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ἐπιθυμεῖν—imperfect, ‘had been desiring’. In construction all the infinitives in this sentence depend on νομίζοντες, but in sense the idea of thinking belongs particularly to δέξεσθαι and ἀποδώσειν. The meaning is ‘the Lacedaemonians thought that, as the Athenians had all along been desirous of peace, they would now be glad to make it’: cf. note on ch. 13, 5, ἐλπίζοντες τὸ τεῖχος ὕψος μὲν ἔχειν, ἀποβάσεως δὲ οὔσης ἑλεῖν. σφῶν δὲ ἐναντιουμένων—so in vii. 18 we find the Lacedaemonians admitting that they had forced on the war, and incurred the guilt of refusing negotiations. In 430, the second year of the war, the Athenians had made fruitless proposals for peace (ii. 59).

ἑτοίμους—according to Poppo, Classen, etc. fem. agreeing with σπονδάς, ‘ready for them’. There is good authority in viii. 26 for νῆες ἑτοῖμοι, and ἑτοῖμος fem. is found in Hdt. and Dem. Elsewhere however Thuc. has ἑτοίμη; for which reason Krüger takes ἑτοίμους as agreeing with Λακεδαιμονίους understood. In this view ποιεῖσθαι is to be taken after ἑτοίμους, ‘thinking that the Lacedaemonians were ready to make the truce etc.’ Besides the difficulty of thus supplying an object to ἐνόμιζον, this involves the further awkwardness that πρὸς αὐτούς (as well as σφίσι) must then be taken as referring to the Athenians.

ἐνῆγε—‘urged on’: ch. 24, 5, note. Κλέων Κλεαινέτου —Cleon is first mentioned by Thucydides in iii. 36, where he urges the necessity of putting to death the whole of the revolted Mytileneans (B.C. 427). He is then described in very similar words as ὢν καὶ ἐς τὰ ἄλλα βιαιότατος τῶν πολιτῶν τῷ τε δημῳ παρὰ πολὺ ἐν τῷ τοτε πιθανώτατος. It appears from Plutarch (Nicias ch. 2) that he had already come into notice during the lifetime of Pericles. It is difficult to form a just estimate of the character of Cleon. He is known to us almost entirely through Thucydides and Aristophanes, the former certainly not his friend, the latter his bitter enemy. There can be little doubt that he was loud, overbearing, and violent; but he seems to have been by no means without patriotism and political ability. At the present time he was undeniably right in insisting upon substantial concessions before giving up the advantage which the Athenians had gained; though his conduct was such as to render successful negotiation almost hopeless.

δημαγωγός—‘leader of the people’, a word not used elsewhere by Thucydides. It is not necessarily used in a bad sense, but merely implies that ascendancy in the popular assembly which Cleon had acquired by his confidence, readiness, and power of speaking. In the same sense Pithias τοῦ δήμου προείστηκει at Corcyra (ii. 70); and Athenagoras is called δήμου προστάτης at Syracuse (vi. 35). Such influence being readily open to abuse, the word demagogue has not unnaturally come to mean, as defined by Johnson, ‘a ringleader of the rabble; a popular and factious orator’.

τῷ πλήθει πιθανώτατος—‘most influential with the people’; so iii. 36, τῷ δήμῳ πιθανώτατος. Similarly Athenagoras is called πιθανωτατος τοῖς πολλοῖς, vi. 35. πιθανος—‘persuasive’, is also applied to arguments: Dem. Lacr. 928, λόγους θαυμασίως ὡς πιθανοὺς ἕλεγεν.

Ἀθήναζε—According to Liddell and Scott the forms Ἀθήναζε, Ἀθήνηθεν, Ἀθήνῃσιν ‘are more Attic than εἰς Ἀθήνας, etc.’ Thucydides sometimes uses Ἀθήναζε, as in ch. 46, 15, μέχρι οὗ Ἀθήναζε πεμφθῶσιν: v. 32 (twice). Ἀθήνῃσι occurs v. 25: v. 47, in the words of a treaty. On the other hand we have ἐς τὰς Ἀθήνας (ch. 16, 27): ἐκ τῶν Ἀθηνῶν (ch. 16, 20: 22, 17): ἐν ταῖς Ἀθήναις (ch. 5, 5: 27, 1) repeatedly occurring.

ἐλθόντων δέ—for gen. abs. see note on ἀντιλεγόντων δέ, ch. 3, 8. ἀποδόντας—‘let the Lacedaemonians restore Nisaea etc., and then receive back their men’. In construction Λακεδαιμονίους is subject to κομίσασθαι, line 18.

ἀποδόντας...Ἀχαΐαν—these places were given up by the Athenians in accordance with the terms of the thirty years' truce concluded in the year 445 (i. 115). Nisaea and Pegae were the chief ports of the territory of Megara. Troezen was the capital of a district in the E. of Argolis. What is meant by ‘restoring Achaia’, is however not so clear. The country of Achaia was an independent state, which in no intelligible sense belonged to the Lacedaemonians or Athenians, or could be ‘given up’ by the one to the other. In i. 111 we find certain Achaeans accompanying an Athenian force as allies: and possibly alliance and influence with Achaea may have been the point at issue. Otherwise either Ἀχαΐαν is corrupt, which is improbable, as it occurs in two similar passages; or some particular town is meant, the situation of which we do not know.

ἀπὸ τῆς προτέρας—‘from the previous convention’, i.e. the thirty years' truce of 445. ἀπό gives the origin, from which a result follows: cf. ch 30, 1: vii. 21, ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ, ‘therefrom’.

ξυγχωρησάντων—‘having agreed to these concessions’. κατά—‘in accordance with, on the strength of’. δεομένων τι μᾶλλον—‘being in considerably greater need’: ch. 30, 1, μέρος τι, ‘in great part’. The thirty years' truce was concluded after hostilities had gone on for three or four years (i. 103—115).

ὁπόσον ἄν—‘for so long a time as may seem good to both parties’: v. 18, ἔτη δ᾽ εἶναι τὰς σπονδὰς πεντήκοντα, ‘to be for fifty years’.

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hide References (14 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (14):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.103
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.111
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.115
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.59
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.70
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.36
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.25
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.32
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.47
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.35
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.21
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.26
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