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οἱ δὲ Ἕλληνες ἐπείτε ἀπίκατο ἐς τὸν Ἰσθμόν. The words relate themselves immediately to the last words of c. 173; yet the ‘Hellenes’ who embarked at Alos in c. 173 can hardly be the ‘Hellenes’ who discuss the plan of defence in this: the ten thousand hoplites are too many, and the two strategoi are too few! But the question arises whether by the ‘Hellenes’ here are designated the πρόβουλοι τῆς Ἑλλάδος left apparently sitting in c. 172, or a new body, a new entity, the strategoi, or the synedrion of strategoi. The following reasons decide this question in favour of the probouloi. (i.) The plan of defence is too important a matter to have been decided except by the Council of the Confederacy, especially as it involved not merely strategic but political interests and issues. (ii.) There is no such thing as ‘the synedrion of strategoi’ (pace Busolt, ii.2 667; cp. Lakedaimonier, 407 f.). There appears in the story of Salamis subsequently a Council of Strategoi, that is, of Admirals; but where then were the strategoi of the landforces? There appears in the story of Plataia something approaching to a Council of War in the camp of Pausanias; but where are the admirals? Nowhere does a single Board or Council of Strategoi make its appearance determining the general plan of campaign. (iii.) The Councils of War which do appear are advisory, not executive. This is true even of the story of Salamis in which ‘voting’ is talked of, for Eurybiades is clearly supreme to act according to his own judgement. Equally certain is it that Pausanias acts as commanderin-chief at Plataia, Leotychidas at Mykale; and at Plataia and Mykale the plan of campaign has been settled long before. The discnssions in the fleet (9. 106, 114) practically lead to a schism; but Leotychidas may be considered to have acquiesced in the action of the Athenians. (iv.) The formal hegemony of Sparta in the war favours the view that no single Board of Strategoi met to decide the strategy of the campaigns. Either Sparta decides the plan at home and leaves her commander and her navarch to carry it out (with such advice as each may take separately in emergencies from a Council of War), or else the general plan of campaign, embracing the operations by sea and by land, is discussed and settled by the ‘Hellenes,’ i.e. by the probouloi of Hellas (who may of course in many cases be strategoi too), and the hegemony of Sparta is restrieted to the actual conduct of operations subject to the general scheme agreed on. The latter view seems to suit the facts and stories best. What, for example, but the dogma of a general Synod of Probouloi could have decided the Athenians, who had resolved τὸν βάρβαρον δέκεσθαι τῇσι νηυσὶ πανδημί (c. 144), either to send 5000 hoplites to Thessaly in 480 B.C. or 8000 hoplites to Plataia in 479 B.C.? See further, Appendix III. § 5.
πρὸς τὰ λεχθέντα ἐξ Ἀλεξάνδρου. The introduction of these words has the effect of making it appear that the Greeks had no plan of campaign before their visit to Tempe. Yet the subject must surely have been considered before the expedition to Thessaly, perhaps by the πρόβουλοι τῆς Ἑλλάδος who are brought to the Isthmos, or detained there, in the spring of 480 B.C. according to the previous story (c. 172), if not by the πρόβουλοι at the meeting in the previous autumn. It may be that these words are a clever piece of Herodotean dovetailing introduced by him, after the insertion of the Tempe story (cc. 172-174), to rationalize the perspective, with the result that the discussion on the first line of defence has perhaps been thrown out of gear, or at least brought down to a later point than was explicitly fixed in the first draft of the work. Cp. Introduetion, § 9. ττ̂ͅ τε στήσονται τὸν πόλεμον καὶ ἐν οἵοισι χώροισι. This is the fundamental question of the defence. τῇ is not a simple locative (making ἐν οἵοισι χώροισι tautologous), but modal: qua ratione (Baehr), not merely quo loco (Schweighaeuser) instituri sint bellum? The locality would to some extent depend upon the mode, and the mode upon the locality. There was plainly an obstinate contest on these cognate problems, for the plan adopted is a ‘victorious’ one (ἡ νικῶσα γνώμη ἐγίνετο), not, indeed, over the Persians, but over an opposition in the Council or Synod. Whose was the victorious plan? Doubtless the Athenian's.
