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ἐκ τῆς Σάμου ‘returning from Samos,’ where they were in c. 86.

κἀκείνοις )( καὶ Πελοποννησίων.

τοὺς πολλοὺς τῶν μετεχόντων Thucydides does not distinguish clearly between the 400 and the oligarchical party generally. Grote (pt. ii. c. lxii.) says, ‘there began to arise, even in the bosom of the Four Hundred, an opposition minority affecting popular sentiment.’ The 400 are specially dealt with in c. 92, § 6. Here τοὺς πολλοὺς κ.τ.λ. cannot refer to such a minority, but belongs to the wider oligarchical party.

ξυνίσταντο i.e. they began to do so now, after receiving the report.

τὰ πράγματα ‘the state of affairs.’

τῶν πάνυ στρατηγῶν On πάνυ in such combination see note c. 1, § 1, τοῖς πάνυ τῶν στρατιωτῶν . . . διαπεφευγόσι. στρατηγῶν, however, gives general offence. If τῶν ἐν τῇ ὀλιγ. καὶ ἐν ἀρχαῖς ὄντων is a partitive genitive dependent on στρατηγῶν, ‘the very generals among those who were in the oligarchy and in offices’ is an awkward expression where τῶν πάνυ στρατηγῶν would be quite sufficient. And if this objection counts for nothing, a potent obstacle lies in the word στρατηγῶν itself. Aristocrates, for instance, is not a στρατηγὸς, but a taxiarch (c. 92, § 4). If, however, these words are in attributive construction with τῶν στρατηγῶν, what is the point of the addition καὶ ἐν ἀρχαῖς ὄντων, seeing that στρατηγοὶ must necessarily be ‘in office’? And, again, one of the two instances quoted is not a στρατηγὸς at all. The text might just possibly be taken τῶν πάνυ στρατηγῶν τῶν ἐν τῇ ὀλιγαρχίᾳ καὶ (τῶν) ἐν ἀρχαῖς ὄντων, i.e. ‘some of the oligarchical generals themselves and of other officers.’ The first τῶν would in that case belong equally to πάνυ στρατηγῶν and to ἐν ἀρχαῖς ὄντων. But it is hard to believe that the omission of the important article is likely. The two phrases with ἐν after τῶν can scarcely be dissociated. The mere expulsion of στρατηγῶν (P-S, Cl., etc.) is not sufficient, as the word has none of the look of an interpolation in the context. It would be easier to amend to τῶν πάνυ κρατίστων κ.τ.λ., ‘of the very foremost of those in the oligarchy and in office.’ Cf. v. 8, Λημνίων καὶ Ἰμβρίων τὸ κράτιστον; Xen. Hell. vii. 1, 42, τοὺς κρατίστους=‘the most aristocratic.’ Of η and ις Cobet (Nov. Lect. p. 745) says, ‘notum est Η et ΙΣ, η et ις, sexcenties inter se permutari,’ and he gives such instances as νομήματα for νομίσματα, ἐμβρόντιστος for ἐμβρόντητος, etc. The remaining corruptions are palaeographically easy; or the whole may come under Introd. § 2 (ii.)

Θηραμένη v. c. 68, § 4.

Ἀριστοκράτη τὸν Σκελλίου His name is played upon by Aristophanes (Av. 126)— Επ. ἀριστοκρατεῖσθαι δῆλος εἷ ζητῶν. ΕΥ. ἐγώ; ἥκιστα: καὶ τὸν Σκελλίου βδελύττομαι. Cf. Plat. Gorg. 472 A. Aristocrates became a στρατηγὸς under Alcibiades B.C. 407 (Xen. Hell. i. 4, 21), and was one of the six put to death after Arginusae (Xen. Hell. i. 7, 2 sqq.)

μετέσχον not μετεῖχον, but, when the oligarchy was being established, they got an active share in the government.

ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις This reading of Vat. and ἐν πρώτοις of the other MSS. do not justify the change to ἐν τοῖς πρῶτοι of Bekker and many subsequent editors, who have been led perhaps more by a fancy for the idiom than by any more solid reason. A comparison of instances and reasonable presumption tend to show that ἐν τοῖς πρῶτοι = primi omnium, while ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις = ‘inter primos.’ The latter is obviously the meaning here. Theramenes was ‘among the first’ (cf. c. 68, § 4). In vii. 19 οὗτοι μὲν οὖν ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις ὁρμήσαντες all MSS. agree in πρώτοις, and there also Bekker, P - S, etc., write πρῶτοι, though the meaning is inter primos. In iii. 17 all agree in ἐν τοῖς πλεῖσται. In i. 6, ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις δὲ Ἀθηναῖοι τὸν σίδηρον κατέθεντο, the evidence is in favour of πρώτοις. There can hardly be finality to this question, since it may always be urged that ἐν τοῖς πρῶτοι would naturally be corrupted to πρώτοις, and that therefore the evidence of MSS. is weakened. On the other hand it scarcely seems good criticism, because of the existence of the idiom ἐν τοῖς with the nominative, to alter the natural expression ἐν τοῖς with dative every time it occurs. Inf. c. 90. § 1, ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα, and vii. 71, ἐν τοῖς χαλεπώτατα are clear instances of the idiom. [ἐν τοῖς πρῶτοι μετέσχον is variously analysed into (1) ἐν τοῖς (μετέχουσι) πρῶτοι μετέσχον, (2) ἐν τοῖς (πρώτοις) πρῶτοι μετέσχον, and (3) πρῶτοι ἐν τοῖς (neut. demonstrative) The last is the only explanation which commends itself to one's linguistic feeling. It regards the idiom as a survival of something logically correct.]

σπουδῇ πάνυ ‘in very earnest.’ Their fear of Alcibiades was very real, as is shown by § 4, σαφέστατα δ᾽ αὐτοὺς ἐπῆρε κ.τ.λ. The order of thought is a little confused for φοβούμενοι τό τε στράτευμα, ὡς ἔφασαν, καὶ τὸν Ἀλκιβιάδην σπουδῇ πάνυ, or φοβούμενοι, ὡς ἔφασαν, τό τε στράτευμα καὶ τὸν Ἀλκιβιάδην (ὃν καὶ σπουδῇ πάνυ ἐφοβοῦντο). ‘They said they were afraid of the army and of Alcibiades (and of him they were afraid in real earnest).’

