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ὅ τε ἐκ τῆς γῆς—the following vivid description of the behaviour of the troops on shore exhibits a curious approximation to the romantic spirit, but it wants the pathos and the freedom of romanticism; and, fine as it is, the choice and the presentment of the details serve to show how entirely foreign to Thucydides' genius the romantic spirit was. This living picture is finely imitated by Gibbon in his account of the siege of Constantinople by Mahomet II. in 1453. πολὺν τὸν ἀγῶνα . . . εἶχε—cf. III. 49.1 ἦλθον ἐς ἀγῶνα τῆς δόξης. ξύστασιν—synonym of ἀγών. φιλονικῶν— “les Siciliens désiraient obtenir une gloire plus grande, et les Athéniens redoutaient un sort plus juste encore que leur condition présente.” Girard .
ἀνακειμένων . . . ἐς τὰς ναῦς—as everything depended on the fleet. Cf. Eur. Hec. 802 ὃς εἰς σ᾽ ἀνελθὼν εἰ διαφθαρήσεται κ.τ.λ. οὐδενὶ ἐοικὼς—cf. on c. 29 διὰ τὸ ἀνώμαλον—as the fortune of the battle varied, so they received of necessity varying impressions. (Valla supposed that there is a reference in this passage to ‘the unevenness of the ground’; but this is not likely either from what follows or from the condition of the coast. Being close to the water, they could not get a view of the whole.)
l 11. δι᾽ ὀλίγου—local; cf. c. 36.5. ἀνεθάρσησαν ἂν—this is the only example in Thuc. of the iterative ἂν with indic. aor. or imperf. (On this construction sec Mr. Seaton in Classical Review III. p. 343 fol.) ἐπὶ τὸ ἡσσώμενον=τοὺς ἡσσωμένους. Cf. Eur. Supp. 706 ἦν δ᾽ ἀγὼν ἰσόρροπος . . . οὐ γὰρ τὸ νικῶν τοῦτ᾽ ἐκήδευεν, μόνον | ἀλλ᾽ ᾤχετ᾽ ἐς τὸ κάμνον οἰκείου στρατοῦ. ἀπὸ τῶν δρωμένων τῆς ὄψεως—ἀπὸ belongs to τῆς ὄψεως, the order being the same in c. 20.1; 24.2; 31.5; 32.1. But, when the art. is inserted with both nouns, this order is very rare in Attic prose outside Thuc. It occurs often in Herod. τῶν ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ = τῶν μαχομένων. τὸ ἀκρίτως ξυνεχὲς—‘the continued uncertainty. ἀκρίτως γενομένης τῆς ἁμίλλης. Schol. Notice the freedom with which nouns can be qualified by adverbs. ἴσα τῇ δόξῃ—according to their feelings. ἐν τοῖς χαλεπώτατα—cf. c. 19.4. παρ᾽ ὀλίγον—cf. c. 2.4 l. 31ZZZ, and the idiom παρὰ μικρόν παρ᾽ οὐδὲν ἐλθεῖν with infin.
πάντα ὁμοῦ ἀκοῦσαι—cf. Eur. Supp. 710 ἔρρηξε δ αὐδήν, ὥσθ᾽ ὑπηχῆσαι χθόνα: | ὦ παῖδες, εἰ μὴ σχήσετε στερρὸν δόρυ | σπαρτῶν τόδ᾽ ἀνδρῶν, οἴχεται τὰ Παλλάδος: and Eur. Heraclid. 838 ἦν δὲ δύο κελεύματα, | ὦ τὰς Ἀθήνας, ὦ τὸν Ἀργείων γύην | σπείροντες, οὐκ ἀρήξετ᾽ αἰσχύνην πόλει ; and Eur. Heraclid. 832 πόσον τιν᾽ αὐχεῖς πάταγον ἀσπίδων βρέμειν | πόσον τινὰ στεναγμὸν οἰμωγήν θ᾽ ὁμοῦ<*> ὀλοφυρμός—apposition to πάντα. The accus. might have been used as object of ἀκοῦσαι. νικῶντες, κρατούμενοι—as though ἦσαν ἀκοῦσαι had preceded. The cries would be νικῶμεν, κρατούμεθα. ἅλλα—instead of τἆλλα. So alia is common in Livy in place of cetera. The asyndeton heightens the effect. ὅσ᾽ ἃν . . ἀναγκάζοιτο—ὄσ᾽ ἂν for ὅσα of MSS. is necessary because the clause does not apply to the Λ. only, but contains a reference to the cries that any army would utter εἰ ἐν μεγάλῳ κινδύνῳ εἴη.
αὐτοῖς—i.e. τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις. πρίν γε δὴ—cf. on c. 39 λαμπρῶς—decisively, with κατεδίωκον. Cf. c. 55.1; and II. 7.1 λελυμένων λαμπρῶς τῶν σπονδῶν; VIII. 66.3; 75.2.
μετέωροι—used similarly in II. 91.3 referring to the middle of the Corinthian Gulf. κατενεχθέντες—like καταφερομένας in c. 53.1. Contrast προσφέρεσθαι c. 70.5. The corresponding sentence in Diodorus makes this clearer: τῶν δὲ Ἀθηναίων ὄσοι μὴ μετέωροι διεφθάρησαν, ἐπεὶ πρὸς τὰ βράχη προσηνέχθησαν, ἐκπηδῶντες ἐκ τῶν νεῶν ἀπολομένων εἰς τὸ πεζὸν στρατόπεδον ἔφευγον. οὐκέτι διαφόρως—i.e. no longer with the variety of feeling mentioned above. ὁρμῆς—of passionate impulse, as in III. 36.2. οἰμωγῇ τε καὶ στόνῳ—with παρεβοήθουν. Dative of manner. See Rutherford, Syntax p. 66. δυσανασχετοῦντες—Pollux III. 130 says that this word was first used by Thuc.; it is fairly frequent in late authors τὰ γιγνόμενα—Kruger compares φθονεῖν τί τινι. τὸ λοιπὸν τοῦ τείχους=τὸ διατείχισμα. περὶ σφᾶς αὐτοὺς . . . διεσκόπουν—cf. Lycurgus 107 περὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ποιητὰς οὐδένα λόγον ἔχοντες.
ξυμφορῶν—preferable to ξυμπασῶν, which is colourless and adds nothing to οὐδεμιᾶς. The consternation was the greatest of their misfortunes. καὶ—after παραπλήσια as in c. 70.1. προσαπώλλυντο—the imperf. of ὄλλυμι is often used as here of that which is in danger of happening. Cf. γίγνομαι, δίδωμι. It here corresponds with ἀνέλπιστον ἦν σωθήσεσθαι. ἐν—the perf. partic. of a verb of motion implies rest in, and so ἐν can be used.
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