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Introduction. Chaps. 1-23.

The Peloponnesian war exceeded in importance all the preceding events of Greek history.

Θουκυδίδης Ἀθηναῖος: the patrial name is added here, as in v.26.2, to designate the author to all the Greeks for whom he writes. So, at the beginning of their respective works, Ἑκαταῖος Μιλήσιος and Ἡρόδοτος Ἁλικαρνασσεύς. When Thuc. mentions his στρατηγία, iv.104.15, he gives, as was usual in such cases, his father's name, Θουκυδίδην τὸν Ὀλόρου.

ξυνέγραψε κτἑ.: the aor. in close connexion with ἀρξάμενος . . . καὶ ἐλπίσας κτἑ. states that he undertook to compile the history of the war with the full anticipation at the very beginning that it would prove extraordinarily important. To express merely that Thuc. was the author, we should have either the pres. (as Hecataeus has μυθεῖται) or the pf. (as γέγραφε, v.26.1). Cf. προύγραψα, c. 23. 21; and ἔγραψα, c. 97. 7, with similar reference to the grounds of his writing.—τὸν πόλεμον...Ἀθηναίων : these words indicated sufficiently for the contemporaries of Thuc. the last great struggle of Athens with the Peloponnesian confederacy. The designation “Peloponnesian war” is not found earlier than Cicero (Peloponnesiacum bellum, de Rep. iii. 32) and Diodorus (xii.37.2). With the expansion of τὸν πόλεμον in ὡς ἐπολέμησαν πρὸς ἀλλήλους, cf. γέγραφε καὶ ταῦτα . . . ὡς ἕκαστα ἐγίγνετο, v.26.1.

ἀρξάμενος...καὶ ἐλπίσας : “commencing the compilation of materials (ξυγγράφειν) immediately at the outset of the war, and expecting,” i.e. because he expected. The effect and the cause of it are placed coörd., the latter, as more latent, being kept in the background. If ἀπό had been used after ἀρξάμενος, the meaning would have been “embracing in his work the beginning of the war.”

ἀξιολογώτατον τῶν προγεγενημένων: the gen. was prob. felt as partitive, though in terms the limited word is excluded from the sphere of the gen. Cf. c. 10. 18; 50. 10; viii.96.2. For other examples, see Kr. Spr. 47, 28, 10; and Kühn. 349 b, 4, who follows Kvičala in thinking that the use of the sup. suggests that various degrees are found within the sphere of the gen. Others explain this usage as only an extension of the comp. gen., which is really a gen. of separation, expressing the standard or point from which an estimate is made.—τεκμαιρόμενος: finding grounds (see on 12) for this anticipation. Cf. iii.53.8; iv.123.7. These grounds are expressed (1) in the obj. sentence ὅτι ἀκμάζοντές τε . . . τῇ πάσῃ (in which it is only euphony that removes τε from ὅτι); (2) in και . . . ὁρῶν κτἑ., where ὁρῶν = ὅτι ἑώρα. Cf. iv.116.2. For ᾖσαν see App.— 6. παρασκευῇ τῇ πάσῃ: cf. ii.20.4, ἀκμάζοντας νεότητι πολλῇ. The arrangement of subst., art., adj., in this order, by which stress is thrown on the attribute, is freq. in Thuc. Cf. c. 15. 8; 25. 14; 33. 19; 67. 11; ii.2.14, etc. So Lys. XII 82, δίκην τὴν ἀξίαν.

τὸ ἄλλο Ἑλληνικόν : so c. 6. 23; iii.82.3; and in ii.8.6, ἄλλη Ἑλλάς, including all Hellenic states, even those outside of Greece proper.—ξυνιστάμενον πρός: cf. c. 15. 10; vi.85.17.

τὸ δὲ καὶ διανοούμενον: sc. ξυνίστασθαι (cf. c. 124. 18; v.80.10), and the rest at least intending it. Observe that τὸ διανοούμενον, expressing the intention of a part, is illogically subordinated to τὸ ἄλλο . . . πρὸς ἑκατέροος, which asserts a fact of the whole. Thuc. has in view here not only the neutral states of Greece itself, the Argives and the Achaeans (ii.9.4), but also the Greeks of Italy and Sicily.

κίνησις γὰρ κτἑ.: this gives the reason for the expectation just described, as if he had said, καὶ εἰκότως ἤλπισε. Cf. c. 120. 3. Thuc. often places a pron. subj., as αὕτη here, after a pred. subst. and before a sup. adj. which belongs to it. This position of the subst. gives it a character of generality, with nearly the effect of a part. gen. Cf. c. 50. 9; 55. 12; iii.113.21; v.60.14; vi.31.6; with neg., c. 2. 20; and, though somewhat different in structure, vi.54.21; vii.29.29. So Tac. Dial. c. 21, oratio, sicut corpus hominis, ea demum pulchra est, in qua . . . The sup. rarely stands first, as in c. 98. 8; vii.75.38; 85. 17; and the pron. perhaps only in iii.98.21. Like κινεῖσθαι in iii.82.3; iv.76.21, κίνησις is used here of profound political disturbance.

