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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to ffuess. He is inclined to think that they affected to believe the wealth
of the Egestsans. It is, however, more natural to suppose that they were
purposely selected, as weak and sanguine characters, and (being devoted to
their party) willing to believe, and ready to report all that would be accept-
able to their employers ; ver^ much like the military agents sent by the
British government to Spain, in the earlier part of the peninsular war.

On tne other hand, the commissioners sent by the three commanders
from Corcyra would be persons of a different character, persons on whose
judgment and impartiali^ entire reliance might be placed. And their pur-
pose being (as Mitford says), not to procure partial evidence to promote a
decree for the expedition, but to find means (for what would now be a prin-
cipal object of Alcibiades himself) to prosecute its purpose, they made strict

' Tick counsel on the present posture of affairs.] When it came to be
debated what should be the fint measures of the armament, the three
generals difiered, nearly as might be expected from their difierence of cha-
racter ; and each had plausible ground for his opinion. (Mitford.)

© T%e opinion of Nicias was, ^c] Nicias, experienced, prudent, from
the first little satisfied with his command, and now in ill health, proposed
to relieve ^esta, which was the primary object of their instructions ; and,
unless the ^^tseans could fulfil their engagement to furnish pay for the
whole armament, or readier means should occur than yet appeared for re-
storing the Leon tines, not further to risk the forces or waste the treasures
of the commonwealth. (Mitford.)

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part home (unless, in a short time, or by some unexpected
occurrence, they should be able to benefit the Leontines, or
bring over some of the other cities), and not bring the state
into peril, while they were expending their own wealth.^^

XL VIII. But Alcibiades urged ^ that they ought not, after
coming forth with such a force, return home dishonourably,
and without effecting their purpose ; but should open a cor-
respondence ^ with all the cities except Selinus and Syracuse,
and should try what could be done with the Siculi, to detach
some from the Syracusan interest, and others to bring over
as friends and allies, so that they might thence procure pro-
vision and troops.® They should (he said) first try to per-
suade the Messenians (for they were situated at the very pas-
sage and approach ^ to Sicily, and would afford a port and a
most opportune naval station ^ for the armament), and having

10 Bring the state into peril, 4*0.1 Of the various modes which have been
proposed of taking the words of tne original, the simplest and truest seems
to be that of the Scholiast, which I have followed. That of Stephens is.
indeed, specious, but not solid. How very expensive the expedition had
been to individuals, we know from what has preceded.

The phrase Kiv^wtitiv ry ttoXh is rare, but it has occurred once before
(supra, c. 10.), and b found, as Stephens in his Thesaurus tells us, in He-

1 But Alcibiadet urged, ^cJ^ Alcibiades, whose temper was impetuous,
but his mind capacious, and his abilities universal, elated with the extraor-
dinary effects which his first essay in political intrigue had produced in
Pelgponnesus, and not dejected by disappointments for which ne was more
prepared than his colleagues, had formea his own plan for laying the found-
ation of extensive conquest, and persevered in it (Mitford.)

2 But should open a correspondence, ^c] Or negotiation. Namely, by
embassy or message ; for the literal sense of ImKtipvKtvta^ai cannot here be
admitted, since the Athenians did not consider any others as enemies but
Selinus and Sjrracuse, and to the former, therefore, the sending heralds
would be out of place.

Mitford introduces this clause with, ** Yet be would not disapprove pru-
dent, or even cautious measures."

3 To detach some, ^-c] Mitford well para^ihrases thus : •* In some places,
perhaps, zeal in the Syracusan interest mi^ht be merely slackened; in
others, defection from it might be procured : m some, supplies of provisions
only might be obtained ; in others, auxiliary troops.*'

* Passage and approach,] As it were, bridge and threshold.

* Naval station.] Goeller, in a very instinctive note (after Duker and
Schasfer), satisfactorily proves that i'pdpfufriv is here the true reading. Tlie
most important matter he brings forward is as follows : " dpftiZiiv et opfiV^t'
ff^ai respondent proxime prascedenti, et verbo ipfitiv, quae quietem expri-
munt, at hpfiiKiiv et medium ejus significant motum et actionem : naves in
statione locare, in ancora locare, vid. Lexic. Polyb, s. v. Thom. M. p. 656.

