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τῷ τε—dat. of the efficient cause, answered by a clause with ὄτι. μεμονῶσθαι—cf. ii. 80, μεμονωμένων εἰ κρατήσειαν: also with gen. ‘deserted by’, ‘bereft of’.

ἔκπληξιν ἔχειν—this particular phrase is not used elsewhere: ἔχω in the sense of entertaining a feeling is not uncommon with such words as ἐλπίδα, μῖσος, etc.

ὁμοίως—‘in the same way’ that I now do: ‘I should think only of encouraging and not of instructing you’ (Jowett). τῇ—‘my’, the article implying that an encouraging speech was regular and expected: cf. the opening sentence of the speech in ch. 95: see also ii. 88, a chapter which in many expressions resembles the present one.

πρός—‘looking at’: ‘now that we are left alone in the face of numerous enemies’ (Jowett). The first point is introduced by μέν, which is answered by βαρβάρους δέ, line 15.

ἀπόλειψιν—‘defection’, with gen. of the subject: in vii. 75 with objective gen. τοῦ στρατοπέδου.

ἀγαθοῖς...προσήκει—‘valour in war is to be expected from you’: cf. note on ch. 92, 41, τὰς προσηκούσας ἀρετάς. μηδὲν πλῆθος πεφοβῆσθαι—cf. ii. 88, μηδένα ὄχλον ὑποχωρεῖν.

οἵ γε μηδέ—‘for also you do not come’, etc. ὅς γε =quippe qui; like ὅστις it is followed by μή: viii. 76, οἵ γε μήτε κ.τ.λ.

ἐν αἷς οὐ πολλοί—the general sense is plain, but there is great awkwardness in the mode of expression. It has therefore been suggested to omit οὐ or the preceding μηδέ: or else to read ἐν οἶς=ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ὑμῖν. Words of denying however are commonly followed by a redundant and untranslatable negative, and possibly this sentence comes under the same head. The speaker forgets that he has already cast his statement in a negative form; he passes on to the character of the constitutions which he has in his mind, and in the clause with οὐ insists on the denial which has been already made. Arnold compares ii. 62, where μᾶλλον οὐ follows a negative and is equivalent to ‘rather than’. See the Appendix to Buttmann's Meidias ‘de abundantia negationis’.

Krüger and others connect the negative force of μηδέ solely with τοιούτων, and refer the latter to what has gone before, ‘not such’ as those in which men fear a multitude. So Jowett, ‘you come from cities of another kind, and in those cities etc.’ This explanation, as Poppo points out, is not without harshness, ‘cum τοιούτων αἷς inter se cohaerere nemo non suspicari debeat’. In vi. 68 we have οὐκ ἐν πατρίδι, ἐξ ἦς κ.τ.λ. which may be explained as=ἐν τγ̂ͅ μὴ πατρίδι, or ἀλλὰ ἐν ταύτῃ may be understood before ἐξ ἧς, as indeed, ἀλλὰ ἐκ τούτων might be supplied in the present passage. Classen cites other instances in which a negative is put before a preposition, e.g. ii. 67, μηδὲ μεθ᾽ ἑτέρων.

βαρβάρους—note the emphatic position of the word, and the absence of the article; ‘as for barbarians, etc.’

ἐξ ὧν τε—‘from the struggle you have already had with those of them who are Macedonians’. The Lyncestae are meant, who had just been easily defeated. For the construction of αὐτῶν cf. ch. 61, 11. καὶ ἀφ᾽ ὧν—Donaldson points out that the difference between ἀπό and έξ, signifying respectively motion from the surface of an object and motion from within an object, is illustrated by this passage, ‘where ἐξ denotes the experience, and ἀπό the testimonies, which are more external’.

εἰκάζω—the manuscripts are in favour of εἰκάζων, but a word implying mere conjecture can not well be connected with ἐπίσταμαι, but stands in contrast to it: cf. vi. 92, τὰ μὲν...οἵδα, τὰ δὲ...ᾔκαζον: see other instances in Poppo's critical note, ἀκοῇ on the other hand is not uncommonly joined with words of knowing: i. 4, ὧν ἀκοῇ ἴσμεν: vi. 65, εἰδὼς ἀκοῇ ἀκριβἐστερον. (ἐπίσταμαι is used by Hdt. of mere belief.)

