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δὲ νομίζων . . . ταράσσεσθαι αὐτούς. Jowett states the general opinion that the confusion and tautology of this passage ‘may reasonably lead to the inference that this portion of the work has not received the last corrections from the author's hand.’ P-S with justice observes ‘sed hic non desideramus scriptoris diligentiam, sed sanum dicendi genus.’ Literally rendered the passage = ‘but Agis, thinking that the state (or government, c. 66, § 1) was not in a settled condition, and that the democratic body would not surrender its ancient liberty in so ready a manner (sc. to the oligarchs), and (further) thinking that, if it were to see a large Lacedaemonian force, it would not remain quiet, nay, not altogether believing that, as it was, they (sc. the Athemans) were no longer in a troublous state,’ etc. The last clause may also be rendered ‘nay, not altogether believing that, as it was, they (sc. the oligarchs) were no longer afraid (sc. of the democracy still triumphing).’ If we make all due allowance for the fact that the subject of the first ἡσυχάζειν is τὴν πόλιν, and that of the second τὸν δῆμον, and if we give whatever weight it may deserve to Jowett's rather weak defence of ἡσυχάζειν . . . οὐκ ἂν ἡσυχάζειν on the ground of ‘the want of another word,’ the tautology is still too flagrant to be endurable, even by those who accept the ‘revision’ theory of Thucydidean composition. Nor is this the only objection. (1) According to Thucydides' manner εἵ τε introduces a new point in a distinct way, and for that new point we must look in the words that follow. (2) In reference to the words εἵ τε στρατιὰν πολλὴν ἴδοι σφῶν, it must be noted that he immediately after sends for στρατιὰν πολλὴν, and makes the Athenians see such a force. Why is this done? Because, says Thucydides, he hoped that he could frighten them (ταραχθέντας) into submitting more readily to the terms the Lacedaemonians chose (μᾶλλον ἂν χειρωθῆναι σφίσιν, βούλονται). [It is manifestly wrong to render (with Jowett) ταραχθέντας as ‘distracted by civil strife,’ or ‘in the prevailing state of anarchy.’ For this ταρασσομένους or τεταραγμένους would be required.] The thought is plainly, ‘Agis did not readily listen to the proposals of the oligarcns, because he thought they had no such assured position as to conclude terms with him, and he thought too that, by bringing up a large force against Athens, he was much more likely to obtain satisfactory terms.’ The latter part of this thought has suffered in the Greek text. Most editors have assumed corruption in the case of the first ἡσυχάζειν. Dobree (followed by P-S) ejected τὴν πόλιν οὐχ ἡσυχάζειν and read οὔτ᾽ εὐθὺς, making οὔτε answer to εἵ τε. Interpolation of the kind implied seems highly improbable. It would be more reasonable to suspect the second verb. If the next clause οὐδ᾽ ἐν τῷ παρόντι . . . ταράσσεσθαι αὐτούς be rightly rendered, ‘nay, not altogether believing that, as it was, they (sc. the negotiating oligarchs) were no longer afraid,’ and if the context be carefully examined, it will appear that the rough English of the passage (when sound) should read ‘but Agis, thinking that the state was not in a settled condition, and that the democracy would not surrender its ancient liberty in so ready a manner, and thinking too that the sight of a large Lacedaemonian force would make it more ready to come to terms, nay, not altogether believing that, even as it was, they were no longer alarmed, was not at all responsive to those who had come from the 400, but sent for a large additional force from the Peloponnese, and not long afterwards he made a descent in person with the garrison from Deceleia, in conjunction with the new arrivals, to the very walls of Athens, in the hope that the Athenians would be so alarmed as to submit themselves more readily on any terms to the Lacedaemonians, or that, in consequence of the confusion which would in all probability arise from both inside and outside, he might even be certain of capturing without any trouble at least the long walls, which would be left undefended.’ Agis thinks (1) that the internal feuds are not at an end, (2) that with a large force he could get better terms by frightening the Athenians, whom he already suspects (ἐν τῷ παρόντι) of being frightened at him. The words οὐκ ἂν ἡσυχάζειν seem, therefore, to disguise the sense ‘would be the more ready to come to terms,’ which Thucydides would most characteristically express by e.g. οὐκ ἂν ἧσσον with ξυγχωρῆσαι or its equivalent. ξυγχωρῆσαι, however, or ξυγχωρεῖν would hardly have been thus corrupted. A rarer verb might suffer such a fate, and I venture to think that Thucyd. wrote οὐκ ἂν ἧσσον ξυγχάζειν, which, written, as usual, with merely an accent to represent the syllable -ον, would easily pass into οὐκ ἂν ἡσυχάζειν. συγχάζειν is given by Hesychius = συγχωρεῖν. προχάζειν, though lost from literature, is quoted by Hesychius and Photius = προχωρεῖν. So παραχάζω = παραχωρῶ. Xenophon (Anab. iv. 1, 16) has ἀναχάζοντες = ἀναχωροῦντες, and ἀναχάζεσθαι = ἀναχωρεῖν (Cyr. vii. 1, 34). In Anab. iv. 8, 18, διαχάζοντας is a certain restoration of Schneider for διχάζοντας. διαχάσασθαι occurs Cyr. vii. 1, 31. The rarity of χάζω and its compounds outside poetry will account for the corruption here. Such rare words would probably occur more frequently in a sound text of Thucydides, who gives us such rarities as δεῖμα, προσφερής, ὁμαιχμία, κατασπέρχειν, εἱρκτή, ἀπόδασμος.