O 3

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brought over these cities % and ascertained with whose aid
they should carry on the war ^, to then make their attack on
Sjrracuse and Selinus, unless the one would come to an agree-
ment with the Egestaeans, and tlie other would suffer them
to restore the Leontines. ^

XLIX. As to Lamachus ^, he pronounced it as his decided^
opinion that they should proceed against Syracuse^ and as
speedily as possible; and carry the war to the gates of the

hpfAiZutf rb IWifUviZia — QovKvdidric voXKoKtc, Thucyd. 3, 76. 7, 50. adde
Hesych. in hpfuaov, Hinc 'dpfiurtg, 'n-poaopfwris (quo yocabulo Schol. ad
Thucyd. 4, 1, 53. udtur ad illustrandam vocem Trpo(j€6\ri, nam hpfii<ns et
inde ducta non solum si^ificant actionem locandi navem in statione, sed
ipeam stationis opportunitatem).'*

Those cUiet,] Namely, those of the Siculi, and Messene.

7 Ascertained with whose md, 4t?.] Mitford paraphrases thus : ^ When
trial had been duly made what might be done by n^otiation, when they
were fully assured who were determined enemies, and who were, or might

Erobably be made, friends, then they should have a clearer view of the
usiness. before them.**

' Unless the one wouldy 4*^.] Mitford, who has so carefully paraphrased
the rest of this report of the speech of Alcibiades, omits this part, though
extremely important, because it shows more moderate and pacific views
than could have been expected from Alcibiades. And upon the whole, the
counsel was more judicious than that of Nicias. It was, perhaps, no good
policy to go out to Sicily, especially with so large a force, and with avowed
intentions of hostility to Syracuse and Selinus. But having gone> the
credit and true interest of the state did seem to require that they should
not return without effecting something. And as so powerful an armament
was evidently meant, not for Selinus, but Syracuse, it was the part of
policy to take the bull by the horns, and, as soon as they had tolerable co-
operation of allies, proceed against Syracuse, while the neglect of prepar-
ation, occasioned by the imperfect constitution of that city, made it very

This, then, was unquestionably the most judicious plan of conquest to
be aimed at. Whether that should have been the aim, is another afbir.
In fact, the plan of Alcibiades, though it seems prudent and even cautious
on paper, would never, by so impetuous and ambitious a character, have
been acted on in its true spirit. Had that plan been cordially adopted by
Nicias and carried into effect by his prudence, the disasters of Athens
would have been infinitely less. But Nicias, so far from heartily adopting
any plan for such distant war, was engaged in it much against his will and
with a presentiment that ruin would ensue; and, therefore, no plan was
likely to prosper in his hands. Some points of resemblance may be ob-
served between the situation of Nicias and that of our meritorious, but un-
fortunate. Sir John Moore in Spain.

1 LamachusJ] Mitford describes him as much of a soldier and little of
a politician, but experienced in the captious and greedy temper of the
people, his sovereign.

8 Decided^ 'AvriKpi>c literally signifies^ unhesitatin^fy, sur le champ.

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city, whilst yet the inhabitants were unprepared, and in the
most alarm. For it is at the first (he said) that an army is
most the object of apprehension, but if it delay its appearance ^,
men take courage, and at the sight of what they dreaded,
rather conceive contempt Whereas, if a sudden attack were
made, whilst the people were fearfully expectant, they might
most gain the mastery, and should in all respects afiright them,
both by the sight of the force (for now they would make the
greatest show), and by the expectation of what they should
suffer ^ especially contemplating the immediate peril of battle.

It was likely, too, that many were left outside in the coun-
try^, from a disbelief that they would come. And if they,
should even have betaken themselves to the city, the army
would still be in no want of money and goods ^ should it be
once master of the field, and fairly set down before the city.

The rest of the Siceliots, he said, would thus be more dis-
posed ^ not only to withhold assistance firom the Syracusans,
but to come over to them, and would not make delays, as look-
ing round to see which should have the upper hand. -As to a
naval station ® for them to retreat to, and make their sallies
from, Megara ^ he said, should be taken for that purpose, as

3 AppearoTice.] Literally, " coining into sight."

* By the expectation of what they should suffer,] Smith very well repre-^
sents the meaning thus, ^ by the forebodings of their hearts what miseries
were likely to ensue."

^ It^ was likefy, too, that, 4rc.] Namely, when the rest took refuge
there. '

Would still be in no want of money and goods,] ^ And thus," Mitford pa-
raphrases, '' they should acquire means to prosecute the war, without the
invidious measure of applying to Athens for money." Thucydides, how-
ever, says nothing that glances at the probability of '' the other towns of
the territory immediately falling into the hands of the Athenians," or,
'' that the Syracusans would be provoked to risk a battle; '^ which Mitford
introduces into his paraphrase.

7 Would thus he more disposed, 4^.] " A victory," as Mitford well para-
phrases, ** would do more towards procuring alliance among the Sicilian
cities, than negotiation for twenty years.

