previous next

Socrates sets before the younger Pericles the best way to recall the Athenians to their pristine courage and energy. The successive reverses which the Athenians have suffered at the hands of the Thebans have demoralized their public spirit and obscured the undoubted fact of their natural superiority. Delium and Lebadēa (Coronēa) were severe lessons, but should be made profitable. The citizens should, above all, be reminded of the lofty fame of their ancestors; and if that is not enough, they should be urged to imitate the steady and effective discipline of the Lacedaemonians. Then, too, their generals should be chosen with greater care than at present. Finally, Socrates expresses the hope that Pericles, who has been elected as one of the generals, has qualified himself for the position; and suggests that it would be well to employ the younger citizen soldiery in an effective defense of the Attic frontier.


Περικλεῖ: third son of the great Pericles. His mother was of foreign birth, the beautiful and accomplished Aspasia of Miletus, and he was consequently not entitled to Athenian citizenship; but after the death of his two brothers he was legitimated by the Athenians and accepted as a citizen, for his father's sake. He was one of the six generals who were executed for their failure to rescue the shipwrecked crews after the battle of the Arginusae. See on i. 1. 18, and cf. Plutarch Pericles 37.

τοῦ πάνυ Περικλέους: the celebrated Pericles. So οἱ πάνυ τῶν στρατιωτῶν Thuc. viii. 1. 1.

στρατηγήσαντος: see on βουλεύσας i. 1. 18.

βούλει, ἐπισκοπῶμεν: as in ii. 1. 1.

ὅπου ἤδη τὸ δυνατόν ἐστι: wherein now the possibility lies.


οὐκοῦν: see on ii.1.2.—ὅτι πλήθει κτλ.: the population of Attica (including slaves) was prob. not more than half a million; that of the Boeotian confederacy considerably less. As every free citizen of Attica was a citizen of Athens, the comparison of Ἀθηναῖοι with Βοιωτῶν is a proper one. Athens and Attica were politically identical; not so Thebes and Boeotia.

σώματα ἀγαθὰ καὶ καλά: “sturdy, fine-looking men.”

ἂν ἐκλεχθῆναι: could be picked out. For the inf. with ἄν, see G. 1308; H. 964. The 2 aor. pass. -λεγῆναι is more common in Attic.

ταύτῃ: in this respect. For the dat., see G. 1182; H. 780.

δοκοῦσι λείπεσθαι: sc. οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι τῶν Βοιωτῶν.

ἑαυτοῖς: inter se among themselves. Cf. φθονοῦσιν ἑαυτοῖς 16, and see on ii.6.20.

Ἀθήνησι: for the locative, see G. 296; H. 220.


εἰσίν: sc. οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι.

ἅπερ: cf. 4. 3.

ἔστιν οἷς: see on i.4.2. Cf. καὶ μὴν ἐπί γε τοῖς προγόνοις οὐ μεῖον Ἀθηναῖοι Βοιωτοὶ φρονοῦσιν (pride themselves) Hipp. vii. 3, where the claim is more modest.

προτρέπονταί τε: for the position of the encl., cf. τε ἐνόμιζεν iv. 2. 40.


ἀληθῆ: for the pred. adj., see G. 919; H. 614.

ἀφ᾽ οὗ: i.e. ἀπὸ τοῦ χρόνου, ἐν .

ἐν Λεβαδείᾳ: by the victory of Oenophyta (456 B.C.), the Athenians gained complete ascendency over the Boeotian towns, and established in them democratic forms of government. Many of the banished oligarchs banded together, raised an army, and, in 447 B.C., inflicted an overwhelming defeat on the Athenian army under Tolmides, who lost his life in the battle. The conflict took place between Lebadēa and Coronēa in Boeotia, and is usually known as the battle of Coronēa. Cf. Thuc. i. 108, 113, and see Grote, Hist. of Greece, c. xlv.

ἐπὶ Δηλίῳ: not ἐν Δηλίῳ, as at that time (424 B.C.) Delium was only an enclosure and temple sacred to Apollo, near Orōpus on the Boeotian frontier. Cf. Plato Apol. 28E. In this battle the Athenian general was defeated and slain. Socrates is said to have shown great gallantry in the retreat which ensued. See Introd. 2, 61.

ἐκ τούτων: since these events, repeats ἀφ̓ οὗ.

πρὸς τοὺς Βοιωτούς: see on πρὸς ἑαυτόν i. 2. 52.

ἐν τῇ ἑαυτῶν: sc. χώρᾳ.

οἱ τολμῶντες: rel., who ventured. The participle is ‘imperfect.’ See G. 1289; H. 856 a. So πορθοῦντες below.


