The History of Thucydides. Newly tr. into English...with very copious annotations...Prefixed, is an entirely new life of Thucydides: with a memoir of the state of Greece, civil & military, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war online

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Online LibraryThucydidesThe History of Thucydides. Newly tr. into English...with very copious annotations...Prefixed, is an entirely new life of Thucydides: with a memoir of the state of Greece, civil & military, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war → online text (page 1 of 59)
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'^'"^L*^^>* - !/- ^ /- /w/ - ./^' . .CAW— «— ^ '* .,V\ 1

Tie history ofThucydides

Thucydides, Samuel Thomas Bloomfield



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I. This same winter the Athenians decreed again to under-
take an expedition to Sicily \ with a greater force than that
under Laches, or Eurymedon, and, if possible, to subdue it,
though most of them were ignorant of the magnitude of the
island, and the number of its inhabitants, both Greeks and
barbarians, and not aware that they were undertaking a war
scarcely less serious than the one against the Peloponnesians.
I For the compass of Sicily is, for a merchant ship, not much

I less than eight days* sail \ and, though of such a size, it is


^ I Decreed again to umdertake^ ^c] There is no foreseeing how far their

I Unnnous dominion might not have been extended oyer Gr^s and among

^ foreign nations, but that the folly of democracy unrestrained woul<^

i of course, work its own ruin. The evident weakness in the political con-

duct of the only rival power, Lacedsemon, operat^ to the encouragement
of chieft and people. (Mitford).

• 7%e compass of Sicify, ^c] In the accounts of the andents respecting

the drcumference of Scily, as, indeed, of all islands, there is great

diversity. Several accounts are detailed by Cluverius Sic. Antiq. p. 54.,

' who concludes by giving his own calculation, formed in a pedestrian tour

round the island. He makes it six hundred miles, namely, by land. Eu*

J phorus, indeed, cited by Strabo, p. 365., makes it a voyage of ^e days and

I nights; though there some would read fori, ^. But if the nights as well as

I the days be taken into the account, the difference will 1^ but trifling.

I Plutarch de exil.§ 10. says it is four days' sail. But there, perhaps, for liif,

, we should read Un, ^irra, Dio Chr^sostom, p. 251, 41., says the island is

ten thousand two hundred stadia in circumference. But there, perhaps, for

1 M we should read M, i. e. five thousand. On this rough computation by

day^ sail see the note on 1. 9, 97. 1. And here it may be noticed, that

VOL. HI. ' B

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separated from the continent^ by only a distance of twenty
stadia ^ of sea*

Duker well defends Thucydides from the attacks of the matheroaticinns, as
Aot professing to give the real magnirude or geometrical contents of the
island, but only its reputed magnitude, and that in the rude calculation of
his age. Besides, it must not 1^ forgotten that he says, ** not much less

As to the diversity of estimates, it must be confessed to be great. But
we must bear in mind that Thucydides speaks of days' sail in a merchant
yessel. Some others, M'ho speak of fewer days' sail, may mean in a

This island is usually considered the largest in the Mediterranean. Such
Strabo considered it, and those who went after him, as also Diodorus. And
so Cluverius maintains it to be, pronouncing Scylax to be, therefore, wrong
in saying that Sardinia is the largest, and next to it Sicily. It has, how-
ever, turned out, on the recent accurate examination of both islands, by
the scientific Captain Smyth, that Sardima is the larger. Thus it appears,
that the very antient geographer just mentioned had, in this respect (as,
indeed, in some others), more knowled^ than those that came after him.
And, certainly, the square form of Sardinia is more favourable to magnitude
than the triangular one of Sicily.