8 Naval station.] Or rather, ''harbour for laying up the ships in the

d Megara.] Otherwise called the Hybla Minor, or Geleatis, which had
been seized by Gelo, and, after that time, had been graduallv abandoned,
and was, therefore, neglected and defenceless. One difficulty, however*
occurs, namely, that the place is represented in the maps as being some-
what mUmd; whereas, the present passage will prove that it had a port of
some sort : that must have been the mouth of tne river Alabus.

G 9

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being deserted, and at no great distance ^^ from Syracuse,
whether by sea or land.

L. Lamacbus, though he spoke thus, yet nevertheless him-
self, too, acceded to the opinion of Alcibiades.^ After this,
Alcibiades having passed over in his own ship^ to Messene, and
held some communication with the citizens respecting alli-
ance, but without success, receiving only the answer, *^ that
they would not admit the army into the city, but would grant
them a market outside of the walls ^,^' he made sail back to
Rh^um. Having then manned ^ sixty ships out of the whole,
and taken provisions aboard, the commanders immediately
coasted to Naxus, leaving the rest of the armament with one
of the commanders at Naxus.^ And on the Naxians agreeing
to receive them ® into the city, they passed on to Catana. And
on the Catanaeans refusing to admit them (for there were there
some persons who were attached to the Syracusan interest 7),
they passed on to the river Terias ® ; and having encamped
there for the night ^, on the following day they sailed in line

^0 At HO great t^tance.] About fifteen miles by land, but more by

1 Acceded to the ojjwion of Alcibiades,] It was necessary that be should
come over to the opinion 'of one or other of the two commanders, since it.
seems neither would adopt his counsel, which, even to Alcibiades, seemed
too hazardous ; though, upon the whole, it was, perhaps, the safest course^
and would, probably, have been successful, if the forces sent, in the two
separate armaments, had gone forth at once. Certain it is that Alcibiades
was, in many respects, better adapted to act on his own plan» as having a
great talent for negotiation and intrigue.

< JJii own shipJ] Namely, that which he had himself equipped, ftc^
according to the law, and of which he was trierarch*

9 Market outtide of the walit.] Mitford interprets this, ** permission for
the Athenian armament to contract for provisions throughout their terri*

-^ MemnedJ] The ^vfi in KffirXfip^avTac refers to this squadron being
composed out of the three divisions into which, as we are before told, the
fleet had been distributed.

3 One of the commandert,] Namely, Nicias, who bad no mind to the
business, and whose health would not admit of much exertion.

^ Agreeing to receive them.] Such must here be the sense of ^c^a/uvcay
ry vdXti, where ry nSKti is for il^ Tijv frSkiv.

f Attacked to the Syracusan interest.] Or, who wished well to the Syra-
cusan cause; as Theopomp. ap. Steph. Byi. 771. A.

• Terias.] On which Leontini was situated.

9 Encan^yed there for the night.] For the Greeks fdways availed them-
selves of any opportunity of sleeping on shore; their, small and shallow

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towards Syracuse, with the rest of the ships ^% for ten they had
sent forward with orders to sail to the great port, and ol^^ye
whether any fleet is launched, and to proclaim from the ships
(approaching to the shore *'), ^^ that the Athenians were oome^
out of alliance and affinity, to reinstate the Leontines in their teiv
ritory ; that, therefore, such of the Leontines as were in Syra-^
cuse might fearlessly come off to the Athenimis as to friends
and benefactors/' After having made this proclamation, and
reconnoitred both die city and the ports, and the situation of
the country from which they were to carry on the war, they
sailed back to Catana*

LI. And now, an assembly being called, the Catmifleans
would not admit the armi/, but the commanders they desired
might enter, and speak what they had to say.^

And as Alcibiades was haranguing and the attention of
the citizens was turned to the assembly ^, the soldiers con-
trived unobserved to break through ^ at a postern ill walled

vessels being ill adapted for that purpose; and hammocks had not then been

^"^ With the rest of the ships, 4^c,] The Scholiast absurdly understands
this of those at Rhegium ; and the translators are perplexed.

