—pred. ‘by fighting with them’, i.e. their help was of service in the action.
ἔθεντο τὰ ὅπλα
—‘halted’, or ‘took up their position’. The literal meaning of the phrase τίθεσθαι τὰ ὄπλα
is to ground, or put down one's arms, the Greeks being accustomed to lay down their shields and spears when they halted for any time, for instance to listen to an address from their commanders. The converse expression is ἀναλαμβάνειν τὰ ὅπλα
(ch. 130, 19: Hdt. vi. 78
: Xen. Hel. ii. 4, 19
, etc.). From the idea of taking up a position thus implied, the phrase τίθεσθαι τὰ ὅπλα
is often used, as in the present passage, when the idea of actually putting down the arms would be out of place. Thus the Thebans, after making their way by surprise into Plataeae, established themselves in the public place (θέμενοι ές τὴν ἀγορὰν τὰ ὅπλα
), and made proclamation for any one who chose τίθεσθαι παρ᾽ αὑτοὺς τὰ ὄπλα
i.e. to join them (ii. 2
). So τὰ ὅπλα
is used for the camp or position occupied by troops i. 111
; iii. 1
. Such phrases are especially common in the military language of Xenophon; see Shilleto on ii. 2
—i.e. their chief loss was at this point. οἱ πλεῖστοι
must mean the greater part of those who fell, not of their whole force, for we see afterwards that their total loss only amounted to 212: so vii. 30
, ἀποκτείνουσιν αὑτῶν έν τῇ ἐκβάσει τοὺς πλείστους
, where the total loss was 250 out of 1300. Classen takes the meaning to be that the greater part of the Corinthians on the right wing were slain, their allies escaping better.
κατὰ δίωξιν πολλήν
—‘hard pressed’, with φυγῆς γενομένης
οἱ ἐκ τῆς πόλεως πρεσβύτεροι
—cf. ch. 8, 1, τῶν ἐκ τῆς Ἀττικῆς
. The πρεσβύτεροι
had remained to guard the city.
—‘left on the field’, more commonly used of leaving a garrison etc. in a town, as in ch. 25, 51.
—asking leave to remove the dead was an admission of defeat, which is also implied by the use of ἐπικηρυκεύεσθαι
. Thus Plutarch (Nic. ch. 6) says that Nicias preferred to sacrifice his victory and his glory rather than leave two Athenian citizens unburied.