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8. Nicias observing how they were employed, and seeing that the strength of the enemy and the helplessness of the Athenians was daily1 increasing, sent to Athens a full report of his circumstances, as he had often done before, but never in such detail. He now thought the situation so critical that, if the Athenians did not at once recall them or send another considerable army to their help, the expedition was lost. [2] Fearing lest his messengers, either from inability to speak or2 from want of intelligence3, or because they desired to please the people, might not tell the whole truth, he wrote a letter, that the Athenians might receive his own opinion of their affairs unimpaired in the transmission, and so be better able to judge of the real facts of the case. [3] The messengers departed carrying his letter and taking verbal instructions. He was now careful to keep his army on the defensive, and to run no risks which he could avoid.

1 Day by day the Syracusans are gaining and the Athenians losing strength. Nicias writes to Athens.

2 Or, reading μνήμης instead of γνώμης: 'from defect of memory.'

3 Or, reading μνήμης instead of γνώμης: 'from defect of memory.'

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  • Commentary references to this page (9):
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 2, 2.81
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 7, 7.11
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 7, 7.13
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 7, 7.24
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 7, 7.48
    • T. G. Tucker, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 8, 8.39
    • C.E. Graves, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 5, 5.89
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, 1.112
    • Charles D. Morris, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, 1.130
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (9):
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