μετεχείρισαν—Thuc. like Herod., uses the act. of this word, whereas other authors use the middle. οἵ ἥλιοι—the plur. is intensive, as in θέρμαι, καύματα. ἐς ἀσθένειαν ἐνεωτέριζον—like βάλλειν or τρέπειν εἰς, of some enforced change of state; ‘through the change of temperature induced disease.’
τῶν νεκρῶν . . . οἳ . . . ἀπέθνῃσκον—it appears that νεκροὶ ἀποθνῄσκουσι is possible Greek, as in Plut. Pyrrhus 21 τραυμάτων πολλῶν γενομένων καὶ νεκρῶν πεσόντων, and perhaps Thuc. II. 52 νεκροὶ ἐπ᾽ ἀλλήλοις ἀποθνῄσκοντες ἔκειντο. ἐπὶ ὀκτὼ μῆνας—sc. daily. This allowance is what was called in c. 82 ἡ ἀναγκαιοτάτη δίαιτα, and is half that which was given to a slave. Diodorus, following the Sicilian account, says that each man received two χοίνικες of meal, i.e. four times as much as two κοτύλαι. ἄλλα ὅσα—for ὅσα ἄλλα, found also in II. 96.3. ἐν τῷ τ. . . ἐμπεπτωκότας—ἐν is occasionally used with verbs of motion. ἐπεγένετο—accidit.
πλὴν Ἀ. κ.τ.λ.—comparing l. 15 we see that these were kept in the quarries some six months longer.
ἔργον—used in its vague, euphemistic sense, as in τὸ περὶ τὸν Ἴτυν ἔργον. [ Ἑλληνικὸν]—to be omitted, since there is no contrast between the doings of Greeks and of other men. δοκεῖν—infin. of limitation; c. 49.3. ὧν ἀκοῇ—cf. Herod. VII. 170 φόνος Ἑλληνικὸς μέγιστος οὗτος δὴ ἐγἐνετο πάντων ὧν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν, of the destruction of the Tarentines and Rhegines by the Iapyges.
κατὰ πάντα . . . πάντως—paronomasia, to emphasise the statement. πανωλεθρίᾳ—cf. πανώλεθρος ἀπόλλυσθαι in tragedy. ὀλίγοι ἀπὸ πολλῶν—a common collocation. ἀπενόστησαν—the well-known story in Plut. Nic. 29 that some gained liberty or shelter by reciting Euripides is by no means improbable; for, apart from the great popularity of Euripides, the Athenian slaves, weakened by suffering and unused to mauual labour, must have been a burden to their owners. With the Athenian retreat we might compare the retreat of Antony from Parthia in 36 B.C. Cf. Browning Balaustion's Adventure, and Byron Childe Harold 4.16:
When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And fetter'd thousands bore the yoke of war,
Redemption rose up in the Attic Muse,
Her voice their only ransom from afar:
See! as they chant the tragic hymn, the car
Of the o'ermaster'd victor stops, the reins
Fall from his hands, his idle scimitar
Starts from its belt—he rends his captive's chains,
And bids him thank the bard for freedom and his strains.