1. Θουκυδίδης κτλ.
—a formal method of opening, after the manner of the gnomic poets, not due, as Bloomfield imagined, to ‘the modesty of our author.’ Cf. Herod.init.
; Intr. p. xv.
—a characteristic word of Thuc., who is known to the ancient critics as ὁ συγγραφεύς
, much as Homer is ὁ ποιητής
. It denotes the bringing together in one work of many occurrences—composing
in its etymological sense. (How some find a reference to the hunting up of materials is not clear.)
3. ὡς ἐπολέμησαν
i.e. showing how they waged war.
Of course different from ὃν ἐπολέμησαν
, which would be absurdly tautological. The aorist is called complexive.
4. ἀρξάμενος （ τοῦ ξυγγράψαι ） κτλ.
—we are to understand that as soon as the war broke out Thuc. began to put down what occurred, and kept a sort of diary of the war.
—supply τοῦ πολέμου
On the relation of the participles here see Intr. p. xli. This first sentence is very characteristic of Thuc., in whose periods form is constantly subordinated to sense. O. Muller well says that Thuc. has two favourite forms of period, (a) the main predication, followed by clauses giving the circumstances and reasons, which may in turn be explained in similar clauses; and (b) the reasons, circumstances in participial and other clauses followed by the resulting fact or opinion, as in c. 2. 2
ἀξιολογώτατον τῶν π
.—the illogical form of comparison, as in c. 10. 3
, cf. ‘fairest of her daughters Eve’: Tac. Ag. 34
” It is frequent in Greek.
adding the grounds of the ἐλπίς
These grounds are (1) ὅτι ἀκμάζοντες
..., (2) ὁρῶν
... Thus the clause with ὅτι
is co-ordinate with a partic. of cause
; cf. Xen. Symp. 8. 11 τεκμαίρομαι τῇ καλοκἀγαθίᾳ καὶ ὅτι σε ὁρῶ
7. ἀκμάζοντές ... παρασκευῇ
—at the height of their military power.
, not ἦσαν
, is the true reading there cannot be a doubt; for ἰέναι ἐς
in this pregnant use see L. & S.
8. τὸ ἄλλο Ἑλληνικόν
—including the Greeks outside Greece proper. Cf. τὸ ληστικόν
, τὸ βαρβαρικόν
, τὸ ξενικόν
, and many others.
10. καὶ διανοούμενον
, the ellipse of an infin. with διανοεὶσθαι
being common, as in 124. 3
. The καί
serves to bring διανοούμενον
into connexion with ξυνιστάμενον
; we should put ‘actually’ with τὸ μὲν εὐθύς
. The Sicilian Greeks are a good example.
—as ‘the movement’ meant by κίνησις
must be (1) the war itself, and (2) the unrest that preceded it, γάρ
cannot introduce the reason of the expectation that the war would be important, but must be epexegetic.
12. μέρει τινί
—a considerable part,
as, for example, Thrace and Macedon. Supply ἐγένετο
ὡς δὲ εἰπεῖν
. Note that ὡς（ἔπος）εἰπεῖν
never apologises for a metaphor, but always limits a sweeping or universal statement. Hence (it extended, ἐγένετο), one might almost say, over the greatest part of mankind
; i.e. it affected perhaps a greater part of mankind than had been affected by any previous commotion. Of course the possible exception is the Persian wars.
(Whatever be the exact construction of μεγίστη δὴ ... ἀνθρώπων
—and the words are variously interpreted—Thuc. over-estimates the importance of the war. If we supply μεγίστη δὴ ἐγένετο
to μέρει τινί
and ἐπὶ πλεῖστον
, the exaggeration is extreme. ἐπὶ πλεῖστον
is taken by Classen and others to mean the greatest part of the (known) world
; but this involves a very great exaggeration of a fact ascertainable; and it is unlikely that Thuc. would make such a sweeping statement. It looks also as if πλεῖστον
, more than before,
were meant to be parallel to μεγίστη
, greater than before.
The text has no appearance of being corrupt or interpolated.)
13. τὰ πρὸ αὐτῶν
—the events that preceded this disturbance (κίνησις).
The neut. αὐτά
is frequently used by Thuc. with reference to the details of the subject he is dealing with.
(This phrase cannot refer to events that immediately
preceded the war; for (a) διὰ χρόνου πλῆθος
would then be absurd, (b) Thuc. himself gives an account of the fifty years preceding the war as a period well known, (c) the Persian wars could not be ineluded in οὐ μεγάλα νομίζω γενέσθαι κατὰ τοὺς πολέμους
(cf. c. 18. 2
). Thuc. must be thinking of the period of the Trojan war and of that between the Trojan war and the Persian war, i.e. to the end of the Tyrants. But the words are very inexact; cf. Intr. p. xx).
14. τὰ ἔτι παλαίτερα
—events preceding the Trojan war.
—Thuc. frequently uses the neut. plur. of the verbal or of an adj. for the sing. where the subject is an infin. or a sentence. The use is mainly poetical.
—these ‘evidences’ are detailed in cc. 2-17
: (1) migrations were frequent; (2) there was no common name; (3) weakness by sea; (4) the expeditions by land were on a small scale and were confined to border-fighting; (5) the tyrants hampered Greece proper, and Persia hampered Ionia.
belongs to πιστεῦσαι
, and is probably attracted from ἅ
. Chambry quotes Soph. OT 646 πίστευσον, Οἰδίπους, τάδε
, for the accus. with πιστεύω
ἐπὶ μακρότατον σκοποῦντι
—by earrying my inquiry to the farthest hunt (of the past). ἐπὶ μακρότατον
also in Hdt. 1.171
, in a similar connexion.