τούς τε ἐς τὴν Λακεδαίμονα κ.τ.λ. The discrepancy of reading in this passage will be seen from the crit. note. No satisfactory solution has yet been given of the textual difficulties. The underlying sense is perhaps not certain enough to enable any conjecture to appear convmcing. Taking the average reading of MSS. as printed in the text, it is clear that τε after τούς has no place in the sense, that πρεσβευομένους is used in the wholly unwarranted meaning of πρεσβεύοντας, and that οὐ τὸ ἀπαλλάξειν, as accus. of ‘remoter object’ or ‘closer definition’ (see note c. 87, § 3, τὸ λέγεσθαι), depends upon nothing. Jowett thinks that with ἔπεμπον omitted, οὐ τὸ ἀπαλλάξειν may depend by a laxity on φοβούμενοι δ᾽, ὡς ἔφασαν. as if it were a verb of saying, influencing the remainder of the sentence. He ultimately inclines, however, to Poppo's οὔτοι. which still leaves the infinitives ἀπαλλάξειν and χρῆναι without government by any verb which can be reasonably supplied. Again, the statement about their sending envoys to Lacedaemon is contrary to the facts, inasmuch as it is the other faction of the party who are engaged in these proceedings (cf. c. 90, § 1). Jowett seeks to force the sense ‘they joined in sending the ambassadors.’ This, he admits, is unnatural for ἔπεμπον, and it still makes πρεσβεύομαι = πρεσβεύω. For fear one should quote e.g. v. 39, ἦλθον πρεσβευόμενοι, it may be pointed out that there the negotiating people is identified with or summed up in its ambassadors (cf. note on c. 85, § 2, πορευομἐνους). The usual resource is to omit ἔπεμπον and to read οὔτοι ἀπαλλαξείειν (conjectured by Abresch from the scholiast's ὅτι ἀπαλλακτικῶς ἔχουσι), supplying ἔλεγον from the general sense. This arrangement gives in a maimed form the sense ‘but fearing, as they said, not only the army in Samos and Alcibiades (whom they feared in real earnest), but also those who were sending envoys to Lacedaemon (lest they might do the state some injury without an understanding with the majority), they urged, not indeed that they wanted to get rid of too narrow an oligarchy, but that they ought, etc.’ The meaning of the latter portion of the passage seems to be that, while their real motive was a desire to get rid of too narrow a cliquism among themselves (through which they did not enjoy an equal influence in affairs), they did not say this, but they said — the same thing in an equally open way. The desire to be rid of too close a body is precisely what they did advance. And whence did ἔπεμπον get into the text? The scholiast says δὲ διάνοια: οἱ περὶ τὸν Θηραμένη ἄρχοντες τότε τῆς ὀλιγαρχίας καὶ μετασχόντες αὐτῆς ἐν πρώτοις, ὀρεγόμενοι δὲ δημοκρατίας ἔλεγον οὐχ ὅτι ἀπαλλακτικῶς ἔχουσι τῆς ὀλιγαρχίας (ὅπερ ἦν ἀληθές), ἀλλ: ὅτι φοβοῦνται τοὺς ἐν Σάμῳ καὶ Ἀλκιβιάδην καὶ τοὺς ἀπιόντας εἰς Λακεδαίμονα πρέσβεις, μή τι οὗτοι κακὸν ἐργάσωνται τὴν πόλιν ὀλιγαρχίας γενομένης. ἤδη οὖν ἠξίουν τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους καθιστάναι. But τοῦ ἄγαν ἐς ὀλίγους ἐλθεῖν is not equivalent to τῆς ὀλιγαρχίας, and Thucydides states clearly enough what their motives really were in §§ 3 and 4. For the rest, the scholiast's rendering is not to be obtained from our text and probably only represents the best διάνοια which he could suspect in his own text. The corruption is probably very deep, and one may venture to think that what Thucydides wrote was something like φοβούμενοι δ᾽, ὡς ἔφασαν, τό τ᾽ ἐν Σάμῳ στράτευμα καὶ τὸν Ἀλκιβιάδην σπουδῇ πάνυ, οὕς τε ἐς τὴν Λακεδαίμονα πρεσβευομένους ὑπέβλεπον, μή τι ἄνευ τῶν πλεόνων κακὸν δράσωσι τὴν πόλιν, οὐ τὸ < ἅπαν ἔλεγον > ἀπαλλαξείειν τοῦ ἐς ὀλίγους οἰκεῖν, ἀλλὰ κ.τ.λ., ‘fearing . . . the army in Samos and Alcibiades . . . and those persons whose negotiations with Lacedaemon they looked upon with suspicion for fear they should do the country an injury, they said, not indeed that, they were anxious to be rid of oligarchy altogether, but that, etc.’ The exact words used by Thucydides can hardly be conjectured with certainty, but the meaning evidently is that, while they objected to extreme narrowness in the oligarchy, they did not object to the general principle of τὸ ἐς ὀλίγους οἰκεῖν.

ἄνευ τῶν πλεόνωνinvita maiore civium parte,’ P - S; ‘without the consent of the majority of the oligarchy,’ Jowett. The latter is preferable. There is no talk here of the general body of citizens, and that the πρεσβευόμενοι were a minority of the oligarchical party itself is clear from sup. § 1 (τοὺς πολλοὺς) and c. 90, § 1.

ἐς ὀλίγους ἐλθεῖν P-S quotes Aristot. Pol. ii. 6, 10, διόπερ εἰς ὀλίγους ἧκεν χώρα. Cf. note on c. 38, § 3, ἐς ὀλίγον κατεχομένης.

ἀποδεικνύναι = creare.

ἰσαιτέραν ‘on a more equal basis.’ Cf. Aeschin. Tim. 25, ἴση καὶ ἔννομος πολιτεία; Xen. Hell. vii. i, 45, ὡς τῆς πολιτείας ἐσομένης ἐν τοῖς ἴσοις καὶ ὁμοίοις.