9 Separated from the coniinent.] And (as is also implied in the phrase-
ology) thereby prevented from formingpart of it. For there is, as Bauer
has seen, a mixture of two phrases. The passage is imitated by Plutarch
Anton. 69. rov yap tlpyovrog i<r3/ioi). Procop. 166, 4. Svoiv oraUoiv SutpyO'
fuvri fJi^Tptft rb /i^ itn^aK&ootoQ ctvat. and 205, 20. fikrptft yi\p Tcoovrt^ rb fii)
linda\A<r<Tta tlvai Suipyerat *Pii>fiti. and de ^dif. 45, 26. x^Pp^^*l<^oc y^p —
h^fifp iuipyofiipij Ppaxtt /«)) vrjfTOQ ilvai. Hence may be emended Pausan.
1. 10, 17, 6. cl Sk Tj^v Kvpvov eraSiovQ ^9iv oif nXiovaQ itrb riJQ ^apdovg ^
bKTia ry Ba\d<r<ry Suipyktr^ai, where I conjecture r^c daXa<T<ni{, In the same
way the Latin writers use dissociare. So Sil. Ital. 1. 14., with reference to
this separation, says : ^ Sed spatium quod dissociat consortia terrse."

Perhaps this may be a proper place to advert to the notion that Sicily
was, by a violent convulsion, torn from Italy (of which, indeed, in the very
earliest ages, it was esteemed a part). Cluverius, 1. 1, 1. refers to m'an^ pas-
sages of Virgil, Sil. Ital., Ovid, Claudian, Statins, and Dionysius. This, he
saysy was endeavoured to be proved by Fazelli, whom he cites, and solidly
refutes; referring also to the opinions of Herodotus and other authors. He
truly remarks, that the opinion that islands, adjacent to continents, once
formed a part of them, and were torn from them, was common. Hence
Eubcea was thought to have been torn from Boeotia, Britain from France,
Ceylon from Hindostan, Japan from China, ftc. ftc. Finally, he refers to
some able remarks in refutation of the common notion, by Marian Valgu-
arnara, who, among other objections, shows that Italy and Sicily, thoush
they approach very near in one place, yet it is only in one place ; in the
rest they are too far asunder to suppose any such rent. Why, too, he asks,
should not many equally narrow isthmuses have been torn asunder as well
as this ? He also observes, that the Sicilian coast presents appearances the
farthest removed from such a supposition, by the view of so many beautiful
natural ports, and peninsulas^ all turned with exquisite exactness by the
great Architect.

* Twenty stadia.] Cluverius Sic. Antiq. 1, 5., thinks that Thucydides is
mistaken in this measurement ; as roost make it only twelve or thirteen. But
Poppo Proleg. 2, 498. observes, that the geograpnere of our day make it

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II. The mode in which it was of old colonised \ and the
nations which then occupied it were as follows':

The most antient inhabitants, as occupants of a part of the
country, are said to have been the Cyclops and Laestrygons,
c^ whom I am not able to tell the race, neither from whence
they went thither, nor whither they afterwards retired.^ What

half a German mile; which will raise it above the extent assigned by Tbu-
cydides. Arrowsmith's map makes it yet more. See also Dorville's
Sictila, p. 7. and also Brydone, 1, 85. Munter, p. 492. and Hoare, 2, 209.,
dted by Poppo. Certain it is that measurements at sea are vague, and
judgment by the eye deceiving.

» Colonised,] Or settled ; not inhabited, as Hobbes and Smith render.
On the subject of the early settling and antient inhabitants of Sicily, the
reader will do well to consult Cluver. Sic. Antiq. 1,2.
* « Cyclopt and lASstrygons, 4*<^.] Our historian professes to know nothing
about their descent, and only that they went to Sicily, and, in after times,
gradually disappeared. What he was not able to learn, it is not probable
that modem enquirers should be able to ascertain ; and yet such has been
attempted. Goeller de Situ Syr., p. 4., observes that Mannert Geogr. Gr.
and Rom. 4., p. 5., places them far north, about the latitude of the Danube.
Ukert and Zeune place them on the north coast of the Mediterranean sea.
Gossilin assigns them Latium; and this last was the opinion of Cluverius.

