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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 Ἕ., 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.
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