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ᾠκίσθη δέ—answering to περίπλους μέν above. cc. 2-5 are generally described as a digression; but the passage is perhaps rather a continuation of the description of the greatness of Sicily. ‘The greatness of Sicily,’ Freeman says, ‘was essentially a colonial greatness, the greatness of communities which did not form whole nations but only parts of nations, nations of which other parts remained in their elder homes.’

τὸ ἀρχαῖον—distinguish from κατὰ τὸ άρχαῖον (‘in the ancient manner’).

ἔσχε—sc. αὐτήν. τὰ ξύμπαντα is nom., agreeing with ἔθνη. When the art. precedes πᾶς and its compds., the whole is regarded as the sum of its component parts. (To take τὰ ξύμπαντα as accus. is wrong. A complete list of tribes is what Thuc. gives; their geographical distribution is also described, but that is already referred to in ὦδε ᾠκίσθη. Cf, the last sentence of c. 2, where the same ideas recur in inverse order.) λέγονταιλέγομαι used personally or impersonally is regularly constructed with an infin.

Κύκλωπες—Homer does not say that the Cyclopes dwelt in Sicily (Od. IX); but the scene of his story was always localised by later writers (as by Euripides) in Sicily.

Λαιστρυγόνες—mythical beings (Od. X. 81) like the Cyclopes, dwelling, like them, in fairy-land. The story that they lived in Sicily is the product of Greek fancy. (See Freeman l.c. pp. 100, 106.)

ποιηταῖς—esp. Homer. Observe that the perf. pass., when the subject is non-personal, regularly has the agent in dat.

ὡς ἕκαστος γιγνώσκει—so in II. 48, of the origin of ‘the Plague.’

περὶ αὐτῶν—Classen takes αὐτῶν as neut., ‘these questions,’ i.e. γένος, ὁπόθεν ἐσῆλθον κ.τ.λ. Of this rather vague use of αὐτά Thuc. is fond. But μετ᾽ αὐτούς below is strongly in favour of making αὐτῶν masc.


Σικανοί—some modern critics, including Holm, think that Σικανοί and Σικελοί are ‘simply dialectal differences of the same name.’ Freeman combats this view l.c. pp. 472 fol.

ἐνοικισάμενοι—‘settled there.’ The next words mean ‘or rather (καί=immo) before them, according to their own account.’ There is an instance of the sarcastic humour of which Thuc. is rather fond in ἐνοικισάμενοι . . αὐτόχθονες: if ‘original inhabitants,’ they could not be ‘settlers.’

ὡς μὲν αὐτοί φασι—this is placed early in order to bring out the antithesis sharply. It is a very common trick of order in Thuc.

διὰ τὸ . . εἶναι—the inf. with διὰ τό is very common in Thuc. (63 cases according to Behrendt), but διὰ τοῦ with inf. is not found. The inf. with art., commoner in Thuc. and Demosth. than in any other author, is in Thuc. found chiefly in the speeches and the loftier parts of narrative. The construction and usage of the Eng. inf. in -ing (as distinct from the verbal noun) are precisely similar to the Gk. inf. with art., except only that the Eng. inf. can be qualified, not only by the def. art., but by a pronoun and by a substantive in the possessive case.

Ἴβηρες—great value attached to a well-authenticated claim to be αὐτόχθονες: hence Thuc. marks the antithesis to διὰ τὸ αύ. εἶναι, instead of writing ὕστεροι in contrast with πρότεροι. Stein reads <ὕστεροι>, Ἴβηρες.

Σικανοῦ—has been thought to be the Sègre or even the Seine, but it is unknown. It is not certain from what quarter these Iberians really immigrated to Sicily. 14

Τρινακρία—Freeman points out that this name, derived from τρεῖς ἄκραι, is probably a mere corruption of the Homeric Θρινακίη, with which island Sicily was identified, the supposed reference being to the triangular shape of Sicily. Ov. Fast. IV. 419 Trinacris a positu nomen adepta loci.

καλουμένη—this tense of the partic. (imperf.) is invariably used when a name now obsolete is referred to. κληθείς= ‘called’ (timeless), or ‘having received the name,’ and is used of names given under some definite circumstances referred to, as in c. 4, 1 τοὺς . κληθέντας, and c. 4, 5.

