previous next

ἐν τούτῳ τῷ καιρῷ: i. e. 499 B. C. (ch. 33. 1 n.). We naturally infer that the negotiations with Artaphrenes took place shortly before 500 B. C.

Μιλήσιοι ... ἄποικοι. If this speech were historical, this would be the earliest recognition of Athens as the mother-city of Ionia (Macan), though the idea may have inspired the ambitions of Pisistratus (Appendix XVI, § 8). The claim was supported by exploiting tradition and genealogies in the interest of politics (cf. i. 142, 147; v. 62 nn.).

πολλοὺς ... ἕνα. The malicious suggestion that it was easier to impose on the whole people of Athens than on a single Spartan may well come from a Spartan source; but cf. i. 60. 3. ‘The remark is a glaring instance of the political naïveté of Herodotus’ (Macan). Throughout he treats the Ionic revolt as a scheme of desperate adventurers fraught with evils to Hellas (§ 3, ch. 28, vi. 3). Yet on his own showing the conquest of Greece was already projected at the Persian court (iii. 134), and Athens in particular was plainly threatened (chs. 73, 96). The action of Athens did but forestall an inevitable attack, and facilitated later the formation of the Delian confederacy (ix. 106 n.; viii. 3). Her fault lay not in supporting the Ionians now, but in deserting them later (ch. 103).

τρεῖς μυριάδας. This was the conventional estimate of the number of citizens in the days of H.: and is repeated (viii. 65. 1) for the Eleusinian procession, and (Arist. Eccles. 1132, Plato, Sympos. 175 E) for the audience in the theatre. The first authentic census gives the number of 21,000 for 317 B. C., but there is little doubt that the numbers were greater in Periclean and even in Cleisthenean Athens. The number of those receiving state pay (Ath. Pol. 24), and of those to be billeted on the allies (Arist. Vesp. 708), is put at 20,000; and 14,240 received the dole of coin in 444 B. C. (Plut. Per. 37). Beloch (Bev. ch. 3) would put the number of citizens in 431 B. C. at 35,000, and in 500 B. C. at 30,000; while Meyer (F. ii. 179), who accepts the 29,000 hoplites (including metics) stated by Thucydides (ii. 13) to have been on the musterrolls in 431 B. C., reaches much higher totals—55,500 for 431 B. C. and nearly 50,000 for 500 B. C. This last estimate must surely be exaggerated, but that of H. may be roughly correct. Of course, no such number ever attended the Assembly, five or six thousand (Thuc. viii. 72) being a full house.

ἀρχὴ κακῶν. For the formula cf. Il. v. 62, xi. 604; Thuc. ii. 12; also ch. 28 and vi. 67. 3. Plutarch's criticism (de Mal. Her. 24) of this dictum is for once just as well as patriotic: ἀρχεκάκους τολμήσας προσειπεῖν ὅτι τοσαύτας πόλεις καὶ τηλικαύτας Ἑλληνίδας ἐλευθεροῦν ἐπεχείρησαν ἀπὸ τῶν βαρβάρων.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae, 1132
    • Aristophanes, Wasps, 708
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 24
    • Plato, Symposium, 175e
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.12
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.72
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.62
    • Plutarch, Pericles, 37
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: