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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in fact, the people suspected that a plot for a revolution was at the bottom
of the whole business, and that Alcibiades was the rinsleader. " The power
and influence of Alcibiades (says Mitford), his magnificence, his ambition,
his unprincipled conduct, and his various extravagancies were made constant
subjects of public conversation. His abilities, at the same time, and even
his virtues, were compared to those by which the Peisistratids had acquired
the tyranny. The severities which had occasioned the expulsion of those
celebrated tyrants were then magnified tenfold ; the execration to which
their memory had been condemned by the party which had overborne
them, was alleged in proof of their enormities; and the circumstance that
the Athenians, unable to effect their own deliverance, had owed it to the
Lacedaemonians, was pressed upon public recollection.**

* JBythe Lacedcemonians,] i. e. by the aid of Cleomenes. See Herod. 5,
64. What the same author says at c. 70 of the same book, lU^aXi KXetcr^f-
via xal fttr airov aXXovc itSWovq 'A^rjvaitov, is to be referred to what is
related by Thucyd. 1, 1S6. ext., as is observed bv Valckn. Herodotus says
that the Alcmaeonidae were the authors' of the liberty of Athens. See
Valckn. on Herod. 5, 55. (Goeller.)

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LI V. NoW| the daring enterprise of Aristogiton and Harmo*
dius ^ was undertaken for a love adventure, which by relating
at large, I shall show that neither others, nor the Athenians
themselves, have spoken with any exactness concerning their
own tyrants, nor concerning any thing.

When Pisistratus died at an advanced age in the ty-
ranny % he was succeeded in the government not hy Hipparchiis,
as is generally supposed, but by Hippias, his eldest son.^
Now, Harmodius being in the flower of youth and beauty,
Aristogiton, a citizen of the middle rank% was his lover, and

» The daring enterprise of Aristogiton and Harmodius, 4rc.] The story
here introduce by Thucydides is also related by Pausan. p. 70. sq., Sc^lax,
Heraclidus de Polit. p. 430., Lucian t. 3. 875. seqq., Max. Tyr. Diss. 24^
Timseus 1, 454. Reisk. See also Herod. 1. 5, 55^ 7. All of which authori-
ties (together with those referred to by Duker). merit attention.

Still many may not see the reason for the historian's introducing the
story in such detail, especiall}^ as it is not a very decent one. The reason,
however, for his mentioning it was, in order to show that men, in their
natural love of liberty and their detestation of whatever wears the name of
tyranny, are often very ill informed of the natiu'e of that which they cen-
sure, or the circumstances connected with it. Of this the historian means
to say there was a memorable example in the case of Pisistratus and his
sons ; though, as the occurrences were of no remote date, it was singular
that so much error in opinion should have existed. The lesson meant to
be inculcated is, that we should endeavour to be well informed as to what
we censure, and to learn to be just even where we feel bound to censure
with severity. From what has been said, it is evident that Thucydides
could not suppress any circumstances, however disgusting to himself or
others ; and ne places what is most disgusting so prominently, and first
adverts to it, in order to show that merely personal, and which might then
be lightly regarded, circumstances had tended to rouse the resentment of
those redoubted patriots, Harmodius and Aristogiton. It is scarcely neces-
sary to say that we must judge Thucydides, in this instance, solely by his
age, when things, which we are taught by the wisdom from on high should
** not be so much as named among us," were adverted to with a coarseness
little accordant with the delicacy which, in matters of taste and, in some
respects, moral feeling, distinguished the antients.

« Tyranny.] The original rvpawiQ is not to be regarded as a term of
reproach anymore than rvpawoQ in the early Greek writers, where it
merely denotes one who exercises monarchical sway.

9 Hippias, his eldest son*] On the controverted question as to the seni-
ority or the two brothers, Hippias and Hipparchus, see Hudson and Duker.
Bv the former, indeed, it is considered as a disputable one; and he cites
Plato, Heraclid., and Clidemus, in favour of the seniority of Hipparchus,
But, as Bekker remarks, it is now agreed that Plato was not the author of
the dialogue called the Hipparchus. As to the other authorities, it is re-
marked by Duker that the words of Clidemus are not decisive; and that
those of Heraclides are very consistent with the hypothesis of Perizonius,
that the brothers held conjoint rule.

< A citizen of the middle rank.] As Duker has ^vcn but one example of
the phrase iikdOQ ttoXIttiq, the following may not be unacceptable : Heliod.

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had him in possession.^ But the fidelity of Harmodius being
tampered with by Hipparchus son of Pisistratus, he not repuls-
ing his solicitations, discovered the aSait to Aristogiton ; who,
stung with iove-jealousy, and fearing the power of Hipparchus,
lest he should take him by force, immediately laid a plan, such
as his rank in life would admit, of putting down the tyranny.
Meanwhile Hipparchus, after again making an attempt on
Harmodius, with no better success than before, was unwilling,
indeed, to use any violence, but contrived how he might put
an affront upon him *, in some secret way '', as if not on that
account For neither was he in the rest of his government
oppressive to the people, but conducted himself irreproacha-
bly.** Nay, in truth, those tyrants for the most part cultivated
virtue and discretion ^, and levied of the Athenians only a

1,9. *A^fivaiois T&v fUffow, Heliod. 1, 24. Plutarch Camill. 25. and
Sol. 14. Hence may be emended Alciphron 1. 5, 34. ol dk XotVot r&v
*A^ijv7)<Ti fuooTrXovTiav. where for the evidently corrupt reading fwffOTrXovrwv,
Perizonius corrected vtovXovrwv, But I prefer fucofroXinav, which word is
of the same form as veoTroXtViyc, ^offoXtriyc, tVoTroXiriyc, fietrovdffTtiQ, And
in ^sop. Fab. p t ^. dvt)p fnaonoXtbg, I coniecture fttcoTroXirrig, These are,
by some writers, called the ol Iv fUaift^ or ctd fU<Tov,

Finally, I cannot omit to introduce a most apposite and admirable pas-
sage on this subject to be found in Eurip. Suppl. 238 — 245. TpeTc ydp voXi-
T&v fupiStg, 01 fiiv SX^iot, 'Avto^fXtXc «, irXtidviav r' Ipiao' AtL Ol ^ oifK Ixov^
T€C, Koi tnraviiovTiQ /3tov, Ativoi, vifiovTig ry ip^Svip nXiiov fiipog, Eic roiiQ
Ixovrag KsvTp' Aifnaciv kokA, VXtixraaig vovtjputv vpotrraTHtv ^ijXov/uvot. Tptwv
H noipStv ij V pJkatfi (TwZti ir6Xtig,^K6(Tfiov ^vXarTovtt* iivrtv' Av r&liy itSXvq,
The sentiment is as true now as it was in the age of the poet, and wUl be
so as long as human nature continues what it is.

* Had him in poitestion,] Elxtv ai/rSv, Of this coarse use of the phrase,
Wasse adduces an example from Aristippus ap. Diog. Laert. 2, 75. And
Goeller refers to two examples of a similar sense (as used of a wife) in
Hom. Od. 4, 569. and II. 6, 398. But they are not similar, being only that
of St. Matt. 22, 28. ot iirrd Itrxov ai/Trjv. Yet the i<rxov being an equivocal
expression, St. Mark and St Luke might add the ywaiica verecundlS.

6 Put an affront upon himJ\ Goefler here aptly adduces from Heraldus
the following remark on the use of ^potrtiXaKurpiiQ : "npoTriyXawcr/idc dicitur
omne omnino injuiise et contumelise genus, sive re sive verbis factse ; item
sive de qua ibatur in jus sive de qua non dabatar judicium, et verbuoi erat
elegans atque usus communis, sed non legum, in quibus iifpic, a/jcio, jcarij-
yopia, Xoidopia, quae omnia trpoTrriXoKidftbg comprehendebat." He also
refers to Meier and Schcemann on Attic Process, pp. 327. 550.

1 Waif,] I here follow the conjecture of Levesque rfKJwy, approved by
Bekker and Goeller. Yet the textual reading, rcJiry, may very well be
defended in the sense, occasion^ opportunity, as in Acts, 25, 16. Ephes. 4,
27. andHebr. 12, 17.

9 Irreproachably,] i. e. so as not to excite envy or hatred.

» Cultivated virtue and discretion.] Or, evinced both virtue and ability.

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twentieth part ^^ of their revenue ; and they adorned the city^
carried forward the wars, and provided for the sacrifices verj
honourably. In other respects, too, the city was governed by
the laws formerly enacted, except inasmuch as they always
contrived that one of themselves should be in the offices. And
others of them exercised the annual office of archon at Athens,
especially Pisistratus son of Hippias, the tyrant, who bore the
same name as his grandfather, and who, when archpn, conse^
crated the altar of the twelve gods in the market-place and that
of Apollo in the Pjrthium." From that, in the market-place^
the Athenian people, afterwards lengthening the altar, effaced
the inscription. But that in the Pythium is even yet visible,
though in faded ^^ letters, with these words :

Pisistratus, from Hippias bom.
Of Pythian Phcebus, radiant God of day.

Chose thus the temple to adorn.
And thus record his own superior sway.

LV. Now, that Hippias held the government, as being the
eldest son, I can affirm, as knowing it by report more certainly
than others. It may also be known by this, that there seem
to have been sons to him alone of his legitimate brethren, as
both the altar shows, and the pillar set up in the citadel of
Athens, in which no son is mentioned either of Thessalus or
of Hipparchus, but of Hippias^i^, who were bom to him by
Myrrhine daughter of Callias son of Hyperochides. For it
was likely that the eldest should marry first. And that he

10 Only a twentieth parL'\ Whereas Pisistratus had taken a tenth, which
was lowered to a twentieth by his sons.

^^ In the Pythium,] i. e. the temple of Apollo (on which see 1. 2,15.),
or rether the sacred close, as we find by the inscry[>tion just after men*

'« Faded.] 'Afivdpbc seems to come from a (for Ufia) and fivSpog, ma-
didus, from uvBata, madeo, to be or grow damp or wet. Thus &fivdp6v is
well defined by Lennep, " cujus vestigia evanetcvnty quodque quasi lique^
scendo jfbrmam suam pristinam amittU ; adeoque, quod obscurum est, nee
dignosci facile potest." The word is old Attic and rare ; but occurs in
Plutarch Rom. 7. ypafiptdrufv dfivSpiov iyKtxapaytJ^^**^^' ^or dftvdpbc the
later writers used dfAavpbg (which I suspect to be of the same origin). So
Pollux, 5, 120. ypdfifiara — iftavpd, i^irijXa. With respect to the l^irijXdc,
by which Pollux explains ifmvpbi:, it is, I think, to be derived from Ucific,
and signifies what is gone or worn out.

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should be written on the pillar first after his father, was also
likely, as having possessed the tyranny. No, nor do I con-
ceive that Hippias would easily have kept the tyranny, if Hip-
parchus had died in the office, and himself had that day had
to occupy it himself. But because of the accustomed awe
with which the citizens were inspired, and the diligence with
which mercenaries ^ had been provided, he accomplished
the seizure of the government with abundance of security, and
was not like a younger brother, who had not before been
accustomed to the government, at a loss what to do. But so
it happened that Hipparchus being afterwards renowned by
the calamity which happened to him, gained also in succeed-
ing times the repute of having been tyrant.

LVL This Harmodius, then, who had repulsed his solici-
tations, he afterwards, as he had intended, threw into disgrace.
For afl«r having desired ^ the attendance of his sister to
bear a basket ^ in a certain procession, they dismissed her on
attending, alleging that they had never sent any such order,
inasmuch as she was not worthy. And Harmodius being
irritated at this treatment, Aristogiton, on his account, was
even more enraged. Whereupon, all the dispositions for the
attempt were concerted by them with those that were to co-
operate in the deed. They, however, waited for the great
Panatbensea, on which day alone it excited no suspicion for
those of the citizens who led the procession in arms to be col-
lected together.* It was planned that they should begin * the

1 Mercenaries,] Or, hired troops, in opposition to the unpaid titizen
soldier. A frequent sense of MKovpoQ, Tnese were, no doubt, the body
guards of the tyrant.

* Desired.] Or, warned by message.

> To bear a basket,] Such were borne by virgins of unblemished repu-
tation on all the festivals, but especially the Fanathensea. See Meurs. and
Perizon., referred to by uElian ; to which I would add the following illus-
tration from Aristoph. Lysist. 646. KifKavrj^opow iror ovoa HaTc xaXi), <rxova^
Ur^ddiov 6pfia^6v, See also Harpocration on jcav^^o/ooc, Irmisch on Hero-
dian, 1. 5, 5, 20., Theocrit. Idyll. 2, 66,, and the note of the Schol. in
Kiesling in loco.

* In arms to be collected together,] It seems that on other days, though
any were allowed to carry arms, they were not permitted to assemble m

A They should begin.] This may remind us of Brutus and Cassius on the
assassination of Csesar, who, no doubt, considered themselves as imitating
the example of Harmodius and Aristogiton.

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deed, but that those should immediately render them assist-
ance against the guards. Now th^ conspirators were not many,
for security's sake, and because they hoped that even those
who had not been privy to the deed, would, if any, ever so
few ^ should run the hazard, forthwith (especially as they had
arms) themselves cooperate in freeing their country.

LVII. When the festival arrived, Hippias, attended by
his guards ^, was arranging the solemnities outside of the wall,
at what is called the Ceramicus, directing in what manner each
procession should proceed. And now Harmodius and Aris-
togiton being armed with short swords ®, proceeded to the
execution of the deed. And as they sB.\t a certain person of
the conspirators conversing &miliarly with Hippias ^ (for he
was affable and courteous to all), they were alarmed, and
thought that they were informed against ^^, and would be im-
mediately apprehended. Therefore, upon him that had ag-
grieved them, and by whom they were brought into all this dan-
ger, they wished, if possible,first to revenge themselves ", and
forthwith rushing within the gates, they met with Hipparchus
near what is called the Licocorium '^, and, without reflection.

^ If any ever to few,] Such is the sense of 6ir6<roi o^, which I read
with Bekker and Goelier. Though the common reading may be defended
in the sense, *' in any manner whatever." To the examples of lexico-
graphers I add Agath. p. 11. med.

7 Guards,] These were called AvKoirodtc, on which see Hesvch. and the
commentators in loc. It is supposed that they were so called TOm wearing
wolPs skin boots.

8 SAort swords,] 'Eyxitpi^tov is generally rendered dagger. But it
should seem that Uie ivxctpt^ta, of the early Greeks, were not like our dag'
gers, but rather sometning between a sword and dagger. The word lite-
rally means a hand-^word,

As they saw a cerUan person of the conspirators conversing familiarly
with Hippias] Here again there is a strong resemblance to the affiiir of
Brutus and Cassius.

»o They thought they were informed agamst.] The translators render as if
vpayfta were to be supplied at lAtfiriyve^ai. But I prefer iavroi^Q : as at
^vXXjj^^(rf<r3oi just after. This use of the word with a person is rare ; but
an example occurs in Xen. Hist. 3, 5, Thiem. irpiv ah^io^ai Bn fAtfifi-
wrai. ^

i> Wished to revenge themselves.] Besides, they might think with Eurip.
Helen. 814^ ^p&yrag ydp ij fii/j bp&vrag H^iurv ^aviiv.

'« Leocorium.] This (as we learn from ^lian Var. Hist. 1. 12. c. 28.) was
a temple at Athens, of the daughters of Leos, Praxithea, Theopa, and
Eubule. These^ it is said, were put to death for the safety of the city of

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but especially instigated by passion ^^ (the one that of love-
jealousy, the other that of personal insult), immediately falling
upon him, struck and killed him. And Aristogiton for the
moment escaped the guards, from the concourse of people ;
but being afterwards apprehended he was not very mildly dealt
with.^^ As to Harmodius, he was slain on the spot.

