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καὶ οἱ μὲν—the description of the last battle has been much admired both in ancient and in modern times. Dionysius Hal. quotes much of it and praises it warmly; it is also commended by Lucian, and by Gibbon, Gray, Macaulay.

ᾐσθάνοντο—sc. πληροῦντας τὰς ναῦς.

ὅπερ πάσχουσιν—sc. οἱ ἄνθρωποι, which is very often omitted thus; e.g. Plat. Crat. 387C ὀνομάζοντες γάρ που λέγουσι τοὺς λόγους.

σφίσιν—i.e. Nicias and his men.

αὐτοῖς—prob.=to them, i.e. τοῖς στρατιώταις: but Classen takes it to mean by them, i.e. τοῖς στρατηγοῖς.

ἀνεκάλειcalled by name, )( ἀποκαλεῖν.

πατρόθεν τε ἐπονομάζωνmentioning the father's name as well (ἐπ-). Cf. Aristot. Ath. Pol. 21.4 ταύτας ἐπονομόσας τριττῦς.

αὐτοὺς ὀνομαστὶ—does not add any fresh information, but heightens the impressiveness of the description.

φυλήν—men were officially addressed by the name of their deme; but here the tribe is chosen because of its military character.

τό τε καθ᾽ ἑαυτόν κ.τ.λ.admonishing those who had any reputation of their own not to be false to it. τὸ καθ᾽ ἑαυτόν is taken as object of προδιδόναι, and the schol. explains it as τὴν οἰκείαν ἀρετήν; but elsewhere in Thuc. τὸ καθ᾽ ἑαυτὸν means either (1) in person, used adverbially, as in Dem. 21.140 τὸ καθ᾽ ἑαυτὸν ὅπως δύναται, Aristoph. Eq. 513 χορὸν αἰτοίη καθ᾽ ἑαυτόν, or (2) his own division; and it may well be used in the former sense here. But it should be connected with what follows, in the sense ὑπῆρχε λαμπρότητός τι τὸ καθ᾽ ἑαυτόν, the order being modified for the sake of the antithesis with τὰς π. ἀρετάς.

οἱ πρόγονοι—observe the sentiment in which the last appeal of Nicias is grounded. Thuc knew well that the reverence felt by his countrymen for the past was excessive; cf. l. 22 below. Pericles also certainly discouraged this excess and tried to direct the A. to the future. But Thuc. is right in making N. lay stress on the glory of the past here, and no doubt N. really did so. ἀρετὰς is deeds of valour as usual.

ἀφανίζειν—contrasted with ἐπιφανεῖς.

πατρίδος τῆς ἐλευθερωτάτης—the order puts emphasis on the adj., and the statement is true of Athens itself; but she had unduly neglected the claims of her subjects and thus enabled Sparta to raise the cry of ἐλευθερία by which a great part of Greece was deluded.

ὑπομιμνῄσκων—this word is often used when people are reminded of something dear to them and absent, for which they fecl a longing (πόθος).

τῆς ἐν αὐτῇ κ.τ.λ. = “ ὅτι ἑκάστῳ ἐν αὐτῇ ἀνεπιτάκτως διαιτᾶσθαι ἔξεστι.’ Classen. ‘It is noteworthy that this special feature of the great democracy should be the one picked out at such an hour as this as the thing which had gone further than anything to endear Athens to her children.” Freeman . Pericles in the Funeral Oration says ‘In our daily intercourse we are as tolerant as in our public life . . . we are not angry with our neighbour for doing as he pleases.’ II. 37.2.

ἄλλα τετε joins λέγων to the preceding words.

τοῦ καιροῦ—cf. c. 2

οὐ πρὸς τὸ δοκεῖν κ.τ.λ.all that men would say, not guarding against seeming to talk commonplaces, and urging what does duty on all occasions (ὑπὲρ ἁπάντων) to the same effect about wives and children and ancestral gods; still because they think it to be useful, they appeal to it.

καὶ ὑπὲρ—with this καὶ supply εἴποιεν ἄν, but not ὅσα, since the influence of the relative is as usual lost in the second member of the sentence; and so Thuc eeases to tell us directly what Nicias said, and instead tells us what men always say under such circumstances. And so ἐπιβοῶνται (see note below) is added at the end. (Hitherto there have been two explanations of this καί: (1) Goller, followed by most modern edd., takes καὶ as ‘though,’ so that the following words are in apposition to ὅσα; (2) καὶ=‘and,’ joins προφερόμενα to the idea contained in οὐ πρὸς τὸ δοκεῖν . . . φυλαξάμενοι, which virtually=ἀρχαῖα, note in Jowett. Both explanations require that ἐπιβοῶνται should be considered grammatically dependent on ὅσα; but this is not likely, and καὶ ὑπὲρ κ.τ.λ. comes in very awkwardly on either of the two suppositions.) The lit. rendering is ‘and they would say things which are brought forward on all occasions.’

παραπλήσια—pred. to προφερόμενα.

ἔς τε γυναῖκας—cf. ές after many verbs of saying, as ᾁδειν, αἰνίττεσθαι, ποιεῖν (to compose).

θεοὺς πατρῴους—esp. Apollo and Zeus; prob. also Athena.

ἀλλ᾽—the influence of ὅσα being entirely lost, ἀλλ᾽ . . . ἐπιβοῶνται is contrasted with ὅσα . . . εἵποιεν ἃν οὐ φυλαξάμενοι . . ., καὶ (εἴποιεν ἂν) . . . προφερόμενα.

ἐπιβοῶνται—sc. τὰ . . . προφερόμενα. So III. 59.2 θεοὺς ἐπιβοώμενοι; VIII. 92 ἐπιβοωμένου . . . μὴ ἀπολέσαι τὴν πατρίδα. This meaning of ἐπιβοᾶσθαι to invoke=ἐπικαλεῖσθαι is not to be found in Attic prose outside Thuc.

ἀναγκαῖα—what would just suffice.

πεζὸν—see c. 60.2.

τὸν παρακλῃσθέντα διέκπλουνthe opening that had been closed, with chains. When the ζεῦγμα had been formed by the Syr., they must have left a gap in the centre to admit their own ships. Doubtless this gap could be closed with chains, as in the case of λιμένες κληστοί. See c. 70 l. 15. (None of the MSS. readings yield a satisfactory sense; παραλειφθέντα is strongly supported, but there is no sign in the narrative that there was a gap left open. In any case Thuc. has here, as elsewhere, neglected to tell us something which he should have told us.)

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 513
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 21.4
    • Demosthenes, Against Midias, 140
    • Plato, Cratylus, 387c
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.37.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.59.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.60.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.70
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.92
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