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διὰ τοῦ θύματος τὴν ἔσπραξιν—‘for the sake of exacting the sacrifice’: διά is here used in the sense of ἕνεκα: see other passages in note on iv. 40, 2, δἱ ἀχθηδόνα. Dr Rutherford calls δἰ ἀχθηδόνα a late idiom betraying an adscript, but there seem enough instances to support it. For the order cf. i. 32, 2, μετἀ τῆς ξυμμαχίας τῆς αλτήσεως.

Λεῦκτρα—besides the well-known Leuctra in Boeotia, there were two towns in Peloponnesus so called, one s.w. of Sparta, on the coast near the Messenian border, the other N.W. to wards the district which afterwards belonged to Megalopolis; this latter is here meant. Λύκαιον—sc. ὄρος or ἱερόν; the neuter adjective applying to either; ch. 16, 32.

αἱ πόλεις—the Laconian cities; the allies were summoned later on. διαβατήρια—sc. ἱερά, the sacrifices for crossing the border; so ch. 116, 3. προὐχώρει—‘proved favourable’; Xen. Anab vi. 2, 21, ἴσως ἂν τὰ ἰερὰ προχωροίη ἡμῖν. γίγνεσθαι is used in the same way, as in ch. 55, 17. μέλλονταμῆνα would have been added but for the following parenthesis. Καρνεῖος—corresponding to Metageitnion at Athens; about August. The name was derived from the festival of Apollo Carneius. ἱερομήνια—‘a sacred period’, neuter plural, referring to the whole month, in which there were two festivals besides the Carneia. Elsewhere we have the feminine singular, as in iii. 56, 2; and it is read here by Stahl, as ‘the neuter plural must come from an adjective ἱερομήνιος which occurs nowhere, and Schol. Pind. Nem. iii. 4, uses ἱερομηνία of the entire month’ (F.).

τετράδιφθίνοντος—apparently ‘on the fourth day from the end’, like τετάρτῃ ch. 19, 2: but see Lid. and Scott, μήν. ἄγοντες— ‘keeping this day all the time’, i.e. calling every day that the expedition lasted the 27th of the month before Carneius. This explanation, now accepted by all, is due to Grote, who shows (ch. 56) that such tricks with the calendar were by no means unknown. Other explanations formerly suggested were ‘marching during this day’ or ‘though they always observed this day’ while πάντα τὸν χρόνον was diversely joined with ἄγοντες or ἐσέβαλον (v. l. ἐσέβαλλον).

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.32
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.56
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.40
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.2
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