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ὧν—neut. (

θεαταῖς is pred.; but as the comparison is between θεαταί and βουλευόμενοι, καθημένοις is possibly, as Lincke says, interpolated.)

μίαν πόλιν—cf. c. 113, 6.

οἵτινες—the dat. antecedent omitted. Distinguish between οἵτινες μή and οἵτινες οὐ below.

νῆσον . . μετὰ τειχῶν—thus secure against enemies. The contrast to the previous sentence is stated in inverse order: subjection—compulsion; security—freedom. This is a common arrangement of clauses in Thuc.

ἐν —of their condition.

καὶ αὐτοί—independently of our help.

ἐπανέστησαν μᾶλλον ἀπέστησαν—an armed rising contrasted with a secession; but the application of the contrast to the circumstances of Lesbos is not exact, since ἐπανάστασις implies a dominant power, which Athens ex hypothesi was not.

μέν γε—‘secession anyhow,’ whatever be the truth about ἐπανάστασις. For the suppression of the δέ-clause after this combination cf. Aristoph. Ach. 154 τοῦτο μέν γ᾽ ἤδη σαφές. (Append. i., Neil, Aristoph. Equites).

βίαιόν τι πασχόντων—this is far-fetched; and the implied contrast about ἐπανάστασις would too obviously not hold: hence the statement of it is suppressed.


καθ᾽ αὑτούς—‘by themselves,’ not μετὰ τῶν πολεμιωτάτων στάντες.

κτώμενοι—probably conative.

παράδειγμα δὲ αὐτοῖς—as παράδειγμα means example, both as a warning and as an encouragement, it might have been applied to both clauses with οὔτε; but the second has taken an independent form, cf. c. 96, 3.

τῶν πέλας—‘of others.’

τὰ δεινά—often of the dangers of war.

τὸ μέλλον—‘the future’ )( παροῦσα.

μακρότερα . . βουλήσεως—‘having come to hope for what was beyond their strength, but less than their ambition.’ Clearly what they hoped for was the destruction of Athenian power—ἐζήτησαν ἡμᾶς διαφθεῖραι. But how was this ‘less than they wanted’? what more could they want? Probably we have here a sample of Cleon's exaggeration and abuse, and no definite meaning is to be looked for. It is enough for his purpose that the Lesbians had wanted to revolt sooner than they did (c. 2). (Herbst's explanation, Zu Thuk. p. 82, that μακρότερα means the power of Mytilene, and ἐλάσσω that of Athens, seems far-fetched, and his rendering of τῆς βουλήσεως is scarcely intelligible.)

ἐν —‘the moment that.’

γάρ—justifying the charge that they put might before right. They had suffered no wrong, and they chose a time when Athens was in difficulties.

αἷς ἂν . . ἔλθῃ—the clause forms the object to τρέπειν. μάλιστα καὶ δι᾽ ἐλαχίστου, ‘most fully and most suddenly,’ refers to the moment just alluded to in ἐν ᾠήθησαν; it was καιρὸς ὡς οὔπω πρότερον, c. 13, 3. The revolt was not really the unpremeditated thing that Cleon represents it to have been. The

ἀπροσδόκητος εὐπραξία refers to the difficulties in which Athens was. (The objection to δι᾽ ἐλαχίστου that the change of fortune on the part of the Mytilenaeans was not sudden, but was gradually brought about by the events of the war, rests on a confusion of facts and the rhetorical presentment of them.)

