Thucydides.

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 13 of 59)
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Tov T€tpixovc keriv d^uarkpcu

3 Matters seemed to wear no appearance of cessation^ Reiske and Toup
here conjecture &v&irav\ay which is approved by some editors : but the
common reading may be considered correct To the examples of itavXa
given by Duker from Plato, Aristotle, and Dionysius, 1 add Soph. Philoct.
lffS9. At i^ivtro subaud irpayfiara.

Mitford paraphrases the whole thus: *' Nor was this indiscriminating jea-



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CHAP.LX. THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIOE&

people every day rather gave way to a more ferocious spirit,
and greater and greater numbers were apprehended.

Under these circumstances, one of the prisoners ^ who was
most obnoxious to suspicion, was persuaded by one of his fel-
low-prisoners to make a confession and information, whether
the matter were true or false : for it was the subject of con-
jecture both ways, but the positive truth concerning those
who had done the deed, no one, either then or afterwards,
was able to telL Thus he brought him by arguments to
think that he ought to take this course, even if he had not
participated in the crime ; for he would procure a pardon for

himself, and would liberate the city from the present suspicion :

that there was a better chance of safety for him to confess,
with promise of pardon, than by denying, to stand triaL^
Hereupon, he impeached both himself and others of the deed
concerning the statues of Mercury. And now the Athenian
people rejoiced at attaining (as they thought) to certainty of
the fact, having before been highly chagrined that they should
not know those who were plotting against democracy, im*
mediately set at liberty the informer, and such of the rest of
those accused with him as he had not impeached ; but those
that were implicated they brought to trial, and such as were
apprehended they put to death \ denouncing the same punish-
ment against those that had escaped, and proclaiming a re-



lousy a humour that had its hour and passed ; it held, and grew daily more
severe. Suspicion extended; more persons were imprisoned; and there
was no foreseeing where popular rage would stop."

3 One of the prisoners,] Namely, Andocides, as we learn from Plutarch
Alcib. c. 20. and 21,, and from his own Oration de Myster. A person
always regarded as one of the oligarchical party. The man who persuaded
him to turn informer was one Timseus, a person of little repute, except for
shrewdness and an enterprising spirit.

« For he toould procure a pardon, S^c^ Mitford well paraphrases thus :
" The popular mind would evidently not otherwise be appeased ; and a
confession would not ov\y be more likely, than perseverance in asserting
innocence, to procure his own safety, but would restore quiet to the
city ; and though some must be sacrificed, yet numbers might so be saved
from that mad vengeance, excited by fear, which now threatened so indis-
criminately and unboundedly."

^ Such as were apprehended they put to death.] Hence it appeare that all
who were brought were in a manner necessanly condemned and put to
death, either by the executioner, or (a5 far as they could prevail) by the
hands of private persons.



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100 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. BOOK VJ«

ward ^ to whoever should kill them. And though, meantime
it was uncertain whether those that suffered were punished
justly or not, yet the rest of the city was, for the present,
manifest benefited*

LXI. Much embittered, too, were the people against Al-
cibiades, instigated by those who had attacked him before his
departure. And since they thought they had now come at
the truth concerning the Mercuries, he was the more suspected
to have been guilty of the crime whereof he was accused re-
specting the mysteries, with the same purpose, namely, con-
spiracy against the democracy. An additional reason was \
that about the time in which they were in disturbance respect-
ing these matters, an army of Lacedaemonians happened to
advance as far as the isthmus, concerting some scheme with
the Boeotians.^ f It was, therefore, thought to have come at his
contrivance, and upon some understanding and agreement; and
that, had they not themselves anticipated the thing by appre-,
hending the persons on information given, the city would have
been betrayed. Nay, they one night even slept in arms in
the temple of Theseus ® in the citadel. The hosts, too, of
Alcibiades in Argos were about the same time suspected of
planning an attack on democracy, and the Athenians then
delivered up the hostages of the Argives who were deposited
in the islands to be put to death. In fact, causes of suspicion
against Alcibiades started up on all sides. So that wishing to
tM*ing him to trial and punishment, they thus sent the ship Sala-
minia to Sicily for him and the rest, concerning whom there
had been information made. They were ordered to command
him to follow them in order to make his defence, but not to



Proclaiming a retDard.] Namely, of a talent. See Wesselingon Diod.
Sic. 1. 15, 2.

1 An additional reason was.] Such seems to be the tnte force of the ical

« Concerting some scheme toith the Bceotians.] Such is tite sense assigned
by Valla, Duxer, and Smith. Others, as Hobbes and Portus, render,
** against the Bceotians." But the Boeotians were not enemies but friends,
especially as having the same common enemy Athens. Of the phrase
np^euv irp6Q riva in this sense, examples are given by Duker.

s Temple of Theseus,] See Meurs., referr^ to by Hudson, and espe-
cially the recent works of Stuart, Clarke, and Dodwell.



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CHAP. LKU THE HISTORY OF TRUCYDIOE8. 101

apprehend him. This they did out of caution, that they might
create no disturbance among their own soldiers, nor a£R>rd
encouragement to the enemy ^ ; and especially as being de-
sirous that the Mantinseans and Argives should remain, and
knowing that they had been induced by his influence to take
part in the expedition. Thus he, in his own ship ^, together
with those who had been impeached with him ^, departed with
the Salaminia from Sicily, bound to Athens. But when they
were arrived at Thuria 7, they no longer followed, but left the
ship and absconded ®, fearing to stand trial under the accus*
ation. And those of the Salaminia for some time made search
for ^ Alcibiades and his companions ; but when they could no-
where be found, they sailed away. As to Alcibiades, who was
now a fugitive, he not long after passed on board a ship from
Thuria to Peloponnesus. And the Athenians passed sentence



* Nor afford encouragement to the enemy.] Namely, to attack them when
in disturbance. Such is, certainly, the sense (which is that pointed out by
the Scholiast), though it must be confessed that this is very imperfectly
expressed by our autnor.

^ In his oum ship.] Or, ** occupying his own ship," the ship which he at
least had equif)f)ed, though it is very probable that he furnished the ship
itself. Thus it js said of his grandfather by Plutarch Alcib. iSiotrrdXtfi rpi^
pit irepi 'ApTtfiiffiov ivdo^dtg ivaviULxri<siv. And so Herod. 5, 47, 5. (mvlcnrcro
olKi\ty rf rpifipH Kcd oUritg dvBpwv Sairdvy' and 8, 1 7, 6. 6g iair&vfiv oticfitrp^
irapexo/icvof itrrpaTtmro, Kai oUrjty vrit Pausan. 10, 9. (of Phayllus) Ivavfiidm
XV^f ivavria rov M^^ov, vavv irapaaKivaodiiivog o^Kiiav, Hence is illustrated
Soph. Phil. 497. iffTiXKov ahrhv — aifT69To\ov nifiil/avTa, and Horace
Epist. 1, 1, 93. locuples, quem ducit jprtva triremiSf where the poet seems
to have had in mind this passage of Thucydides.

^ Together with those who had been impeached with him.] This was,
strictly speaking, not according to the letter of the order, which only for-
bade Alcibiades to be apprehended. He, however, rescued the rest by
taking them on board his own ship.

' Thuria.] Afterwards called Thurium, by which name it b generally
known. It was founded nearly on the site of the antient and long-ruined
Sybara.

8 And absconded.] Literally, ** were not found forthcoming j ** namely,
on leaving Thuria. Alcibiades seems to have absconded at Thuria, and to
have effected his escape by getting on board some vessel at that place
(where the ships had touched, to procure water and provisions). 'Fhus
Polyaenus 1,40,6. positively says that he got on board a merchant ship,
and was conveyed to Lacedeemon. It is not, however, clear whether he
got on board at the time the Salaminia was at Thuria, or afterwards ; but
the latter seems the more probable. He was, we may suppose, concealed
somewhere in the country. And thb is countenanced by wnat is just after-
Wards said, that he passed on board a ship from Thuria to Peloponnesus.
Now Thuria was the name of the country, Thurii that of the city.

> Made search.] Namely, both on board the ship, and at Thurii.

H 5



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102 THE HISTORY OF THUCYOIDE8. BOOK VI.

of death ^^ upon him and those with him, in what is called an
abandoned cause.

LXII. After this, the rest of the Athenian commanders in
Sicily, dividing the armament into two parts, and each casting
lots for his division, sailed with their whole force for Selinus
and Egesta.^ And coasting Sicily along that part which is
opposite to the Tyrrhene gulf, and keeping it on their left
hand, they landed at Himera, which is the only Grecian city
in tliat part of Sicily, Being, however, not received, they
stood along the coast, and in their passage took Hyccara ^,
which is a Sicanian town indeed (and a petty seaport), but^



10 Passed sentence of deaiA,] And not only that, but^ as Justin narrates,
** diris per omnium Sacerdotum religiones devotus est.** And so Max. Tyr.
Diss. 12, 6. 1, 235. ivfjpdaavTO airnp KffpvKig kcu EiftoXiridau where Davis
thinks that to this may be referred a fragment of Suidas in EiffioXir. lirtipd"
cavTO Sk aiynf EiffioKTridrjv Kai KripvKOQ,

Plutarch Alcib. c. 22. has preserved the indictment.

