14. φύσεως ἰσχύν
—Thuc. evidently holds with the old view, as against the sophists, that φύσις
is superior to μάθησις
15. ἐς αὐτό —ἐς τὸ ξυνετὸν φαίνεσθαι
16. οὔτε προμαθὼν ... οὔτ᾽ ἐπιμαθών
—not aiding it (τὴν ξύνεσιν) by any knowledge acquired before or after,
i.e. either by learning
or by experience.
(What time is alluded to in the προ-
-? Some say his entry into public life, others, much better, the time when he gave any advice derived from this ξύνεσις
—but interpret, ‘his opinion was not based on previous knowledge, nor, after giving it, had he to modify it because he found he was wrong.’ Neither verb occurs elsewhere in Thuc. Croiset sees an allusion to Prometheus and Epimetheus.)
18. δι᾽ ἐλαχίστης βουλῆς
—with the least consideration.
19. ἐπὶ πλεῖστον τοῦ γενησομένου
—those edd. who connect these words understand to the remotest future,
so that ἐπὶ πλεῖστον
refers to time
: the objection lies in the sing. τοῦ γενησομένου
after the plur. μελλόντων
, and so some think it spurious, others join τοῦ γενησομένου
to τῶν μελλόντων
, which is very forced. But all difficulty disappears if we understand by τὸ γενησόμενον the particular event that was going to happen
and take ἐπὶ πλεῖστον
of extent, as in ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀνθρώπων
in c. 1. 2
, so that the whole phrase emphasises only the extraordinary accuracy of his εἰκασία
: ‘his forecasts of the future were the best, in every event proving more accurate than those of others.’ ἐπὶ π. τοῦ γεν
. is lit. so as to cover the greatest part (i.e. a greater part than any one else) of just that which was coming.
20 μετὰ χεῖρας ἔχοι
—so Aeschin. 1.70 ἂ νυνὶ μετὰ χ. ἔχετε
—expound his views on it.
ὧν δ᾽ ἄπειρος εἴη
in contrast with ἃ μετὰ χεῖρας ἔχοι
=‘that which he took no personal share in.’
22. οὐκ ἀπήλλακτο
—he did not fail to,
‘was not without the power’; in later prose we should have τοῦ
.—Them. lived before the days of developed oratory.
23. τό τε ἄμεινον ἢ χεῖρον
—the advantage or disadvantage
of any proposed step.
24. τὸ ξύμπαν εἰπεῖν
—parenthetical inf., τό
belonging to ξύμπαν
25. μελέτης δὲ βραχύτητι
—with the shortest preparation,
a second way in which he showed his power of hitting on the right thing in a minute. The two phiases are not really quite parallel.