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οἱ οἰκεῖοι—the Argives had no cavalry force; ch. 15, 18.

ἥδε—usually ‘as follows’; we should expect αὕτη: so τοιάδε is ‘as follows’, τοιαῦτα ‘as aforesaid’, but the practice is not invariable.

παρασκευή—‘force’; in reference to the several contingents on either side. τάξις is their respective disposition in the opposing lines.

μεῖζον ἐφάνη—‘looked bigger’, i. e., as Classen says, its superiority struck the eye: so i. 8, 1, Κᾶρες ἐφάνησαν, ‘proved (were seen to be) Carians’.

ἑκατέρων—may depend either on ἀριθμόν or ἑκάστους: I think the latter. ξύμπαντας—governed by γράψαι and standing in apposition to ἀριθμόν, instead of being governed by it.

οὐκ ἂν ἐδυνάμην—sc. εἰ ἐπεχείρουν or εἰ ἐβουλόμην: ‘unfulfilled condition’. Classen considers this construction here inadmissible, and follows Stahl in reading οὐκ ἂν δυναίμην, which is free from difficulty, but not necessarily what Thucydides wrote. Krüger points out that ἐδυνάμην without ἄν might give a statement of actual fact; cf. ξυνέγραψε, i. 1, 1.

ἐς τὰ οἰκεῖα πλήθη—Krüger and others suspect πλήθη, and render ἐς τὰ οι:κεῖα ‘in respect of their own affairs’ (generally). Whether πλήθη be retained or not τὸ πλῆθος is supplied as subject to ἠπιστεῖτο. Classen however reads ἐς τὰ οἰκεῖα, τὰ πλήθη, ‘the several estimates of number were distrusted’. Note the ὁμοιοτέλευτον (Ar. Rhet. iii. 9, 9) ἠγνοεῖτο...ἠπιστεῖτο.

παραγενόμενον—‘brought into the field’. So in the orators οἱ παρόντες are literally ‘the (witnesses) present’, οἱ παραγενόμενοι ‘those called in’. γάρ ushers in the promised statement.

ζυγῷ—‘rank’. Liddell and Scott give no other instance of this use in classical Greek.

ἐπὶ δὲ βάθος...ὀκτώ—this statement is puzzling and is discussed at length by Grote and others. It may mean, as Jowett suggests, that in some cases one part of the line was deepened at the expense of another, and the rear rank of one ἐνωμοτία posted behind another. Or possibly the ranks behind the first did not invariably contain four men. Thus an arrangement of 4, 3, 4 etc. would give 9 rows amounting to 32 men in all. But we must remember that Thucydides is not so much discussing the order of the Spartan soldiers, as furnishing an estimate of their numbers. He ‘could not do this exactly’, but he guarantees three things, the number of ἐνωμοτίαι, viz. 112; the number of men, 448, in the front rank; and the average (ἐπὶ πᾶν) depth, viz. 8. Now, if the number of men in each ἐνωμοτία was the same, we have not merely an approximate calculation, but an exact one, the very thing which Thucydides disclaims. May it not then have been the case that, in one or more of the λόχοι, the ἐνωμοτίαι consisted of a number more or less than the standard 32? This would be a part of the ‘system of secrecy’ (τῆς πολιτείας τὸ κρυπτόν); and if it was privately managed by the military authorities we can see at once how the total number was ‘kept dark’ (ἠγνοεῖτο). According to the text this arrangement was left to the respective λοχαγοί; but it may be that the clause ἀλλ̓ ὡς λοχαγὸς ἕκαστος ἐβούλετο is spurious, as Dobree suspected. The ἐνωμοτία or ‘section’, which was ‘the unit of the Spartan army’, undoubtedly varied in size at different periods; and may possibly have varied in different λόχοι or ‘regiments’ at the same period. This explanation seems not unreasonable: for if Thucydides had been sure of the number of men in each ἐνωμοτία, why did he not state it, instead of only giving the number in the front rank?

ἐπὶ πᾶν—‘generally’; ii. 51, 1, τοιοῦτον ἦν ἐπὶ πᾶν τὴν ἰδέαν (several examples in Kruger). ἐπὶ ὀκτώ—‘eight deep’. In this sense ἐπί takes either the genitive or accusative: vii. 79, 1, οὐκ ἐπ̓ ὀλίγων ἀσπίδων, ‘in a deep column’: iv. 93, 4, ἐπ̓ ἀσπίδας πέντε καὶ εἴκοσι Θηβαῖοι ἐτάξαντο.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.8
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.51
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.9
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.93
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.79
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