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ἐν οὐδενὶ λόγῳ, ‘perished unheeded’; cf. iv. 135. 1; vii. 223. 2 H. accordingly refuses to count them among those who fell in the battle.

τειχομαχέειν. Spartan inefficiency in siege operations is borne out by the facts that they were obliged to blockade Ithome (Thuc. i. 104) and Plataea (Thuc. ii. 75-8), and that they fail to take even the hasty and incomplete fortifications at Pylus (Thuc. iv. 4, 5, and 11, 12). Whether Athenian skill in siege work, such as it was, was developed so early as this has been doubted; cf. however Thuc. i. 102.

Hauvette (p. 481) sees in the Athenians the sappers, in the Tegeans the scaling party, of the Greeks. Delbrück (Perserkriege, p. 112) and Busolt (ii. 737 n.) suggest H. has put together without reconciling two local traditions.

σκηνήν. This tent of Mardonius is probably that left by Xerxes (cf. ix. 82). The Odeum of Pericles is said to have been built in imitation of it (Plut. Pericles 13; Paus. i. 20. 4, Frazer).

Ἀλέης Ἀθηναίης: cf. i. 66. 4 n.

ἀλκῆς ἐμέμνητο: Homeric; cf. Il. vi. 112μνήσασθε δὲ θούριδος ἀλκῆς”.

ἀλύκταζον: a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον; ‘to be distraught’; cf. ἀλύω; ἀλύσσω, ἀλυσθαίνω, ἀλυκτέω.

Perhaps the Greeks spared only 3,000 of those who took refuge in the fort; but doubtless many barbarians, besides the corps of Artabazus, fled elsewhere. Diodorus (xi. 32) estimates the Persian loss at Plataea at more than 100,000, Ctesias (Persica, ch. 26, p. 70) the whole loss after Salamis at 120,000, but these numbers deserve no credit. The massacre was, however, great and indiscriminate; cf. Aesch. Pers. 816 f. τόσος γὰρ ἔσται πέλανος αἱματοσφαγὴς πρὸς γῇ Πλαταιῶν Δωρίδος λόγχης ὕπο: θῖνες νεκρῶν δέ.

The numbers of the Greeks slain are incredibly small, even if it be granted that H. gives only those who fell in the actual battle, disregarding previous operations. He certainly omits the Megarians and Phliasians, and probably the Perioeci and all light-armed troops. Even so the numbers are inconsistent with the many Spartans who fell (61. 3, 63. 1), and the long struggle between the Spartans and Persians (62. 2) and between the Athenians and Boeotians (67. 1). Probably H. misunderstood the inscriptions on the monuments erected over the fallen (ch. 85). If the fifty-two Athenians all belonged to the tribe Aeantis (Clidemus ap. Plut. Arist. 19; F. H. G. i. 362), H.'s error in their case may have consisted in mistaking the stele of a single tribe (cf. Hicks 26) for the full muster-roll of the Athenian dead. Plutarch (l. c.) reckons the Greek dead at 1,360, a small but possible total.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 816
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.20.4
    • Plutarch, Aristeides, 19
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.102
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.104
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.4
    • Homer, Iliad, 6.112
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.75.-8
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