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This important chapter, a typical example of the writer's style, deals with the political situation after the capture of Amphipolis.

καὶ ὄτι...γεγενῆσθαι—the cause of Athenian alarm was that the capture of Amphipolis had removed the obstacles which had hitherto prevented the advance of the Spartans beyond the Strymon. This is stated in the final clause, τότε δέ, κ.τ.λ., the preceding part of the sentence being subordinate in sense though co-ordinate in form: cf. note on ch. 80, 18.

It is to be noticed that there are two clauses with δἐ, τῆς δὲ γεφύρας line 7, and τότε δέ line 10. The sense is equivalent to πρότερον μέν (μέχρι μέν...τῆς δέ...τότε δέ. The repeated μέν would however have been stiff and clumsy and is therefore avoided. For other instances of μέν followed by δέ...δέ, see Shilleto on i. 142.

μέχρι μὲν...προσελθεῖν—these words refer to the state of things before Amphipolis was taken. In themselves they are a good illustration of co-ordinate construction with μέν and δέ: ‘though (hitherto) the Lacedaemonians might have got as far as the Strymon, yet they could have advanced no further without the command of the bridge’.

πάροδος—ch. 82, 4. Θεσσαλῶν διαγόντων—‘if the Thessalians guided them’ or ‘gave them a passage’: cf. ch. 77, 6 and 12.

μὴ κρατούντων—‘but if they were not masters of the bridge, seeing that above the town the river formed a great lake, while on the side toward Eion they were watched by the enemy's triremes, they could not have pushed their advance’. The gen. abs. κρατούντων and τηρουμένων refer to the Lacedaemonians, and supply the subject to δύνασθαι. προσελθεῖν—the reading of the best manuscripts, ‘to get at’ the city or the allies. Most editors have προελθεῖν, ‘to advance’. The words are perpetually confused.

ἐπὶ πολύ—‘extending far’. τοῦ ποταμοῦ—formed by the river. This lake is called in v. 7 τὸ λιμνῶδες τοῦ Στρυμόνος. τὰ δὲ πρός—so ch. 23, 15.

οὐκ ἂν δύνασθαι—the original construction with ὅτι is now lost sight of, the inf. depending on the idea which is implied of what the Athenians said or thought.

τότε δέ—now that Amphipolis was lost. The reading ῥᾴδια is undoubtedly to be preferred to ῥᾳδία (sc. πάροδος), for the πάροδος had been open all along. For the neut. plural cf. viii. 55, εὐφυλακτότερα ἐγίγνετο: iii. 16, ἄπορα νομίζοντες. For ἐνομίζετο Classen reads ἐνόμιζον with some manuscript authority: several MSS. have ἐνόμιζε.

παρέχεται—‘the terms (or advantages) which (Brasidas) offers’: see note on ch. 64, 1. There is some awkwardness in making Brasidas the subject of παρέχεται, which however is lessened by the fact that ἄλωσιν is an active word = ‘his taking’. For the use of the following ἐκείνου cf. note on ch. 37, 10.

ἐπεκηρυκεύοντο—‘made overtures’: ch. 27, 14. ἐπιπαριέναι—lit. ‘to pass along to’. For κελεύοντες following πόλεις cf. ch. 2, 15. For the order αὐτοὶ ἔκαστοι cf. i. 105, ἐνόμισαν αὐτοὶ ἑκάτεροι οὐκ ἔλασσον ἔχειν.

ἐψευσμένοις—lit. ‘being deceived in (their estimate of) the Athenian power to as great an extent as that power proved great on trial’. The meaning is that they grossly underrated the power which Athens proved to possess; but this is expressed in a confused way, ὅση being written (instead of ὅσον μείζων ᾤοντο or the like) as if οὐ τοσαύτην νομίζουσι had gone before. διεφάνη—‘proved on trial’; i. 18, ταῦτα μέγιστα διεφάνη: vi. 17, διεφάνησαν τοσοῦτοι ὄντες.

κρίνοντες—the construction is changed to the nom., as in ch. 52, 15: cf. ch. 23, 13. Note the alliteration in ἀσαφεῖ...ἀσφαλεῖ.

