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[86] And yet they were involved in more and greater disasters in the time of the empire1 than have ever befallen Athens in all the rest of her history. Two hundred ships which set sail for Egypt perished with their crews,2 and a hundred and fifty off the island of Cyprus;3 in the Decelean War4 they lost ten thousand heavy armed troops of their own and of their allies, and in Sicily forty thousand men and two hundred and forty ships,5 and, finally, in the Hellespont two hundred ships.6

1 So also Thuc. 1.23.

2 These were sent to aid Inarus of Egypt in his revolt against Persia, 460 B.C. See Thuc. 1.104 ff.

3 Thucydides (Thuc. 1.112) speaks of a fleet of 200 ships of which 60 were sent to Egypt, the remainder under Cimon laying siege to Citium in Cyprus. This expedition, though expensive in the loss of men and money, was not disastrous like the former.

4 The text is very uncertain. The reading of the London papyrus is at least preferable since the loss of 10,000 hoplites (unless a hopeless exaggeration) cannot be accounted for if the reading of ΓΕ or that of the other MSS. is adopted. See Laistner in Classical Quarterly xv. p. 81. At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (according to Thuc. 2.13), the Athenian heavy-armed troops numbered but 29,000. Later (according to Dem. 25.51), the whole body of Athenian citizens numbered but 20,000.

5 Diodorus (Dio. Sic. 13.21) gives the same number of men, but 200 ships. Thucydides gives the number of ships as 209 and the number of men as not less than 40,000, including heavy and light armed troops, crews, etc. See especially Thuc. 7.75.5.

6 At the battle of Aegospotami in 405 B.C., the denouement of this tragic history. Xenophon (Xen. Hell. 2.1.20) and Diodorus (Dio. Sic. 13.105) give 180 as the number of ships.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.1.3
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (9):
    • Demosthenes, Against Aristogiton 1, 51
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 13.105
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 13.21
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.104
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.112
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.23
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.13
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.75.5
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.1.20
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