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ταρσοῖς—this word describes almost any series of parallel lines, as in basket-work; here reed wattles, (Used also of the ‘tarsal’ bones in the hand and foot; of a bird's wing, and of a bank of oars. The Atticists and their followers notice the word extensively.)

καλάμου—gen. of material.

ἐνίλλοντες—the primary sense is ‘to twist, roll.’ It is connected with ἰλλός, a squint, and Pausanias the Atticist gives ἐνίλλειν᾽ τὸ ὀφθαλμοῖς καταμωκᾶσθαι (to mock at anyone by winking). From this notion of twisting the word comes to mean ‘to squeeze.’ (This word is much noticed by the Atticists. L. and S. are unsatisfactory; Arn. has a good note.)

τὸ διῃρημένον—‘the hole’ in the χῶμα. διαχεόμενον—sc. αὐτό, what has just been described, viz. the χῶμα as repaired with the wattles. Cf. c. 75, 2.


Τοῦτο—accus. of respect. [

καὶ ξυντεκμηράμενοι]— as the χῶμα was close to the wall and touched it at the base, it is plain that the Plataeans would not need any τεκμήρια to discover how far to burrow. The edd. speak of calculating distance and direction, but the Peloponnesians had nothing to do but to dig straight ahead, until the χῶμα began to subside.

χοῦν—the earth of the χῶμα, as it fell into the mine.


Ὀλίγοι πρὸς πολλοὶς—a common antithesis; c. 100, 5; I. 110; III. 112; IV. 26; V. 80; VII. 87. ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν—as the enemy gained on them, the Plataeans built a crescent-shaped wall, concave to the besiegers, starting from the extremities of that part of the wall opposite the χῶμα, so that in case the enemy should take the raised wall by storm, they might find another wall behind.

αὐτοῖ—i.e. τοῦ μεγάλου τείχους) (τοῦ βραχέος = the part which had not been raised.

ἐκ τοῦ ἐντὸς—‘inside,’ like a parte.

μᾶλλον— they had not been exposed to a cross-fire before. Thuc. means that the further in to the crescent the Peloponnesians got in building the χῶμα, the more exposed they would be to a fire from each side: προχωροῦντας ἔσω belongs to γίγνεσθαι also. (There is no need to explain this, as one scholar does, as for ἐν ἀμ. γιγνομένους μᾶλλον πονεῖν,) Cf. Tac. Hist. v. 11, of the siege of Jerusalem, “muri per artem obliqui aut introrsus sinuati, ut latera oppugnantium ad ictus patescerent.


τοῦ μ. οἰκοδομήματος—after ἐπὶ μέγα, which = μέγα μέρος and replaces the accus, after κατέσεισε, as in IV. 100 it replaces a nom., ἐσεσιδήρωτο ἐπὶ μέγα τοῦ ἄλλου ξύλου. κατὰ —‘by.’ Cf. c. 99, 1. Aeschin. 2, 124 εἰσπλεῖν κατὰ τὸν ποταμόν. κατέσεισε—‘shook.’

ἄλλας—sc. προσῆγον. καὶ δοκοὺς—the rel. sentence is changed to a principal; this is due to the length of the second clause.

ἀπὸ τῆς τομῆς . —‘at both ends,’ sc. τῶν δοκῶν. This belongs to ἀρτήσαντες, as also does ἀπὸ κεραιῶν, stout poles, like a ship's yard-arm, made fast to the wall and projecting from it above the siege engines.

ἀνελκύσαντες—on the double partic. with ἀφίεσαν, see c. 15, 2.

ἐγκαρσίας—at an angle to the μηχαναί, χαλαραῖς—‘by letting the chains go.’

διὰ χειρὸς—c. 13, 2.

τὸ προέχον—‘the point.’

ἐμβολῆς—‘head’ of the ram.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aeschines, On the Embassy, 124
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.100
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 5.11
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