τὰ δὲ πολλὰ . . εὐτυχοῦντα ἀσφαλέστερα—‘in most things prosperity according to calculation is safer than prosperity that is a surprise.’ It is an extraordinary explanation that makes τὰ πολλά, after the schol., adverbial accus., and κατὰ λ. εὐτυχοῦντα equivalent to τὰ . . εὐτυχοῦντα. The constr. intended is clearly ἀσφαλέστερά (ἐστι) τὰ πολλὰ εὐτυχοῦντα=εἰ εὐτυχεῖ: cf. II. 13 (ἔφη) τὰ πολλὰ κρατεῖσθαι. And there is no doubt about the reading being right: εὐτυχία, a stable condition, is in contrast with εὐπραξία. a single event (cf. I. 33); a calm life unmarred by misfortune constituted εὐτυχία (cf. II. 44). Of course παρὰ δόξαν (εὐτυχοῦντα) gives a different and paradoxical meaning to εὐτυχία. This doctrine of Cleon seems to be based upon the philosophy of life professed by his opponent Nicias. Cf. V. 16, of Nicias, διασώσασθαι τὴν εὐτυχίαν.

ὡς εἰπεῖν ῥᾷον—‘almost more easily.’

χρῆν δέ—they would never have gone so far in their indulgence in ὕβρις had we long ago kept a tighter hand on them.

μηδὲν διαφερόντως τῶν ἄλλων—the adverb (EM) is better than διαφέροντας, and has, at any rate, as much MS. support as χρῆν just before, and it has, in addition, the support of the text of the schol. and of Dio Cassins.

καὶ ἄλλως — ‘in other cases as well,’ making the application general.

τοῖς μὲν ὀλίγοις . . τὸν δὲ δῆμον—the oligarchical government had caused the revolt.

οἷς γ᾽ ἐξῆν—as this sentence refers especially to the δῆμος, it would be better, perhaps, to put πάντες . . ἐπέθεντο in a parenthesis—unless, with Stahl, we understand πάντες (οί τοῦ δήμου) and ὁμοίως (τοῖς ὀλίγοις).

πάλιν ἐν τῇ πόλει εἶναι—‘reinstated in their rights.’ For the sense of πόλις cf. IV. 106 πόλεώς τε. στερισκόμενοι.

βεβαιότερον—sc. τοῦ μεθ᾽ ἡμῶν κινδύνου.

τῶν τε ξυμμάχων σκέψασθε . . τίνα οἴεσθε ὅντινα οὐ—(1) the old explanation of this passage (given by Goller, for instance) was that τίνα οἴεσθε ὅντινα ού was equivalent to ἕκαστον. c. 46, 2, where τίνα οἴεσθε ἥντινα οὐ is independent, is strongly against this. Classen said that οἴεσθε merely repeats σκέψασθε owing to the length of the sentence; and this is accepted by subsequent edd. Classen's view involves also an anacoluthon, since σκέψασθε would be followed by τίς ὄστις οὐ with ind., not by τίνα ὅντινα οὐ. Against this view is to he urged (a) the complication of the constr. introduced by σκέψασθε, (b) the gen. τῶν τε ξυμμάχων, which, as Classen says, depends not only on τοῖς . . ἀποστᾶσι, but also on τίνα οἴεσθε ὅντινα οὐ, so that Thuc. had a clear view of the constr. from the start. It is not unlikely that σκέψασθε is meant to be parenthetical. (2) τίς ὄστις οὐ is treated as a single word.

παθείν—a second subject to .

ἀποκεκινδυνεύσεται—‘we shall find exposed to utmost peril.’

τῆς ἔπειτα προσόδου, δι᾽ ἣν ἰσχύομεν—the relative clause applies to τῆς προσόδου only, the revenue generally, not to τῆς ἔπειτα π., the future revenue; hence ἐκεῖθεν or ἐπετείου has been conjectured for ἔπειτα, which the schol. already had in the text. Neither conjecture wholly removes the difficulty; and so δι᾽ ἣν ισχύομεν is thought by some to have been brought in here from the very similar passage in c. 46, 3. It would be better to read ἰσχύσομεν, ‘through which we may support our power.’

τὸ λοιπόν is pleonastic after ἔπειτα, and perhaps belongs to δι᾽ ἣν ἰσχύσομεν.

στερήσεσθε—‘will have to go without.’

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.33
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.13
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.44
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.106
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.16
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 154
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