As to the part occupied by the LaKtr}'gons in Sicily, Spanheim thinks it
was the plain of Leontini. Dorville assents to the opinion of Cluverius;
et he maintwns that the Homeric Loestrygons arc not to be sought for in
5icily. *• The tract (Goeller continues) occupied by the Cyclops in Sicily, is
generally agreed, by antients and moderns, to have been on the east coast *
of Sicily, and near ^tna ; at least, if we put aside the Homeric Cyclops,
whose situation is doubtful." He concludes by referring to Creuzer Ant.
Hist. Gr., p. 47. seq. 62. sqq. 55—59. Ukert Geogr., vol. I. p. 2. p. 13. seq.,
and adverts, with a reference to Creuzer, to the cautious language employed
\^Y Thucydides whenever he relates any thing on the authority of poets.
C>n the present geographical or genealogical digression, Goeller refers to
Valckn. on Herod. 5, 71 ., and cites Livy, 9, 1 7. Nihil minus qusesitum a
principio hujus opens videri |>otest, quam ut plus justo ab rerum ordine de-
clinarein, varietatibus^ue distinguenclo opere et legentibusvelutdeverticula
amcena et requiem animo meo qusrerem. To me it appears that Thucy-
dides borrowed much of the information to be found in this digression from
Antiochus and other antient historians.

Fazelli Sicul. 1, 6^., adduces, as a proof, the former inhabitation of the
Cvclops, the gigantic bones and monstrous caves found up and down in the
island. That antiquary, however, might be deceived as to the nature of
these bones. Certainly, he was a most credulous person; and it is remark-
able that the same should be the popular belief in every country, namely,
that bones of giants are to be met with, the aboriginal inhabitants of the
country. All this is a faint remnant of venerable traditions, which took
their origin from a period when, as we learn from holy writ, "there were
Slants in the earth. But that any bones of that race should still be found
IS little crecBble, and has never been established by any certain proof. That
the gieantic race was confined to the very first generations of men, has
been the opinion of the most judicious enquirers.

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the poets have spoken of them, or what informatioa any one
may have gathered of them, must here suffice. The Si-
canians ° appear to have been after them, the first settlers,
nay, as they themselves say, were even prior to them, as being
the indigenous, or aboriginal, inhabitants: but, as has been
ascertained to be the truth, they were Iberians, and from the
river Sicanus in Iberia*, being expelled thence by the
Ligyans. From them the island then received the name of
Sicania, though formerly called Trinacria. ^ These Sicanians
even now inhabit those parts of Sicily towards the west.

After the taking of Ilium some of the Trojans, escaping
the hands of the Achaeans, went in vessels to Sicily, and in-
habiting the country bordering on the Sicani, they both toge-

^ 9 Sicamaru,'] Of these was the antient King Cocalas, spoken of by Diod.
^c. t.3. 221.y who savs that Dsedalus lived at nis court. That kine is siip-
posed to have resided at Agr^entum. On the early migrations of the Si-
canians, there is some interesting information in Dionvs. Hal. Ant., p. 17 and
18., who refers to Hellanicus L^b., Philistus, Antiochus, and Thucydides.

^ Tkey were Tberiatu, and from the river SScauut in Iberia,] Such, too,
as Cluverius remarks, was the opinion of Philistus, Ephorus, and Dionysius.

On the river Sicanus here spMoken of, Cluverius says it is nowhere men-
tioned except in Steph. Byz. ; and he supposes it to be the river Segrse,
which flows from the iTrenaean mountains, and runs into the Iberus.
Ukert, referred to by Goeller, thinks it the river Xucar,

» Sioama^ though formerly called Trinacria,] Some MSS. have Trinada,
which is often elsewhere found, as is not unfrequently Thrinacia, and even
sometimes Thinacria ; which last, however, seems to be a corruption. At
to the others, it is sometimes difficult to decide between them; as in
Timseus ap. Goeller de Situ Syr., p. 290.

