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§ 16-18 We must have in readiness a fleet of 50 triremes, with transports for 500 cavalry and all needful cargo-boats, and we must be ready to embark ourselves (16). This will enable us to check Philip's frequent expeditions. We must make him understand that Athens can still rouse herself on occasion (17). Either this knowledge will keep him from aggressive acts, or we shall be able to catch him off his guard (18).

πεντήκοντα. The whole fleet at the disposal of Athens was reckoned by Demosthenes (14. 13 and elsewhere, in 354 B.C.) at 300. But the present suggestion refers only to ships to be actually ready for immediate service and manned wholly by citizens.

εἶτα without δὲ after πρῶτον μέν; δὲ is inserted or omitted indifferently in such cases after εἶτα and, as in § 3, after ἔπειτα.

αὐτοὺς first suggests the necessity for personal activity, which is enforced and defined in αὐτοῖς ἐμβᾶσιν. The following phrase is an amplification of ἐγνωκέναι ὅτι πλευστέον ἐστίν. Do not however take ὡς as equivalent to ὅτι and supply ἐστί: the οὕτω shews that ὡς is to be taken as its correlative, and with πλευστέον we must supply ὄν (acc. absol.). The phrase is of a fairly common type; cf. Thuc. VII.15 ὡς καὶ τῶν στρατιωτῶν καὶ τῶν ἡγεμόνων μὴ μεμπτῶν γεγενημένων, οὕτω τὴν γνώμην ἔχετε, Plato, Rep. 327 C ὡς τοίνυν μὴ ἀκουσομένων οὕτως διανοεῖσθε.

τοῖς ἡμίσεσι, assimilated in gender and number to the substantive which depends on it: cf. ἥμισυς τοῦ χρόνου (Dem. 20. 8), αἱ ἡμίσειαι τῶν νεῶν (Thuc. VIII.8): also the neuter is used as in Thuc. IV.83 τὸ ἥμισυ τοῦ στράτου.

The total of the knights being normally 1000, the number meant here is 500.

Inscriptions prove beyond doubt that triremes were used for the transport of horses.

πλοῖα, ‘tenders’ for the transport of provisions &c.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Plato, Republic, 327c
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.83
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.15
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.8
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