This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
ἀποιχομένους, ‘to be gone away,’ to have departed; this fact he learnt by report, from his scouts, etc. (ἐπύθετο), and then satisfied himself by his own eyes (εἶδε) that the position previously occupied by the Greeks had been vacated. ἔρημον=κεινόν previous c. That Mardonios then proceeded to waste time in summoning (καλέσας) the Aleuadai to his side, in order to crow over them and Artabazos, is a story of another colour. ὑπὸ νύκτα, ‘under cover of night,’ is not usually retrospective, cp. 8. 71, c. 51 supra; c. 60 infra makes the case here plain.
τὸν Ληρισαῖον Θώρηκα. Thorax of Larisa has appeared, c. 1 supra, but without his brothers. He was, doubtless, the most important of the three.
Εὐρύπυλον καὶ Θρασυδήιον. Eurypylos is an eminently heroic and Homeric name, little used, apparently, in historic times, Il. 2. 677 (of Kos); ib. 736, cp. Plato, Rep. 405D, 408A (of Thessaly); Od. 11. 520 (of Mysia), etc. Of this particular one nothing more is narrated. Thrasydaios, on the contrary, is a name not found in legend or saga, but associated with several historic characters: (1) The Theban, in whose honour Pindar composed the obscure Epinikion, Pyth. 11 (the theories which date this ode to Pyth. 28 = 478 B.C. overlook the improbability of the appearance of a Theban at that celebration). (2) The son and successor of Theron of Akragas, cp. 7. 165 f., Diodor. 11. 48. 6, 53. 1. These two would both have been contemporaries of the Thessalian. (3) Xenoph. Hell. 3. 2. 27 ff. mentions an Eleian προστάτης τοῦ δήμου of the name (anno 400 B.C.). Of the Thessalian in the text nothing more is known.
παῖδες Ἀλεύεω: cp. 7. 130 = Ἀλευάδαι 7. 6, 172. The name Alenas is very rare in the historic period, but is found in two Boiotian inscripp., C.I.G. 1564, 1580, referring to an Orchomenian.
πλησιόχωροι: that the speaker should regard the Thessalians and Spartans as ‘neighbours’ would suggest to a Greek hearer, or reader, the large scale upon which the Persian was wont to think and operate; cp. 3. 89. No statement in regard to Spartan heroism has been recorded of the Aleuads; Mardonios ought to have addressed his remarks to Demaratos (cp. 7. 102, 209, 234); that he does not do so is some evidence that the Spartan exile was not with him. To believe that Mardonios represented the Spartan retirement as a φυγή would at once lower our opinion of him as a general.
τὰ πολέμια: the accusative ‘of reference’; cp. Index. πρώτους: not in time but in rank, quality, etc. Cp. c. 53 supra.
μετισταμένους: the story in cc. 46, 47 supra. That movement is nowhere said to have been fully carried out. It was not in fact what Hdt. and his sources supposed; cp. notes ad ll.
οἱ πάντες ὁρῶμεν, ‘we all see’; there is a contrast with εἴδετε just above; Mardonios himself had not perceived the μετάταξις, it had been reported to him, not indeed by the Aleuadai (as might seem to be here implied) but by the Boiotians; cp. c. 47 supra. καὶ διαδράντας, ‘that they have scattered and fled’; cp. 8. 60.
διέδεξαν: cp. 7. 172; the third τε is a climax. ἔδεε, without any suggestion of the supernatural; cp. 7. 9, 144; contr. 8. 53, and c. 109 infra.
ἀνθρώπων: perhaps without prejudice. μάχῃ διακριθῆναι: cp. 7. 206. Differently, 7. 219, 8. 18. οὐδένες ἄρα ἐόντες ἐν οὐδαμοῖσι ἐοῦσι Ἕλλησι ... ἐναπεδεικνύατο: durius sane dictum ab Herodoto, Baehr; see below. οὐδένες as a normal plural 3. 26 οὐδένες ἄλλοι οὐδὲν ἔχουσι εἰπεῖν. For the obvious meaning here Blakesley compares Soph. Ai. 1135 “τοὺς μηδένας”. It is even frequent in Euripides, Androm, 700, Ion 594, Iph. Aul. 371 βαρβάρους τοὺς οὐδένας. The neuter τὸ μηδέν with even more effect for less force, 8. 106. ἄρα suggests surprise, here as arising from an expectation at last overcome. Cp. Index.
