9.And to me it seemeth that Agamemnon got together that fleet, not so much for that he had with him the suitors of Helen bound thereto by oath to Tindareus as for this, that he exceeded the rest in power.
For they that by tradition of their ancestors know the most certainty of the acts of the Peloponnesians say that first Pelops, by the abundance of his wealth which he brought with him out of Asia to men in want, obtained such power amongst them, as, though he were a stranger, yet the country was called after his name;and that this power was also increased by his posterity.For Eurystheus being slain in Attica by the Heracleidae, Atreus, that was his uncle by the mother, and was then abiding with him as an exiled person for fear of his father for the death of Chrysippus, and to whom Eurystheus, when he undertook the expedition, had committed Mycenae and the government thereof, for that he was his kinsman;when as Eurystheus came not back (the Mycenians being willing to it for fear of the Heracleidae, and because he was an able man and made much of the common people), obtained the kingdom of Mycenae, and of whatsoever else was under Eurystheus, for himself;
and the power of the Pelopides became greater than that of the Perseides.To which greatness Agamemnon succeeding, and also far excelling the rest in shipping, took that war in hand, as I conceive it, and assembled the said forces, not so much upon favour as by fear.
For it is clear that he himself both conferred most ships to that action and that some also he lent to the Arcadians.And this is likewise declared by Homer (if any think his testimony sufficient), who, at the delivery of the scepter unto him, calleth him, ‘of many isles and of all Argos king.’ Now he could not, living in the continent, have been lord of the islands, other than such as were adjacent which cannot be many, unless he had also had a navy.And by this expedition we are to estimate what were those of the ages before it.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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