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περὶ γὰρ τοῦ δικαίου καὶ ἀρετῆς—to be asking for a ξυμμαχία when you have just abandoned one is a position that needs some justification; so first they will show that they were not guilty of ἀδικία (cf. c. 12, 2) since they were in danger of being ‘enslaved,’ and that they were actuated by the highest of motives, by ἀρετή, unselfishness, regard for others, in that they wanted to ‘free Greece.’ Hence their διπλῆ ἀπόστασις (c. 13, 1) might well commend them to their hearers.—Only one article is used because τὸ δίκαιον and ἀρετή are the two motives combined in the διπλῆ ἀπόστασις.

πρῶτον—this ‘first’ point—the question of political morality—occupies in point of fact most of the speech.

βέβαιον—always of two terminations in Thuc. Stobaeus gives βεβαίαν here: βέβαιον ἂν has been suggested.

μετ᾽ ἀρετῆς δοκούσης ἐς ἀλλήλους γίγνοιντο—the subject, as Bloomfield saw (and so Steup), is ἰδιῶται καὶ πόλεις: many edd. from Poppo onwards understand φιλία καὶ κοινωνία, but ἐς ἀλλήλους is a serious objection to this. It does not seem, how ever, that a case has been made out for explaining γίγνεσθαι μετά ‘to behave with’ (majority of edd.); in the parallels proposed, such as κατὰ ξυλλόγους γίγνεσθαι, the verb means ‘to come into a certain condition or situation’: and as γενέσθαι μετά τινος=‘to be in the company of’ (e.g. Dem. LIV. 34), so μετ᾽ ἀρετῆς γίγνεσθαι should mean ‘range themselves with,’ and so, ‘to adopt,’ ‘work with’ άρετή: ἀρετὴ (as above) δοκοῦσα ἐς ἀλλήλους=‘the supposition or assumption of mutual unselfishness, that each in his dealings with the other is acting unselfishly.’ So we may render ‘unless both begin with the assumption that the other is behaving unselfishly.’

τἆλλα ὁμοιότροποι εἶεν—‘and in all other respects (besides that just mentioned) be like minded.’ Goller thought φίλοι was to be supplied out of φιλία as subj. to γίγνοιντο. Vollgraff thinks γίγνοιντο spurious and alters δοκούσης to δοκήσεως with Herwerden, so that μετ᾽=‘besides’ and καί=‘also.’ γίγνοιντο and εἶεν are both needed, and are distinct m meaning. So long as the union between Lesbos and Athens was to further the resistance to Persia, both parties to the compact held to the belief that the other was actuated by άρετή: but when Athens began to pursue another purpose, Mytilene gave up this belief, and the inherent difference of intention became manifest.

ἐν γὰρ τῷ διαλλάσσοντι τῆς γνώμης—‘in animorum discrepantia’; the neut. partic. as abstract subst. (cf. the corresponding διαφοραί) is a favourite device of Thuc., though rare in other prose; Xen. Cyr. IV. 5, 39 τὸ ἐλλεῖπον. Cf. e.g. II. 59 τὸ ὀργιζόμενον τῆς γνώμης, VII. 68 τῆς γνώμης τὸ θυμούμενον, for ὀργή and θυμός. Thuc. likes to show the quality at work. The constr., as Krüger says, is freely imitated by late authors.

καθίστανται—‘become manifest’; cf. on c. 3

ξυμμαχία ἐγένετο—referring to the transference of the hegemony of the allies from Sparta to Athens in 476 B.C. (I. 95). In reality this transference was an ἀπόστασις from the Spartan alliance (Ath. Pol. c. 23); and the anxiety of Sparta to be quit of the war against Persia (ἀπαλλαξείοντες τοῦ Μηδικοῦ πολέμου I. 95) was not shown until after the transference took place. Samos, Chios and Lesbos were at the head of the movement in favour of Athens (Plut. Arist. c. 23). (This passage well illustrates the freedom with which Greek orators habitually manipulate history when they refer to the past.)

ἀπολιπόντων ἐκ—this use of άπολείπειν seems to result from such phrases as ἀπολείπειν τὴν ξυμμαχίαν (c 9), so that the full sense is ἀπολιπόντων (ἡμᾶς καὶ ἀπελθόντων).

Ἀθηναίοις and

τοῖς Ἕλλησι depend on ξύμμαχοι εγενόμεθα: τοῖς Ἕλλησι is the exaggeration of rhetoric; for in reality they entered the Delian confederacy.

μέχρι—‘so long as,’ a very rare use, not noted in L. & S.; Xen. Hell. I. 1, 6.

ἐπαγομένους—this word, very common in Thuc., regularly means ‘to invite,’ ‘call in.’ But here, in contrast with ἀνιέντας, it is slightly different, ‘procure for themselves,’ as in ἐπαγωγὴ τῶν ἐπιτηδείων (Herbst).

ἀδεεῖς—‘free from anxiety.’

διὰ πολυψηφίαν—with ἀδύνατοι ὄντες. Each constituent state had a vote in the synod of the League, but the allies were unable to combine against Athens through their disagreements.

ἐδουλώθησαν—i.e. became subject allies. Cf. I. 98 πρώτη αὕτη πόλις ξυμμαχὶς (Naxos) παρὰ τὸ καθεστηκὸς ἐδουλώθη.

παραδείγμασι τοῖς προγιγνομένοις χ.—‘drawing our proofs (that they were no longer πιστοί) from what was previously happening,’ i.e. ‘taking warning from the line of action that they had adopted.’ παράδειγμα is an example by which a conclusion may be supported. τοῖς προγιγνομένοις=‘the line of conduct that they were pursuing previously, and had not ceased to pursue.’ (The aor. or perf. partic. is conjectured here as in I. 23 τοὺς Ἀθηναίους ἡγοῦμαι μεγάγους γιγνομένους . . ἀναγκάσαι ἐς τὸ πολεμεῖν, which alludes to the conduct of Athens during the same period—between the formation of the Confederacv to the beginning of the war—from a different point of view. In both places the pres. partic., describing something still in progress, seems better.)

οὐ γὰρ εἰκὸς ἦν . . . μὴ δρᾶσαι τοῦτο—to understand this sentence, it is necessary to realize that δρᾶσαι refers, not to the future, but to the past, as in c. 40, 5 ἐνθυμηθέντες είκὸς ἦν αὐτοὺς ποιῆσαι κρατήσαντας ὑμῶν. The sense is ‘it was not likely that they . . would not have treated those who were left in this way, if only they had found any opportunity.’ We should have been ‘enslaved’ had circumstances been favourable to Athens: cf. I. 98 (ἐδουλώθησαν) καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ὡς ἑκάστῃ ξυνέβη. (Dobree's δυνηθεῖεν makes the ref. to the future.)

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  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.23
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.95
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.98
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.59
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.23
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.34
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.68
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