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Ἐπὶ γὰρ—now follows one of the few episodes in Thuc., who never leaves his subject except to comment on some epoch of Athenian history either throwing light on the circumstances he is relating, or imperfectly understood in his day.

κατὰ πόλεις—cf. the condition of Sparta, referred to I. 10, 2. According to tradition, there were 12 πόλεις in Attica; these had arisen by the increase and amalgamation of κῶμαι. ᾠκεῖτο—of the political condition of the district, as often.

πρυτανεῖα—these bore the same relation to the community as the οίκία did to the family. Hence the community entertained its guests there.

ἄρχοντας—‘princes,’ some of whose names may have been immortalised in the names of Attic demes.

οὐ ξυνῇσαν—only common danger brought them together.

ἐπολέμησαν—the war between Athens and Eleusis, given as an example of the early wars in Attica, was probably due to a quarrel about the frontier, which was the range of Mount Aegaleos, over which the Sacred Way after wards ran. Whatever the result, the position of Athens in the Dodecapolis was certainly raised by the war.


Θησεὺς—probably the legend of the coming of Theseus to Athens represents a second Ionic invasion of Attica, to which the strife between Athene and Poseidon, who is identical with Aegeus, father of Theseus, also points. See Plut. Thes. c. 13.

ἐβασίλευσε—‘became king.’ Cf. c. 58 νοσῆσαι, ‘to fall sick.’

μετὰ τοῦ ξυνετοῦ—i.e. uniting power to the ability which he had already.

καταλύσας ... ἀποδείξας ... ξυνῴκισε—the first participle precedes the second in time, and the second gives the action which resulted immediately in that of the main verb. Cf. c. 76 ἀρτήσαντες ... ἀνελκύσαντες ἀφίεσαν, 93 ἀφικομένους ... καθελκύσαντας πλεῦσαι. ξυντελούντων—‘contributed to it,’ in taxes, hence ‘were members of the community.’

ξυνοίκια—neuter plural, the annual festival celebrating the Union, held on the 16th of Hecatombaeon. Plut. Thes. c. 24.

ποιοῦσιν—active not middle, of the body appointing the festival, cf. c. 34, 5.


ἀκρόπολις—i.e. ἀκρόπολις νῦν ἐστι πόλις ἦν, the city was a mere stronghold. ‘What is now the acropolis, and the ground lying under it to the south was the city’ (J.). (The bracked would imply a contrast with some older acropolis.) The same observation is true of London and Paris.

πρὸς τετραμμένον—here in its literal sense, but oftener metaphorical, as in c. 25, 2; Plat. Phaedo, p. 66 D.


Τεκμήριον δέ—Thuc. disregards the Athenian legends, as suited only to poetry. Deposing the picturesque and enthroning the reasonable, he judges the remote past solely hy the indisputable evidence supplied by the present. For the use of τεκμήρια and σημεῖα, non-forensic πίστεις like ἐνθυμήματα (c. 11, 8) and γνῶμαι (c. 11, 9), cf. 39, 2, 41, 2, 50, 2.

καὶ ἄλλων—the lost allusion to the most ancient temple of Athene, namely the shrine of Athene Polias attached to the Erectheum and containing the venerable wooden figure of the goddess (ξόανον) and occupying the site of her struggle with Poseidon, would have been the best evidence that the original site of the city was the Acropolis.

τὰ ἔξω—the early temples not on the Acropolis lie at the south of it, viz. the Olympieium at the S.E., begun by Pisistratus, remarkable for its size, and only finished under Hadrian; the Pythium, or temple of Apollo πατρῷος, of which there are no remains, Pausanias says it was close to the Olympieium; the shrine of the Earth-Mother, situated within the τέμενος of the Olympieium; and that of Dionysus in the low ground near the Ilissus. The Pisistratids probably did much to make these temples popular.

τὰ ἀρχαιότερα—the Anthesteria, held in Anthesterion (11th to 13th). The first day was called Πιθοιγία, the second Χόες, the third Χύτροι. Aristoph. Ran. 215, Eur. I. T. 960, Harpoc. and Suidas s.v. χόες. [

τῇ δωδεκάτῃ]—gives one day only, and with it Ἀνθεστηριῶνος μηνός would be required. The date of the χόες seems inserted from the same source from which Harpocration drew.

ποιεῖται—passive of ποιοῦσι, not of ποιοῦνται. See 2 above, and c. 11, 4.

οἱ ἀπ᾽ .—i.e. οἱ ἄποικοι τῶν Ἀθηναίων. νομίζουσι —‘are accustomed to do.’ Cf. 5 below, c. 38, 1.


Τῇ κρήνῃ—S. of the Olympieium, on the Ilissus. The Pisistratids furnished it with nine pipes and beautified it with columns. It was part of the Tyrants' policy to improve their cities and to encourage every form of art.

Καλλιρρόῃ —the name still survives to show the early importance of this spring. See Ruskin, Oxford Lect. on Art, p. 136, Pausanias, I. 14, 1. [

τὰ πλείστου ἄξια]—Thuc. is arguing that in earlier times the spring was in general use.

πρὸ γαμικῶν— for the λουτρὸν γαμικόν, the water being brought from the spring by a maid called λουτροφόρος. Pollux III. 43, VIII. 66. But Harpoc. says that a boy brought it. ἐς ἄλλαἔθος ἦν καὶ τῶν ἀγάμων ἀποθανόντων λουτροφόρον ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμα ἐφίστασθαι Harpoc. Cf. Dem. in Leoch. 18, 30. Probably a figure holding a pitcher, which contained water from the spring, was placed on the tomb. Eustathius says the object was to show that the dead had never used the nuptial water.

νομίζεται—‘it is the custom.’ The connection between the λουτρὸν γαμικὸν and the λουτρὸν τῶν ἀποθανόντων is as familiar as utraque taeda. In Eur. Hec. 612, the bringing of the water to wash the dead body of Polyxena snggests to Hecuba the λουτρὸν γαμικόν.


Κατοίκησιν—c. 102, 5.

πόλις—this meaning is common in Inscriptions and official documents.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Aristophanes, Frogs, 215
    • Euripides, Hecuba, 612
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.10
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.58
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.76
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