previous next

δευτεραῖος. Isocrates (Panath. 24) makes the distance 1,200 stades = 150 miles. Pliny (vii. § 84) ‘cucurrisse MCLX (or, as quoted by Solinus, MCCXL) stadia ab Athenis Lacedaemonem biduo Philippidem’. Pliny adds other and even more astounding long distance runs.

τοὺς ἄρχοντας: cf. iii. 46, and App. XVII, § 2.

ἀρχαιοτάτην: the regular Athenian claim (vii. 161. 3; Thuc. i. 2, 6).

μὴ οὐ might mean ‘unless the moon be full that day’ (cf. ch. 9. 1); but that a full moon should fall on the ninth of the month would imply a grossly disordered calendar, and the answer must be taken to mean that the Spartans could not go out on the 9th or any day till the 15th (full moon). The ancient authorities (Paus. i. 28. 4; Plut. infr.; Schol. Arist. Ach. 84, &c.) speak as if this rule was valid for all months, but H. may only mean it to apply to the month Carneius (Attic Metageitnion), when the Carneia, in honour of Apollo Carneius, were celebrated 7th-15th, i. e. up to the full moon (Eur. Alc. 449-51), and all Dorians abstained from warfare (H. vii. 206; Thuc. v. 54. 75). It is, however, to be noticed that in other like cases (vii. 206, ix. 7) he specifies the festival which hindered action. Plutarch's criticism of H. (de Malign. 26) οὐ γὰρ μόνον ἄλλας μυρίας ἐξόδους καὶ μάχας πεποίηνται μηνὸς ἱσταμένου μὴ περιμείναντες τὴν πανσέληνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ταύτης τῆς μάχης ἑπτῇ Βοηδρομιῶνος ἱσταμένου γενομένης ὀλίγον ἀπελείφθησαν is in the first part vague and inaccurate, and in the second rests on a confusion between the actual day of the battle and that of the yearly festival at which, in fulfilment of a vow of the Polemarch, five hundred goats were sacrificed to Artemis Agrotera (cf. Boeckh, Kl. Schr. iv. 85 f., vi. 329 f.). The most probable date is Metageitnion 17 = Sept. 12, i. e. the full moon of the month Metageitnion which preceded the festival. The speed of the Spartan march seems to show that their desire to help Athens was genuine, and that the battle took place on the first day it was lawful for them to march.

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 (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Euripides, Alcestis, 449
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.28.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.54.75
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: