Speech of Demosthenes to the garrison. His address is brief and soldierlike. We must fight, he says, and fight at once. Nor is there any need for despairing of success, if only we hold our ground.
The place is difficult of approach, and the enemy can only bring a small part of his numbers into action at once. Besides, he is at a disadvantage, having to force the landing from his ships. There is therefore no need to fear an overwhelming onslaught, and a vigorous resistance will make us victorious.
—‘having taken part in’: v. 28
, ξυναράμενοι τοῦ πολέμου
: the genitive is partitive, as with προσξυμβάλλομαι
, iii. 36
, ch. 47, 4: so Eur. Ion, 331
, πόνου ξυλλαβεῖν
. On the other hand we have, ii. 71
, ξυνάρασθαι τὸν κίνδυνον
, ‘to join in undertaking the danger’.
μηδεὶς ξυνετὸς βουλέσθω δοκεῖν
—‘let no one desire to be esteemed a man of intelligence’. ξυνετός
denote especially natural sagacity and quickness of apprehension, qualities which eminently distinguished the Athenians. Now however what was needed was rather stolid determination. Demosthenes therefore calls on his men to repel their enemy first and argue afterwards.
—‘reasoning out, calculating thoroughly’: i. 80
with acc. τὸ περιεστὸς ἡμο̂ς δεινόν
—‘the danger that surrounds us’: so ch. 34, 27: iii. 54
, φόβος περιέστη τὴν Σπάρτην
. The neuter form καθεστός
occurs, iii. 9
: elsewhere καθεστηκός
, ch. 97, 7, etc.
μᾶλλον ἢ...χωρῆσαι—μᾶλλον δ᾽
is read by nearly all modern editors, the best manuscripts omitting ἤ
and several giving δέ
. The sense is then ‘but rather (let each one resolve) to close with the enemy, etc.’, ἔκαστος
or πᾶς τις
being supplied from μηδείς
, and χωρῆσαι
of course being governed by βουλέσθω
. Classen however urges that not only is such an elliptic construction doubtful in the present sentence, but that a parallel can scarcely be quoted from Thucydides to this usage of μᾶλλον δέ
. On the other hand μᾶλλον ἤ
is a frequent expression, and is more than once found in sentences which closely resemble the one before us: e.g. viii. 48
, οὐ γὰρ βουλήσεσθαι
) αὐτοὺς. δουλεύειν μᾶλλον ἢ...ἐλευθέρους εἶναι
: cf. ii. 62
: iii. 46
. ἀπερισκέπτως εὔελπις
—‘with sanguine hope which casts aside reflection’: so ch. 108, 25, ἐλπὶς ἀπερίσκεπτος
καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἂν περιγενόμενος
—‘confident that he will come out successful from this danger too’: so i. 141
, ἐκ τῶν κινδύνων περιγενέσθαι
: ii. 49
, ἐκ τῶν μεγίστων περιγενέσθαι
, ‘to escape the worst consequences (of the plague)’.
ὅσα γὰρ ἐς ἀνάγκην
—‘whenever matters have reached a point of necessity, as they have now with us, they least of all admit of calculation, etc.’: so i. 124
, νομίσαντες ἐς ἀνάγκην ὰφῖχθαι
, ‘convinced that you have no choice left’.
ἐγὼ δὲ καί
—‘but I see that most things too are in our favour’. καί
couples the two ideas, that not only is it a time for action rather than consideration, but also consideration is encouraging rather than the reverse. πρὸς ἡμῶν
—so ch. 29, 13, πρὸς τῶν πολεμίων
, ‘in favour of the enemy’.
ἢν ἐθέλωμέν τε μεῖναι
—e)qe/lw seems especially used of the alacrity and determination of a soldier: so Brasidas says to his men, when on the point of gaining his final victory, v. 9
, νομίσατε εἶναι τοῦ καλῶς πολεμεῖν τὸ ἐθέλειν καὶ αἰσχύνεσθαι καὶ τοῖς ἄρχουσι πείθεσθαι
. The sentence is slightly irregular, τε
as if to couple it to another finite verb, while καί
introduces instead a second infinitive μὴ καταπροδοῦναι.
See note on ch. 9, 7.
τὰ ύπάρχοντα ἡμῖν κρείσσω καταπροδοῦναι
—‘to sacrifice the advantages we have already’. καταπροδοῦναι
, ‘to betray utterly’ implies a disgraceful and cowardly abandonment: i. 86
, υήτε τοὺς ξυμμάχους καταπροδίδωμεν
τοῦ τε γὰρ χωρίου
—followed by τό τε πλῆθος
, line 18, the words from δ μενόντων
to ἴσῳ ἤδη
being explanatory and parenthetical. Demosthenes points out that two things are in favour of the Athenians, the difficulty of effecting a lodgement (τὸ δυσέμβατον
), and the fact that only a few ships can attack them at once. ἡμέτερον
= πρὸς ἡμῶν
ὃ μενόντων ἡμῶν
—o(/ is absent from nearly all manuscripts, but is considered necessary by Poppo. If it be omitted, and a stop placed at νομίζω
, we have an abrupt, though not impossible sentence. The same question, under the same conditions, arises on iii. 37
. Classen in both cases follows the manuscripts and omits the relative.
—‘though if we once give way we shall find that, hard though it be, it is easy enough if there is no one to bar the road’. ὑποχωρήσασι
, sc. ἡμῖν
, is an ethical dative (dativus incommodi); the aorist = ‘when we have once yielded’. Case and tense are similarly used in ii. 62
, ἄλλων δ᾽ ὐπακούσασι καὶ τὰ προσκεκτημένα φιλεῖν ἐλασσοῦσθαι
, ‘when men have once submitted to others (know that) they soon find that what they have gained diminishes’. εὔπορον
—‘affording an easy path (to the enemy)’: ch. 78, 12, εὔπορον διιέναι
‘easy to traverse’.
μὴ ῥᾳδίως οὔσης
—the adverb has better manuscript authority than ῥᾳδίας
: cf. ch. 13, 6. ἀποβάσεως μάλιστα οὔσης
: so vii. 4
, ῥᾷον ἐφαίνετο ἠ ἐσκομιδὴ ἔσεσθαι
. Göller's note, quoted by Arnold, gives several instances of adverbs with sum in Latin. βιάζηται
—passive; this verb is passive or deponent indifferently, except in two tenses ἐβιασάμην
(dep.) and ἐβιάσθην
ἐπὶ γὰρ ταῖς ναυσί
—‘for while on board their ships they are easiest to repel’ = ῥᾷστόν ἐστιν ἀμύνεσθαι αὐτούς
: so Hom. Il. xii. 54
, τάφρος ῥῃιδίη περῆσαι
, ‘easy to cross’: ib. xxiv. 243
, ῥῃίτεροι ἐναιρέμεν
: Plat. Rep. 283B λόγος προσήκων ῥηθῆναι
κατ᾽ ὀλίγον γὰρ μαχεῖται
—‘it will fight in small divisions’; distributive use of κατά
, of a whole divided into parts: v. 9
, τὸ κατ᾽ ὀλίγον καὶ μὴ ἀπάντας κινδυνεύειν
: vi. 34
, κατ᾽ ὀλίγον προσπίπτουσα
: Hdt. vii. 104
, οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι κατ᾽ ἕνα μαχεόμενοι
, ‘man by man’.
καὶ οὐκ ἐν γῇ
—‘and it is not an army on land on equal terms with superiority of force, but an army fighting from ships, which require the concurrence of many fortunate circumstances (for success)’. ἐκ τοῦ ὁμοίου
—i.e. with equal advantages of ground, facility of approach, etc. πολλά
is of course predicative in construction, lit. ‘the καιρία
occurring must be many’. καίριος
means ‘seasonable, suitable’: here τὰ καίρια
are the favourable conditions of wind, sea-room, good landing and the like, which must be combined if the ships were to act with effect. Similarly Nicias says that in the expedition to Sicily ‘there is need of good counsel, and still more of good fortune’ (vi. 23
). Some take καίρια
here to mean accidents, on the analogy of καιρία πληγή
, which means a mortal wound, as striking a vital part (καιρός
). The clause would then be rendered ‘to which many accidents must needs occur’: but this does not give so good a sense; and we should expect εἰκός
rather than δεῖ. ξυμβῆναι
—‘to happen together’.
ἀντιπάλους τῷ ἡμετέρῳ πλήθει
—‘I consider their difficulties a counterpoise to our (small) numbers’: so v. 6
, ὑπεριδόντα σφῶν τὸ πλῆθος
, ‘despising their (small) force: Hdt. i. 77
, Κροῖσος μεμφθεὶς κατὰ τὸ πλῆθος τὸ ἑωυτοῦ στράτευμα
, ‘having misgivings about his army in respect of numbers’.
—‘and knowing from practical experience what landing from ships against others is, viz. that it could never be effected by force, if etc.’ ἀπόβασις
is the subject of the following βιάζοιτο
, the construction being similar to ἐπίσταμαι Κῦρον ὅτι τέθνηκε
, ‘I know that Cyrus is dead’.
εἴ τις ὑπομένοι—ὑπομένω
is especially used of standing one's ground in danger or alarm: it takes an accusative of the thing or person: vi. 68
, ὑπερφρονοῦσι μὲν ἡμᾶς ὑπομενοῦσι δὲ οὔ
, ‘they despise us but will not endure our attack’.
—the order of construction is φόβῳ...δεινότητος κατάπλου νεῶν
, but Thucydides commonly places the most important and general word first in position, and then the words which particularize what is said about it: so ii. 60
, τοῦ κοινοῦ τῆς σωτηρίας ἀφίεσθε
, ‘ye loose your hold on the safety of the state’. Analogous to this is the usage by which the name of a country is often put first and followed by the name of a particular place therein.
The omission of any article seems intended to give a somewhat contemptuous emphasis to the words; as in the speech of Hermocrates describing the motives of the Athenians in invading Sicily, vi. 33
, πρόφασιν μὲν Ἐγεσταίων ξυμμαχίᾳ καὶ Λεοντίνων κατοικίσει
, ‘ostensibly by way of alliance with Egesteans and settling of Leontines’. So Demosthenes, in Nicostr. 1255, speaking of the artifices by which a criminal tries to beg himself off, says ἢ γὰρ ὀρφανοὺς ἢ ἐπικλήρους κατασκευάσαντες, ἀξιώσουσι ἐλεεῖσθαι, ἢ γῆρας καὶ ἀπορίας καὶ τροφὰς μητρὶ λέγοντες
, ‘they will try to excite pity by getting up tales about orphans and heiresses, and destitute mothers that they have to keep’.
—‘now that your turn has come’ (Jowett). ῥαχία
), ‘the place where the waves break’: Aesch. Prom. 713
, ἁλιστόνοις πόδας χρίμπτουσι ῥαχίαισι
. In Hdt. = the flood tide breaking on on the shore. παρά
—with acc. ‘along the line of’.