SPEECH OF NICIAS TO THE ATHENI- ANS ON LEAVING SYRACUSE.
However difficult our situation is, we need not give up hope. In the consciousness of having done my duty toward gods and men, I shall set you a good example. Should the anger of the gods be the cause of our misfortune, we may hope that this will change and a better future be granted us. We are still numerous and strong enough to establish for ourselves a new commonwealth. Our whole effort must be directed to keeping good order on our march, and we must, if necessary, even by hard fighting, cut our way through to the territory of the friendly Sicels. If we succeed in that, the others of you may hope to see your homes again; we Athenians, however, to raise up our city again from its great fall. For men make the state, not walls nor ships.
1. καὶ ἐκ τῶν παρόντων
: this reading of Vat. (without ἔτι
) has, prop. emphasized, the strongest effect. For καί
with similar emphasis at the beginning of a speech, cf. vi.16.1
: some have been rescued from even worse straits than these. ἤδη
with the aor. refers to well known experiences. Cf. 15 below, ἦλθον . . . καὶ ἄλλοι τινὲς ἤδη
; also ii. 77. 15; iv.62.13
. On the asyndeton, which is somewhat softened by the emphatic position of ἤδη
, see Kr. Spr.
59, 1, 5.—ἢ τοιῶνδε
: Cl. explains as = ἢ ἐκ τοιῶνδε
, the prep. not being repeated, as in c. 47. 16; vi.78.4
. It might equally well be considered an attraction of case (from ἢ τοιάδε
). So Kühn. 543, 2 b.
μηδὲ καταμέμφεσθαι κτἑ.
: the pres., from Vat., is more comprehensive than the vulgate καταμέψασθαι
: “and not to reproach yourselves too heavily, either for the misfortunes which have befallen you (esp. in the last battles) or for your present unmerited sufferings.” With καταμέμφεσθαι ὑμᾶς
, cf. κατάμεμψις σφῶν αὐτῶν
of c. 75. 24. ξυμφοραί
are the single occurrences; κακοπάθειαι
, the enduring conditions. For the causal dat., see H. 778; Kr. Spr.
48, 15, 6.
: intr. as in c. 64. 15; ii.89.11
.—ὡς διάκειμαι ὑπὸ τῆς νόσου
: how I am afflicted by my disease.
Cf. c. 15. 9; vi.102.8
: cf. v.16.12
καὶ ἐς τἆλλα
: i.e. in official and public life.—τοῖς φαυλοτάτοις
: not in a moral, but political sense, with the humblest
(in the army).
: suspensus sum. Cf. Hdt. viii.100.9
, τὸν βίον ὑπὲρ μεγάλων αἰωρηθέντα.
: “yet my days have been passed in the performance of many a religious duty, and of many a just and blameless action” (Jow.). δεδιῄτημαι
has the cognate acc. as in i.6.23
, πολλὰ τὸ . . . Ἑλληνικὸν ὁμοιότροπα διαιτώμενον
. G. 159; H. 715. ἀνεπίφθονα
has reference to the timidity of Nicias about giving offence in any way. Cf. Plut. Nic.
: i.e. in spite of our desperate situation.
αἱ δὲ ξυμφοραὶ...φοβοῦσι
: Cl. understands ἡμᾶς
as obj. of φοβοῦσι
, but it is more natural to take ἐμέ
(Nicias) as the obj. Our calamities frighten me not so much as they might otherwise well do.
The argument of the sent. is: “in consequence of my good conscience I have hope, and so dangers do not frighten me as much as they might otherwise properly do. If I feel so, why may not you all?” See App.
13. τάχα δ̓ ἂν κτἑ.
: quite in accordance with the religious manner of thinking of Nicias (ἦν τι καὶ ἄγαν θειασμῷ τε καὶ τῷ τοιούτῳ προσκείμενος
, c. 50. 30). The sense is that even if the jealousy of the gods has hitherto been roused against the Athenians, this has been appeased by the good fortune of the enemy and their own ill fortune, and they may now look for a change.
: pass., the cognate acc. of the act. becoming subj. Kr. Spr.
52, 3, 4; Kühn. 378, 10.—εἴ τῳ θεῶν ἐπίφθονοι ἐστρατεύσαμεν
: = εἰ τῇ ἐς Σικελίαν στρατείᾳ τὸν φθόνον τῶν θεῶν τινος ἐκινήσαμεν
. Nicias expressed his sense of the arrogance of the expedition in his first speech, vi. 9 ff.
: pass. as in vi.60.28
. Kr. Spr.
52, 10, 11.
: i.e. what belongs to human nature, here referring to warlike hostility. Cf. v.68.6
ἀπὸ τοῦ θείου
: Kr.'s emendation for θεοῦ
of the Mss., which is necessary in order to bring the passage into accord with the usage of Thuc. See Introd. to Book I., p. 29. ὁ θεός
refers everywhere in Thuc. to some special god, e.g. Apollo; the numen divinum is τὸ θεῖον
. Cf. v.70.4
; 104. 4; 105. 1, 5, 11; 112. 7.
: sc. τῶν θεῶν
, referring κατὰ σύνεσιν
to the collective θείου
, which includes all the gods.— 19. καὶ ὁρῶντες
co-ord. with τε
in 17, as if we had ὁρῶντας . . . καταπεπλῆχθαι
depending on εἰκός.
: Vat., the rest of the Mss. οἵ.
: Vat. καταπεπλῆχθαι
, vitio itacismi. The context makes the imv. necessary.
: already, i.e.
by reason of your number and importance.
οὔτ᾽ ἂν ἐπιόντας δέξαιτο
: could neither resist your attack.
Cf. c. 40. 15; 44. 20.
25. μὴ ἄλλο τι ἡγησάμενος ἤ
: common introduction to hyperbolical ex pressions. Cf. i.70.29
; 56. 25.
: if he conquer.
: the fut. with the force of the imv. “You will not lag day or night,” i.e. you dare not. Kühn. 387, 5.
: cf. c. 60. 17.
: then only.
: we hare sent to them, directing them to meet us, and at the same time to bring food.
For the acc. abs., see on c. 18. 14. καί, καί
, Reiske's emendation for ἄλλα
, is necessary since no subst. precedes. Valla translates pariter et commeatum.
33. τό τε ξύμπαν
: so Vat. for τὸ δέ
. Cf. c. 49. 18; iii.92.17
: on the form, see App.
οἵ τε ἄλλοι τευξόμενοι...καὶ οἱ Αθηναῖοι...ἐπανορθώσοντες
: dependent on γνῶτε
. For the co-ordination of neut. acc. (ὄν
, 34) and nom., see Kr. Spr.
56, 14, 2.
: neut., fatherland, etc.
: see again, cf.
: a sentiment occurring in manifold forms in Greek. Cf. Soph. O. T. 56
, ὡς οὐδέν ἐστιν οὔτε πύργος οὔτε ναῦς ἔρημος ἀνδρῶν μὴ ξυνοικούντων ἔσω
; Aesch. Pers.
349; Alcae. frg. 23; Eur. frg. 825 (Nauck); Dio C. lvi.5.3
; Plut. Lycurg.
19; Demad. frg. § 2; Dem. XVIII. 299; Luc. Anach.
20; Appian, Pun.
viii. 29; Cic. ad Att.
vii. 11; Sir W. Jones, “What constitutes a state?” etc.