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I reluctantly agree with Steup that this ch. is spurious. Apart from peculiarities of language, it seems impossible to reconcile § 2 with the facts given in Bk. II. about the Athenian fleet ἀρχομένου τοῦ πολέμου. (1) The 100 ships here said to be guarding Attica, Euboea and Salamis are not mentioned in Bk. II. They cannot be the 100 νῆες ἐξαίρετοι of which we read in II. 24. Those ships were docked, and were certainly not ἐνεργοί: (2) αἱ περὶ Ποτείδαιαν κτλ. makes the total 250 wrong, for we know that the number of ships at Potidaea alone was seventy, and, even if we conjecture that some of them had been withdrawn, there is yet another fleet of thirty sent περὶ τὴν Λοκρίδα καὶ Εὐβοίας ἅμα φυλακήν (II. 26) to be counted in; (3) it is diffieult to see why in § 4 the 1,600 men with whom Phormio ἀπετείχισε τὸ ἐκ τῆς Παλλήνης (I. 64) should be reckoned in counting the expenses of the siege of Potidaea, and the 4,300 whom Hagnon took there after Phormio's departure (II. 58) omitted in the computation; (4) the digression on the numbers of the first year of the war, when we look for a reasoned comparison between the numbers of 431 and 428 is very odd; (5) if 100 ships were guarding Attica, Euboea and Salamis, why should the fleet of thirty have been sent out to guard Euboea? As Busolt says, the author of this chapter has overlooked the fleet of thirty.

l 1.

κατὰ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον ὅν—i.e. καθ᾽ ὄν, according to a common idiom; cf. Soph. OC. 748 ἐς τοσοῦτον αίκίας πεσεῖν | ἔδοξ᾽, ὅσον πέπτωκεν ἥδε.

ἐν τοῖς πλεῖσται δή—for the fem. cf. c. 82, 1 (στάσις) ἐν τοῖς πρώτη ἐγένετο. Pre-eminence is not necessarily implied in any of the examples of this idiom, and Herbst is perhaps right in saying that prominence only is meant. The latter must be the point here, because of παραπλήσιαι δὲ καὶ ἔτι πλείους.

δή heightening the superlative is not elsewhere added to this idiom.

αὐτοῖς—with ἐγένοντο.

ἐνεργοὶκάλλει makes no sense. ἐνεργός, though not elsewhere applied to ships, is well suited to them, ‘on active service,’ ‘in commission’; and it may be that the note in Hesychius αἱ μὴ ἀργαί alludes to this passage. But κάλλει must be corrupt, for the rendering ‘effective by their fine condition’ is not possible. Herbst's conjecture ς´ καὶ λ́, i.e. 230, is plausible; but in order to make up so great a total, he assumes a fleet of sixty ships for guarding the eoast of Attica. Were this so, we should surely have heard of it at c. 16, 2 among the reasons that caused the Pel. to abandon the invasion; and even though we are left to collect the number of ships at sea in 428 B.C., this large item in the total must have been mentioned somewhere. Still, the interpolator may have reckoned the total at 230 by the same proeess, whatever it was, that led him to 250 for 431 B.C. below. The number, however, does not come in naturally after ἐν τοῖς πλεῖσται. A very good sense would be got by μιᾷ πόλει (Widmann).

τήν τε γὰρ Ἀττικήν—referring to the first year of the war; but there is no mention of such a fleet in the account of that year.

περὶ Πελοπόννησον—this fleet had been sent out by Pericles as a counter-stroke to the invasion of Attica.

χωρὶς δέ—‘besides,’ sc. ἦσαν, which is implied in the context.

τοῦτο—i.e. the sending out of these armaments. In a somewhat similarly vague way

μετὰ Ποτειδαίας is used for μετὰ τῆς Ποτειδαίας πολιορκίας, with which should be compared II. 13 ἐς Ποτείδαιαν ἀπανηλώθη, ‘money was spent on the siege of P.’ It is strange that the expenses of the army at Potidaea, as distinct from the expenses of the fleet there, should be brought in so vaguely.

δίδραχμοι—half a drachma a day was the ordinary pay for a hoplite: here it is one drachma for the hoplite and one for his servant.

ἐλάμβανε—we should expect ἕκαστος ἐλάμβανον or ἐλάμβανεν. It is the omission of a singular subject to which the verb is attracted that is remarkable: edd. note that this omission is frequent in Herod.

ὧν οὐκ ἐλάσσους—when Potidaea revolted in 432 B.C., 3000 Athenian hoplites had been sent to besiege it. It seems that the permanent force was maintained at this number throughout the siege.

οἳ προαπῆλθον—these 1600 had been sent to blockade Potidaea from the south (I. 64) soon after the revolt. They were withdrawn from Chalcidice before the place fell.

τὸν αὐτὸν μισθόν—viz. one drachma per man, or double the ordinary wage (VI. 31).

τοσαῦται δή—referring still to the παραπλησίαι καὶ ἔτι πλείους (§ 1); so that the digression extends to the end of the chapter.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 748
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.64
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.13
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.24
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.26
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.58
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.31
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