τὰ πρὸς ἑσπέραν—adverbial. For the expression cf. τὰ πρὸς βορρᾶν § 5 and τὸ πρὸς νότον III. 6. πρὸς ἑσπέραν also means ‘towards evening,’ sub vesperum.


ἁλισκομένου—Classen makes this historic pres.; but it cannot be shown that the historic pres. is used in any mood but the indic. Stahl takes it with διαφυγόντες—‘escaped at the time of the capture.’ This is possible; but Goodwin (M.T. § 27) classes ἁλίσκομαι with ἀδικῶ, φεύγω, νικῶ, etc., so that the pres. may here resemble a perf.: but observe (1) when the pres. indic. of ἁλ. refers to the past, it appears to he historic pres.; (2) ἁλισκόμενος is either (a) coincident in time with the main verb, or (b) approaches to the perf., like άδικῶ. (An imperf. partic. in gen. abs. joined to a historic pres. sometimes gives the cause of the verb; as I. 136 δεδιέναι φασκόντων Κερκυραίων ἔχειν αὐτόν, διακομίζεται ἐς τὴν ἤπειρον.)

ἀφικνοῦνται—verbs of ‘going’ and ‘sending’ are especially common in the hist. pres.

ξύμπαντες μέν—Jowett renders ‘they settled near the Sicanians, and both took the name of Elymi’; but Freeman says ‘I certainly always understood this simply to mean that the whole people were called E. . . . but that there were two separate Elymian cities.’ Freeman is clearly right. The Sicanians had given their name to the island, and they remained quite distinct from the Elymi. Also, is J.'s rendering of ξύμπαντες possible? ξ. is often contrasted with κατὰ πόλεις, whereas it never means in Thuc. ‘they with the others.’ And Thuc. is clearly giving the name and the cities of the new settlers.

Ἔρυξ—the story of the Trojan origin of Eryx is accepted and elaborated by Virgil m Aeneid V.; but Freeman shows that the older legend did not assign to it a Trojan origin.

Ἔγεστα—this is the Greek name; but the native name, retained by the Romans, was Segesta. It is the Acesta of Aen. v. 718. To the Romans is due the tradition that it was founded by Aeneas, who named it after Acestes.

προσξυνῴκησαν δὲ . . καί—a characteristic anaphora of ὅμοροι . . οἰκήσαντες. Thuc. does not in narrative balance the clauses exactly by anaphora, whereas in Xenophon such balance is very frequent. Cp. c. 20, 4.

Φωκέων—the statement that Phocians settled in Sicily receives no support except from a single passage in Pausanias. And this testimony is really of slight value, as P. is enumerating the Greek settlers in Sicily, as distinct from the barbarians, among whom he places the Elymi (Phrygians, i.e Trojans). The correction Φρυγῶν is not really supported, because when later writers speak of Phrygians in Sicily they mean Trojans. It looks as if in τῶν Τρώων τινές above Thue. refers to that arrival which appears under a much-developed form in Dion. Hal. as the return of Acestes. Whether in Φωκέων τινές we have an early form of the legend that reappears in the story of Aeneas, is much more doubtful. Dion. Hal. assigns an Areadian origin to Aeneas: and it should be borne in mind that the Trojans are barbarians in Thuc. and Pausanias, but Hellenes in Dion. Hal. and Virgil. Dion. Hal. speaks of the Trojans under Aeneas as τὰς πόλεις συνοικίζοντες τοῖς Ἐλύμοις έν Σικελίᾳ. These faets only show how great was the confusion in the stories concerning the settlement of the Elymi, and how impossible it is to correct Φωκέων with any confidenee.

τότε—refers back to διαφυγόντες (Stahl).

ἐς Λιβύην—it is not impossible that this suggested to Virgil the bringing of Aeneas to Carthage. πρῶτον, ἔπειταπρῶτον without μέν is always followed by ἔπειτα without δἐ, unless καί follows ἔπειτα, when δέ is always added, as in VII. 23 τὸ μέγιστον πρῶτον, ἔπειτα δὲ καί κτλ.

ἀπ̓ αὐτῆς—this pronoun, referring to a preceding noun or pronoun, corresponds to is in Lat There is in Thuc. a use of αὐτά which corresponds to haec omnia, ‘our empire,’ as in Cic. pro Sul. § 28.

κατενεχθέντες—cf. IV. 120 πλέοντας δ᾽ άπὸ Τροίας σφῶν τοὺς πρώτους κατενεχθῆναι ἐς τὸ χωρίον τοῦτο τῷ χειμῶνι ἐχρήσαντο Ἀχαιοί.


Σικελοί—it is generally agreed among ancient writers that the Siculi were Italian, and had been driven into Bruttium from Latium.

Ίταλίας—i.e. only the modern Calabria, in ancient times the peninsula reaching to the Laus on W., and to Metapontum on E. Dion. Hal. I. 12 defines Italy in this sense as άπὸ ἄκρας Ἰαπυγίας μέχρι πορθμοῦ Σικελικοῦ.

Ὀπικούς—identified by Strabo with the Oscans. They were enemies of the Latins, who regarded them as barbarous. Cf. Jovenal's opici mures.

ὡς μὲν εἰκός—there are two uses of εἰκός—(1) to introduce what is probable, but is incapable of proof; (2) of the reasonable conduct of persons.

ἐπὶ σχεδιῶν—cf. on c. 101, 3. In this use, the gen. with ἐπί differs from the dat. in that it expresses the means as well as the place.

τηρήσαντες=φυλάξαντες, as III. 22, and Demosth. 28, 1 τηρήσας τὴν τελευταίαν ἡμέραν. πορθμός generally in prose= ‘strait,’ but ‘passage’ suits τηρήσαντες better ‘Watching for the passage when the wind blew,’ means that they waited till the wind blew from Italy. The danger of the πορθμὸς Σικελικός is proverbial. Cf. the mare Siculum of Roman poets.

κατιόντος—technical word. <ἐς> τὸν π. Stein.

τάχα ἄν—sc. διέβησαν, M.T. § 244. The contrast is between what they probably did and what they may possibly have done. δέτάχα δ᾽ ἄν would be more usual, but expressions like τάχ̓ ἄν occasionally displace δέ. Thus Andocides has δῆλον ὅτι δέ for δῆλον δ᾽ ὅτι.

ἀπὸ Ἰταλοῦ—this remark is of no value as history. Cf. Aen. I. 532 nunc fama, minores | Italiam dixisse, ducis de nomine, gentem.

οὕτως—referring back to ἀπὸ Ἰταλοῦ after the parenthetical remark τοὔνομα τ. .


στρατὸς πολύς—predicate, =ἦλθον πολλοί. κρατοῦντεςκρατῶ with μάχῃ or μαχόμενος—or when one of them is clearly implied—takes accus. in Thuc., otherwise gen. Cf. Demosth. 8, 32 ὃν κρατήσαντες τοῖς ὅπλοις, ib. 19, 319 Φωκέας ἐκράτησε (sc. μάχῃ). κρατῶ with gen.=κρείσσων γίγνομαι. [Demosth.] 13, 17 ἐν τοῖς ὅπλοις κρατεῖν τῶν ἐχθρῶν is wrong.

τὰ κράτιστα τῆς γῆς—‘the best parts’; cf. VII. 19 τῷ πεδίῳ καὶ τῆς χώρας τοῖς κρατίστοις.

ἐπεί—‘from the time that.’ The edd. compare ἐπειδὴ ἐπαύσαντο I. 6, and note that the sense is the same as that of ἀφ̓ οὗ, ἐξ οὗ. The use is characteristic of tragedy and early prose. See L. & S.; in I. 14, 3 ὀψέ τε ἀφ̓ οὗ is doubtful.

τὰ μέσα καὶ τὰ πρὸς βορρᾶν—comparing τὰ μεσημβρινὰ καὶ ἑσπέρια above, we notice that τά is inserted a second time. For the repetition see note on καί in c. 1, 1. The omission is impossible when the first member is an adj.—μέσα —and the second is a participial expression—πρὸς βορρᾶν Cf. Hyperides I. xxi. 19 ἔξω τῶν βασιλικῶν καὶ τῶν παρ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδρου. Thuc. I. 18 οἵ τε Ἀθηναίων τύραννοι καὶ οἱ ἐκ τῆς ἄλλης Ἑλλάδος. Isocr. 3, 22 ἐν τοῖς ἐγκυκλίοις καὶ τοῖς κατὰ τὴν ἡμέραν ἑκάστην γιγνομένοις.

τὰ πρὸς βορρᾶν—c. 2 § 2 Cf. Demosth. 18, 301 οὶ πρὸς Πελοπόννησον τόποι.


ᾤκουν—it should be noticed, (1) that the object of the Phoenician settlements was trade with the Sicels; (2) that the Phoenicians were the earliest to send out colonists to Sicily.

ἐπὶ τῇ θαλάσσῃ—of points on the coast, whereas παρὰ (τὴν) θάλασσαν implies extent along the coast. But the distinction is not carefully observed. II. 9 Καρία ἐπὶ θαλάσσῃ: Isocr. 5, 21 (Ἰλλυρίων) τῶν παρὰ τὸν Ἀδρίαν οἰκούντων.

ἀπολαβόντες—the constant use of participle and verb in the sentences that describe the various settlements lends a special character to these chapters. Whether or not the whole is based on Antiochus of Syracuse, the style is simple and annalistic.

ἐπικείμενα—the Aegatian Islands are meant.

ἕνεκα—MSS. ἕνεκεν, but the form in -ν is very doubtful in older Attic. The order of ἕνεκα allows of (1) τῆς πρὸς τοὺς Σ. ἕνεκα ἐμπορίας, (2) ἕνεκα τῆς πρὸς τοὺς Σ. ἐμ., (3) ἐμ. ἕνεκα τῆς πρὸς τοὺς Σ. On the other hand, ἕνεκα is not placed last in a phrase of this kind, where the epithet contains a preposition— τῆς πρὸς τ. Σ. ἐπεσέπλεονἐπ-, as in ἐπάγεσθαι, =insuper, Sta., who adds that κατὰ θάλασσαν lacks point. But it has often been noticed that a simple word (πλἐω), when compounded, loses something of its force. Hence, to show that it was by sea that the Gks. came, and not by migration from their settlements—the sea being all-important in the struggle between Gk. and Phoenician —κατὰ θ is naturally added. This kind of tautology is to be met with in English: e.g. Johnson, Idler 48 ‘Mons. Le Noir is made miserable . . by every account of a privateer caught in his cruize.’ Burke, Mr. Fox's East India Bill, ‘I have been long very deeply engaged in the preliminary enquiries, which have continued without intermission for some years.’

ἐκλιπόντες . . ξυνοικήσαντες—Thuc. joins two and even three unconnected participles to a verb, provided that the participles are not absolutely parallel.

τὰ πλείω—referring to περὶ πᾶσαν τὴν Σ. This vague use of the neut. is very common.

Μοτύην—an island about five miles N. of Lilybaeum. It was joined to the mainland by a mole, which, though under water, is still used as a track. In 397 the Carthaginians were driven from Motye by Dionysius and founded Lilybaeum.

Σολόεντα—Soloeis, the Roman Soluntum, became the eastern stronghold of the Phoenicians against the Greeks. It was a fortress, not a mere trading station. The present remains go back only to Roman times.

Πάνορμον—the modern capital Palermo, ‘la felice.’ The following list gives the principal events in the history of this famous city:— 254 B.C. Taken by the Romans from the Carthaginians. 409 A.D. Sicily conquered by Alaric. Belisarius recovers Sicily and takes Palermo by siege. The Byzantine Period begins. The Saracen Period. Palermo made capital of Sicily. Conquered by Norman adventurers. The Norman Period. The Sicilian Vespers at Palermo end the dominion of the French. The Spanish Period, leading to the attachment of Sicily to the kingdom of Naples. Garibaldi takes Palermo. Sicily united with Italy.

ξυνοικήσαντες—Stahl points out that this is contrasted with ᾤκουν περὶ π. τὴν Σ. The three towns were not new settlements of the Phoenicians.

καὶ ὅτι—cf. c. 1, 1. Two causes are constantly given in different constructions by Thuc.; a clause with ὅτι is sometimes joined to a prep. (διά, κατά, πρός) and case.

Καρχηδών—the tradition generally accepted at a later time was that Rome and Carthage were founded on the same day; but there is good evidence that Carthage was founded shortly before 800 B.C. Freeman shows that the Phoenicians were probably confined to the three towns after the Gk. settlement of Selinus, i e. after 628 B.C.

τοσοίδε—the violation of the rule that these forms refer to what follows, occurs most commonly in speeches.

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  • Commentary references from this page (13):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.12
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.136
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.14
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.19
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.48
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.9
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.22
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.120
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.19
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.23
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