1 The rest q^ the Athenian commanders, ^c] When Alcibiades, the soul
of extensive enterprise and political intrigue (as Mitford observes), had left
the armament, nobody remained capable of prosecuting his plans. For
political intrigue Nicias had no turn, and to all plans for extensive conquest
^even had he been able to carry them forward) he was decidedly opposed.
Beinff now left commander-in-chief, he therefore reverted to his own

E' Ming plan for relieving Egesta, intending to ascertain whether the
tseans would furnish the money, and likewise to examine into the state
Burs at Salamis, and learn the point» of difference with the Egestasans.

^ Hyccara.] So called, as we find from Athenseus and others, from the
Hycca, a kind of fish found there by the first colonists. What kind of fish
that was haa not been ascertained ; but as Fazelli, cited by Cluver., says
that there is tho-e a tunny fishery, that was, doubtless, the fish meant. The
town was sometimes called Hyccaron.

This was never a place of any great account, though it appears from
Wasse that coins of it are found, cmd that it was yet in being in the time
of Cicero. It was situated at the bottom of a little bay, and the mouth of
a small river; and Fazelli says its ruins yet remain near a place called
Gfarbilange, the site itself being named (with a vestige of the antient
appellation) Muro di Carini, i. e. d*Iccarini.

The chief thing this place was famous for was its being the birth-place of
the celebrated lius, who is said to have been amons the slaves here made
and sent thence to Greece : but what we read of that courtezan refers to-
a period of about fifty years after the sacking of Hyccara, when she must
have been an old woman. There must, then, nave been (as some have said)
two of the same name, mother and daughter; to the latter of whom should
be referred almost all that is said of the Lais in question, though it may be
true that the first and least celebrated Lais was mistress to Alabiades.

^^ Is a teaman town indeed, 4^c.] This is mentioned because, as being of
Sicanian origin, it might be expected to have been on good terms with
Egesta^ seeing that it was of the same origin.



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eHAP. LT1I. THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIOBS. lOS

was then at hostilities with Egesta. And having made slaves
of the inhabitants, they delivered the place to the EgestaBans,
whose cavalry had joined them, and themselves marched back
with their infantry through the country of the Siculi to Ca-
tana ^, while the ships sailed round carrying the slaves. Nicias,
immediately having coasted along from Hyccara to Egesta,
and despatched the other affairs, and received thirty talents,
repaired to the army.^ And now the slaves were sold \ and
a himdred and twenty talents were raised from the sale of
them. Then they sailed round to then: allies among the
Siculi, urging them to furnish some troops ; and with the half
of their own forces they went against Hybla Geleads ^, which
was hostile to them ; but failed to take the place. And so
ended the summer.



4 Marched back with, 4rc.] A forinidable march, bdng through one
hundred and thirty or one hundred and forty miles of exceedinffiy hilly
country, and must have occupied eighteen days of valuable time. Yet even
this was thought preferable to going round by sea; a proof of the imperfect
state of navigation in those times.

^ Nicia* immediaiefy having coasted along, 4^.] It should seem that he
went with only a small squadron to Egesta.

Mitford here accuses this general of oeing waverine in his measures : but
certainly he was acting in perfect accordance with his original plan. We
may more justly accuse him, with Plutarch Nic. 15., of timidity and tardi*
ness, in removing far away from the enemy, by which he restored their
courage ; and then, by ^bng in hb attempt to take a petty town, incurred
the contempt of the enemy.

« 7%tf tlavet were told.] Namely, those taken at Hyccara, not, together
with them, Siculi taken on their march, as Mitford relates; whose words
are' these: ** The army marching through the country of the Siculi, the
unhappy Barbarians suffered for the false promises of the Egestseans, and
were seized in such numbers that," &c Or this action Mitfonl speaks with
reprehension, but extenuates it on the plea of necessity, and on the ground
that, amon^ the antients, even the philosophers, to drag barbarians, when-
ever met with, into slavery, was not commonly deemed a breach either of
justice or humanity." How the historian could prove his assertion as to
the philosophert, I know not; bat be that as it may, the justification is
quite unnecessary, since there it not the least reason to think from Thticy^
dides that the slightest injury was done to the Siculi, whom, indeed, it was
the plain interest of the Athenians to conciliate, and bring over as allies
against the Syracusans, as their common enemy : indeed, it is just after-
wards said, that ** the Athenians sailed round to their allies among the
Siculi," who could be no other than those through whose territories the
army passed, as depending on some alliance which had not Ions before been
formed with the Siculi. To injure such, therefore, would have been at
impolitic as unjust Finally, by the slaves can only be understood the slaves
just before mentioned as embarked on board the «hips. . , .

