31.For this preparation, being the first Grecian power that ever went out of Greece from one only city, was the most sumptuous and the most glorious of all that ever had been sent forth before it to that day.Nevertheless, for number of galleys and men of arms, that which went forth with Pericles to Epidaurus and that which Agnon carried with him to Potidaea was not inferior to it.For there went four thousand men of arms, three hundred horse, and one hundred galleys out of Athens itself, and out of Lesbos and Chios fifty galleys, besides many confederates that accompanied him in the voyage.
But they went not far and were but meanly furnished.Whereas this fleet, as being to stay long abroad, was furnished for both kinds of service, in which of them soever it should have occasion to be employed, both with shipping and land-soldiers.
For the shipping, it was elaborate with a great deal of cost, both of the captains of galleys and of the city.For the state allowed a drachma a day to every mariner;the empty galleys which they sent forth, being of nimble ones sixty and of such as carried their men of arms forty more, and the captains of galleys both put into them the most able servants, and besides the wages of the state, unto the [uppermost bank of oars, called the] Thranitae, and to the servants, gave somewhat of their own, and bestowed great cost otherwise every one upon his own galley, both in the badges and other rigging, each one striving to the utmost to have his galley, both in some ornament and also in swiftness, to exceed the rest.And for the land forces, they were levied with exceeding great choice, and every man endeavoured to excel his fellow in the bravery of his arms and utensils that belonged to his person.
Insomuch as amongst themselves it begat quarrel about precedency, but amongst other Grecians, a conceit that it was an ostentation rather of their power and riches than a preparation against an enemy.
For if a man enter into account of the expense, as well of the public as of private men that went the voyage, namely, of the public, what was spent already in the business, and what was to be given to the commanders to carry with them, and of private men, what every one had bestowed upon his person and every captain on his galley, besides what every one was likely, over and above his allowance from the state, to bestow on provision for so long a warfare, and what the merchant carried with him for traffic, he will find the whole sum carried out of the city to amount to a great many talents.
And the fleet was no less noised amongst those against whom it was to go for the strange boldness of the attempt and gloriousness of the show than it was for the excessive report of their number, for the length of the voyage, and for that it was undertaken with so vast future hopes in respect of their present power.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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