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σίτῳ—Sicily has always been famed for its corn. (See Freeman, Sic I. pp. 67, 91.) On the contrary, Athens had to import corn, mainly from the ports of the Euxine, also from Euboea, and shortly after this time from Cyprus. She was on several occasions in great straits on this account when an enemy controlled the sea.

φαύλου—the sense cannot be ‘mean,’ ‘poor,’ as L. & S. say, since N. would appear to be disparaging the A. naval power by the connexiou with ναυτικῆς. δῆμός ἐστιν ἐλαύνων τἀς ναῦς καὶ τὴν δύναμιν περιτιθεὶς τῇ πόλει ([Xen.] Ath. Pol. init.). φαῦλος στρατία is the ordinary or conventional force required for a naval expedition. It is a feature of the Sic. expedition that there were soldiers in unusual numbers on board.

δεῖ—constructed with infin. in the clauses that follow. It is a recognised principle that a verb that admits of two constrnctions may appear in the same sentence with both: e.g. VIII. 4 παρεσκευάζοντο . . τήν τε ναυπηγίαν . . καὶ Σούνιον τειχίσαντες, where we have παρασκευάζομαι constructed first with the accus. and theu with the partic.

εἴπερ—‘that is if,’ or ‘assuming that.’ Cf. Xen. Oec. 1, 8 οὐ χρήματ᾽ αὐτῷ ἐστιν ἵππος; Οὔκ, εἴπερ τὰ χρήματά γ᾽ ἐστὶν ἀγαθόν. πεζός= π. στρατός is Ionic.

ἄξιον . . δρᾶν—equivalent to ἄξιόν τι δρᾶν. Cf. II. 91 ἀξύμφορον δρῶντες.

ὑπὸ ἱππέων—N. ‘fears that the eities will combine, and that Segesta alone will be left to give auy help against the horsemen. But he says nothing about bringing together auy force of cavalry on the A. side. That Segesta was likely to supply horse appears from c. 37, 1; 62, 9; 98, 1’ (Freeman).

ἄλλως τε κἂν ξυστῶσιν—all the good MSS. give εἰ with subj. here only in Thuc. It occurs occasionally in tragedy, and is frequent in Lucian. Probably ἄλλως τε κἄν should be read, as in I. 141.

ἀμυνούμεθα—final rel. sentence: sc. ἱππέας πολλούς.

αὐτόθεν—‘at once,’ at the start, instead of waiting to send for reinforcements.

οὐκ ἐν τῷ . στρατευσόμενοι—co-ordinate with ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμετέρας αὐτῶν. Hence to στρατευσόμενοι supply μέλλομεν πλεῖν. The lit. rendering is ‘we are about to make a voyage to serve in a campaign not as you served, where among your subjects here you attacked any one as allies.’ The contrast is between an offensive alliance near home and an offensive alliance in a distant country; and the difference lies in the placc. When the neighbourhood is friendly, there is no such difficulty as will be encountered in Sicily. ξύμμαχοι does not mean that A. was in the habit of making an alliance specially to attack a place (as Aruold thought), but is used for the sake of the antithesis of the ordinary relation existing between A. and her ὑπήκοοι, which is ξυμμαχία, with the unusual ξυμμαχία in Sicily.

καί—‘as,’ so that ἐστρατεύσασθε is implied from στρατευσόμενοι. On the readings see crit. n.

ὅθεν—sc. ἦσαν. The copula is frequently omitted after rel. words, esp. after ὅσος. In Lat. prose the corresponding omission is rare before the silver period.

προσέδει—necessary in addition to what had been taken αὐτόθεν.

ἀπαρτήσαντες—sc. στρατευσόμενοι. The word is explained by the Schol.: ἀπαρτηθέντες, ἀπελθόντες, καὶ πολὺ τῆς οἰκείας χωρισθέντες. The only passage that supports the supposed intrans. use of the act. is Dio Cass. 51, 4, 2 quoted by Pape and Clas. Now to ἀπαρτήσαντες supply ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμετέρας αὐτῶν from above—the main point being that the armament is separated from, cut off from home, and transferred to a distant land. Thus ἐς . . ἀπαρτήσαντες repeats with an addition πολὺ . . μέλλομεν πλεῖν. The object of ἀπαρτήσαντες (τὴν παρασκευήν) is implied in the preceding words, and its omission is no more than the ordinary omission of an object with military words. The phrase ἐς γῆν ἀπαρτᾶν is a brachylogy for ‘to cut off (and place) in a country.’

οὐδέ—misplaced, if the sense is—what it is always assumed to be—‘from which not even a messenger can easily come in the four winter months.’ But what no onc can tell is why N., if he means this, should say ‘from which not even within four months, I mean in the winter months, is it easy for a messenger to come.’ Surely N. means what he says. He puts the case in its worst light. Should it be required to send at beginning of winter, it would be difficult for a messenger to go, and he might have to wait for spring, or put into an Italian or even a Libyan port for refuge. The months are Maimacteriou, Posideon, Gamelion, Anthesterion, corresponding roughly to November, December, January, and February, and they are taken not singly, but as together making up the time when voyaging was dangerous.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.141
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.91
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.4
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