τῶν βαρβάρων: includes Thracians, ii. 29, 101; Macedonians, ii. 100, etc.; Epirots, iii. 94 ff.; Sicilian tribes, vi. vii.; and at last the Persians.—ὡς εἰπεῖν: so always in Thuc., not ὡς εἴπος εἰπεῖν, as in Plat. and the orators. GMT. 100; H. 956. Cf. ii.51.7; iii.38.29; 39. 25, etc. The phrase is used to modify a somewhat extravagant expression.

ἐπὶ πλεῖστον: commonly used adv. and abs. Cf. c. 2. 19; 3. 6; 70. 17; 138. 13, etc. Here with gen. of the whole, even over the largest part of mankind, like ἐς τοῦτο, ἐν τῷ τοιούτῳ (vii.69.16); and similarly c. 118. 8, ἐπὶ μέγα δυνάμεως. Of course these words must be inter preted by the limited geographical knowledge of the Greeks. See App. —τὰ πρὸ αὐτῶν: the preceding events. Thuc. often uses αὐτά of the subject immediately in hand, the matters under discussion. Cf. c. 22. 15; 144. 25; ii.36.16; 43. 11; vi.18.33. Here αὐτῶν refers to the events of the Peloponnesian war, and the whole phrase goes back to and includes the Persian wars. See App.—τὰ ἔτι παλαιότερα: things yet more ancient, the earlier occurrences, reported by tradition, and including the Trojan war. Cl. considers that τὰ Μηδικά as well as τὰ Τρωικά are included under this phrase here, and in c. 3. 1; 20. 1. But Herbst, Philol. 38, p. 535 ff. shows that the expression does not include τὰ Μηδικά. In c. 2-17 we have a discussion of τὰ παλαιά including the period of the tyrants; in c. 18, 19 of τὰ Μηδικά and subsequent events.— In c. 4. 1; 13. 13, we have the form παλαίτατος.

εὑρεῖν : this verb is used by Thuc. of the results of historical inquiry. Cf. c. 20. 1; 21. 7; 22. 12; 80. 5, etc.διὰ χρόνου πλῆθος: the place of the art. with πλῆθος is supplied by the preceding gen., as often. Cf. c. 3. 1; 11. 2; 36. 11, etc.ἀδύνατα: pred. to εὑρεῖν, to which τὰ . . . παλαιότερα is obj. Cf. c. 59. 4; 125. 5; ii.72.16; 74. 5; 97. 29; iii.88.4; iv.1.13; and see on c. 7. 2.— 12. ἐκ δὲ τεκμηρίων κτἑ.: but from the evidence from which, when I push my inquiries to the furthest extent, I find that I reach conviction, I infer that they did not prove important as regards either their wars or their other affairs. See App. ἐς τὰ ἄλλα sums up all other matters than the one specified. Cf. c. 6. 15; 36. 13; ii.53.1; iii.36.26, etc.

These τεκμήρια, evidential facts (the word used by Arist. Rhet. i.2.16 for such σημεῖα, ‘facts,’ as warrant a sure conclusion), of the superior importance of the Peloponnesian war are the subject-matter of c. 2-19, viz. I., for the period before the Persian wars, τὰ παλαιότερα: (a) the want of fixed settlements, c. 2; (b) the want of a central authority, which is indicated by the absence of a collective name for all the Greeks, c. 3; (c) the want of naval power, c. 4-15. § 1; (d) the limitation of military enterprises to border-warfare, c. 15. § 2, 3; (e) the predominance of the Persian power, particularly affecting the Ionians, c. 16; (f) the anxiety of Tyrants not to endanger their power, c. 17. II., for the Persian wars and succeeding events, τὰ πρὺ αὐτῶν, the short duration of Hellenic union against a common danger, and the consequent formation of the Lacedaemonian and Athenian Hegemonies, which must be regarded merely as a preparation for the Peloponnesian war, c. 18, 19. In c. 20-22 Thuc. contrasts his own method with that of the poets and logographers who have narrated τὰ παλαιότερα, and in c. 23 he compares τὰ Μηδικά as regards the importance of the events with the Peloponnesian war. For this analysis, which at the end differs from that of Cl., see Herbst, Philol. vol. 38, p. 534 ff.

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