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γίγνεσθαι δὲ κτλ.—‘the prompt and efficient execu tion of these plans rests with you.’


οὐδὲ ὑποπτεύεσθαι κτλ.—‘nor do I think suspieion should be cast upon my words on the ground that I display the zeal of an exile.’ For ἐς the edd. quote VIII. 88 βουλόμενος αὐτὸν ἐς τὴν φιλίαν διαβάλλειν. The gen. μοῦ separated from τὸν λόγον has the force of an ethic dat., as often in Thuc.


φυγάς τε γὰρ κτλ.—‘an exile, indeed, I am from the villainy of those who banished me, but not from the power of aiding you’ (Wilkins). This refers to ἐς τὴν φυγαδικὴν π., but the extreme artificiality of the expression is not redeemed by its ingenuity. φυγάς is used in two senses.

καὶ πολεμιώτεροι κτλ.—referring to μετὰ τῶν πολεμιωτάτων above. Enemies within are more dangerous (to Athens) than enemies without.

—strictly ἀλλά is required, as οὐχ follows πολεμιώτεροι. For the opposite, ἀλλἀ in place of . cf. II. 43 οὐκ ἐν κεῖνται μᾶλλον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν δόξα . . καταλείπεται. (The Scholiast is wrong in saying οὐχ οὕτως ὑμᾶς πολεμίους ἡγοῦμαι, ὡς Ἁθηναίους.)

οἱ . . ἀναγκάσαντες—referring to his own enemies at Athens.


τό τε φιλόπολι κτλ.—‘love of country consists for me not in suffering injustice, as I now am doing, but in the feeling that I once lived securely as a citizen’ (Hampke, Studien p. 11). ἐν =ἐν τούτῳ ὅτι. Cf c. 55, 4. Classen wrongly supplies εἶχον to ἐν . . ἑπολιτεύθην. Alc. ‘is not saying that he was once a patriot and had now ceased to be one, but he claims or pretends to be still a patriot’ (note in Jowett), as is shown by what follows.

οὐδ᾽ ἐπὶ πατρίδα οὖσαν κτλ.—‘nor yet do I think that I am now attacking (a city) that is still my country, but rather that I am trying to recover one that is not my country.’ by helping you to defeat Athens, to destroy her power, and to start a new hegemony founded on good will and independence (§ 5).

καὶ φιλόπολις κτλ.—Jebb suggests that in these words, written after the end of the war, Thuc. may have been thinking of Thrasy bulus and the downfall of the Thirty. ‘Just after the restoration of the democracy the point would have been peculiarly effective.’ Cf. Isocrates 16, 14, where the comparison between Alc. and the patriots under Thrasybulus is made.

ἀπολέσας, ‘lost.’

διὰ τὸ ἐπιθυμεῖν—cf. Andoc. 2, 10 εἰσῆλθέ μοι ἐπιθυμία τῆς μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν πολιτείας. ‘The true patriot is not he who abstains from moving against the country from which he has been unjustly banished, but he who, in his passionate love for her, strives by all means to regain her’ (Jebb). The whole of §§ 3 and 4 is sophistry.


ἐμοί τε—answered by καὶ αὐτούς. ταλαιπωρία often means the suffering that war or disease brings

προβαλλόμενον—‘put forward’; cf. I. 73 τὰ δὲ Μηδικὰ . . αἰεὶ προβαλλομένοις (mid.) ἀνἀγκη λέγειν (a passage which is, I think, misundcrstood by the edd.).

εἰ πολέμιός γε κτλ.—we should expect rather to have a general statement: the plea is ‘just as I injured you greatly as an enemy, so I should help you effectually as a friend.’

ὅσῳ—‘inasmuch as’ (oftener with compar. or superl. following). ‘I only conjectured your intentions, whereas I know those of the Athenians.’

διαφερόντων—‘interests.’

βραχεῖ μορίῳ—‘with a small part of your forces.’

μεγάλα is considered by Poppo predicative, by Classen proleptic; but perhaps the order is only due to the antithesis between βραχεῖ and μεγάλα—‘a slender aid to secure great interests’ (Bloomfield’).

τὴν μέλλουσαν—referring to the Athenian designs as he had foreshadowed them.

τῆς ἁπάσης Ἑλλάδος—he contrasts the mildness of the coming Spartan hegemony with the oppression of the present Athenian Empire. The contrast is of course imaginary.

κατ᾽ εὔνοιαν—‘in virtue of their goodwill.’

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.73
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.43
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.88
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