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ἡμῶν δὲ κ.τ.λ.with us the spirit which we had before, in which while still inexperienced we made a desperate venture, is now snrer, and as we have added to it a conviction that we must be the strongest if we have defeated the strongest, every man's hope is doubled; and as a rule, in any enterprise, the greater a man's hope the greater is his readiness. ἡμῶν τὸ ὑπάρχον is our natural spirit, ὑπάρχω being habitually used of a nation's qualities and mental characteristics. ἡμῶν is emphatic.

δοκήσεως—this word is found only in Herod. and Thuc. among prose authors.

τοῦ κρατίστους εἶναι—here, as in c. 36.5 and VIII 87, the MSS. give τό, but it is unlikely that Thuc. alone, and in these three places only, should have put the accus. to explain a gen. or dat. See Appendix II. κρατίστους . . . κρατίστους is traductio.

Τά τε τῆς κ.τ.λ.The counterfeits of our method which they have devised are customary in our mode of fighting, and we shall be prepared for every one of them. But they will have a number of heavy infantry on deck contrary to custom, and a number of javelin men from Acarnania and elsewhere, mere landsmen aboard ship for the most part, who will not even find out how to discharge their javelins in a sitting position. Must they not endanger the ships and be thrown into utter confusion when they do not move in their usual manner?

τὸ καθεστηκὸς—the ‘established custom’ of all navies.

χερσαῖοι, ὡς εἰπεῖν—most commentators since Bauer say that ὡς εἰπεῖν so to speak is added because χερσαῖος is used esp. of animals. This is very improbable: elsewhere in Thuc. ὡς εἰπεῖν qualifies an universal statement, as II. 51; III. 38, c. 39.82; VI. 30; VIII. 5, 96. There is no passage in which it is certainly used in any other sense; nor is it clear that χερσαῖος necessarily suggests animals.

καθεζομένους—prob. literal, and not merely ‘cramped’ as Goller thought.

ταράξονται—see on c. 36.6. So ὠφελήσομαι is often used in pass. sense.

ἐπεὶ καὶ κ.τ.λ.for the number of their ships will be no advantage to them, in case any of you are alarmed about your numerical inferiority in the coming battle. In a small space many will be slower in accomplishing their object, and completely exposed to injury from our devices.

πλήθει—often used of superior numbers.

ἐς τὸ βλάπτεσθαι—the construction, as Classen says, is influenced by ἐς τὸ δρᾶν. Elsewhere ῥᾴδιος takes plain infin. Cf. II. 11.5 πρός τε τὸ ἐπιέναι εὐψυχότατοι, πρός τε τὸ ἐπιχειρεῖσθαι ἀσφαλέστατοι.

ἀφ᾽ ὧν—for ἀπ᾽ ἐκείνων —i.e. the nom. of the rel. is attracted. This is very unusual, and this is the only instance in Thuc.

τὸ δ᾽ ἀληθέστατον κ.τ.λ.assure yourselves of a plain fact from information which we think to be clear: it is because their distress is overpowering and because they are forced by their present misery that they are reduced to the desperate expedient of risking a battle as best they can, trusting more to fortune than to orderly preparation. Their purpose is either to force their way out by sea or to retreat by land after the battle; for they know that their plight could not possibly be worse than it is.

βιαζόμενοι ὑπὸ—see on c. 13

παρασκευῆς . . . τύχης—the same antithcsis in IV. 55. So γνώμη and τύχη are very often contrasted. Thuc. thinks of Nicias. But παρασκευὴ is not ‘actual force’ here, as Bloomfield and Arnold say, but it is τὸ παρεσκευάσθαι, the opposite of ἀταξία in c. 68.1.

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hide References (12 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (12):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.11.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.51
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.38
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.55
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.30
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.13
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.36.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.36.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.68.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.96
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.39.82
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