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τῶν δέκα: i. e. the eight days mentioned in ch. 39. 1 and the two in ch. 40. 1. It is, however, a suspicious circumstance that throughout the story of this campaign H. reckons in periods of ten days, i. e. in Greek weeks. The Athenian envoys are ten days in Sparta (ch. 8), the Greek army is in position inactive for ten days, it advances on Thebes ten days after the battle (ch. 86), while Thebes surrenders after a siege of twenty days (ch. 87. 1); cf. Busolt, ii. 726 n.; Meyer, iii. § 236 n. Woodhouse (J. H. S. xviii. 58) further argues that the point of departure in H.'s chronology is uncertain; the words ἀντικατημένοισι ἐν Πλαταιῆσι (cf. ch. 39. 1), usually and naturally taken to refer to the occupation of the second position by the Greeks (ch. 25), he would refer to the opening of the campaign when the Greeks seized their first position on the slopes of Cithaeron. He also suspects H. of duplicating the interval of two days between the closing of the passes and the final battle, regarding the two days of waiting as purposeless, and the Persian Council, the visit of Alexander, and the challenge of Mardonius as fictitious. He thus compresses the campaign from the occupation of the first position to the final battle within a space of eleven days. Such bold reconstructions must of necessity be hypothetical. We may, however, agree that H.'s chronology is too vague to be satisfactory, and that there is more than one improbable incident in his narrative. Especially we may note with Munro (J. H. S. xxiv. 160) and Macan (ii. 349, 369, 376) the improbability that the Greeks remained so long in their advanced position on the Asopus Ridge, and that Mardonius on his part delayed so long the cutting of their communications (cf. Appendix XXII. 5).

ἕδρῃ, ‘chafed at inaction’; cf. Thuc. v. 7ἀχθομένων τῇ ἕδρᾳ”, Bacchylides (fr. 23 Bergk, 52 Kenyon) οὐχ ἕδρας ἔργον.

Ἀρτάβαζος: cf. viii. 126. 1 n. His prudent counsel is contrasted with the infatuation of Mardonius. He is to him what Solon is to Croesus, Croesus to Cyrus, or Artabanus and Demaratus to Xerxes.


The idea is not that the whole army should or could find refuge within the walls of Thebes, but that the city should be made the base of the army, and the wooden fort on the Asopus (ch. 15. 2 n.) be given up. In view of the Greek advance, a base on the Asopus may well have seemed too far forward.

The existence of plentiful supplies at Thebes is inconsistent with Alexander's report of a shortage on the Asopus (45. 2), since with superior cavalry it must have been easy to maintain communication between them. The statement here is probably accurate, as it comes from a better source (Busolt, ii. 730 n.) and is more in accord with the care of the Persians for their commissariat (cf. vii. 25). Grundy (pp. 476, 477), however, holds that the Phocians, who were threatening Mardonius's communications (ch. 31. 5), may have caused supplies to run short.


For the suggestion of bribery cf. ch. 25 with 3. 1 n. Plutarch (Arist. 13) declares that there was at this time an oligarchic plot among the Athenians to overthrow the constitution, and if necessary to betray Greece to the Persian. The statement is regarded as probable by Woodhouse (J. H. S. xviii. 36) and Munro (J. H. S. xxiv. 149), and as at least possible by E. Meyer (iii. § 233) and Busolt (ii. 730); but it may be a mere anecdote designed to illustrate the great services of Aristides in quelling the conspiracy, or transferred from some other occasion, e. g. Marathon (Macan, ii. 88).


οὐδαμῶς συγγινωσκομένη: probably repeats and strengthens the idea of foolish obstinacy expressed in ἀγνωμονεστέρη (cf. vii. 9. β 1), though it may mean ‘in no way agreeing with Artabazus’ (v. 94. 2; vi. 140. 2).

συμβάλλειν, like δοκέειν, depends on a verb, ‘said, bade,’ latent in ἐγίνετο γνώμη.

βιάζεσθαι, ‘to constrain’ the auspices to be favourable, by repeated consultation.

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