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ξυναλλαγή—‘the (proposed) agreement’.

τι ἁνήκεστον—‘some irremediable thing’, a euphemistic expression for the death of their countrymen. So the Lacedaemonians hesitated in the case of Pausanias βουλεῦσαι τι ἁνήκεστον, i.e. to decree his death (i. 132), where also we have another euphemism, νεώτερόν τι ποιεῖν ἐς αὐτόν, i.e. to slay him. διὰ μέσου γενόμενον—‘intervening’; v. 26, διὰ μέσου ξύμβασις. καταλαβεῖν—‘befall us’, with acc., a common constr. in Herod.; e.g. ii. 66, θεῖα πρήγματα καταλαμβάνει τοὺς αίελούρους, ‘wondrous things befall the cats’: in Thuc. it is elsewhere found without a case, as in ii. 18, ὁπότε πόλεμος καταλάβοι, ‘whenever war befell’.

ἐν —‘in which case’. ὑμῖν—‘against you’, after ἔχθραν ἔχειν: Classen reads ἡμῖν, ‘it would be necessary for us to have’.

πρὸς τῇ κοινῇ καὶ ἰδίαν—the ‘private hatred’ which would thus be caused is usually understood as the feud which the individual families of Sparta would cherish against the Athenians for the death of their relations, in addition to the national (κοινή) hostility already felt. Grote however considers the ἰδία ἔχθρα to be ‘a new and inexpiable ground of quarrel, peculiar to Sparta herself’, while the κοινη ἔχθρα is that of the Peloponnesian confederacy, the whole war having been begun in consequence of the complaints of the allies, and to redress their wrongs, not those of Sparta individually (Grote, vol. iv. ch. 52).

Jowett observes that the speaker is attracted by a connexion of sound, and perhaps by a fancied connexion of sense or etymology between ἀΐδιον and ἰδίαν: so ch. 63, 9: 87. 28.

ἔτι δ᾽ ὄντων ἀκρίτων—‘while matters are still undecided’, neut. gen. abs.: so i. 7, πλωιμωτέρων ὅντων, ‘when navigation was advanced’: Hdt. vii. 37, ἐπινεφέλων ἐόντων, ‘the sky being cloudy’. The number and variety of instances of the gen. abs. in this chapter is remarkable.

ξυμφορᾶς μετρίως κατατιθεμένης—‘our disaster being settled on tolerable terms’ (Arn.): so i. 121, καταθησόμεθα πόλεμον, ‘we will settle or conclude the war’, opposed to ἐγείρομεν: Dem. Fals. Leg. 425, τὸν πόλεμον κατέθεντο. We have vi. 11, τὸ σφέτερον ἀπρεπὲς εὖ θήσονται=‘they will retrieve their honour’: see also note on ch. 17, 14, καλῶς θέσθαι. κατατίθεσθαι commonly means to ‘lay up in store for oneself’, e g. ch. 57, 22, and iii. 72, of depositing hostages in a place of safety: i. 128, of bestowing a favour or benefit, etc.

διαλλαγῶμεν—‘let us be reconciled’: in act. vi. 47, Σελινουντίους διαλλάξαι αὐτοῖς, ‘to reconcile the men of Selinus to them’.

πολεμοῦνται—according to Classen from πολεμόω, ‘they are made enemies’: i. 36, οἰκειοῦταί τε καὶ πολεμοῦται, ‘becomes your friend or your enemy’: i. 57, Περδίκκας ἐπεπολέμωτο, etc. So far as form goes it might equally well come from πολεμέω, which is often used in the passive: e.g i. 37, πολεμοῦνται, ‘they are attacked’.

ἀσαφῶς ὁποτέρων ἀρξάντων—‘without knowing clearly which of us began’, lit. ‘from which of the two sides having begun (they are thus at war)’. With the adverb ἀσαφῶς, which is used emphatically as is common in Thuc., is connected an indirect question expressed by the gen. absolute with a verb implied, the phrase being equivalent to ἄδηλον ὂν ὁποτέρων ἀρξάντων (sc. πολεμοῦνται). The following is a somewhat similar construction with gen. abs., Dem. Aph. i. 829, ἂν ἔχειν με φῇ, τίνος παραδόντος ἐρωτᾶτε αὐτόν, ‘if he says I have it, ask him who paid it me’, lit. ‘by whose payment (I have it)’. The statement of the envoys seems somewhat at variance with facts, as it could hardly be supposed by any that the Athenians had begun the war.

τὴν χάριν—‘the gratitude which they will feel for peace’. προσθήσουσι—‘they will put down, ascribe, pay’.

ἤν τε γνῶτε—‘so if you decide to accept our proposals’; τε sums up and resumes the argument. Λακεδαιμονίοις ἔξεστιν—‘it is in your power to become friends to the Lacedaemonians’; φίλους refers to ὑμῖν; see note on ch. 2, 11; here this construction avoids confusion. In the following clauses αὐτῶν τε προκαλεσαμένων (gen. abs.) refers to the Lacedaemonians, while χαρισαμένοις and βιασαμένοις belong to ὑμῖν.

τὰ ἐνόντα ἀγαθά—‘the advantages involved’. Note the position of τὰ ἐνόντα ἀγαθά, and τὸ ἄλλο Ἑλληνικόν: the most important words being put early in the clauses for the sake of emphasis.

ταὐτὰ λεγόντων—‘holding the same language’, i.e. pursuing the same policy: so v. 31, τὸ αὐτὸ λέγοντες. ‘That the jealousy of the other Hellenes was speedily aroused by a temporary combination of the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, which they regarded as a conspiracy against their liberties, we learn from v 59: cf. Ar. Pax, 1082, ἐξὸν σπεισαμένοις κοινῇ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἄρχειν’ (Jowett).

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hide References (17 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (17):
    • Aristophanes, Peace, 1082
    • Demosthenes, Against Aphobus 1
    • Herodotus, Histories, 2.66
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.37
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.121
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.128
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.132
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.36
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.37
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.57
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.7
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.72
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.26
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.31
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.11
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.47
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