LETTER OF NICIAS TO THE DEMOS AT ATHENS.
Although we were very successful at first, a change has taken place since the arrival of Gylippus. Having lost the last battle we have had to withdraw behind our fortifications, and are now rather in the condition of besieged than of besiegers.
1. ἐν ἄλλαις πολλαῖς ἐπιστολαῖς ἴστε
, where we expect ἐκ
, is due possibly to the original pf. meaning of εἰδέναι
: “you have seen (read) in many letters.” Kühn. 431, 1, 3) a. Kr. compares Dem. XLIV. 60, μεμαθήκατε ἐν τοῖς ἐν ἀρχῇ εἰρημένοις
. Cf. Cic. de Nat. D. i.26.72
, ut videmus in scriptis. Compare also the use of ἐν
in expressions of decisive authority, as iii.53.3
(which Vat. omits no doubt only in consequence of the similar endings) helps to give point to the following οὐχ ἧσσον
: “you have frequently had information; now, however, it is more important than ever that you learn the truth and determine accordingly.” Cf. c. 8. 4.
ἐν ᾧ ἐσμέν
: in what condition we are.
Cf. c. 14. 12; vi.6.30
. For neut. of pron. to indicate condition, measure, degree, etc.
, see Kr. Spr.
43, 4, 4 and 22.
4. μάχαις ταῖς πλείοσι
: order as in 8, μάχῃ τῇ πρώτῃ
, παρασκευῇ τῇ πάσῃ
, and i.11.13
, μέρει τῷ ἀεὶ παρόντι.
: Thuc. construes κρατεῖν
, when connected with μάχῃ
) or μαχόμενον
), with the acc.; so also sometimes when μάχῃ
is not expressed, but the whole context points to it (as ii.39.18
); otherwise always with the gen.
: taken strictly in point of time (οἰκοδομησαμένων . . . ἦλθε Γύλιππος
), it would refer only to the wall of circumvallation, so far as it was finished, and to the round fort on Epipolae; but ἐν οἷσπερ νῦν ἐσμέν
and the following ἀνεχωρήσαμεν ἐς τὰ τείχη
show that also the three forts built on Plemmyrium after the arrival of Gylippus are included.
G. 152, N. 2; H. 998. Cf. i.65.15
: “in the battle on the next day.” See on c. 5. 20, and Herbst, Gegen Cobet
, p. 34. Cf. Plut. Nic.
19, εἰς τὴν ἐπιοῦσαν ἡμέραν κτἑ.
11. τὸ πλῆθος
: “the superior number,” as in iv.10.16
. This superiority is explained by οὐδὲ γὰρ . . . τοῦ ὁπλιτικοῦ
, since always a part of the foot-force was occupied in guarding the walls (here esp. the wall of circumvallation).
: cf. c. 6. 16.
: = μὴ παρεῖναι
(or as Vat. reads, μὴ δυνατὸν εἶναι
). Cf. ii.97.23
in this sense always with the neg.— ἢν μή τις
: only here in Thue.—τὸ παρατείχισμα
: here, and in c. 43. 7, 35, the Syracusan cross-wall (τὸ ἐγκάρσιον τεῖχος
, c. 7. 5) since now it had passed the Athenian περιτείχισμα
: obj. of πολιορκεῖν, ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς
subj. of πάσχειν
. Compare similar order in c. 75. 40.
: restrictive, as in iv.48.24
. Kr. Spr.
62, 1, 4.—τῆς χώρας
: part. gen. depending on ἐπὶ πολύ
. G. 168; H. 730 e. Cf. c. 38. 1; 39. 4; 40. 18; 65. 7; i.50.6
: in local sense, over a great extent.
43, 4, 3.