Dorville Sic, p. 169. seqq., thinks that Sicily was called Thrinacift, or
Tiinada, from an antient city of that name, which was of barbarian and
Skilian origin. This, however, seems to be a wholly unfounded fancy,
especially as we can so much better account for the name on another prin-
^ple. The ratio u^ficationis in either case is essentially the same. Trin*
acria (for which Tnnacris, only another form, occurs in Ptolemy, Appian
HalienU 624., Ovid Fast. 4.} is the more usual name, and denotes the Mre^
coped idand. Trinacia (which is, I conceive, the earlier name, as found in
Homer, and appears in many later writers) signifies the triangular, or three-
oomered, islano. Nay, Orpheus calls Sicily the rpiyXwx^va vii<rov, i. e. the
threc'tined (and Lycophron Cass. 966. says, 'A^ai vpodeipov vijtTov uq
XtlKTnpiav), And so the Romans called it Triquetra. Hence, in Strabo,
p. 982. itrri ^ ri SurcXia rpUyiavoc Tif <rxvf^fh *"** ^"^ tovto Tptvcucpia fikv
rpSTtpov, Tpivoicic ^ ^^npov Tpoatiyopii^fi lurovonao^iiaa ti^mforipov. I
am surprised the editors should not have seen that Tpivaxia is the true
reading, or, perhaps, Bptvaxia, and then TpivaKia is for Tpivaxi^. The form
epwoKta b only a rougher pronunciation of the word, and, perhaps, a yet
more antient one. So Eustathius on Dionys. Peri^. (TpipoKiag) says, the
island was so called di^ rb iouskvai dpUoKu where it is strange the editors
should not have seen that the true redding is ePINAKI, the A and N being

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ther obtained the name of Elymians *, and their cities were
Eryx^ and Egesta,® There were also with them some

often confounded. This emendation is, indeed^ placed beyond doubt br
Sceph. Byz., who says kkkri^ri ^ o^iog bri ^pivagi lirriv ofioia. Now this will
be better understood, on remembering that ^ptva^ signified a three-^ned
fork, and also, in a general way, any triangular figure ; as is plain from its
being a name given to the irrvov, or winnowing-fan, which was of the form
of a A. Perhaps this dpivdK is the only evidence that rpivoQ (whence the
Latin trinus) was used by the Greeks, The name Trinacria, it may be
observed, was not confined to Sicily. Thus it was (as appears from Pliny
H. N. 5, 31.) sometimes given to Rhodes ; perhaps, however, rather as an
epithet than a regular appellation.

Cluverius Sic Ant. p. 48. says, the antients called the isdand irp6<nUKoc.
And he gives a whimsical representation.

« Efymians.] So called (as appears by Dionys. Hal. p. 4i, 42.) from
Elvmus, who, together with JEgestus, or Egistus, was the leader of the
colony firom Troy. Thus it was that the two chiefs founded two cities, the
latter £«€»ta, and the foimer £ryx ; though his people were called Ely-
mians, which soon became a name common to the mhabitants ofboth cities^
.Algistus had been born in Sicily; and» bv his early knowledge and subse-
quent connection with the inhabitants of that island, was, no doubt, induced
to there seek a refiige for himself and such of his countrymen as would join
in the expedition. The story is told by Dionysius Halicarnassus, Servius
on Vii^., Lycophron, and Tzetzes his Scholiast, besides other writers men-
tioned by Cluverius.

^ ' Etys.] The situation of this place (as well as of Ecesta) was admir-
ably selected ; being, indeed, one of the strongest in all Sicily. Its site is
accurately described by Polybius as a fiat piece of ground on the top of a
very lofty hill. The place was said by some to have been named after iu
founder Eryx, son of Butes and Venus. Perhaps, however, this was a fic-
tion, to do honour to the celebrated temple ot Venus at Ei^x, others re.
presenting it as founded by .£gistus.

The place is now called St. Juliano, and is occupied by a well-peopled
town and a castle. The situation is commandihg, bemg on one side on the
edffe of a perpendicular precipice.

» EgetiaJ} The orthography Egista, though also found in Lycophron,
Diodorus, and Strabo, is, by Cluverius, reckoned not so antient as Egesta
(whence the Roman Siesta), as found not only in so antient a writer as
Thucydides, but also in Pliny, Steph. Byz., and coins and inscriptions.

Now s was oflen prefixed to names b^nnins with a voweL iGgistns,
the founder of this city, is called by Vu-gil Icesteu So at 1. 1, Sunt et
Siculis regionibus urbes, Armaque, Trojanoque a sanfl;uine clarus AceUet.

The situation of Egesta was a very fertile one, beanng some resemblance
to that of Troy, for which reason the settlers called the two rivers near it,
the Scammander and the Simois. From the river Himera to Panormus
Strabo reckons /«/Xia \k • : thence to the emporium of the Segestans /3\ :
thence to Lilybsum X^. That emporium is said to have been at the present
Castel k Mare ; and Egesta, at St. Barbara. The ruins of this town present
several buildings of the grandest kind, especially the temple at Egesta,
which Duppa says is one hundred and sixty-two feet long, sixty-six wide,
with six columns in front, and fourteen on each side^

* Pbppo conjectures k8, referring to Hoare ; probably the true readiDg is ««.