τὴν ἐν Θερμοπύλῃσι ἐσβολὴν φυλάξαι: a very inadequate formnia for the plan, in which Artemision is as vital a point as Thermopylai. Hdt. thus unwittingly heralds the Spartan prejudice which dominates the story of Thermopylai. The rationale for the decision betrays the same obsession. The despatch of the fleet to Artemision is added as an independent item, recommended by the consideration that Thermopylai and Artemision were near enough to admit of information passing from one to the other. In reality, of course, the defence of the line ArtemisionThermopylai is strategically one and the same operation, conditioned by the fact that the attack is directed simultaneously, interdependently, and unilineally on sea and land. στεινοτέρη ... τῆς ἐς Θεσσαλίην. This would seem to compare the relative widths of Thermopylai and Tempe: the comparison seems to imply that the occupation of Tempe was in debate, and was rejected on the ground that (1) it was a wider pass than Thermopylai, (2) further from their home-bases, (3) liable to be circumvented, (4) out of touch with the fleet. On all these points Thermopylai had the advantage, and therefore Thermopylai-Artemision was chosen as the first line of defence in preference to Tempe. There would have been no sense in mentioning ‘the pass into Thessaly’ in this connexion unless its merits had been discussed in comparison with Thermopylai. It would follow that the discussion here indicated arose before the decision to occupy Tempe. It is possible that the plan (for Artemision-Thermopylai) represents the original plan of campaign; or that the plan was to defend Thermopylai, and the station of the fleet at Artemision was only determined on after it became known that the king's fleet was accompanying the king's army, i.e. after the occupation and abandonment of Tempe. In that case, what was now decided was not so much to defend Thermopylai as to defend Artemision in connexion with Thermopylai. But τῆς ἐς Θεσσαλίην is capable of another interpretation: it might refer, not to the pass from Makedon into Thessaly, but to the pass from the south, across Othrys, into Thessaly; not to the Tempe but to the Phurka. The Othrys-line was a possible line of defence, which is nowhere contemplated in Hdt., and indeed plays a curiously small part in ancient warfare, perhaps from the very proximity of Thermopylai, but which yet might have had to be considered on this occasion. The debarkation at Halos, instead of Pagasai, c. 173 supra, seems to relate itself more naturally to a reconnaissance at Thaumakoi (Domoko) than to a reconnaissance at Tempe, to a defence of Pharsalos than to a defence of Larissa.
τὴν δὲ ἀτραπὸν ... Τρηχινίων. For the description of this path see c. 212 infra. The statement here is one of those very hard to stomach. On general principles, the Greeks, of all peoples in the world, would have known that there is always a second pass, or a way round a mountain, sooner or later; and even if they knew nothing of the existence or character of this particular path, they can hardly have been ignorant of the existence of ἡ διὰ Τρηχῖνος ἔσοδος ές τὴν Ἐλλάδα (see c. 176), by which the Persians, who were numerous enough to turn Tempe by Petra or Volustana, would surely be able to turn Thermopylai. In this remark we have the second apologetic note in the story of Thermopylai, by which οἱ ἁλόντες Ἑλλήνων ἐν Θερμοπίλῃσι were to be glorified.
τὸν δὲ ναυτικὸν ... ἐπὶ Ἀρτεμίσιον. This order is really co-ordinate with τὴν ἐν Θερμοπύλῃσι ἐσβολὴν φυλάξαι, though Hdt. has obscured the co-ordination, or at least its material significance, (a) by inserting a list of reasons and excuses for the occupation of Thermopylai, (b） by the inadequacy of the reason given for the occupation of Artemision.
γῆς τῆς Ἱστιαιώτιδος: so named from Histiata, 8. 23 infra, or Hestiaia, as the Athenians seem to have called it, Thuc. 1. 114. 3; cp. 7. 57. 2. Not to be confounded with the Histiaiotis in Thessaly, which Hdt. 1. 56 erroneously identifies with τὴν ὑπὸ τὴν Ὄσσαν τε καὶ τὸν Ολυμπον χώρην (Pelasgiotis). The occurrence of the same name in North Euboia and in Thessaly can hardly be mere accident, but it seems more natural to derive the Euboian from the Thessalian than vice versa. Ἀρτεμίσιον. Without the article. Rawlinson rightly doubts there having been any city on the spot; a temple on the shore (cp. next c.) must have originated or localized the name, which apparently extends to the neighbourhood. Baehr understands it especially of the headland; cp. Diodor. 11. 12, Plutarch, Them. 8. Larcher thought that the straits, the water itself, might possibly be covered by the name, and Blakesley adduces our ‘Spithead’ as a parallel. Hdt. himself says just below τὸ Ἀρτεμίσιον ... αἰγιαλός, ἐν δὲ Ἀρτέμιδος ίρόν, c. 176 ad f. The χρυσαλακάτου τ᾽ ἀκτὰν κόρας of Sophokles Tr. 637 seems to apply not to the Euboian coast but to the opposite and mainland shore.
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