LVIII. News of the deed being carried to Hippias at the
. Ceramicus, he immediately advanced, not to the place where
the thing was done, but towards the armed persons in the
procession, and reached them before they (who were far off)
knew of the occurrence ; and in his countenance dissembling
tlie calamity ^ he ordered them (pointing out a certain place)
to march thither, after having laid down their arms. This
they did, supposing that he was going to address a speech to
them.'^ But he having ordered the mercenaries (his guards)
to carry off their arms, proceeded to pick out those whom he
meant to criminate, and whoever was found with a dagger

Minerva, on being deliyered up by their father, Leos, in consequence of a
Delphian oracle, which intimated that the city could not be saved unless
they were immolated. (Duker.)

» Especially imtigated by passion,] Thucydides means to say that the
deed was not done on consaence and principle, but solely from passion,
and private and personal feelings

»* Not very mildly dealt mth.] Cruelly treated. Here we have an
Attic meiosis. There was no reason for bauer to have conjectured for
iuridil, duxp^tl : since this use of ^wrt&jj/it is not unfrequent, though

rinerall;^ misunderstood by editors, and defaced by scribes ; of both which
shall give instances in my edition. Of the phrase the following are ex-
amples : Herod. J, 155. ctuwrbv avriKi<mo^ ctoBiivm, Dio. Cass. 354, 2.
tvaxfp&Q dtoBtivai. Menand. ap. Brunck Gnom. 18. ^lart^eifupti* KaKu^,
Jilarc. Anton. 12, 25. kok&s ^urk^ri. The word is oflen used with oi;r<uc.
And, therefore, at Plutarch de Is. and Os. { 72. SuTtBijeav : there was no
need of Reiske's emendation. Kard>c may be repeated, or ofirtas under-
stood, with reference to koku^C'

1 In his countenance dissembUng the calamity,] The phrase, aSrtXutQ ry
i^u trkae^mtvoQ irpbc riyv Kvfxtpopdv, is a very extraordinary one. Goeller
regards it as put for irXaedfiivoc rijv oi(/iv, Heri AdtiXo^ cTvat vp6c rtjv (v/i-
fopdv, and renders : '' vultuque ad calamitatem dissimulandam composito."
I had myself long ago conjectured n)v 5^iv (as Lysias ap. Steph. Thes.
wXaeaa^ai rhv rp6irov), which would much lessen the harshness of the
phraseology. With respect to irpbQ n)v ivft^pdv, it must not be construed
with ddtiXta^ (as Goeller supposes), but with irXaedfuvog ; and ddriXug may
more simply be regarded as put for d^ytXift Tp6irn»,

^ Address a speech to them,] It was, it seems, usual for them to lay
down their arms before they assembled around him to hear a speech^

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about him ; for the processions were accustomed to be made
with shield and spear only.

LIX. In this sort of manner, and by a love-provocation,
the plot took its rise, and the reckless daring of Harmodius
and Aristogiton arose firom sudden consternation.' After this
the tyranny was heavier on the Athenians than before ^, and
Hippias now, through fear rather '', put to death many of the
citizens, and moreover cast his eyes around on foreign states,
in order ta devise some secure retreat for himself, in the event
of any revolution. Thus he gave his daughter in marriage to
.^kmtides son of Hippocles, the tyrant of Lampsacus^ (though
an Athenian to a Lampsacene ^) having learnt that they ^ had

• By a love provocation^ S^c] Thus the historian shows that Hai^
modius and Aristogiton were not actuated by that exalted patriotism which
was generally attributed to them. And yet (to use the words of Smith) " so
violently were tyrants detested at Athens, that the memorv of Harmodius
and Anstogiton was ever honoured there, as martyrs for liberty, and first
authors of the ruin of tyranny. Their praises were publicly sung at the
great Panathenaea. No slave was ever called by their names. Praxiteles
was employed to cast their statues, which were afterwards set up in the
forum. Aerxes, indeed, carried them away into Persia, but Alexander
afterwards sent them back to Athens. Plutarch has preserved a smart
reply of Antipho the orator, who will appear in this history, to the elder
Dionvsius, tyrant of Syracuse. The latter had put the question, which watf
the finest kind of brass? "That," replied Antipho, " of which the sta^
tues of Harmodius and Aristogiton were made."