B 3

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Phocians ^, who in their way from Troy, were then ^® driven
by a storm first to Libya, and afterwards from thence to

As to the Siculi (Sicilians), they passed over from Italy'
(for there they had inhabited), flying before the Opicians ^',
having (as it is said, and seems probable) watched the op-
portunity afforded by a brisk and favourable wind to cross
over '^ on rafts ^^, and probably making the voyage by other
methods.'* Nay, there are yet Siculi in Italy: and the
country was called Italy from Italus, a certain king of the
Siculi *^ so called. These having passed over in great force

> Phodatts,] Here Bochart, Geograph. Sacr. p. 630., thinks our author
under a mistake.

'0 Then,] Ton, i. e. about the same time with the Trojans. Not " after-
wards/* as Smith renders. The word was omitted in some MSS., probably
from ignorance of its sense.

>i Opiciant.] That these were the same wit|i the Ausonians is shown,
from the historian Antiochus, by Strabo, p. 37 1. A. See Niebuhr, Hist. Rom.
t. 1. p. 51., and especially p. 25, 33, 48. Also sit. et orig. Syr. p. 13, not.
Wacnsmuth Hist. Rom. p. 24. (Goelier\ The Antiochus here mentioned
by Goelier was the most antient of all writers on Sicil}', bein^ somewhat
prior to Thucydides. He wrote a history of Sicily, from the time of Co-
calus down to the second year of the eighty-ninth Olympiad, in nine books;
the same number as that adopted by Herodotus, probably from imitation.
There is little doubt but that Thucydides made use of the history of An-
tiochus in his own work ; but how far we are not enabled to say, the frag-
ments of Antiochus being very few and short.

« Watched the opportunity, cj-c] Troo^ftbv is not correctly rendered by
the commentators, ttrait. The word nere signifies trajectio, pottage or
fern/ ; or rather the opporiunily of making it. So Polyb. 5, 94, 3. rtiptiy
rr^v avvovov, observare tempus concilii.

*3 iCaf/t] So Hesych. (uXa. U ffvvdkovei Kai o^rto trXiovetv. The word
properly signifies vav^ (txc^ui, a bark, or any thing on which to float, n^ade
for the occasion, and not regularly formed.

•* Other methods.] Namely, by means of swimming, either with or with-
out the assistance of casks, bladders, and such other helps, including that
of hanging by the tails of horses. That the distance was not too great to
be swam over, is certain by the testimony of historians, that, at the
storming of Messena by the Carthaginians, many of the inhabitants swam
across to the Italian shore.

The expression avs/iov jcarcuvroc denotes a brisk wind^ and is, by custom,
used only of Sifavourable one.

»* King of dieSicuU,] I have here followed the reading adopted, with
reason, by the recent editors, Siculi for Arcadet, That Italus was king of
the SicuH, is certain from Antiochus, cited by Dionys. Hal. p. 10, 33. How-
ever, as the Siculi are by Antiochus and Dionysius said to have been
(Enotri; and as Dionysius himself, at p. 255, 10. narrates, that the CEnotri
came originally from Arcadia, so Goelier thinks either 'ApKA^wv is a giott
on £cccX£v, or Thucydides so wrote, as knowing that the (Enotri were from
Arcadia ; and the same with the Siculi. The latter supposition, however,

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to Sicily, and defeated in battle the Sicani, drove and confined
them to ^^ the southern and western parts of it, and made
the island be called instead of Sicania, Sicilia, and having
possessed themselves of the best parts of the country, they in-
habited there for nearly three hundred years after they had
crossed over, up to the arrival of the Grecians in Sicily. And

Online LibraryThucydidesThe History of Thucydides. Newly tr. into English...with very copious annotations...Prefixed, is an entirely new life of Thucydides: with a memoir of the state of Greece, civil & military, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war → online text (page 1 of 59)