previous next

The man who aspires to the commandership of an army must understand the art of war, if he would not bring disaster upon the state which he serves. Good generalship necessarily includes other qualifications besides an acquaintance with tactics. A good commander must above all know how to secure the best disposition of his forces. In order to do this, he should be able accurately to estimate the good or bad qualities of his troops, so as to make the best use of each division when occasion demands.


ὅτι: instead of the more usual ὡς how. So ἐντεθύμησαι ὅτι iii. 3. 11. Cf. ὅτι δὲ ἐπεμελεῖτο, νῦν τοῦτο λέξω iv. 7. 1.

τῶν καλῶν: public honors, such as the καλοὶ κἀγαθοί should aspire to; a phrase borrowed from the Spartans, cf. De Rep. Lac. iii. 3; iv. 4; Cyr. vii. 3. 16.

ἐπιμελεῖς: studious of.

ὀρέγοιντο: for the opt., see on i.2.57.

Διονυσόδωρον: a Sophist from Chios, who, with his brother Euthydemus (not the one mentioned in iv. 2), taught rhetoric and the art of war in Athens. Cf. Plato Euthyd. 271 C.

ἐπαγγελλόμενον: professing.

ἐν τῇ πόλει: “among his fellow-citizens,” i.e. not as a mercenary from abroad.


μέντοι: really.

στρατηγεῖν: the Athenians divided the military command among ten generals, chosen annually. As late as the first Persian war (490 B.C.), they held the supreme command in rotation (cf. the well-known story of Miltiades and his colleagues, Hdt. vi. 110). In later wars, it rarely happened that the entire board of strategi took the field. For an account of their military and civil functions, see Schömann, Antiq. of Greece, p. 420 ff.

αὐτοῦ: i.e. τοῦ μαθεῖν.


ὅλης τῆς πόλεως: the state's whole interests. For the position of ὅλης, see G. 979; H. 672 and c.

μεγάλα: pred. with γίγνεσθαι.

ἐλθόντα μανθάνειν: to go and learn. Cf. ἐλθόντας Κῦρον αἰτεῖν πλοῖα An. i.3.14


μεμαθηκώς: “after finishing his course.”—Ὅμηρος κτλ.: the passage is in Γ 169, 170, where Priam says of Agamemnon καλὸν δ᾽ οὕτω ἐγὼν οὔπω ἴδον ὀφθαλμοῖσιν | οὐδ̓ οὕτω γεραρόν: βασιλῆι γὰρ ἀνδρὶ ἔοικεν.

γεραρόν: stately.

οὔτε στρατηγός: before these words οὔτε κιθαριστής might be expected; prob. omitted as inappropriate to οὐδ᾽ ἐὰν αἱρεθῃ.


σοί: under you. For the dat. with verbs of serving, see G. 1159; H. 764, 2.

πόθεν: at what point.

τὰ τακτικά: tactics, i.e. military drill.


ἀλλὰ μήν: atqui.

πολλοστὸν μέρος: a very small part. Cf. μικρόν τι μέρος εἴη στρατηγίας τὰ τακτικά Cyr. i. 6. 14.

τῶν εἰς τὸν πόλεμον: the material of war. For the gen., see G. 1142; H. 754 b.

μηχανικόν: fertile in device.

φυλακτικόν, κλέπτην: on his guard (against plunderers), ready to seize (another's property by stealth).

ἀσφαλῆ: safe (i.e. cautious), in movement.

φύσει καὶ ἐπιστήμῃ: by nature and science.


κέραμος: tile, in collective sense. The same comparison of a well-built house with an army occurs in Cyr. vi. 3. 25.

ἀτάκτως ἐρριμμένα: thrown together in confusion.

ἐπιπολῆς: on top, refers to the roof of tile (κέραμος). Similarly, λίθος belongs to κάτω.

συντίθεται: sing., agreeing with the nearest substantive (τὰ ξύλα), or having as subj. the entire mass of material, thought of as neuter.


πάνυ ὅμοιον: rem plane similem, a very apt comparison.πρώτους τοὺς ἀρίστους κτλ.: cf. the arrangement of Nestor's forces, ἱππῆας μὲν πρῶτα σὺν ἵπποισιν καὶ ὄχεσφιν | πέζους δ᾽ ἐξόπιθε στῆσεν πολέας τε καὶ ἐσθλούς, | ἕρκος ἔμεν πολέμοιο: κακοὺς δ᾽ ἐς μέσσον ἔλασσεν, | ὄφρα καὶ οὐκ ἐθέλων τις ἀναγκαίῃ πολεμίζοι Hom. Δ 297300.

ὑπὸ μὲν τῶν, ὑπὸ δὲ τῶν: for ὑπὸ τῶν μέν, ὑπὸ τῶν δέ, not uncommon in Attic. Cf. ii.2.2.


εἰ μὲν κτλ.: with apod. omitted, a not unusual ellipsis. See G. 1416; H. 904 a, and cf. εἰ μὲν δώσουσι γέρας if they shall give me a prize (sc. well and good) Hom. Α 135, καὶ νῦν, ἂν μὲν Κῦρος βούληται (sc. παρέστω σὺν ὑμῖν), εἰ δὲ μή, ὑμεῖς τὴν ταχίστην πάρεστε Cyr. iv. 5. 10.

τό τε καλὸν καὶ τὸ κίβδηλον: the correlatives τέ, καί, are sometimes used to connect two objects which are to be distinguished or compared, where the Eng. usage would employ a simple ‘and.’ So τούς τε ἀγαθοὺς καὶ τοὺς κακούς below. Cf. διαφέρει τυραννικός τε καὶ ἰδιωτικὸς βίος Hiero i. 2.


τί οὖν οὐ σκοποῦμεν: equivalent to σκοπῶμεν let us consider.

πῶς ἂν αὐτῶν μὴ διαμαρτάνοιμεν: how we can avoid mistaking them. For μή with the potential opt. in questions, see GMT. 292, 2.

τί δὲ τοὺς κινδυνεύειν μέλλοντας: sc. ποιήσομεν what shall we do with those about to engage in a hazardous enterprise?

οἱ ἕνεκα ἐπαίνου κινδυνεύειν ἐθέλοντες: cf. ‘Seeking the bubble reputation | Even in the cannon's mouth’ Shak. As You Like It ii. 7.


οὐ πάνυ: not at all, answers the last half of the previous question.

καὶ μήν: see on i.4.12.

πολλά πρὸς : “many occasions, where.”

ὡσαύτως: in the same way, sc. as on others.

ἐνδεᾶ: the missing gen. can readily be supplied.

ἀποπέμψασθαι: for the inf. with αἰσχύνομαι, instead of the supplementary participle, see G. 1581; H. 986.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: