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μἀλιστα μέν...εἰ δὲ μή—so i. 32, 1: i. 35 fin. etc. The force of καί, ‘as well’ as performing the other conditions, is to be noted.

αὐτοῦ—the reading of most manuscripts; Krüger quotes Xen. Hel. vii. 4, 36, ἐν τῇ Τεγέᾳ αὐτοῦ. There is also some authority for αὐτοί, ‘of themselves’, i.e. for purposes of their own, without a summons from Sparta; cf. ch. 30, 15. Classen suggests that αὐτοῦ ἔτι ἔτυχον is the true reading.

τῇ αὐτῇ προφάσει—for the dative cf. ch. 14, 9. The disapproval of the allies is mentioned towards the end of ch. 17.

οὐκ ἔφασαν δέξασθαι—‘refused to accept the treaty’. On this aorist construction Poppo writes ‘mutatione non opus videtur’, and it is retained by Krüger and Classen.

νομίζοντες κ.τ.λ. — this sentence is awkward and probably corrupt The alterations, chiefly omissions, which have been suggested are far too numerous to discuss here. They are given fully in Mr Fowler's edition. Taking the words as they stand in the text the key is to be sought in the connexion of the two main dependent clauses, ἥκιστα ἂν σφίσι τούς τε Ἀργείους καὶ τὴν ἄλλην Πελοπόννησον. By an alliance with Athens the Spartans hoped to effect two objects, to secure themselves against Argos, and to ensure the tranquillity of Peloponnesus. In construction, the clause with νομίζοντες is left incomplete, the sense which should have followed, ‘thinking that the Argives would be least likely to prove dangerous’ or the like, being resumed with the words νομίσαντες αὐτοὺς κ.τ.λ.

ἐπειδή—this gives the reason for apprehending the hostility of Argos. ἐπισπένδεσθαι—‘to renew a truce’; ἐπί implying sequence, as in ἑπιρώννυμι, γίγνομαι, etc.; see note on iv. 36, 2: cf. ch. 14, 25, ἄλλας ούκ ἤθελον σπένδεσθαι.

νομίσαντες—taking νομίσαντες of the Spartans and αὐτούς of the Argives, these words are a resumption of the clause with which the sentence began, ‘having come to the conclusion, I say’, etc.; and the change of time from present to aorist introduces a slight variation of idea. Classen, who omits νομίζοντες .σφίσι, takes αὐτούς to mean ‘by themselves’, further explained by ἄνευ Ἀθηναίων. Some editors make this clause part of the accessory sentence with ἐπειδή, and thus refer νομίσαντες to the Argives and αὐτούς to the Spartans. Grammatically this is free from objection, though the sequence of νομίζοντες, νομίσαντες, in agreement with different subjects is harsh and awkward. But the sense is fatal to such a construction, for it is absurd to talk of the Argives ‘not thinking the Spartans formidable without the Athenians’. They were always more than a match for Argos, and an alliance between them and Athens was a condition seldom present.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.32
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.35
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.36
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.4
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