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ἐν δὲ ταῖς Ἀθήναις...ἐκπλεύσεσθαι—the subject of this sentence is the people at Athens, there are two principal verbs, ἠπόρουν and ἑδεδοίκεσαν, and the participle ὁρῶντες is in agreement with the subject of those verbs; ἅμα...περιπέμπειν being parenthetical. A difficulty is however caused by the words ἐν χωρίῳ ἐρήμῳ. The troops at Pylos were those who were ἐν χωρίῳ ἐρήμῳ, while οἷοί τε ὅντες περιπέμπειν certainly refers to the people at Athens. In order therefore to complete the sense we must understand either οὖσι governed by κομιδήν (or μεταπέμπειν), ‘for men who were’, or ὄντων, gen. abs., ‘the troops being’ in a desolate position. Poppo gives a different explanation, that there is a confusion between the Athenians at Athens and those at Pylos, or that they are as it were identified, in which case ὄντες is understood with ἐν χωρίω ἐρήμω.

ταλαιπωρεῖται—‘suffers hardships’, mid.: ch. 35, 15, ταλαιπωρούμενοι; so iii. 3, τεταλαιπωρημένοι, etc. καὶ σῖτος— nom. to ἐσπλεῖ placed emphatically. ἐσπλεῖ—cf. ch. 39, 6, ἐσπλέουσι, note.

μὴ σφῶν—‘lest they should have winter stopping their blockade’; see note on αὐτῶν ch. 14, 12. χειμών—here ‘the winter season’, in line 11 it means stormy weather. ἐπιλάβοι,— ‘come upon’ and stop: ch. 96, 37, νυκτὸς ἐπιλαβούσης τὸ ἔργον: in ii. 51 it is used of the attack of disease.

ὁρῶντες—governs the two clauses τῶν τε...ἐσομένην, τόν τε...ἐσόμενον. ἄμα...περιπέμπειν is parenthetical, see note on line 1. The meaning is clear—‘the soldiers withal were in a desert place, and not even in summer could the Athenians send them adequate supplies’. οὐκ ἐσόμενον—‘would not be practicable’: see note on ch. 8, 25, ὅπως μὴ .

ἀλλ᾽ ...ἐκπλεύσεσθαι—the infinitives are governed by ὀρῶντες, or by the idea supplied therefrom, ‘they expected, they feared’. ἀνέντων—‘having given up, slackened’: Eur. Suppl. 1042, φυλακὰς ἀνῆκα. περιγενήσεσθαι—‘would pull through’, i.e. would escape being reduced by hunger.

ἐφοβοῦντο τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους—‘they feared with regard to the Lacedaemonians’; an extension of the common construction by which the subject of a subordinate sentence is made the object of the principal verb, as ch. 1, 8, φοβούμενοι τοὺς Ἀθηναίους, μή. ὅτι ἔχοντας—‘because they thought they must have some strong point in their favour, as they made no further overtures to them’. τι ἰσχυρόν—a source or point of strength: iii. 6, ὁρῶντες οὐδὲν ἰσχυρὸν ἀπὸ τῶν Λεσβίων. ἐπικηρυκεύεσθαι is used especially of making conciliatory overtures, in which sense it is common.

κατασκόπους—‘commissioners of inspection’, Grote: so vi. 41. ἐς κατασκοπήν, of a commission sent by Syracuse to the towns in Sicily.

φανήσεσθαι—grammatically dependent on ἀναγκασθήσεται: in sense however it seems rather connected with the notion of knowing or thinking which is the main idea of the sentence. We might in fact have expected ἀναγκασθήσεται ..., φανήσεται. Poppo indeed suggests that φανήσεσθαι may follow γνούς directly, ὅτι only affecting the first clause (as in i. 87, etc.), and being out of place, as in vi. 24 init.

ὡρμημένους τι τὸ πλέον—‘somewhat the more eager’: so ch. 21, 18, τι μᾶλλον, note. τῇ γνώμῃ—‘in mind’, with ὡρμημένους.

ἀπεσήμαινεν—‘pointed at’; ἀπό, as in ἀπιδόντες, ch. 18, 1, implying that he glanced aside from the immediate question to attack his enemy. ἐπιτιμῶν—‘reproaching him’; possibly ‘saying to his reproach’, with ῥᾴδιον εἶναι, which otherwise depends on απεσἠμαινεν.

παρασκευῇ—‘with a (proper) force’, with πλεύσαντας λαβεῖν: cf. vi. 21, αὐτόθεν παρασκευῇ ἀξιοχρἑῳ ἐπιέναι, ‘to invade them with an adequate force from our own country’.

καὶ αὐτός γ᾽ ἄν—‘and he himself, he said, would have done this had he been in office’, i.e. had he been στρατηγός. From this passage it is plain that Cleon had no official standing, but derived his power merely from his personal influence in the assembly. The conduct of the war rested with the board of strategi, of whom Nicias was the most prominent. Here again Cleon was undeniably right in urging an energetic attempt on the Spartan position.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Euripides, Suppliants, 1042
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.87
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.51
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.21
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.24
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.41
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