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10. 4. ὅτι μέν—lit. that M. was a small place, or if any of the towns of those days seems now insignificant—(this) could not be considered a valid argument for refusing to believe that, etc. (1) The clauses introduced by ὅτι and εἰ form the object to χρώμενος. (2) The μέν is not regularly answered, but is resumed in οὐκ οὖν ἀπιστεῖν χρή (10.3) after a long parenthesis. (3) ἦν may mean was before its destruction, which is said by later writers to have occurred in 468 B.C. (there is no sufficient ground for doubting the statement). This is supported by νῦν δοκεῖ which refers to towns still in existence. Or it may be ‘was in heroic times,’ and this is supported by τότε. But, whichever be meant, the argument is not affected. The simple explanation of the insignificance of Mycenae—now of prime importance to the archaeologist—is that the only part that could be called ‘city’ was the acropolis, and that was occupied by the castle of the chief. The rest of the settlement consisted of the villages of the clans; and there is no sign that in historic times the villages ever gave way to a city. Thuc. represents the fact correctly.

9. λόγος κατέχειfama obtinet; tradition affirms.

[2] Λακεδαιμονίων γάρ—there were no signs of magnificence about Sparta until after the triumphs of Lysander. Even then, its appearance, remote from the world and unfortified, must have been comparatively insignificant. It does not seem clear that Thuc. wrote this passage before 404 B.C.

11. κατασκευῆς κ. includes everything that makes a place habitable and usable. Here ‘buildings.’

13. πρόςin comparison with.

14. τῶν πέντε τὰς δύο μ.two-fifths. (‘Two of the five divisions’ is, as Mr. Forbes remarks, wrong.) Of course Messenia is included in Laconia. Notice the way in which fractions are expressed. The gen. is omitted when the denominator is one higher than the numerator—as τὰ τρία μέρη = 3/4.

15. τῆς ξυμπάσης—roughly speaking. In 2.9 Thuc. expressly notes that Argos was not under the leadership of Sparta. But the omission here is of no importance, because we do not want an exact statement, but a general account of the power of Sparta.

16. τῶν ἔξω ξ.their allies beyond P., who are many.

17. πόλεως—for τῆς πόλεως, since the city was not compactly built. For the omission of art. Steup compares 4.18.3 and 8.95. 2. (Mr. Forbes's rendering ‘when a city is not built continuously’ is disproved by the fact that δύναμις Λακεδαιμονίων—and not the power of any city—must be supplied to φαίνοιτ᾽ ἄν. Herbst's view that πόλεως is predicativesince it has not been brought together into a compact city—is inconsistent with Λακεδαιμονίων πόλις above.)

18. κατασκευαῖς—the plur. in concrete sense, as in 2.65. 2.

21. διπλασίαν ... —these compounds are constructed as comparatives. πολλαπλάσιοι τῶν ἐναντίων 4. 94; πολλαπλάσιοι ἦλθον 127; διπλασια δοῦναι ἄλλῳ τινί Lysias 19.52.

22. εἰκάζεσθαι depends on οἶμαι.

ἀπὸ τῆς φ. ὄψεωςnot ‘from the notable or striking appearance’ (Forbes), but ‘from the mere (external) appearance.’ φανερός is, as usual, what is seen, and ὄψις is the appearance in contrast with the reality, as in 6.31 τῇ ὄψει ἀνεθάρσουν (where my rendering ‘by the sight’ is also wrong).

[3] 26. μεγίστην μὲν γενέσθαι — ‘proved, it is true.’

δέand yet. For τῶν πρὸ αὐτῆς cf. 1. 1.

λειπομένην with gen. as 6.72 οὐδενὸς λειπόμενος.

1. ἥν—rel. to στρατείαν. According to the regular principle in Greek, the following clause, to which the nom. is supplied from ἥν, is without the rel. In the second clause the rel. is often replaced by the required case of αὐτός or οὗτος2.4. 5, ἦν τοῦ τείχους καὶ αἱ θύραι ἀνεωγμέναι ἔτυχον αὐτοῦ. 7.29. 5 ὅπερ μέγιστον ἦν καὶ ἄρτι ἔτυχον οἱ παῖδες ἐσεληλυθότες. It is the repetition of the rel. that is unusual, as in 6.4. 3 τὸ χωρίον οὗ νῦν πόλις ἐστὶ καὶ πρῶτον ἐτειχίσθη. If, however, the first clause is neg. and the second pos., the rel. must be repeated, as in 2.43. 2 οὐκ ἐν κεῖνται μᾶλλον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν δόξα καταλειπεται. The same omission or substitution is frequent in Lat., as Liv. xxiii.8 cum quo steterat nec cum patria majestas sententia deputerat. In Engl. cf. “Whom though to know be life, and joy to make mention of His name.” Hooker.Eccles. Pol. “we treated her with great respect, which she recerved as customary, and was neither elated by it, nor confused.” Johnson.Tour in Heb.To whom she seemed to listen, but did not hear them.Macaulay.Warren Hastings

ἐπὶ τὸ μεῖζον κοσμῆσαιexaggerate by using his fancy.

3. ἐνδεεστέραcomparatively insignificant.

[4] πεποίηκε γάρout of a fleet of 1200 ships the poet has described those of the B. as carrying 120 men,1 and those of Ph. as carrying 50,2 specifying the largest and the smallest ἀνδρῶν is gen. of measure, as in τεῖχος ἑπτὰ σταδίων, almost confined to expressions of magnitude. The absence of a second art. with ἐλαχίστας is interesting: Shilleto rightly compares “νικᾷ δ᾽ πρῶτος καὶ τελευταῖος δραμώνAesch. Ag. 314, where the reference is to a team, of which every member wins; just as here the two things combined are items of one fleet. As to the numbers, in Thuc.'s time the average complement of a trireme was 200. Therefore a fleet of 1200 would require 240,000 men: but the rationalistic calculation of Thuc gives about 103,000 for the Trojan War. Of course 103,000 is a far larger number than was sent out by any one state in the time of Thuc. The number of men who sailed for Sicily in 415 B C. may be roughly set down as 36,000. But 10.5 shows that Thuc. thinks of the combined forces of all Greek states, and the forces in the field during the Peloponnesian War would exceed his calculation for the Trojan War. (It seems, nevertheless, that Thuc. has not made out a very satisfactory case: τῶν νῦν in 10.3 should have been qualified.)

7. ἄλλων depends on μεγέθους.

8. αὐτερέται— the fighting men served also as rowers. This was quite unusual in Thuc.'s day. See Il. 719 quoted above.

9. ἐν—as ἐν ... παραδόσει c. 9. 4, and ἐν νεῶν καταλόγῳ above.

11. περίνεως—the only passengers would be the kings and those immediately under them.

13. μέλλοντας ... ἔχοντας—though these agree with περίνεως, they apply in sense equally to all the Greeks. We should expect gen. abs.

14. μετὰ σκευῶν—the want of space is what Thuc. alludes to. The room not taken up by the rowers would be filled with materials.

15. κατάφαρκτα—i.e. the boats had no gangways projecting along them. These gangways (πάροδοι) were used only in ships with a deep draught, and Thuc means that, as there were none in ‘Homeric’ ships, those ships can have had only a small draught, and therefore there was not much room in them. At intervals along the πάροδοι were upright posts, and the open spaces between could be closed with curtains (παραρρύματα) in battle or rough weather, and thus served in a trireme to protect the bodies of the thranitae (top set of rowers). The word is generally explained ‘decked’, but so far as one can judge, the only connexion between κατάστρωμα, the deck from end to end, and κατάφαρκτος is that only ships that were κατάφαρκτοι had καταστρώματα. The Homeric ships, it is true, had no καταστρώματα, but this is not the point here.

16. λῃστικώτερονmore like pirate craft than warships.

[5] 17. πρόςas compared with. σκοποῦντι is dat. of the person judging, a frequent use of a partic.; cf. c. 21. 2

19. ὡςconsidering that.

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hide References (23 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (21):
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 314
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.719
    • Lysias, On the Property of Aristophanes, 52
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.10.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.10.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.1.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.21.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.9.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.43.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.4.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.65.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.9
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.127
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.18.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.94
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.31
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.4.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.72
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.29.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.95.2
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 23, 8
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
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