ἦν δὲ τοῦτο μὲν σχῆμα κ.τ.λ. ‘now in this they offered a constitutional semblance, so far as their language went.’ σχῆμα approaches, but is not identical with, πρόσχημα, ‘pretence,’ a word used by Thuc. i. 96, iii. 82, v. 30. Cf. Hdt. iv. 167, πρόσχημα τοῦ λόγου; Plat. (?) Epin. 989 C, οὐ σχήμασιν ἀλλ᾽ ἀληθείᾳ. The force of πολιτικὸν may be seen from e.g. iii. 82, ἰσονομία πολιτική; Aristot. Pol. v. 5, 2, πολιτικωτέρα ἐγένετο ὀλιγαρχία; Dem. 151, οὐκ ἴσως οὐδὲ πολιτικῶς. For τοῦ λόγου cf. c. 91, § 3, διαβολὴ μόνον τοῦ λόγου. Others take σχῆμα πολιτικὸν as = σχῆμα πολιτείας (Plat. Pol. 291 D), or σχῆμα πόλεως (vi. 89), giving a much less natural force to the adjective and the genitive λόγου.

τῷ τοιούτῳ προσέκειντο, ἐν ᾧπερ κ.τ.λ. ‘were in that kind of temperament, the prevalence of which is particularly ruinous,’ cf. προσκεῖσθαι οἴνῳ, Hdt. i. 133, or ‘applied themselves to the said course — conduct which is exactly that in which, etc.’

ἐκ δὲ δημοκρατίας κ.τ.λ. Much difficulty has been made concerning this passage, the difference of opinion turning on the rendering of ἀπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων. See Grote's long note in pt. ii. c. lxii. of Hist. Greece. One vexed point ought never to have been raised. ἀπὸ is not ὑπὸ, and ἐλασσούμενος ἀπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων cannot be the same as ἐλασσούμενος τῶν ὁμοίων (masc.), which is the normal Greek for ‘distanced by his equals.’ Looking at the desired sense and construction at the same time, and at the order of the words, which naturally joins ἀπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων to ἐλασσούμενος, one can hardly imagine another rendering than ‘but when election proceeds from a democracy, a man acquiesces more easily in the result, consoling himself that, though he fails, the start was not fair and level (i.e. a start on one's merits),’ which means that when a number of persons become an oligarchy, if a man does not get the first place, he is annoyed; all start alike, and leadership should naturally fall to merit and importance: but in a democracy the start is different; if two men are pitted against each other, the influencing causes of election will not be intrinsic superiority, but other reasons; a man feels that he has not been beaten on his merits, and he passes the matter over. An election on one's merits is ἀπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων: but when other causes, such as move a populace, affect the choice, the start is οὐκ ἀπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων. ἀπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων is neuter also in i. 141. Cf. v. 101, ἀπὸ τοῦ ἴσου; v. 89, ἀπὸ τῆς ἴσης ἀνάγκης; i. 77, τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἴσου δοκεῖ πλεονεκτεῖσθαι, τὸ δ᾽ ἀπὸ τοῦ κρείσσονος καταναγκάζεσθαι.

ἠγωνίζετο Each made it a sort of prize to struggle for. See on ἀγωνιζομένους, c. 68, § 1.

πρῶτος sc. in rank.

προστάτης τοῦ δήμου Cf. iii. 75, οἱ τοῦ δήμου προστάται; iv. 46, etc. The title is not official (cf. ‘leader of the opposition’). The προστάται are merely champions of the popular interests.

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hide References (44 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (44):
    • Aeschines, Against Timarchus, 25
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 126
    • Aristotle, Politics, 2.1270a
    • Aristotle, Politics, 5.1305b
    • Demosthenes, Philippic 4, 74
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.133
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.167
    • Plato, Statesman, 291d
    • Plato, Gorgias, 472a
    • Plato, Epinomis, 989c
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.141
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.77
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.96
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.17
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.75
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.82
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.46
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.101
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.30
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.39
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.8
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.89
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.89
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.19
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.71
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.1.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.38.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.68.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.68.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.85.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.86.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.87.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.89.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.89.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.89.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.90.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.91.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.92.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.92.6
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.4.21
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.7.2
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.1.42
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.1.45
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