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Nevertheless, on the following morning Nicias sets out with his ex- hausted army, and reaches, under constant attacks of the enemy, the river Assinarus. In their attempt to cross, and while slaking their thirst in the river, a large number perish, partly by the weapons of the enemy, partly by drowning. 1. ἡμέρα: the eighth day. ἦγε τὴν στρατιάν: i.e. continued his march. 5. Ἀσσίναρον: now Falconara, acc. to Holm, H. p. 401 (or Fiume di Noto, Holm, Karlsr. Vortr., which see for particulars).—ἄμα μέν, βιαζόμενοι κτἑ.: the Athenians press on to the river for two reasons: (1) because they hoped, when they should have crossed the river, to suffer less from the enemy; (2) on account of their thirst. Hence ἅμα μέν, which introduces the first ground, is to be taken with οἰόμενοι, and the partic. βιαζόμενοι is explanatory of this: “being hard pressed on all sides, they hoped to get some relief by crossing the river.” The second reason is added without a partic, by means of the gen. with ὑπό and the simple dat. ἐπιθυμίᾳ. Kr. Spr. 59, 2, 3. 9. οὐδενὶ κόσμῳ ἔτι: no longer in any order. Cf. ἔτι νυκτός, iv.26.20. οὐδενὶ κόσμῳ, as in c. 23. 16; 40. 10; ii.52.5; iii.108.16. πᾶς τέ τις: see on c. 60. 13. τε connects πᾶς with καὶ οἱ πολέμιοι, both of which are subjs. of χαλεπὴν . . . ἐποίουν. περὶ τοῖς δορατίοις καὶ σκεύεσιν κτἑ.: “some perished at once, pierced by their own spears; others, becoming entangled (ἐμπαλασσόμενοι = ἐμπλεκόμενοι, Schol.) in their trappings, were carried away by the current.” As there had been rain four days before (cf. c. 79. 9), we may suppose that the stream was not at its lowest point. οἱ μὲν . . . διεφθείροντο goes with περὶ τοῖς δορατίοις and οἱ δὲ . . . κατέρρεον with σκεύεσι. Cf. Plut. Sull. 18, κατὰ πρανοῦς φερόμενοι τοῖς δόρασι περιέπιπτον αὐτοὶ τοῖς ἑαυτῶν. The σκεύη are, as in vi.31.29, to be understood of the military equipment outside of the real arms (breastplate, helmet, etc.). On ἐμπαλασσόμενοι, cf. Hdt. vii.85.11, ἐν ἕρκεσι ἐμπαλασσόμενοι διαφθείρονται. 15. ἐς τὰ ἐπὶ θάτερά τε: the particle is so placed because the preceding phrase is regarded as one word. On the use of such phrases, see Kr. Spr. 43, 4, 3. ἦν κρημνῶδες: without def. subj., τὰ ἐπὶ θάτερα, perhaps, being understood. Cf. i.63.10, ἔστι καταφανές; vi.101.15, πηλῶδες ἦν.— 18. ἀσμένους: “greedily.” Vat. has ἀσμένως, but the adv. is not used by Thuc. See Herbst, Gegen Cobet, p. 22. —ἐν κοίλῳ ὄντι τῷ ποταμῷ: i.e. with a deep bed. The reference is to a river which has cut a deep channel, and hence, when the water is low, flows between high and steep banks. So is to be explained Polyb. xxii.20.4. ἐγεφύρωσε τὸν Σαγγάριον ποταμὸν τελέως κοῖλον ὄντα καὶ δύσβατον. Cf. also Plut. Cam. 3, οἱ δὲ ποταμοὶ πάντες ὥσπερ ἀεὶ κοῖλοι καὶ ταπεινοὶ διὰ θέρους ἐρρύησἁν. ἐν σφίσιν αὐτοῖς ταρασσομένους : cf. c. 67. 14. 19. ἐπικαταβάντες: i.e. going down to the very edge of the water. Cf. c. 23. 2; 35. 9; iv.11.2. εὐθὺς διέφθαρτο: on the plpf. with εὐθύς to express instantaneous effect, see Kr. Spr. 53, 4, 2.—ὁμοῦ τῷ πηλῷ ᾑματωμένον: although, in addition to the mud, it was bloody. ὁμοῦ with the dat. as in c. 19. 25. περιμάχητον: λέγεται τὸ περιτίμιον, περὶ οὗ τινες ἀλλήλοις διαμάχονται, ἵνα τούτου κρατῶσι καὶ τοῦτο κτῶνται. Schol. on Ar. Thesm. 326. Cf. Plat. Legg. 678 e, περιμάχητος ἦν αὐτοῖς ἡ τροφή.
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