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Ἔτι καὶ ἐκ κ.τ.λ.even as things are, you must hope on (men have been saved from terrors even greater than these), and you must not reproach yourselves either for your disasters or for your present undeserved sufferings. The speech is based upon the same topics that have been handled in c. 75, §§ 5, 6, 7, viz., the κατήφεια, κατάμεμψις, and ἰσομοιρία.

ξυμφοραῖς—of the battles that had been lost.

l. 7,

κἀγώ τοι κ.τ.λ.You know that I too, who am as weak as the weakest of you (yes, you see how I am suffering), whose success both in private and in public life is, I think, considered equal to any man's, am now in the same danger and suspense as the humblest of you. Yet have I rendered with exactness my duty to the gods, and just and inoffensive dealing to men. In this rendering the antithesis, to our taste excessive, is modified. Notice the close correspondence of οὔτε ῥώμῃ, etc. and οὔτ᾽ εὐτυχίᾳ, etc.

προφέρων—see on c. 64.2.

εὐτυχίᾳ—Intr. p. xxxvii. A great deal is to be learned about this word and its relation to εὐδαιμονία in the tragedians, esp. in Euripides. Cf. Arist. Eth. I. 9 πολλαὶ μεταβολαὶ γίνονται καὶ παντοῖαι τύχαι κατὰ τὸν βίον, καὶ ἐνδέχεται τὸν μάλιστ᾽ εὐθηνοῦντα μεγάλαις συμφοραῖς περιπεσεῖν ἐπὶ γήρως. Nicias here propounds his doctrine that the gods repay the good and the bad with good and ill fortune in this life. His belief was the same as that of Herodotus.

ἀνθ᾽ ὧν κ.τ.λ.therefore I am yet strong in hope for the future, and our misfortunes lose some of their terror. Perhaps they may even cease. For the enemy have had enough success, and if any of the gods was offended at our enterprise, we have now received sufficient punishment.

οὐ κατ᾽ ἀξίαν δὴ φοβοῦσι—i.e. (φοβοῦσιν) ἐλασσόνως κατ᾽ ἀξίαν Antiphon tetr. Γ. δ 6, lit.: ‘not in accordance with their assumed importance.’ (There are several ways of taking these words. Classen says ‘terrify you more than they ought to do’)

λωφήσειαν—of the cessation of pain or trouble, as in II. 49.5. Plat. Phaedrus 251 C λωφᾷ τῆς ὀδύνης.

ἱκανὰ γὰρ—contrast with this Eur. Supp. 226 κοινὰς γὰρ θεὸς τὰς τύχας ἡγούμενος | τοῖς τοῦ νοσοῦντος πήμασιν διώλεσε | τὸν οὐ νοσοῦντα κοὐδὲν ἠδικηκότα.

ἦλθον γάρ που κ.τ.λ.others besides us have attacked their neighbours before now, and after doing what men will do have endured what men can bear. So now it is reasonable for us to hope that the gods will relent towards us (for we deserve their pity now rather than their envy), and do you, seeing what fine troops you are and how great the numbers that march in your ranks, be not excessively alarmed, etc. 23

ἀνθρώπεια κ.τ.λ.—cf. Eur. Heraclid. 424 ἀλλ᾽, ἢν δίκαια δρῶ δίκαια πείσομαι. Cic. Tusc. 1, 72 humana vitia=ἀνθρώπινα κακα.

τά τε ἀπὸ τοῦ θείου—the whole of this passage is very characteristic of Nicias. Cf. Herod. III, 40 ἐμοὶ δὲ αἱ σαὶ μεγάλαι εὐτυχίαι οὐκ ἀρέσκουσι, τὸ θεῖον ἐπισταμένῳ ὡς ἔστι φθονερόν.

ἠπιώτερα—in the old sense, expressing a father's pity for his children, and hence transferred to the gods. Cf. the meanings of ἐπισκοπεῖν.

καὶ ὁρῶντες—the transition from τὰ ἀπὸ τοῦ θείου is purposely made abrupt, so as to exhibit the close eonnexion between the gods and men.

καταπέπληχθε—strictly this should have been καταπεπλῆχθαι after τά τε ἐλπίζειν.


τὴν δὲ πορείαν κ.τ.λ.do you yourselves look to your safety and discipline on the road; let every man think that the ground on which he is forced to fight will be his country and fortress if he wins it.

σπουδὴ δὲwe shall hurry.

εἰρημένον—accus. abs.

ἀναγκαῖόν τε ὂν—arguments drawn from τὸ ἀναγκαῖον are common in Greek rhetoric. 49

οἵ τε ἄλλοι—still depends on γνῶτε.

ἄνδρες γὰρ πόλις—a similar γνώμη occurs in many authors. Soph. OT 56 ὡς οὐδἐν ἐστιν οὔτε πύργος οὔτε ναῦς | ἐρῆμος ἀνδρῶν μὴ ξυνοικούντων ἔσω.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Euripides, Heraclidae, 424
    • Euripides, Suppliants, 226
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 56
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.9
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.49.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.64.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.75
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