7 Hifbla Geleatis.] Or, Major. Situated on the left bank of the river
Symsethus, and about twenty miles aW. of Catana.

H 4



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104 THE HISTORY Ot THUCYDIDES. BOOK VI.

LXIIL On the commencement of winter, the Athenians
prepared for an immediate attack on Syracuse S and the Syra»
e.usans themselves set about advancing against them. For
since the Athenians '^ had not, at their first alarm and expect-
ation, immediately attacked them, they every day resumed
fresh courage^; and after the enemy were seen sailing to the
further parts of Sicily, far remote from them ; and when, pro-
ceeding against Hybla, they failed in their endeavours to carry
it by storm, they conceived yet greater contempt, and de-
manded of their commanders (as the multitude is used to do
when elated) to lead them against the enemy, since the^
would not come against them. And some Syracusan horse,
who were always watching their motions, riding up to the
Athenian camp, among other insulting expressions, asked
them whether they were not rather come to settle (with them)
in a foreign country, than to restore the Leontines to their
own.

LXIV. On learning this, the Athenian commanders de-
signed to draw them as far as possible from the city, so that
they might themselves meanwhile go thither by night with the
fleet, and occupy an encampment without molestation ; know-
ing that they should not be so able to do it in the face of an
enemy prepared, nor if they wwe known to march by land,
because the Syracusan cavalry being numerous, would greatly
annoy their light-armed, and the multitude ^ themselves hav-
ing no horse to cover them. Thus, too, a situation might be
occupied, where they could not suffer any considerable an-
noyance from the horse. They had been informed of the



> Prepared for an immediate attack on St/racme,] After a campaign
WBftted in trifling operations, which had incurred little but the contempt of
the Syracusans, Nicias was now, it should seem, induced by the represent-
ations and remonstrances of Lamachus, to abandon his original plan, and
prosecute the schemes for conquest, for which alone he had been sent out i
indeed, dilatory measures were no Longer possible, since, as we are toid, the
Syracusans were going to attack them at Uatana.

9 For since the Athenians, ^c»] There is an able passage relating to this-
in Anstid. 2, 37. A.

* Every day resumed fresh courage."] The state of things here described
strongly justified the counsel of Lamachus.

^ The muttitude ] Namely, of camp-followers.



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CHAP. LXV. THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. 105

situation near the Olympieum ^ which they afterwards occu-
pied, by some Syracusan exiles, who had joined them. In
order, therefore, to accomplish the object of their wishes, they
contrived the following scheme.® They send as emissary to
them a person faithfully attached to their interests, and yet
esteemed as no less well affected to the Syracusan cause. The
man was a Catansean, and said that he came deputed by some
persons at Catana with whose names' they were well acquainted,
and knew to be those persons in the city who yet remained
well affected to them. He told them that the Athenians took
up their night quarters apart from their camps, in the city,
and that if the Syracusans would, on an appointed day,
come in full force at daybreak against their army, they them-
selves would close the gates ^ near them, and set fire to the
fleet, while those assaulting the palisade, might carry the
camp ® by storm. There were many, he said, of the Cata-
naeans who would cooperate in the design, and that those from
whom he came were now in readiness.

LXV. Tlie commanders of the Syracusans, besides that
they were otherwise full of confidence, and were inclined,
even without this proposal, to make preparations for proceed-
ing against Catana, so they too inconsiderately yielded cre-
dence to the man's representations, and immediately agree-
ing on a day whereon they would be there, sent him away,



5 Olympieum.] Or, temple of Jupiter Olympus, vrhose ruins show that ?t
was formerly a most magnificent fane; on which see Dorville^s Siaila,
Hoare, Hushes, and Duppa ; which last writer observes, " that if this be the
same temple which was enriched by Gelo (who died B. C. 478) with the
spoils of the Carthaginians, the remains are probabl}^ among the most
antient that we are acquainted with." He adds, that in the seventeenth
century there were seven columns yet standing of this majestic fane.

