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ἀνεχώρησε, of proper and normal succession. Cp. ἀνέβαινε ἡ βασιληίη c. 205 infra; περιῆλθε (ἡ ἡγεμονίη), of a transition into alien hands, 1. 7.
Μαρδόνιος ὁ Γοβρύεω, here introduced as for the first time, 6. 43 notwithstanding (further evidence of the independence and prior composition of Bk. 7; cp. Introduction, § 7). The connexion of Mardonios with the royal house is not quite fully expounded here. Dareios had married a daughter of Gobryas, i.e. a sister, or perhaps a halfsister to Mardonios (her son disputes the succession with Xerxes, c. 2 supra); and Mardonios had to wife a daughter of Dareios, perhaps a full sister to Xerxes; Mardonios was thus nephew, brother-inlaw, and son-in-law to Dareios, and also cousin and brother-in-law to Xerxes, but considerably the king's senior. Mardonios now appears as the evil genius of the king (cp. Aischyl. Pers. 753-8 on the evil counsellors). As Blakesley points out, Mardonios and Artaphrenes represented different plans: the policy of Artaphrenes had failed at Marathon; Mardonios and the Thracīan or overland route come again to the front. There was also ‘the previous question,’ represented by Artabanos. Cp. further, Introduction, § 11; Appendix II. § 2.
δέσποτα strikes the note of oriental servility in Greek ears; cp. c. 9 etc. Artabanos, the king's uncle, prefers ὦ βασιλεῦ c. 10 etc. οὐκ οἰκός ... μὴ οὐ δ. δ. τῶν ἐπ. A genuine instance of the reduplicated negative (cp. Madvig, Gk. Syntax, § 211), exactly paralleled in 8. 100 infra (οὐδεμία ἔκδυσις μὴ οὐ δόντας λόγον κτλ.).
ἀλλ᾽ εἰ (cp. App. Crit.), the reading of the better class, is defended by Stein as a mild imperative, and Homeric. (Cp. Monro, Homeric Grammar, § 311.)
τιμωρός. Hicce sermo ad ultionem (s. poenam) exigendam spectabat. Cp. σύμμαχος 5. 65 (Baehr). The παρενθήκη (cp. 6. 19), on the excellence of the European soil and products, in itself an economic or commercial motive, is also given a superb twist by reference to the king. To the praise of Europe here may be set off the praise of Asia on the lips of Aristagoras, 5. 49, surely more justifiable in itself.
παντοῖα covers more than the olive. ἀρετή, of the soil; cp. 4. 198.
ἀκρός, a eulogistic term; cp. c. 111 infra; 5. 112, 124; 6. 122.
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