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The disastrous defeat of Delium is now followed by the still more serious loss of Amphipolis on the Strymon, the key of the Thracian dependencies.

Ἀρισταγόρας—his attempt and failure to establish himself in ‘the Edonian Myrcinus’ are related by Herodotus v. 11 and 124—6. The date is 497, or according to Krüger 499: see Jowett on i. 103.

ἐξεκρούσθη—so ch. 7, 7. ἔπειτα...οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι—in 465 or 467: cf. i. 100, πέμψαντες μυρίους οἰκήτορας αὐτῶν καὶ τῶν ξυμμάχων, which words shew how the slightly irregular clause with τε and καί is to be understood here.

ἐν Δραβήσκῳ—between the Strymon and Philippi: see Poppo on i. 100.

αὖθις—in 437 or 439. οἰκιστοῦ—predicate. After the death of Brasidas the Amphipolitans made him their ‘oekist’ instead of Hagnon, and thus honoured him as their tutelary hero (v. 11).

ὅπερ...ἐκαλοῦντο—cf. i. 10, Μυκῆναι μικρὸν ἦν. ἣν αὐτοὶ εἶχον—since 467; note on ch. 7, 2.

Ἀμφίπολιν ὠνόμασεν ὅτι—Amphipolis means a surrounded city, or a city looking both ways or all round. Poppo notes that, regarding the order of the words, the reason for the name is given in the final clause περιφανῆ...ᾤκισεν, ‘because its position was conspicuous seawards and landwards’. The similarity of sound however in Ἀμφίπολις and ἐπ᾽ ἀμφότερα must be intended to bear upon the name. In fact the whole sentence deals with it. The town was called Amphipolis because it was virtually surrounded by the river, and was an insulated fortress visible on all sides.

ἐπ᾽ ἀμφότερα περιῤῥέοντος—the city stands on a hill round which the river sweeps in a semicircle towards the west, forming a peninsula. επ᾽ ἀμφοτερα therefore means, both above and below the city.

διὰ τὸ περιέχειν αὐτήν—most editors take this to mean ‘for the sake of enclosing it’, i.e. in order to do so; a sense which διά with the acc. sometimes has, at any rate with substantives, as noted on ch. 40, 9. Classen however brackets the words, believing them to be a mere explanatory note, ‘because it surrounds it’, identical in meaning with the words which immediately precede, and doubting if διὰ τό with inf. can mean ‘in order to’.

ἀπολαβών—ch. 45, 9. ἐκ ποταμοῦ ἐς ποταμόν—from a point in the river's course above the city to a point below; the wall, to take Classen's illustration, being thus like a string to the bow represented by the river.

περιφανῆ—predicate. For the word cf. the Homeric use of περιφαινόμενος. The topography of Amphipolis causes some difficulty: see the Appendix to Arnold's second volume.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.11
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.124
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.10
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.100
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.103
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.11
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