οὐδαμοῖσι: after οὐδένες perhaps οὐδέσι might have been expected, but οὐδαμοί is the more usual pl. The chief difficulty in the passage lurks in ἐναποδείκνυσθαι, to which three different renderings have been given: (a) ostentari, ‘to show off,’ ‘to cut a fine figure,’ etc., merely because the Greeks at large, like themselves, were nobodies. Portus (b） supplying ἔργα, ἀρετάς, or τι, cp. c. 67 infra; so Stein. If merely τι is supplied (and the τι can be supplied from the immediate context below), this works out very nearly as = (a); if ἔργα, it makes too much of a concession; in either case the omission of the object is obscure. (c) Taking the verb as meaning simply monstrare, demonstrare; so Baehr: commonstrarunt illi satis se vel inter eos, qui nihili sunt, Graecos, nullo loco esse censendos. This sentiment, as one degree less insulting to his Greek allies, whom Mardonios is addressing, might be preferable, but there is nothing in the Greek corresponding to vel which is essential to the rendering. On the whole, then, (a） seems preferable.
ἐοῦσι Περσέων ἀπείροισι: nearly as absurd and refutable, in application to the Thessalians, as to the Spartans themselves, c. 46 supra, each story ignoring any previous fighting by land. The Thessalians, indeed, had not fought against the Persians, but they had seen the Persians fight—with the, Spartans.
ἐπαινεόντων τούτους: the sequence after ὑμῖν is not strictly correct; cp. c. 51 supra, 8. 69. The occasion is not recorded; cp. 1. 5 above. τοῖσί τι καὶ συνῃδέατε, sc. ‘just among yourselves.’ The reference is not to Thermopylai, cp. 1. 20. Ἀρταβάζου δέ: the genitive may be explained as after τὸ καταρρωδῆσαι, θῶμα being in apposition to the subst. infin.; but in any case the accus. καταρρωδήσαντα comes in as a grammatical non sequitur. The full report of the opinion of Artabazos, already given c. 41 supra, makes its repetition here in extenso the more remarkable, especially as there is here a direct reference back (ἐποιεύμην imperf.) to that passage. πολιορκησομένους here is more explicit than the former report, and the substitution of ἄστυ for πόλιν diseredits the project all the more.
τὴν ἔτι πρὸς ἐμεῦ βασιλεὺς πεύσεται: the irony of this promise, or prediction, in the story is keen; what actually happened was that Artabazos reported to the king the folly and the fate of Mardonios. The same tone is maintained in the next sentence: καὶ τούτων μὲν ἑτέρωθι ἔσται λόγος, i.e. of all that, account shall be taken when I go home. λόγος, ratio rather than oratio. There is a slight logical confusion in the use of μέν and δέ in this connexion. The contrast is between ἑτέρωθι and νῦν, not between τούτων and νῦν or even ἐκείνοισι. If that natural antithesis had been observed, it would have been more logical to contrast νῦν μέν with ἑτέρωθι δὲ . .
ποιεῦσι is strictly present, or imperf., ‘engaged in performing . .’ ἐπιτρεπτέα does not agree with ταῦτα (acc.), and the singular might be clearer. Is the plural used to emphasize the divisions of the Hellenes (διαδράντας supra)? καταλαμφθέντες: the normal Herodotean form; cp. 5. 21.
δώσουσι ... δίκας is hardly consistent with their having done nothing And δή emphasizes their malefactions! The reference is certainly not to 7. 134 ff. but rather to Thermopylai, and ironically to the story 8. 114, and is thus altogether in consistent with the contempt for the Spartans expressed just above.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.