^ The tyranny was, ^c] As might be expected, since every attempt to
shake off the yoke of tyranny compels the tyrant, in his own defence, to
hold the reins of despotism yet tighter. The fact is attested by Herodotus
6, 123, 7. (where it is said of the Alcmsonidse) koI o^rw rdc 'A^^voc o^roi
iaav ol IXtv^tptltaatn'tQ TroXXy fioWov ffirip 'ApfAoSioQ rt «ae ' ApKrroyiirwv, <i»c
lyut Kpivw. ol fA^v ydp i^riyp'naoav tovq Xoitto^c U€i(n(yTpaTi^ku}v"l7rirtipxop
d7roKriivavT(Q, oifSk rt fiaXKov iiravoay rov^ Xonroif^ rvpawivovTOQ,

5 Rather.] Namely, than from any natural cruelty of disposition.

^ Lampsacus.] A very antient city, though, on the period of its found-
ation, chronologers are not agreed. It b supposed to be the Pityea of
Homer, by others called Pityusa, a name, doubtless, derived from the
adjoining country abounding in pines. With respect to Lampsacus, \t is by
some derived from a mythological personage. But it may more rationally
be deduced from the old future of Xdfi^ut, Xafiyj/u}, which had, perhaps, a
reference to its site being such as men would choose and take; for the vici-
nity was yery fertile. The place is now called Lapsake. Its histor}' may
be gathered from the references in Wasse's note, and its present state from
Wheler, and Motraye, referred to by Wasse.

» An Athenian to a Lampsacene,] This is meant to hint that Hipparchus
stooped to what might be thought infra dig.; for the Lampsacenes were

They,] i.e. Hipparchus and JEantides; not the Lampsacenes, as
Hobbes renders.


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a powerful interest with King Darius, And her monument is
at Lampsacus, having this inscription : —

** From Hippias sprung, with r^al power array'd,
Within this earth Archedice is laid ;
By father, husband, brothers, sons, allied
To haughty thrones, yet never stain'd with pride."

As to Hippias, after having continued in the tyranny three
years longer, and being in the fourth deposed by the Lacedae-
monians and the exiled Alcmaeonidae, he departed, under treaty,
to Sigeum, and so to Lampsacus to ^antides, and from thence
to King Darius ; whence, twenty years after, when now an
old man, he went on the expedition with the Medes, and was
present at the battle of Marathon.^

LX. The Athenian people, reflecting on these transac-
tions, and remembering what it had learnt by report of them,
was at this time very bitter and suspicious ' towards those
who had been criminated respecting the mysteries : and the
whole seemed to them to have been perpetrated with a con-
spiracy for the establishment of oligarchy and tyranny. And,
amidst their angry feeling at such a procedure, many persons,
and some of great note, had been thrown into prison ; and yet
matters seemed to wear no appearance of cessation % nay, the

7 Went on the expeditiony S^c^ Such seems to be the full Bense, which is
imperfectly expressed by Hobbes and Smith.

> Wat very bitter and nupiciotu'] The word vwSirrric is rare. From the
Scholiast we learn that it was used of a shy horse. And in this sense I have
remarked it in Xenoph. Hipp. 5, 9. Of the word in the present sense,
Duker cites an example from Mlian : it is strange that he did not remem-
ber a passage of Soph. Philoct. 156. ^ re Xkytiv irpbg dvdp' virdvrov ;

But, to turn from words to things, this suspicious temper of the Athe-
nians, especially in whatever had any supposed connection with the sup-
pression of democracy, is well depicted in Aristophanes Vesp. 488. 'Qc
diravd' vfiXv rvpavviQ ieri koI ^vvutfiSrait *Hv re fuXliov, ijv r (Karrov npayfia
ri£ Kanjyopy, ^Hf lyw oifK iJKOvaa TO^jvofi* oiik wtrrrfKovr' irwV "Svv Si rroXXtfi

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 12 of 59)