Introduction. Chaps. 1-23.
The Peloponnesian war exceeded in importance all the preceding events of Greek history.
: 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
. When Thuc. mentions his στρατηγία
, he gives, as was usual
in such cases, his father's name, Θουκυδίδην τὸν Ὀλόρου.
: 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
). Cf. προύγραψα
23. 21; and ἔγραψα
, c. 97. 7, with similar reference
to the grounds of his writing.—τὸν
: 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
in ὡς ἐπολέμησαν πρὸς
, cf. γέγραφε καὶ ταῦτα . . . ὡς ἕκαστα
: “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
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
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
12) for this anticipation.
. These grounds are expressed
(1) in the obj. sentence ὅτι ἀκμάζοντές τε . . . τῇ
(in which it is only euphony that removes τε
); (2) in και `. . . ὁρῶν κτἑ.
, where ὁρῶν
. Cf. iv.116.2
. For ᾖσαν
see App.— 6.
παρασκευῇ τῇ πάσῃ
: cf. ii.20.4
, ἀκμάζοντας νεότητι
. 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;
So Lys. XII 82
, δίκην τὴν
τὸ ἄλλο Ἑλληνικόν
: so c. 6. 23; iii.82.3
; and in
, ἡ ἄλλη
, including all Hellenic states, even those outside of Greece
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.
that τὸ διανοούμενον
, expressing the intention of a
part, is illogically subordinated to τὸ ἄλλο . . . πρὸς
, 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.
: 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
; with neg., c.
2. 20; and, though somewhat different in structure, vi.54.21
. 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
here of profound political disturbance.
: 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
, as in Plat. and the orators. GMT. 100; H. 956. Cf. ii.51.7
; 39. 25, etc.
The phrase is used to modify a somewhat extravagant
: 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
); and similarly c. 118. 8, ἐπὶ μέγα
. 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
, the earlier occurrences, reported by tradition, and including the
Trojan war. Cl. considers that τὰ Μηδικά
as well as
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
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.
: 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.
: pred. to εὑρεῖν
, to which τὰ . . .
is obj. Cf. c. 59. 4; 125. 5; ii.72.16
; 74. 5; 97. 29; iii.88.4
; and see on c. 7. 2.— 12. ἐκ δὲ τεκμηρίων
: 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
up all other matters than the one specified. Cf. c. 6. 15; 36. 13; ii.53.1
(the word used by Arist. Rhet.
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
, 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
, 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.