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ὑποθορυβησάντων—‘having raised some clamour’, ὑπό thus compounded having, like sub, the sense of somewhat. The word is not elsewhere found in classical Greek, on which account Cobet suggests ὑπό τι θορυβησάντων. ἐς τὸν Κλέωνα— ‘at Cleon’: ἐς is very generally used by Thucydides in phrases denoting relation, such as i. 38, ἐς ἡμᾶς τοιοίδε, ‘of such character towards us’: iii. 14, τὰς τῶν Ἐλλήνων ἐς ὑμᾶς ἐλπίδας, ‘the hopes of the Greeks in regard to you’: cf. note on ch. 22. 14, διαβάλλειν ἐς: so i. 128, εὐεργεσίαν ἐς βασιλέα κατέθετο=‘he began to bestow services on, or win favour with, the king of Persia’: ii. 60, τὰ τῆς ὀργῆς ὑμῶν ἐς ἐμὲ γεγένηται.

ὅτιοὐ—‘because he did not sail even now’. τι is read by Krüger and Classen and explained as ‘why’, an indirect question corresponding to τί direct; Jowett also approves of this: cf. i. 90, ὁπότε τις ἔροιτο τι οὖκ ἐπέρχεται.

πλεῖ—Krüger takes this to refer to Nicias, and makes ἐς τὸν Κλέωνα mean ‘on hearing Cleon’. It seems however plain that the Athenians called out to ask why Cleon did not sail, if he thought it an easy task. Plutarch (Nic. ch. 7) says that the Athenians called out, τί δὲ οὐχὶ καὶ νῦν αὐτὸς σὺ πλεῖς έπὶ τοὺς ὔνδρας;

τὸ ἐπὶ σφᾶς εἶναι—Nicias says ‘so far as concerns us’, σφᾶς meaning himself and his colleagues: ch. 9, 21. For εἷναι cf. i. 21, ὼς παλαιὰ εἶναι, ‘so far as their ancient date allows’: ii. 89, ὲκὼν εἷναι, ‘so far as my will goes’: see also note on ch. 14, 20, ὡς εὶπεῖν.

λόγῳ μόνον ἀφιέναι—‘only pretended to give up’. λόγῳ is opposed to ἔργῳ or τῷ ὄντι; i. 128, τῷ δὲ λόγῳ απέδρασαν αὐτόν, ‘he pretended that they had escaped from him’: ii. 65, λόγῳ μὲν δημοκρατία, ἔργῳ δὲ ὺπὸ τοῦ πρώτου ἀνδρὸς αρχή, of Athens under Pericles.

παραδωσείοντα—‘wished to hand over the command’. The termination είω is a desiderative formed from the future: i. 33, πολεμησείω, ‘I wish for war’, from the future of πολεμῶ: i. 95, ἀπαλλαξείω, from fut. of ἀπαλλάσσω: viii. 79, ναυμαχησείοντες, from fut. of ναυμαχῶ, etc.: Ar. Vesp. 168, Pax 62, δρασείω. The Latin termination urio has the same force, e.g. esurio, formed from esum supine of edo. ἀνεχώρει—‘he began to draw back’. καὶ οὐκ ἔφη—‘and said Nicias was general, not he’; αὐτός subj. to στρατηγεῖν, nom. because referring to the subject of ἔΦη.

οὑκ ἂν οἰόμενος—‘and never supposing that Nicias could have brought himself to withdraw in his favour’. τολμῶ, used according to the context, of audacity, fortitude, hardness of heart, condescension, etc. implies in every case an overcoming of natural weakness or inclination. It may often be rendered ‘to have the heart’ to do something. οἱ, sibi, means Cleon, αὐτόν Nicias. ἄν—with τολμῆσαι.

ἐξίστατο—‘renounced’: ii. 63, ἧς (ἀρχῆς) οὐδὲ ἐκστῆναι ἔτι ὑμῖν ἔστιν, ‘which moreover you can not now give up’. Notice the force of the imperfects in this passage: Nicias ‘was ready to renounce’ the command, Cleon ‘tried to back out’ of it, the people ‘kept calling upon’ Nicias to hand it over, etc.

ὑπέφευγε—‘shrunk from’. ἐξανεχώρει τὰ εἰρημένα— ‘backed out of what he had said’. Though the verb is compounded with ἐξ it governs the accusative, since it represents the active idea ‘to evade’: cf. iii. 34, ὑπεξελθόντες τούτους, ‘withdrawing from these’; i. 128, ἀπέδρασαν αὐτόν: so Dem. Lept. 460, οὺδένα πώποτε κίνδυνον ἐξέστησαν, ‘they never shrank from any danger’, ete. Similarly in Latin we have, Tac. Ann. xii. 35, evadere ‘to pass’ with acc.: so ib. ii. 38, egredi relationem, ‘to go beyond the question’: ib. xi. 36, evecta insulas.

τόσῳ—‘so much (the more)’: viii. 24, ὅσῳτόσῳ: so i. 37, τοσῷδε. The more usual prose form is τοσούτῳ.

καὶ ἐκείνῳ ἐπεβόων πλεῖν—‘and shouted at Cleon to sail’: so v. 65, Ἄγιδι ἐπεβόησεν: vi. 16, τὰ ἴδια ἐπιβοώμενος, ‘cried out at in respect of my private life’. The shouts in the assembly seem to have come from supporters of Cleon, who hoped that he would succeed.

ἐξαπαλλαγῇ—‘get out of’. ὑφίσταται—‘undertakes’, with acc.: iii. 57, ἀγῶνας ὑπέστημεν, ‘underwent’: ch. 59, 11, κινδύνους ὑφίστασθαι: the constr. with dat. ii. 61, ξυμφοραῖς ταῖς μεγίσταις ὑφίστασθαι, seems to mean ‘to endure even in the greatest misfortunes’. See also note on ch. 39, 14.

παρελθών—the usual expression for ‘coming forward’ to address the assembly: iii. 41, παρελθὼν καὶ τότε. Note οὔτε ...τε. Λημνίους καὶ Ἰμβρίους—usually mentioned together as in iii. 5, where they remain faithful to Athens on the occasion of the revolt of Lesbos: v. 8, where they form a part of the force with which Cleon attempted to recover Amphipolis.

οἳ ἦσαν ἔκ τε Αἴνου—for πελταστάς τε οἳ ἦσαν ἐξ Αἴνου... καί κ.τ.λ. τε, which is grammatically out of place, connects in sense ἔκ τε Αἴνου and ἄλλοθεν, as the two sources from which the auxiliaries came.

ταῦτα—‘this force’. ἐνέπεσε—see note on ch. 4, 5. τι καὶ γέλωτος—‘something even of laughter’: i. 5, φέροντός τι καὶ δόξης, of piracy, ‘even bringing some honour’. τῇ κουφολογίᾳ —‘at his vain and boastful speaking’, an unusual word.

This is the first mention of laughter on this occasion, and it was excited simply by Cleon's boastful manner. There is no warrant whatever for the idea that the Athenians committed the incredible folly of forcing the command upon him by way of a joke. Plutarch (Nic. ch. 7) says τοῖς δὲ Ἀθηναίοις ἐπῆλθε γελάσαι μέγα μᾶλλον πιστεῦσαι, when Cleon ‘added his limit’ (προσδιωρίσατο) of twenty days. Still the majority of the assembly seem to have believed that the attempt ought to be made, and that Cleon would succeed in it. Nicias and his colleagues are however open to grave censure for entrusting the conduct of an expedition, from which they appear to have shrunk themselves, to a man of no military experience or capacity. If this was done merely in the hope of discrediting a political opponent, it would not be easy to find a more disgraceful party manœuvre. Possibly they may have considered the enterprise feasible, but were not unwilling that its risks should fall upon Cleon, while they knew that Demosthenes would be at hand to advise and direct.

ἀσμένοις ἐγίγνετο—‘sober-minded men were not ill pleased’: so ii. 3, τῷ πλήθει οὐ βουλομένῳ ἦν ἀφίστασθαι, ‘the multitude did not wish to revolt’: ch. 85, 15, βουλομένοις ἔσεσθαι.

τοῦ ἑτέρου τεύξεσθαι—‘would gain one of two blessings’. ἀπαλλαγήσεσθαι and χειρώσασθαι are dependent on this clause. The former of these is in the future, implying a state of subsequent continuance, ‘being rid for the future of Cleon’; while χειρώσασθαι refers to one definite point, ‘subduing the Lacedaemonians’. There is no difficulty in the aor. following an expression which denotes expectation: see notes on ch. 9, 21 and 24, 12. The subject to χειρώσασθαι is Κλέωνα: cf. v. 63, Ἄγιν ἐν αἰτίᾳ εἶχον οὐ χειρωσάμενον σφίσι Ἄργος, ‘blamed Agis for not subduing Argos for them’.

There is no doubt an awkwardness in this change of subject: Cobet, who says of the passage misere laborat, proposes the passive fut. perfect κεχειρώσεσθαι.

ἤλπιζον—‘expected’; as is plain from the following σφαλεῖσι γνώμης: cf. 18, 9, γνώμῃ σφαλέντες. Jowett's rendering, ‘which they would have greatly preferred’, is unnecessarily hard on the σώφρονες.

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hide References (29 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (29):
    • Aristophanes, Peace, 62
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.128
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.21
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.33
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.37
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.38
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.90
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.95
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.60
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.61
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.63
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.65
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.89
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.14
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.34
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.41
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.57
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.63
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.65
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.8
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.16
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.24
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.79
    • Tacitus, Annales, 11.36
    • Tacitus, Annales, 12.35
    • Tacitus, Annales, 2.38
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