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ἦν δὲ τοῦτο εὐπρεπὲς κ.τ.λ., ‘now this was (only) a specious pretence, intended for the mass, etc.’ The 5000 were to be mythical. The omission of e.g. μόνον with εὐπρεπὲς might seem to leave the clause somewhat bald; but Thucyd. makes εὐπρεπὲς in itself carry sufficient emphasis of ‘pretence.’ Cf. vii. 57, ἀνάγκῃ μὲν ἐκ τοῦ εὐπρεποῦς, βουλήσει δὲ κατὰ ἔχθος κ.τ.λ. So in iii. 82, μετ᾽ ὀνόματος εὐπρεποῦς, in a large measure εὐπρεποῦς = ψευδοῦς. ‘Now this was a pretence, intended, etc.’

ἐπεὶ ἕξειν γε. ἐπεὶ . . . γε might perhaps be taken together: cf. vi. 18, ἐπειδή γε καὶ ξυνωμόσαμεν (where, however, there is no separation). But in vii. 30, ἐπεὶ ἔν γε τῇ ἄλλῃ ἀναχωρήσει κ.τ.λ., the particle γε is best taken as throwing emphasis on τῇ ἄλλῃ. So here γε is best combined with ἕξειν: ‘those who were endeavouring to change the government meant to have the government.’

μέντοι i.e. despite the oligarchical proceedings, the ecclesia and boule still met.

ἀπὸ τοῦ κυάμου. Cf.c. 69, § 4, ἐπέστησαν τοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ κυάμου βουλευταῖς. The ‘bean’ was used in drawing lots. See Plut. Pericl. c. 27, where the drawer of a white bean has the advantage. Ar. Av. 1022, κυάμῳ λαχών; Hdt. vi. 109, τῷ κυάμῳ λαχὼν πολεμαρχέειν; Xen. Mem. i. 2, 9, ἄρχοντας ἀπὸ κυάμου καθιστάναι. This is the same as βουλὴ οἱ πεντακόσιοι. Andoc. i. 96 quotes from a law οἱ πεντακόσιοι λαχόντες τῷ κυάμῳ. Cf. κυαμεύειν. The definition is necessary to distinguish this popular council from βουλὴ ἐξ Ἀρείου πάγου. The βουλὴ of 500 and the δῆμος form the democratic body politic: cf. ἔδοξε τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ.

ἐβουλεύοντο. ἐβούλευον of some MSS. would be the vox propria if it expressed only the function of a βουλή. Here both the δῆμος and the βουλὴ ‘deliberate,’ and though either active or middle may be used in that sense, the latter is the more usual, and has here the greater support.

προὔσκεπτο The MSS. give προὐσκέπτετο. In point of mere tense either would stand, ‘it had been previously considered,’ or ‘it used to be previously considered.’ But (1) whereas deponent verbs not unfrequently use the perfect and pluperfect in a passive sense, they rarely use the present and imperfect in such a way, and only in a few recognised verbs, e.g. βιάζομαι, ὠνοῦμαι, ἐργάζομαι (very rarely); (2) σκέπτομαι, ἐσκεπτόμην are scarcely Attic for σκοπέω, ἐσκόπουν. Veitch quotes Plato, Lach. 185 B, and Alc. (2) 140 as the only instances of the present tense before Aristotle, and no instance of the imperfect till Lucian. These two considerations combined are decisive.

ἀντέλεγέ τε οὐδεὶς . . . δεδιὼς κ.τ.λ., as if instead of οὐδεὶς he had said, ‘a man refrained from opposing, because he feared . . .’ So in Latin ‘nemo contradicebat, sed (quisque) timebat,’ etc.

εἴ τις καὶ ἀντείποι ‘when anybody did oppose.’

ἐτεθνήκει ‘he was a dead man.’

δικαίωσις lit. ‘a doing of justice’ in regard to him. The scholiast explains by κόλασις εἰς δίκην ἀπαγωγή, the former of which is, of course, what the sense amounts to. In i. 141 δικαίωσις is a ‘claim’ of right. But δικαίωμα = ‘penalty,’ Plat. Legg. 864 E, and δικαιοῦν = ‘punish,’ Hdt. i. 100. So iii. 40, δικαιώσεσθε ὑμᾶς αὐτούς.

πλέον ὅσον ἐτύγχανεν ὂν. Cf. c. 87, § 5, ἔφη αὐτὰς ἐλάσσους ὅσας βασιλεὺς ἔταξε ξυλλεγῆναι. ‘Imagining the conspiracy to be much more extensive than it actually (ἐτύγχανεν) was.’ The ἦν of most MSS. is clumsy, but can be construed, ‘imagining the conspiracy to be much more extensive than the amount which (ὅσον) the actual one ( ἦν) really (ἐτύγχανεν) was.’