εἰωθότες οἱ ἄνθρωποι—‘men being accustomed’; lit. ‘being accustomed, that is to say, men (being accustomed)’: the subject of the sentence, viz. the Athenian allies, is by expanded apposition extended to human beings in general. It is the exact converse of a partial apposition like δεδιότες οὶ στρατηγαί, i. 49.

οὗ μὲν ἐπιθυμοῦσιν—‘to commit what they desire to unreflecting hope, but to reject what they do not like by arbitrary reasoning’. ἐλπίδι διδόναι, sc. τοῦτο, may be compared with ii. 42, ἐλπίδι τὸ ἀφανὲς ἐπιτρέψαντες: the scholiast however understands ὲαυτούς.

δὲ μήμή implies ‘such as’: ch. 32, 25. For προσίενται cf. ch. 38, 3: and for διωθεῖσθαι, ch. 87, 7.

ἐν τοῖς Βοιωτοῖς—‘in Boeotia’: as ἐς τοὺς Βοιωτούς (ch. 77, 4) means into Boeotia. πεπληγμένων—of a defeat: so viii. 38: iii. 18, πληγέντες ὐπό: the aor. and perf. passive only are thus used.

ἐφολκά—in act. sense ‘attractive’, like ἐπαγωγά, ch. 88, 4: so Plat. Rep. 521 D, ὁλκός ‘tending to draw’. In Ar. Vesp. 268 ἐφολκός has the middle or passive sense of ‘lagging behind’.

ὡς αὐτῷ...ξυμβαλεῖν—this sentence corresponds closely to the words of Brasidas in his speech at Acanthus, ch. 85, fin. The construction however is not so clear, and seems to require the addition of βοηθήσαντι. As the sentence stands, αὐτῷ is governed directly by ξυμβαλεῖν, and ἐπὶ Νίσαιαν might be connected with ἠθέλησαν ξυμβαλεῖν in the sense of attacking or approaching Nisaea. There is however the objection that it was Brasidas, not the Athenians, who approached Nisaea (ch. 69— 73); and though this difficulty would be removed by adopting the correction ἐπὶ Νισαίᾳ, the words τῇ...στρατιᾷ, dat. of ‘the force which’ Brasidas had with him, stand most awkwardly without a participle.

ἐπὶ σφᾶς βοηθῆσαι—sc. to reduce them to obedience; cf. ch. 25, 35.

διὰ τὸ ἡδονὴν ἔχον— = ‘because of the pleasure involved at the moment’: for ἔχω = ‘to cause, bring’, cf. note on ch. 1, 7. The use of neuter participles to express abstract ideas is characteristic of Thucydides: see the instances cited by commentators on i. 36, τὸ μὲν δεδιὸς...τὸ δὲ θαρσοῦν. τὸ πρῶτον— ‘for the first time’. Classen takes the phrase as meaning quam primum; but the stress of the sentence falls on ὀργώντων, ‘with their hearts in it’; i.e. the allies were elated because now for the first time they felt that Sparta was taking up their cause with energy: cf. viii. 2, 2, ὀργῶντες κρίνειν τὰ πράγματα, i.e. with excitement or enthusiasm: so ii. 85, ὀργῇ ἀπέστελλον.

ὡς—ch. 96, 4. έξ όλίγου—‘at short notice’; also used of space.

ἐφιέμενος—either (1) ‘sending instructions’ or despatches; a rendering which gives good sense, but is open to the objection that ‘to enjoin’ is a meaning of ἐφίεμαι which appears confined to poetry: or (2) ‘eagerly desiring’ i.e. urgently. In the latter case ἐς τὴν Λακεδαίμονα must be taken with ἑκέλευε.

στρατιάν τε...καὶ αὐτός—cf. ch. 77, 11, ὑπό τε...καὶ αὐτός.

τὰ μὲν...τὰ δέi. 18, τὰ μὲν πολεμοῦντες τὰ δὲ σπενδόμενοι. φθόνῳ ἀπό—‘from jealousy on the part of the leading men’. τοὺς ἄνδρας...κομίς ασθαι—cf. ch. 41, fin.

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hide References (15 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (15):
    • Plato, Republic, 7.521d
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.105
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.142
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.36
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.49
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.42
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.85
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.16
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.7
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.17
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.38
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.55
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