>i Approaching to the shore,] So Plutarch, Nic. c. 14. Kal Atovrivovg
Itri ri^v oiKtiav &7roKaXov<rai Sid icripVKOQ airai, XofA^dvovtri vavv woXtfiiay
traviSaQ KOfiiZovaav, tls dg AirtypA^vro tcard ^vXAe airo^c o\ '^vpcmovtnou
Ktifttvcu d^diru^tv rrJQ rrSXtktg Iv Uptf Atbg 'OXvfiviov, rdrt irphg iikramv md
KardXoyov r&v iv ^Xtjcc^t /JLiTtiiifi^riffav, «C oiv vvb r&v 'A^fivaimv diKowraM,
irpbg To^s ffrparfjyovg iKOfiur^rjeav, icai rh TrXijdoc <5^ij ruv dvofidrwVy 4%^'
(T^tjeav ol fidvTitg, fir) vort &pa rh xp^^^ Ivrav^a rov xpi^ff/iov ir^Daiyoc,
Xiyovngf utg 'ASrtivaTot Xriyl/ovrai ^vpcucowriovg Urravrag,

1 7^ Catarueans would not, ^c!\ Apprehension either of the Athenian
armament or of a party among their own people, had so ftur wrought a
change in the minds of the Catanaeau leaders, that they consented to admit
the Athenian generals to declare their purpose to the assembled people.
The forces being landed, were stationed without the walls, while the genmla
went into the town 5 and Alcibiades undertook to address the Catanaead

Frobably, the proposal was made at the suggestion and by the intrigues
of Alcibiades. We have before observed that this admittance of ^enmU^
especially when (like Brasidas or Alcibiades) eloquent and insinuating,
seldom failed to accomplish the wh(de object in view.

< Hie attention of the citixens was turned to the assemhfy*] Such seems to
be the sense of vphg n)v iKKXrieiav TtTpafifUvtav, with which the translators
seem to have been perplexed. Of this sense there is another example at
2, 25, 7rp6g rb rtixog Ttrpafifikvov,

3 Contntfed unobserved to break through, 4rc,] Mitford ascribes this to

O 4

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lip ^5 and having entered into the city, walked up and down the
market-place.^ When, however, those Catanseans who were
in the Syracusan interest saw the army within, they were
seized with alarm, and some few immediately stole off. The
rest decreed to conclude an alliance with the Athenians, and
desired the commanders to fetch the rest of the armament from
Rhegium. After this, the Athenians passed over to Rhegium,
and then removed with their whole force to Catana, and, on
their arrival, formed a camp.

LII. And now word was brought ^ from Camarina, that if they
would go thither, the Camarinaeans would join their side, and
that the Syracusans were manning their fleet They therefore
coasted along with their whole forces, first to Syracuse, and, when
they found no navy then equipped and manned ^ they coasted

mere wantonness in the soldiery ; but it is far more probable that the thing
was done by the secret orders of Aldbiades. And so Polysenus must have
thought, or he would not have inserted thb affidr among the ttratagems of

^ lU uHfUed tip,] The translators and commentators interpret this iU
built; but a gate cannot well be said to be buUi at all. Besides, the iv will
admit of no such sense, but requires that which I have adopted. It is true
that the word is sometimes applied to the erection of a tower, or fort»
asThucyd. J, 51 and 85. 4, 92. 8, 4 and 84. Plutarch t.9. 281. Reisk.
.fischines 1, 70, 15. Lucian t.2, 97. oUiav IvtiMco^SuttTo, Theocr. Idyll. 17,
82., to omit other passages which I have noted. And thus the term has,
perhaos, an allusien to Uie dtep foundation* which were usual in such cases.
This, however, cannot well apply to a gaie. The sense, then, is doubtless
that which I have assigned ; of which tne following examples may suffice r
Arrian JEL A. 6, 29, 16. n)v ^vpiSa Si d^vioai, rd akv a^T^c X£dy ivoacoSo^
H7)9avTa, Diodor. Sic. t. 4. 125 and 18(X And so the Latin irurdijicare ; as
Caesar B. Civil, i, 27. Portas obstruit, vices plateasque insedificat. See

We may, therefore, dispense with Bauer's conjecture, e^Twc.; avwir.

would have been more probable, but no alteration is necesdarv.
^ Walked t^ and down the market-place.] Or, in a general way, in foro

versabantur. To the examples and references of Duker I add Aristoph.

Lys. 633. Herod, 3, 137, 4. t^povric ^^ M«v dyopd^ovra. So that in St. Matt.

20, 5. tXStv aXKovg iar&raQ iv dyopf, tne more classical Greek would be

&yof>dZovTac, See also Valckn. on Herod. 2, 35, 7. Alberti on Hesych. in

^opo^iv, and Spanheim on Julian, p. 142.

> Word woi ^ouj^/.] No doubt, this had been brought about by the

intrigues of Alcibiades. " It soon,'* Mitford observes, ** appeared that the

protect of Alcibiades to strengthen the Athenian interest bv negotiation^

andf proportionally, of course, to weaken the Syracusan, had been exten-

^vely founded."

