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Πρῶτον ἦρξε—cf. c. 36, 1.

καὶ—besides those instances of ἀνομία just mentioned.

ἐπὶ πλέον—cf. c. 51, 1, ‘to a greater extent’ (than ever before), since the αἰσχύνη which followed the breach of the ἄγραφοι νόμοι (c. 37, 3) was no longer felt.

ἀνομίας—governed by ἧρξε. ἀπεκρύπτετο μὴ—c. 49, 5.

καθ᾽ ἡδονὴν—as 37, 2, but with a bad sense.

ἀγχίστροφον—Ionic word, not found elsewhere in Attic prose.

μεταβολὴν—43, 5.

ὁρῶντες—plur., though τις precedes, as after ἕκαστος, ἕτερος, πᾶς, οὐδείς. τῶν τ᾽—the τε is answered by καὶ before οὐδέν, and each pair is introduced by a single τῶν, since εὐδαιμόνων . θνῃσκόντων apply to one set of persons, κεκτημένων . . ἐχόντων to another set.


Ἐπαυρέσεις—Ionic for ἀπολαύσεις, which Thuc. also uses, c. 38, 42. It was revived by late writers from Aristotle onwards: Andocides uses it once.

πρὸς τὸ τερπνὸν—cf. c. 65, 8 πρὸς ἡδονήν τι λέγειν. ἐπαύρεσις is the advantage, gain, or good to be got out of any act: generally it is neither immediately realised, nor does it take the form of mere sensual enjoyment; but now honourable ambition and forethought no longer prompted action.


Τὸ μὲν προταλαιπωρεῖν—the art. and inf. depend, as accus of respect, on πρόθυμος ἦν. The purpose of the art, is to contrast the two clauses introduced by μὲν ... δέ, since below τι δὲ ἤδη ἡδὺ = τὸ δὲ ἤδη ἡδύ. Cf. c. 87, 5, VI. 17 τὸ μὲν ἐς τὴν γῆν ἐσβάλλειν, ικανοί εἰσι, τῷ δὲ ναυτικῷ οὐκ ἂν δύναιντο βλάπτειν. τῷ δόξαντι καλῷ—‘for the sake of what seemed honourable’; cf. VIII. 63 οὐκέτι ἄλλοις σφίσιν αὐτοῖς ταλαιπωροῦντας. τῷ δόξαντι καλῷ differs from τῷ καλῷ in that the former denotes that no man had the will to strive after that which he himself conceived to be good; much less would he trouble himself about Good as a principle One reflected, τοῦτό μοι δοκεῖ καλὸν εἶναι, ἀλλὰ πρὶν ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸ ἐλθεῖν διαφθαρησομαι. (There is probably no reference here to good as universally admitted, as some have supposed: δόξαν applies to individual cases.)

νομίζων—the partic. again appended somewhat freely to the preceding clause. Cf. 1 above and 4 below. Here not οὐδεὶς but ἕκαστος must be supplied: somewhat similar is VI. 27 τοὺς δράσαντας ᾔδει οὐδείς, ἀλλὰ . . ἐζητοῦντο καὶ προσέτι ἐψηφίσαντο (sc. οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι); IV. 59 οὐδεὶς ... ἢν (sc. τις) οἴηταί τι πλέον σχήσειν, ἀποτρέπεται, VI. 84 ὑπολάβῃ μηδεὶς ὡς οὐδὲν προσῆκον ὑμῶν κη̣δόμεθα, γνοὺς ὅτι κ.τ.λ. ἤδη τε ἡδὺ καὶτε ... καὶ = sive .. sive, the first clause answering to σώματα, the second to χρήματα in 2 above.

πανταχόθεν τὸ ἐς αὐτὸ κερδαλέον— = ( τι) πανταχόθεν ἐς τὸ ἤδη ἡδὺ κερδαλἐον ἦν, ‘or contributed to the pleasure of the moment, regardless of the source from which it was obtained,’ i.e. men did not care how disgraceful were the means by which they strove to gratify their immediate desires. The sanctity of oaths and contracts was no longer respected; for the sake of gain fraud and crime became καλὸν καὶ χρήσιμον, and what was gained was immediately squandered.

πανταχόθεν—cf. Intr. p. xl.: all means, good or bad, were alike to them.

τοῦτο—cf. c. 51, 2.

καλὸν—1st Cor. 15, 32 φάγωμεν καὶ πίωμεν: αὔριον γὰρ ἀποθνήσκομεν. (Thuc. does not say they really thought these base things καλόν: it was not τὸ δόξαν καλὸν that changed, but τὸ καθεστηκὸς καλόν. The public standard of morality is a very different thing from what each man in his heart thinks moral.)


Τὸ μὲν—‘on the one hand,’ answered by δέ, instead of τὸ δέ. κρίνοντες—anacoluthon, as though the preceding clause had been pass. = ὑπ᾽ οὐδενὸς νόμου ἀπείργοντο. Such a slight irregularity is not uncommon in Thuc. and tragedy, as Eur. Hec. 971 αἰδώς μ᾽ ἔχει ... τυγχάνουσα. Cf. III. 36 ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς . ἐπικαλοῦντες. (Shil. quotes IV. 108, as a ‘still bolder anacoluthon.’ But the cases are almost certainly wrong there. As εἰωθότες κ.τ.λ. is clearly general, prob. the gen. abs. should be read.)

ἐν ὁμοίῳ—cf. c. 49, 5, 61 ἐν ἴσῳ δικαιοῦν, 60 ἐν ἴσῳ (ἐστί).

καὶ μὴ—sc. σέβειν. ἐλπίζων—cf. c. 11, 6; had a plur. been nearer and οὐδεὶς not so near, Thuc. would have written ἐλπίζοντες, as VII. 28, 3.

μέχρι τοῦ—so v. 73, 4.

βιοὺς ἂν—the ἂν belongs also to ἀντιδοῦναι, = βιῶναι ἂν καὶ ἀντιδοῦναι. τιμωρίαν—with τῶν ὰμαρτημάτων. The art. and ἀντιδοῦναι shows that they sinned well knowing that retribution awaited them if they lived. With the general description, cf. St. Matthew, XXIV. 12, where Christ speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem, διὰ τὸ πληθυνθῆναι τὴν ἀνομίαν ψυγήσεται ἀγαπὴ τῶν πολλῶν. πολὺ δὲ—sc νομίζοντες, and for the interchange of words of saying and thinking which have to be supplied from the context, cf. c. 13. κατεψηφισμένην—sc. τιμωρίαν, i.e. νόσον. ἣν ... εἶναι—cf. c. 13, 5, 24, 2, 102, 5.

εἰκὸς —c. 10, 1.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Euripides, Hecuba, 971
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.36
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.108
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.59
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.73
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.17
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.27
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.84
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.28
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.63
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