καὶ ἐξευρεῖν αὐτοὶ ἀδύνατοι ὄντες . . . ἐξαιρεῖν The MSS. mostly have καὶ ἐξευρεῖν αὐτὸ (or αὐτοὶ) ἀδύνατοι ὄντες διὰ τὸ μέγεθος τῆς πόλεως καὶ διὰ τὴν ἀλλήλων ἀγνωσίαν οὐκ εἶχον αὐτὸ (or αὐτοὶ) ἐξευρεῖν. Some inferior MSS. omit the last two words. We may take one of two views, either (1) that the last words αὐτοὶ (or αὐτὸ) ἐξευρεῖν are a gloss to explain οὐκ εἶχον, or (2) that αὐτοὶ (or αὐτὸ) ἐξευρεῖν is a corruption of some other words. The omission of the last two words in some MSS. is no proof that they have no right in the text, since they may well have been critically expelled as a dittography. If we take the first view and eject αὐτὸ ἐξευρεῖν, we must still further eject ἀδύνατοι ὄντες, in order to make any sense or construction of οὐκ εἶχον, unless we take the unlikely course of giving to the second καὶ the sense of etiam, ‘while unable to find it out because of the size of the city, they were also unable to do so because of their not knowing one another.’ No one is likely to maintain this correction and rendering. If we take the second view, αὐτὸ ἐξευρεῖν is an error for some words to eomplete the sense beginning ‘and being unable to find it out because of the greatness of the city and their not knowing each other, they could not——.’ The context seems to require ‘put it down,’ or ‘deal with it.’ In the Classical Review for December 1889, I suggested the emendation αὐτὸ ἐξαιρεῖν, which I am now more strongly convinced is right. ‘Being unable on their side (αὐτοὶ) to discover it . . . they could not make an end of it.’ For ἐξαιρεῖν cf. c. 46, § 3, ἢν μήποτε αὐτοὺς ἐξέλωσι; Xen. Hell. ii. 2, 19, μὴ σπένδεσθαι Ἀθηναίοις ἀλλ᾽ ἐξαιρεῖν, and frequently.

τὴν ἀλλήλων ἀγνωσίαν Jowett quotes Aristot. Pol. vii. 4, 7, and his remark that for political purposes ἀναγκαῖον γνωρίζειν ἀλλήλους, ποῖοί τινές εἰσι, τοὺς πολίτας.

ὥστε ἀμύνασθαι ἐπιβουλεύσαντα. There is some dispute as to whether ἐπιβουλεύσαντα is subject or object of ἀμύνασθαι. The absence of the article is an objection to the latter view, though ἐπιβουλεύσαντα as = ἐπιβ. τινὰ is not impossible. The former seems the better: ‘so as to contrive a plot and avenge oneself.’ ἐπιβουλεύσαντα, sc. μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ, to be supplied from the τινι to whom one complains. Thucyd. might have said ‘it was impossible for a man in his indignation to bewail himself to a friend, so as to get his help in a scheme of revenge.’ The latter clause is differently, but no less intelligibly, expressed.

ἀγνῶτα ἂν ηὗρεν, ἐρεῖ, κ.τ.λ. Constr. ηὗρεν γὰρ ἂν ἀγνῶτα (in a noun sense. ‘a stranger’), ἐρεῖ (‘to speak to’), ἄπιστον (adj ) γνώριμον (a noun, ‘acquaintance’).

ηὗρεν ἂν sc. εἰ προσωλοφύρατο.

ἐρεῖ The indic. fut. is regularly kept after secondary tenses in sentences like these. Goodwin, M. and T. § 565. Cf Xen. Hell. ii. 3, 2, ἔδοξε τῷ δήμῳ τριάκοντα ἄνδρας ἑλέσθαι, οἳ τοὺς πατρίους νόμους ξυγγράψουσι, καθ᾽ οὓς πολιτεύσουσι.

ὡς μετέχοντά τινα accus. absol. with ὡς. Cf. i. 134, ὡς ἄγος αὐτοῖς ὄν; vi. 24, ὡς οὐδὲν ἂν σφαλεῖσαν μεγάλην δύναμιν; vii. 25, ὡς διαπεπολεμησόμενον; Soph. O. T. 100; Jelf, § 703.

οὗτοι the unexpected adherents of the league.

βέβαιον τὴν ἀπιστίαν τῷ δήμῳ πρὸς ἑαυτὸν καταστήσαντες ‘by chuching the peoples distrust towards itself.’ Arnold remarks that the sentence shows a lack of finish in ἄπιστον and ἀπιστίαν. Stahl would eject καὶ τὸ ἄπιστον . . . ἐπόησαν. It would also be easy to regard βέβαιον . . . καταστήσαντες as an interpolation of some commentator who thought πλεῖστα . . . ὠφέλησαν obscure. The trend of the passage is thus: the commons are suspicious of one another; the reason is explained in ἐνῆσαν γὰρ κ.τ.λ., because there were people in the league whom one would never have thought capable of favouring oligarchy. These persons, once thought so sure, naturally made men suspicious of the general run of people (πρὸς τοὺς πολλοὺς), whose leanings were not so well known or so much relied on. τῶν ὀλίγων next comes with antithesis to τοὺς πολλοὺς, at least in sound: ‘and they were of great service in securing the safety of the few.’ But instead of merely adding the word ‘thereby’ or ‘accordingly,’ he explains again how they were of such service, viz. ‘by making a settled matter of the distrustfulness of the demos towards itself.’ This could have been expressed by e.g. καὶ οὕτω πλεῖστα κ τ.λ. or καὶ διὰ ταῦτα πλεῖστα κ.τ.λ. The only palliation, but a considerable one, of the tautology lies in the sense of the word δήμῳ, which must be distinguished here from τοῖς πολλοῖς. It is the assembly or people viewed politically which was prevented from making any stand or taking any action. Reduced to its lowest terms the sentence = ‘by making men generally distrust each other, they assisted the safety of the oligarchs, because they secured inertness on the part of the democratic body politic.’ It would be easy to suggest ἀνελπιστίαν if any change were really necessary.

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hide References (24 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (24):
    • Andocides, On the Mysteries, 96
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 1022
    • Aristotle, Politics, 7.1326b
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.100
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.109
    • Plato, Laws, 864d
    • Plato, Laches, 185b
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 100
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.134
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.141
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.40
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.82
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.24
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.25
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.30
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.57
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.46.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.69.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.87.5
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.2.19
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.3.2
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.2.9
    • Plutarch, Pericles, 27
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