εὐαρεστοτέρως διακεῖσθαι: “is more favorably disposed.”

θάρσος: over-confidence.

ἐμβάλλει: begets.


τῶν ἐν ταῖς ναυσίν: i.e. τῶν ναυτῶν.

ἔστ̓ ἄν: quamdiu. For temporal clauses with ἄν and the subjv., see G. 1465; H. 923.

καραδοκοῦντες: eagerly expecting, lit. with outstretched head, an Ionic expression. Cf. Πάριοι δὲ ὑπολειφθέντες ἐν Κύθνῳ, ἐκαραδόκεον τὸν πόλεμον κῆ ἀποβήσεται Hdt. viii. 67.

ὥσπερ χορευταί: like members of a chorus, who keep their eyes on the leader during the whole performance.


ὥρα: the proper time. For the inf. with substs., see G. 1521; H. 952.

ἀνερασθῆναι: to yearn anew for.


οὐκοῦν: well, then.

εἰ ἐβουλόμεθα: see on εἰ προσετέθησαν i. 4. 5.

εἶχον: see on ἐβούλετο i. 4. 14.

ἐξορμῷμεν: for the potential opt. in apod. after the ind. in prot., see on ἂν εἴη i. 2. 45.

τοῦ μετ᾽ ἀρετῆς πρωτεύειν: “preëminence in valor.”

τοῦτο: sc. τὸ μετ̓ ἀρετῆς πρωτεύειν.

δεικτέον: impers. const.; it takes as objs. both τοῦτο ... αὐτοῖς and ὡς ... κράτιστοι.


οἶμαι μέν: as in ii. 6. 5.—εἰ τούς γε παλαιοτάτους κτλ.: the Eng. order of thought seems to be εἰ ἀναμιμνῄσκοιμεν αὐτοὺς ἀκηκοότας τούς γε παλαιοτάτους ὧν (equivalent to τούτων, οὕς) ἀκούομεν προγόνους αὐτῶν ἀρίστους γεγονέναι. “We have only to remind them of the fact, which they have heard often enough (at school and elsewhere), that their ancestors, as far back as we have any record, were men of highest valor.” The omitted apod. is, of course, διδάσκοιμεν ἄν, to be const. (with ὡς or ὅτι) as obj. of οἶμαι.


τὴν τῶν θεῶν κρίσιν: the decision between the deities. θεῶν is objective genitive. The reference is to the contest between Athena and Poseidon for the sovereignty of Attica, which was decided by Cecrops, legendary king of Athens. Cf. Apollodorus iii. 14. The legend formed the subject of the sculptures in the west pediment of the Parthenon.

οἱ περὶ Κέκροπα: seems to indicate Cecrops himself and the tribunal over which he presided. Cf. τοὺς ἀμφὶ Θράσυλλον i. 1. 18.

Ἐρεχθέως: another legendary hero and king of Attica, who shared with Athena the honor of a temple (the Erechtheum) on the Acropolis.

τροφὴν καὶ γένεσιν: for the ‘hysteron proteron,’ by which the more important or obvious action is mentioned before another which preceded it in order of time, cf. ἅμα τράφεν ἠδὲ γένοντο Hom. A 251, ‘For I was bred and born | not three hours' travel from this very place.’ Shak. Twelfth Night i. 2, and “moriamur, et in media arma ruamus,Virgil Aen. ii. 353.

ἐπ᾽ ἐκείνου: in his reign.

πρὸς τοὺς ... πάσης: in very early times the Thracians were said to have occupied the country as far as the borders of Attica, and to have been repulsed from Athens by Erechtheus.

τὸν ἐφ᾽ Ἡρακλειδῶν: the sons of Heracles sought and obtained aid from Athens against Eurystheus.

τοὺς ἐπὶ Θησέως πολεμηθέντας (sc. πολέμους): i.e. the wars against the Amazons and Thracians. For these legendary events, cf. Isoc. iv. 65, 68; Hdt. ix. 27; Thuc. ii. 15.

τῶν καθ᾽ ἑαυτούς: the men of their day. Cf. the eulogy on Athenian achievements in Plato Menex. 239 B ff.


εἰ δὲ βούλει: polite formula, marks a transition to another phase of the subject.

αὐτοὶ καθ᾽ αὑτούς: contrasted with καὶ μετὰ Πελοποννησίων below. The battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) is meant. Although the Athenians had on that occasion the assistance of 1,000 Plataeans, the phrase αὐτοὶ κτλ. may pass, as a rhetorical exaggeration.— τοὺς κυριεύοντας κτλ.: i.e. the Persians. See Grote, Hist. of Greece, cc. xxxii-xxxiv.

πλείστην τῶν προγεγονότων: equivalent to πλείονα τῆς τῶν προγεγονότων. See on καινότερον τῶν ἄλλων i. 1. 3.

μέγιστα ἔργα: i.e. the achievements of Cyrus and Darius in establishing the Persian empire.

οἳ δὴ καί: who also, we see, refers to οἱ ἐκείνων ἀπόγονοι, and hence does not include the Peloponnesians, whom the argument does not touch.

λέγονται γάρ: they are indeed. Cf. οἶδα γάρ 2.


πολλῶν μεταναστάσεων: e.g., those which followed the inroads of the Dorians.

διέμειναν: held their ground. The Attic Greeks were proud of being αὐτόχθονες and γηγενεῖς. Cf. ταύτην (τὴν πόλιν) γὰρ οἰκοῦμεν οὐχ ἑτέρους ἐκβαλόντες (by dispossessing) οὐδὲ ἐρήμην καταλαβόντες οὐδὲ ἐκ πολλῶν ἐθνῶν μιγάδες συλλεγέντες (as mingled immigrants) ἀλλ᾽ οὕτω καλῶς καὶ γνησίως γεγόναμεν, ὥστε ἐξ ἧσπερ (γῆς) ἔφυμεν, ταύτην ἔχοντες ἅπαντα τὸν χρόνον διατελοῦμεν, αὐτόχθονες ὄντες Isoc. iv. 24. Cf. also Thuc. i. 2.

ἐπέτρεπον: entrusted their cause (τὰ δίκαια).


καὶ θαυμάζω γε: yes, and I marvel.

ἐγὼ μέν, ἔφη, οἶμαι, Σωκράτης: for a similar order of words, cf. καὶ τί δέ, ἔφη, ὁρᾷς, γυνή Oec. vii. 16, quid igitur, inquit, est causae, Brutus Cic. Brut. 91.

ὥσπερ καί, οὕτω καί: see on i.1.6. On the comparison with athletes, cf. i.2.24.

τῶν ἀντιπάλων: for the gen. with verbs of comparison, see G. 1120; H. 749. Cf. ὁρῶν ὑστερίζουσαν τὴν πόλιν τῶν καιρῶν seeing the city falling behind its opportunities Dem. xviii. 102.


οὐδὲν ἀπόκρυφον: no secret.

ἂν χείρους γενέσθαι: depends on δοκεῖ μοι understood after ἀλλά, or δοκοῦσιν may be supplied, making the const. personal. For an example of both consts. in the same sent., cf. ἔδοξεν αὐτῷ βροντῆς γενομένης σκηπτὸς πεσεῖν εἰς τὴν πατρῴαν οἰκίαν, καὶ ἐκ τούτου λάμπεσθαι πᾶσαν An. iii.1.11 See G. 1522, 2; H. 944 a.

εἰ δὲ μή: and if not (that).

τοὺς πρωτεύοντας: i.e. the Lacedaemonians. Xenophon never omits an opportunity to praise Spartan institutions.

τούτοις τὰ αὐτά: the same things that they do. For the abridged comparison, see on τῶν ἄλλων i. 1. 3.

εἰ δ᾽ ἐπιμελέστερον: sc. χρῷντο.

καί: even.


“You are then, I take it, of the opinion that the Athenians have fallen far away from their pristine virtue, and you wish them to take for their model the Lacedaemonians, who certainly could give them many a good lesson.”

πού: see on iii.3.2.

ὥσπερ Λακεδαιμόνιοι: cf. De Rep. Lac. X. 2, and Cic. de Sen. xviii. 63, where Lysander boasts Lacedaemona esse honestissimum domicilium senectutis.

οἵ: so ὅς i. 2. 64.—ἀπὸ τῶν πατέρων κτλ.: starting with their fathers, look down on.


ἑαυτοῖς: const. with τὰ συμφέροντα. This and the two other refl. prons. (ἑαυτοῖς, αὑτούς) in this section are equivalent to the reciprocal. Cf. 2.

ἀλλήλοις δικάζονται: the verb, as indicating strife, takes the dat., like φθονοῦσιν above. The fondness of the Athenians for litigation is evidenced by their numerous courts, and the large body of their extant forensic literature. Aristophanes lashed this love of lawsuits in his Wasps.

συνωφελοῦντες: for the circumstantial participle of means, see on i.1.9.

αὖ: item, with reference to διαφέρονται and δικάζονται.

ταῖς ... χαίρουσιν: “they delight especially in having their faculties trained for such strife.”


ἐξ ὧν: i.e. because they neglect physical training and despise discipline; hence arise ἀτηρία and κακία, while ἔχθρα and μῖσος are an immediate result of the continual strife with one another.

ὥστε: see on i.4.10.


πονηρίᾳ νοσεῖν: a common metaphor with the Greeks, as with us. Cf. τὰ Ὀδρυσῶν πράγματα ἐνόσησεν An. vii.2.32 For the causal dative, see G. 1181; H. 776.

τοῖς ἐπιστάταις: i.e. the trainers.

οὐδένων καταδεέστερον: in a manner unsurpassed by any. Cf. i. 5. 6.


τοῦτο γάρ τοι καὶ θαυμαστόν ἐστι: that is just what is so strange. τοῦτο serves as energetic introduction to τὸ πειθάρχειν, εἶναι. Cf. ii.4.1.

τοιούτους: i.e. sailors, gymnasts, dancers, etc., who were generally of the lower classes; while hoplites and cavalry were composed of the free and well-to-do citizens.

καλοκἀγαθίᾳ: dat. of respect.


δὲ ἐν Ἀρείῳ πάγῳ βουλή: this ancient court derived its name from the sacred hill of Ares (west of the Acropolis, and separated from it only by a narrow and shallow valley), where its sittings were held. It was composed of ex-archons who had ‘clean records,’ as established by the δοκιμασία (official investigation); and it had jurisdiction over cases of intentional homicide, poisoning, and arson. See Schömann, Antiq. of Greece, passim.

οὐ μέμφομαι: I have no fault to find.

τούτοις: i.e. τοῖς Ἀρειοπαγίταις. For another example of ‘synesis,’ cf. οἳ νέοι after θιάσου ii. 1. 31. See H. 633.

ὡς, ὄντων: see on i.1.4.


καὶ μήν: and yet. See on i. 4. 12.

τούτων: i.e. σωφρονεῖν, εὐτακτεῖν, πειθαρχεῖν.

προσέχουσιν: they give heed to.

ἐν τούτοις: i.e. τοῖς στρατιωτικοῖς.

οὐδὲ εἷς: see on i.6.2.

ἔχουσι: are able.

αὐτοσχεδιάζουσιν: “hold command without preparation.” Cf. the conversation with Euthydemus in iv. 2, where Socrates scores the presumption of would-be impromptu statesmen.


οὐδὲν ἧττον: connect with after στρατηγεῖν.

τῶν πατρῴων στρατηγημάτων: your father's principles of generalship.


πολλὰ μεριμνᾶν: see on i.1.11.

λάθῃς σεαυτὸν ἀγνοῶν: see on i.2.34.

μὴ εἰδότα: instead of οὐκ εἰδότα, because of the force of the preceding ἐάν, making the participle part of the condition. G. 1614; H. 1027.


οὐ λανθάνεις με, ὅτι: you do not elude me, “I fully understand that,” with pers. for impers. construction. Cf. ὅτι πονηρότατοί γέ εἰσιν, οὐδὲ σὲ λανθάνουσιν Oec. i. 19.

οὐδ᾽ οἰόμενος: in 22 and 23, Socrates used the word οἶμαι. Pericles perceives the underlying irony, and says, “You do not even believe it (to say nothing of knowing it).”


ὄρη: Cithaeron and others.

μέση: sc. χῶρα.

ὄρεσιν ἐρυμνοῖς: Parnes, Pentelicus, and Hymettus.


Μυσοὶ καὶ Πισίδαι: cf. οἶδα γὰρ ὑμῖν Μυσοὺς λυπηροὺς (troublesome) ὄντας, οἶδα δὲ καὶ Πισίδας An. ii.5.13 Cyrus the Younger made a defensive campaign against the Pisidians the pretext for mustering one of his armies.

βασιλέως, without the art., the Great King, the king of Persia; so freq. in the Anabasis.

πάνυ: follows its adj. for emphasis.

ὡπλισμένοι: circumstantial participle of cause, rather than of concession.

πολλά (sc. κακά): cognate acc. with κακοποιεῖν. For the double acc., see on τὴν πόλιν i. 2. 12.


μέχρι τῆς ἐλαφρᾶς ἡλικίας: so long as they are of the active age, i.e. from 18 to 20. The Athenian youth of this age served in the army as περίπολοι, a kind of home guard, or constabulary force, to serve only in Attica.

ὡπλισμένους, κατέχοντας: equivalent to εἰ ὡπλισμένοι εἶεν, εἰ κατέχοιεν, serving as prots. to ἂν (before οἴει) εἶναι, κατεσκευάσθαι. For the circumstantial participle of cond., see on πιστεύων i. 1. 5.

προβολὴν κατεσκευάσθαι: form a rampart.


τι μὲν ἄν, ἐὰν δέ τι: for a similar change of const., cf. i.7.5.

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 (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: