸν sc. Tissaphernes, not the king. since the clause with βασιλεῖ ἐξεῖναι is dependent on ἐᾶν, of which the subject is Tissaphernes. So Tissaphernes is the αὐτὸς . . . ἑαυτοῦ . . . αὐτῷ . . . ἐκείνῳ of the following passage.

ἀναστάς of standing up to fight. Cf. Il. xxiii. 635.

εὐτελέστερα δὲ τάδ᾽ εἶναι κ.τ.λ. This emendation of Classen and Madvig (Adv. Crit. i. p. 28), though not certainly right, is at least an improvement upon the εὐτελέστερα δὲ τὰ δεινὰ of MSS. The MS. reading literally rendered is ‘the danger would be a cheaper one to run, to wear out, etc.,’ the infin. κατατρῖψαι and its clause being in exegetical apposition to τὰ δεινὰ, i.e εὐτελέστερα δὲ (εἶναι) τὰ δεινὰ, (sc.) κατατρῖψαι κ.τ.λ. Bnt τὰ δεινὰ is a curiously inappropriate expression to use of a case in which no danger is involved (cf. inf. μετὰ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ ἀσφαλείας). There is still left, when the emendation is made, some tautology in εὐτελέστερα and βραχεῖ μορίῳ τῆς δαπάνης, which, however, can be relieved by giving to εὐτελής the not uncommon sense of φαῦλος, apart from a pecuniary aspect. ‘But, he said, this was a course which made less demand upon him, etc.’ The objection to the emendation lies in the a priori unlikelihood of τάδ᾽ εἶναι passing into τὰ δεινὰ; and it may more probably be the case that ΤΑΔΕΙΝΑ should be redivided into τάδε, ἵνα with κατατρίψει (or -οι) to follow, i.e. ‘and that his proposed course would be an easier one, being a case in which he (T.) would wear out, etc.’ Copyists, either through negligence or because unfamiliar with this use of ἵνα (cf. Antiphon, 142, 9, ἵνα μὲν ἐξῆν αὐτοῖς . . . τιμωρήσασθαι . . . ἐνταῦθα οὐδεὶς οἷός τε ἐγένετο . . . ἐλέγξαι), would naturally divide ΤΑΔΕΙΝΑ as τὰ δεινὰ; they would not all alike commit the same error with τάδ᾽ εἶναι.

αὐτοὺς περὶ ἑαυτοὺς Cf. vi. 18, τρίψεσθαι αὐτὴν περὶ ἑαυτήν.

κοινωνοὺς, i.e. with whom to divide sovereignty in regard to the Hellenic world.

τὸν λόγον τε ξυμφορώτατον καὶ τὸ ἔργον ἔχοντας πολεμεῖν Either (1) τε joins this clause to the preceding, ‘and that they carried on war with a principle and a practice most agreeable to his interests’: Or (2) τε is in an unusual place answering to καὶ, while πολεμεῖν = ὥστε πολεμεῖν; ‘having both a principle and a practice for their warfare which were most agreeable to his interests.’ The former is the simpler and better, since the second clause is apparently not meant to give a reason for the assertion in the first.

λόγον The Athenians really made no definite statement such as the Lacedaemonians did. The latter claimed to be liberators. Yet the Athenians may be said to have a λόγος in so far as they often confessed to a selfish policy (see the Melian debate, v. 89 etc.) This being their λόγος, their ἔργον is an ἔργον καταδουλώσεως.

ξυμφορώτατον sc. τῷ Τισσαφέρνει.

ξυγκαταδουλοῦν the policy of Tissaphernes is one of καταδούλωσις. The Athenians would share (ξυγ-) this policy or act similarly. The force of ξυγ- is not so much of aid or union as of identity of procedure.

σφίσι τε αὐτοῖς . . . καὶ ἐκείνῳ . . . The meaning is generally taken to be ‘for they (the Athenians) would join (with the Persians) in enslaving on the one side the sea-element to themselves, on the other the Asiatic Greeks to him (Tissaphernes).’ But Alcibiades is not contemplating an offensive alliance between Athens and Persia, but only the best general policy of Persia, which would be to maintain in existence Athens rather than Sparta as the only other power with whom it must divide the sovereignty of the Greek world. ‘Of the two,’ says A., ‘the Athenians are those whose existence we should encourage; they (unlike the Lacedaemonians) will not seek to meddle with a continental power, and they will not have “a mission” like Sparta. Their policy and practice is to enslave.’ If the τε (omitted by Vat.) is sound, and if ἐκείνῳ is the right reading amid MS. discrepancies, the passage is somewhat brachylogic for ‘while enslaving the sea-element to themselves they would at the same time be enslaving to him (i.e. indirectly, letting him enslave) the Asiatic Greeks.’ Yet inasmuch as no adequate reason for the corruption of the grammatically obvious ἐκείνῳ is forthcoming, we might suggest that Thucydides really wrote τοὺς μὲν γὰρ ξυγκαταδουλοῦν ἂν σφίσιν αὐτοῖς (with Vat.) τὸ τῆς θαλάσσης μέρος καὶ ἐκεῖνον (sc. ξυγκ. ἂν) ὅσοι ἐν τῇ βασιλέως Ἕλληνες οἰκοῦσι: τοὑς δὲ . . ., i.e. ‘for whereas the Athenians would, like himself (ξυγ-), be enslaving to themselves the seaelement, just as he would (or ‘while he would’) all the Greeks in the king's domains, on the other hand the Lacedaemonians, etc.’ The clause καὶ ἐκεῖνον κ.τ.λ. is in a manner parenthetical, and the sentence though grammatically less rotund (which indeed accounts for the corruptions) is rather the more Thucydidean.

τὸ τῆς θαλάσσης μέρος either (1) ‘their share of the ἀρχή, to wit, the sea,’ or better (2) ‘the sea-element’ or ‘department.’ Cf. ii. 62, δύο μερῶν τῶν ἐς χρῆσιν φανερῶν, γῆς καὶ θαλάσσης, τοῦ ἑτέρου ὑμεῖς παντὸς κυριώτατοι.

σφῶν τῶν Ἑλλήνων Alcibiades, the speaker, is a Greek. Hence σφῶν. In direct speech the words would run οὐκ εἰκός ἐστι Λ. ἀπὸ μὲν ἡμῶν τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἐλευθεροῦν νῦν τ. Ἔλ., ἀπὸ δὲ ὑμῶν κ.τ.λ. Alcibiades does not identify himself with Athens (being now her enemy), nor does he in any way make τῶν Ἑλλήνων coextensive with the Athenians merely. ‘It was not likely that the L. were now freeing the Greeks from his own people, the Greeks, and yet would refuse to free them from them, the foreigner.’ By ‘from us Greeks’ Alcibiades means ‘from Greeks like ourselves.’ He might have said simply ἀπὸ μὲν Ἑλλήνων ἐλευθεροῦν Ἕλληνας, ἀπὸ δὲ βαρβάρων μὴ ἐλευθερῶσαι, or he might have said ἀπὸ μὲν ἡμῶν ἐλευθεροῦν ., ἀπὸ δὲ ὑμῶν μὴ ἐλευθερῶσαι. Having said ἡμῶν and ὑμῶν, he gives the reason of the improbability by antithetically adding τῶν Ἑλλήνων (‘I mean the Greeks’) and τῶν βαρβάρων (‘I mean the foreigner’). If either member of the antithesis should be omitted (which is improbable) it should be τῶν βαρβάρων (with Vat.)