ὅσα μέν...οἷς δέ—here, as in ch. 117, 16, there seems an inversion of the usual order of clauses with μέν and δέ. The sense is ‘true information about a really weak enemy emboldens the assailant; though, no doubt, one might attack a really strong foe more boldly if in ignorance of his strength’. There is a somewhat similar inversion in line 37, and again the last sentence of this chapter.

ὅσα...τῶν πολεμίων—nearly equivalent to ὅσοι πολέμιοι, but less definite. The next clause is constructed as if ὅσα were equivalent to εἴ τινα: cf. Poppo on i. 22.

δόκησιν—‘impression’, aestimatio. ἔχει is therefore to be understood in the sense noted on ch. 1, 7: cf. ch. 87, 4, δόκησιν παρέχεται.

τὴν μέλλησιν—what they are going to do, or threaten to do: i. 69, οὐ τῇ δυνάμει ἀλλὰ τῇ μελλήσει ἀμυνόμενοι.

πλήθει ὄψεως—lit. ‘from magnitude of appearance’, i.e. from the imposing effect of their numbers.

διὰ κενῆς—adverbial=‘empty’: Eur. Troad. 753, διὰ κενῆς ἐξέθρεψε: Ar. Vesp. 929, διὰ κενῆς ἄλλως. For fem. adj. see note on ch. 33, 6, ἐξ ἐναντίας.

αὐτά—‘all this’: ch. 18, 7, note on αὐτό.

οὔτε γάρ—‘they have not that feeling of military honour which comes from regular order’. For similar sentences see Krüger on i. 12, ὥστε μὴ ἡσυχάσασαν αὐξηθῆναι, ‘so that it could not settle down and grow’: so i. 84, οὐδὲν μᾶλλον ἀχθεσθέντε ἀνεπείσθημεν.

χώραν—of a soldier's post: ii. 87, χώραν μὴ προλς ποντες: cf. Tac. Germ. 6, cedere loco, dummodo rursus instes consilii quam formidinis arbitrantur. See other passages cited by Poppo from Tacitus and Caesar, descriptive of the irregular warfare of barbarians.

ἀνεξέλεγκτον—used in i. 21, of mythical stories, the truth of which ‘can not be tested’. αὐτοκράτωρ—here ‘independent’: cf. ch. 108, 27. πρεπόντως—‘creditably’, without dishonour.

τὸ ἐκφοβήσειν—see Goodwin § 27, on the fut. infinitive. The sense is ‘the chance of frightening, the attempt to frighten’. ἐκείνῳ γὰρ ἄν—‘for otherwise’ etc.: cf. ch. 54, 17.

τὸ προϋπάρχον δεινόν—i.e. numbers, threatening demonstrations etc., as explained before; δεινόν being generally that which there is reason to dread. With the construction with ἀπό may be compared vi. 86, τὴν ὑπάρχουσαν ἀπ᾽ ἀλλήλων ἀμφοτέροις (σωτηρίαν): cf. metus ab, spes ab, etc.

ἔργῳ μὲν...ὄψει δέ—see above, line 19, note.

κατασπέρχον—cf. Ar. Ach. 1188, κατασπέρχων δορί, where the word is said on the authority of Hesychius to be equivalent to καταπλήσσων. It is very rare: cf. ch. 12, 2, ἐπέσπερχε. The Homeric σπέρχω is only used intransitively.

ἐπιφερόμενον—predicate, answered by ὅταν καιρὸς : Brasidas calls on his men to withstand the first onslaught, and make good their retreat when the enemy draws off. ὑπαγαγόντες—‘retreating’: v. 10, ὑπάγειν ἐπὶ τῆς Ἠιόνος: transitive in the first line of ch. 127.

μελλήσει—cf. line 24: the dat. is constructed, like ἀπειλαῖς, with ἐπικομποῦσι, and is added for additional emphasis: cf. ch. 87, 17.

οἳ δ᾽ ἂν εἴξωσιν—‘though, when men have once given way’. κατὰ πόδας—of following closely: v. 64, ἰέναι κατὰ πόδας αὑτῶν: cf. iii. 98. Here κατὰ πὁδας is contrasted with ἄποθεν, and the remaining words are antithetically balanced against the corresponding clause.

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  • Commentary references from this page (23):
    • Euripides, Trojan Women, 753
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.12
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.21
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.22
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.69
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.84
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.62
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.67
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.80
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.87
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.88
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.98
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.10
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.64
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.65
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.68
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.86
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.92
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.75
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.76
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 1188
    • Tacitus, Germania, 6
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