τὴν πόλιν οὐχ ἡσυχάζειν i.e. that the new government was not permanently established.

εὐθὺς οὕτω cf. ῥᾳδίως οὕτω, ἁπλῶς οὕτως, οὑτωσὶ μὲν ἀκοῦσαι, sic temere, etc.

ἴδοι sc. πόλις, though τὸν δῆμον is nearer in position.

σφῶν sc. τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων.

οὐδ᾽ ἐν τῷ παρόντι κ.τ.λ. i.e. even with his present forces they were frightened at him. With ταράσσεσθαι of ‘alarm,’ cf. ταραχθέντας (inf.), and Ar. Eq. 66, Aesch. Cho. 289, etc.

πάνυ τι cf. μᾶλλόν τι, σχεδόν τι, etc.

οὐ πιστεύων μὴ οὐκέτι cf. c. 60, § 1, ἀδύνατα ἦν μὴ οὐ μεγάλα βλάπτειν.

οὐκέτι The oligarchs opened up negotiations with him as if they were established in power and were prepared to treat on equal terms. Agis suspects that their assurance is assumed, and that they have not yet got over their alarm at the outlook, viz. of the danger from the enemy outside made greater by the insecurity of their position inside. This alarm is described in c. 1.

αὐτοὺς either the negotiating oligarchs or the Athenians generally; preferably the former.

μετὰ τῶν ἐλθόντων sc. ἐκ Πελοποννήσου.

χειρωθῆναι explained by Dukas as ἐνδὠσειν καἱ είρήνην δέξεσθαι, and this sense is required by βούλονται.

καὶ αὐτοβοεὶ ἂν κ.τ.λ. If τῶν γὰρ is retained, with punctuation at θόρυβον, we must repeat χειρωθῆναι in a different sense (= αἱρεθῆναι): i.e. ‘hoping that either through being thrown into alarm the Athenians would the more easily be made to submit on the terms the Lacedaemonians desired, or else might be (overpowered) at the first onset through, etc.’ In this case γὰρ implies that the capture of the long walls meant the capture of Athens, which, in fact, was far from being the case (cf. iv. 69). The reading of other MSS. τῆς τῶν does away with this objection, as well as with the objection to repeating χειρωθῆναι in a different sense; it has, however, little support as compared with τῶν γὰρ, and looks like a piece of early ‘editing.’ There is some objection also to τῆς being separated so far from its noun. Baner suggested τῶν γοῦν, but τῶν γ᾽ ἂν accounts better for the corruption. ἂν helps the sentence along, ἐλπίσας . . . αὐτοβοεὶ ἂν . . . τῶν γ᾽ ἂν . . . οὐκ ἂν ἁμαρτεῖν. ἂν is thrice expressed in ii. 41, λέγω καθ᾽ ἕκαστον δοκεῖν ἄν μοι τὸν αὐτὸν ἄνδρα παρ᾽ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ πλεῖστ᾽ ἂν εἴδη καὶ μετὰ χαρίτων μάλιστ᾽ ἂν εὐτραπέλως τὸ σῶμα αὔταρκες παρέχεσθαι. It is twice expressed in shorter sentences, e.g. i. 76, ἄλλους γ᾽ ἂν οὖν οἰόμεθα τὰ ἡμέτερα λαβόντας δεῖξαι ἂν μάλιστα εἴ τι μετριάζομεν. In the present passage ἂν recurs in the usual positions, viz. with the adverb (αὐτοβοεὶ), with the restrictive particle (γε), and with the verb. Cf. Soph. Antig. 69, οὔτ᾽ ἂν, εἰ θέλοις ἔτι πράσσειν, ἐμοῦ γ᾽ ἂν ἡδέως δρῴης μέτα.

διὰ τὴν κατ᾽ αὐτὰ ἐρημίαν The Athenians would, he thought, be defending the walls proper of the city or drawn away by internal confusion. τὰ μακρὰ τείχη are the walls to the Peiraeus, of which the one called τὸ ἔξωθεν or τὸ βόρειον was guarded.

προσέμειξε . . . ἐγγὺς. Cf. iv. 93, ἐπειδὴ προσέμειξεν ἐγγὺς τοῦ στρατεύματος αὐτῶν.

τὰ ἔνδοθεν κ.τ.λ. i.e. there was no sign of mutiny.

τῶν ὁπλιτῶν καὶ ψιλῶν κ τ.λ. The one article collects these various infantry contingents as against the cavalry. ψιλοὶ properly include τοξόται, and καὶ τοξοτῶν = ‘including bowmen.’ P-S compares iv. 36.

οὕτω δὴ γνοὺς ‘having found out (the state of things = his mistake).’ Cf. c. 75, § 1, διδαχθέντες, ‘having been taught (better).’

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hide References (15 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (15):
    • Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, 289
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 66
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 69
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.76
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.41
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.36
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.69
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.93
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.60.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.66.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.75.1
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 4.1.16
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 4.8.18
    • Xenophon, Cyropaedia, 7.1.31
    • Xenophon, Cyropaedia, 7.1.34
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