6 Contrived the following scheme.] Polyaenus Stratag. 1, 40, 6. and Fron-
tinus 2, 2, 7. insert this among the stratagems of Alcibiadet: of whom,
indeed, it would not have been unworthy, but who could have had no part
in it. And yet Polyaenus evidently founded his story on Thucydides, with
a carelessness not very unusual to him, but very censurable.

7 Close the gates,] Namely, upon those without, to separate the
Athenians in the city from those in the camp, and exclude the latter from
any refuge in the citv. The translators render " shut in ; " but that sense
the word will not admit.

8 Camp,] Not army, as Portus renders. This sense is required by the
context, and, thou^ rare, I have remarked it in Xen. Anab. 1, 4, 15., and
ArrianE. A. 2, 11, 15.



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106 THE HISTORY OP THUCYDIOES. BOOK VI.

and themselyes immediately issued orders for the Syracusans
and allies (for the Selinuntians and some others were come up)
to take the field in full force, And when their preparations
were completed, and the time ^ on which they had agreed was
near at hand, they went forth towards Catana, and took up
their quarters for the night at the river Symsethus ^ in the
Leontine territory. Now when the Athenians had learnt their
approach, they took the whole force of themselves and such
Siculi or whoever else had joined them, and embarking on board
their ships and barks sailed by night for Syracuse. At break
of day, the Athenians disembarked at the spot ' opposite to
the Olympieum in order to occupy it as an encampment, and
' the Syracusan cavalry first pushing on to Catana, and finding
that the whole army was embarked and gone, turned back,
and told the news to the infantry. And now, all turning back,
went to the aid of the city.

LXVI. In the meantime, the way they had to traverse
being long, the Athenians had unmolestedly fixed their camp
at a convenient spot, and wherein they would have it in their
power to engage in battle, or not, at their pleasure, and where
the Syracusan horse could least annoy them, both in and be-
fore battle. For on one side they were flanked by walls,
houses ^, trees, and a marsh ; on the other by precipitous



• The time.'l In a\ rjftkpai kv ale we have the plural for the singular, or
(which is more probable) the plural a\ i^ufpai is, by an Oriental idiom, used
to denote time in general, and thus is a vestige of the Oriental origin of
the Greek language. Hence it is frequent in the New Testament ; as
St. Mark 2, 1. irpb TO-bnav rwv yifupQv, Hebr. 5, 7. iv raXg T^fiioaig ttjq
ctipK^Q aifTov. Luke 2, 6. iTrriX^rftrav at r/fikpai^ adest tempus, ana 18, 22.
iktvaovrai rifikpai.

^ Sjfnutthus.] OrSimaethus; forMSS. and authors vary, but authority
in Thucvdides greatly preponderates in favour of the former. It is also more
agreeable to the probable ratio appellationis.

» At the spot.] At li Tov xard to '0. the Scholiast and Duker supply
tSvov : which is, however, so harsh an ellipsis that I prefer, with Duker,
for TOV, to read, from two MSS., rA, which, it may be added, is confirmed
b)r c. 64. TTipi TOV vpbs r6 'OXox«p/ow. I have sometimes thought that riv
might arise from an abbreviation for tSttov. And certainly that would be
more perspicuous, but less Thucydidean.

* IraUs, homety S^c] Namely, I imagine, those which stood on the road
from Syracuse to Olympieum. I cannot but observe, that the situation
assigned by Goeller, in his Plan to the Athenian camp, seems to be too far
to the north. There is, I conceive, little doubt but it was at the mouth



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CHAP. LXVI. TH£ HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. 107

ground^ And haying felled the neighbouring trees, and con-
veyed them down to the sea, they fixed down a palisade ^ by
the ships, and hastily raised a fort with unwrought stones ^
at Dascon ^, where it was most accessible to the enemy, and



of the Anapus, and on its left bank, reaching down to the |>ort, and ex-
tending in the contrary direction nearly to where was the bridge over the
Anapus, which they broke down. Thus by the ry /jUv Thucydides means
the left flank ; and by irapd rb the right flank. It may be observed that he
mentions the flankt only, because their rear was secured by the Anapus ;
and, as to the frant^ it was never thought in danger from cavalry. The
houte$ and waiit seem to have been on the road to Olympieum, and the
marih to have come up nearly to the road. The precipUouf ground men-
tioned was on the right flank, and seems to have been rocky ground,
descending with a steep declivity, and by numerous brooks and gorges, to
the port.

^ PredpUout ground,] Polvsenus adds, that, at the suggestion of
Nicias, TptJUXot^ or three-pointed spikes, were scattered up and down, by
which the horses, he says, were lamed.

6 Paiitade.] So all the translators render ; and this version I have re-



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 13 of 59)