^ Equipped and manned.] Both significations seem included in irktipov^


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along to Camarina, and touching at the shore, they sent a
message. But the citizens would not admit them, alleging
that they were bound by oath not to receive the Athenians
when coming with more than one ship, unless they should them-
selves send for more.^ Having thus failed of their purpose,
they sailed away ; and landing on a certain part of the Syra-
cusan territory, and committing some ravage, the Syracusan
horse having come up and cut off some stragglers of the light-
armed % they departed for Catana.

LIII. And here they meet with the ship called the Sa-
laminia^, arrived from Athens to fetch Alcibiades (to order him
home to defend himself against the charges brought against
him by the state), and also for certain others of the sol-
diers, accused Xxrith him, some as guilty of impiety respect-
ing the mysteries, others about the a£bir of the statues of
Mercury. For the Athenians, after the armament had
sailed ^ made as strict an inquisition ^ as ever concerning
what was perpetrated respecting the mysteries and the sta-
tues ; and not examining or cross-questioning the informers.

9 Alleging that they were bound by oath^ 4*^.] Such is the sense univer-
sally assigned to the passage. But surely the last words have thus a very
strange meaning ; f6r if they were bound not to admit the Athenians with
more than one ship, how could their oaths permit them to send for more ?
I suspect that the oaths here mentioned were oaths on a treaty with the
Athenians, by which treaty it was agreed and ratified by oath that they
should not be obliged to receive the Athenians with more than one ship,
unless they should voluntarily send for more. We may, therefore, render
thus: alleging that the oaths with them (i. e. the Athenians) were to receive
them, &c.

^ Light-armed,] These were chiefly employed on such excursions.

i StdaminiaJ] See note on 5, 35,

6 For the Atheniant, after the armament had sailed^ 4rc,] Since the arma*
ment sailed for Sicily, Athens had been experiencing the worst evils of
democratical phrenzy. The oligarchal party, unequal to open contention
with the democratical, had resolved upon the bold project of making
democracy itself their instrument for exciting popular passion, with the hope
of directing it to the promotion of their own interest. Instantly afier tne
departure of the fleet, they became sedulous in diffusing rumours and
observations that might excite suspicion and alarm. (Mitford.)

7 Made as strict an inquitition,] 'Eiri^^rfyffic is not well rendered by
Hobbes's enquiry; for the force of the Itti is intensive, and, in fact, the word
is generally used to denote examination into crimes of the worst kind. So
Dionys. Hal. 1, 12S and 130. ISO, 205, 256. Liban. Orat. de Uls. Jul. C. 8.
lirii^rfrrjffti rov aifiart, So Psalm 9, 12. " when he maketh mquisition for

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but in a suspicious spirit admitting whatever deposition
they would oflFer *, through their belief of bad men, ap-
prehended and imprisoned the most worthy and respectable
citizens, reckoning it more expedient ^ to strictly examine ^
and find out the affair, than that any person, of however good
reputation, when once impeached by the villany of an informer,
should eso^e unquestioned. For the people knew by report
the tyranny of Pisistratus ^ and his sons to have been in the
end very grievous, and, moreover, that it was not at last over-
turned by themselves and by Harmodius, but by the LacedUB"
monians^ ; therefore, they were ever fearful, and regarded every
thing with suspicion and jealousy.

< Admitting whatever^ 4*^.] I have long been convinced that vdvra
(which I have here followed) is the true reading; and such has been
adopted by Goeller. There is an ellipsis of xard or ig, which is supplied by
Appian 1,472,88. «c ^ravra wv i^Stj wipihriQ,

The vic6imt»i must be referred to the persons accused, or to the public in
general. Mitford well paraphrases : '* fear, suspicion, and their certain
concomitant, a disposition to severity, thus gained complete possession of
the public mind.*'

^ Reckoning it more expedient, 4*c.] It was deemed better that just
men should suffer, than that the constitution should be endangered. Every
one was bent to discover, by any means, the plot and its authors. (Mit-

^ Strictly examine.] The translators are here all needlessly, and, I
think, unfaithfully, literal in rendering '* examined by torture." BarraviZto
has, indeed, that force, but only with an accusative of person, not of
thing, as here, where it would be very harsh. To the examples in Steph.
Thes. I add the following. Aristoph. Lys. 478. dXKd fiaaaviaHov roit troi

7 For the people knew by report the tyranny ofPitittratut, 4"^.] It would
not at first strike any one what this has to do with the present case. But,

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 11 of 59)