ἢν μή ποτε αὐτούς* πη ἐξέλωσι. It is hoped that this emendation will commend itself. The MS. reading ἢν μήποτε αὐτοὺς μὴ ἐξέλωσι is variously understood: (1) ἢν μὴ (‘unless’) μὴ-ἐξέλωσι (‘they, the Lacedaemonians, fail to make away with’) αὐτούς (‘the Athenians’); i.e. the only supposable case in which the Lacedaemonians would not free the Asiatic Greeks from the Persian rule would be the case of their failure to crush the Athenians (the corollary being ‘do not, therefore, let them crush the Athenians’). For the two negatives editors quote Lycurg. 140, εἰ μὴ νὴ Δία μὴ ταὐτὰ τῇ πατρίδι καὶ τούτοις ἐστὶ συμφέροντα. This view contains an appreciable but a farfetched sense, and makes much too great a strain on αὐτοὺς in reference to the remote antecedent, the Athenians. (2) The subject of ἐξέλωσι being the Persians; ἢν μήποτε μὴ (rednndant) ἐξέλωσι (‘if they, the Persians, did not at some future time make away with’) αὐτοὺς (‘the Lacedaemonians’). This is simpler for αὐτοὺς, but a parallel can scarcely be found for the combination ἢν μήποτε μὴ. Reading πη (π and μ in cursive uncials being almost identical), the clause with ποτε is antithetical to νῦν. The sense is ‘and yet would not — unless the Persians at some time and in some way got them (the Lacedaemonians) out of the way — free the Greeks from them.’ The subject is to be drawn from the emphatic ἐκείνων. For the thought cf. inf. § 4, τοὺς Π. ἀπαλλάξαι ἐκ τῆς χώρας. For ἐξέλωσι cf. v. 43, ἵνα Ἀργείους ἐξέλωσι καὶ αὖθις ἐπ᾽ Ἀθηναίους μόνους ἴωσι. The exact words of Alcibiades would thus be ἀπὸ δὲ ὑμῶν, ἢν μή ποτε αὐτούς πη ἐξέλητε, μὴ ἐλευθερῶσαι.

ἐλευθερῶσαι for ἂν ἐλευθερῶσαι in a future sense. Thucydides does not use ἂν with εἰκός ἐστι. Cf iii. 10, and v. 109, οὐκ εἰκὸς ἐς νῆσον τοὺς Λ. ἡμῶν ναυκρατόρων ὄντων περαιωθῆναι. See Madvig, Gk. Synt § 172 R.

διενοεῖτο τὸ πλέον, was disposed to do this rather than not: ‘was for the more part so disposed.’ Cf. iv. 27, ὡρμημένους τι τὸ πλέον τῇ γνώμῃ στρατεύειν.

διὰ ταῦτα Editors do not appear to have remarked upon the tautology with the following words. Those who believe in extensive interpolations may eject ὡς . . . παραινοῦντι.

προσθεὶς ἑαυτὸν Ἀλκιβιάδῃ κ.τ.λ. ‘attached himself to A. and gave him his confidence.’ Cf. c. 50, § 3, προσέθηκε . . . ἐπὶ ιδίοις κέρδεσι Τισσαφέρνει ἑαυτόν; iii. 92.

ἀλλὰ καὶ . . ., answered by καὶ τὴν ἀκμὴν . . .

ἐκ περιόντος opposed to ἐξ ἴσου. Cf. vii. 13, ἐκ πολλῆς ἂν περιουσίας μόλις τοῦτο ὑπῆρχε.

ἀγωνιεῖσθαι The subject is not that of ἥξειν, but αὐτοὺς (the Pelop.) or σφεῖς (‘their side’).

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hide References (19 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (19):
    • Aeschylus, Suppliant Maidens, 376
    • Antiphon, On the Choreutes, 8
    • Homer, Iliad, 23.635
    • Lycurgus, Against Leocrates, 140
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.62
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.10
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.92
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.27
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.109
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.43
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.89
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.13
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.46.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.50.3
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.2.33
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.5.3
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 1.2
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