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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int^ests there at stake, and pull down both the present and
the future power of the Athenians, and, after that, yourselves
live in security, holding the whole of Greece in a voluntary
and not forced, but well-affected obedience."

XCIIL Thus spoke Alcibiades. And now the LacedsenKH
nimns, who had of themselves before intended to take the field
against Athens, but were as yet procrastinating and hesitat-
ing ', were, at these details of information, so much the
more animated, conceiving that they had them from one
thoroughly acquainted therewith. Insomuch that they now
applied their whde attention to the fortifying of Deceiea, and,
for the present S sending some forces to the allies in Sicily.
And appointing Gylippus^ son of Cleandridos as com-
mander in chief over the Syracusans, they directed him to
consult with them and the Corinthians^, and adopt such
measures as^ under existing circumstances, should most con-
duce to the ready and speedy transportation of an auxiliary
force to Sicily. He directed the Corinthians to despatch him
two triremes to Asine, and desired that the rest which they
intended to send should be fitted oot, so as to be ready when
opportunity should serve.

» HetUating,] Poppo, however, ihinks irtfuofmuevot may be put for
weptaKonovvTfQ, as at L 4» 75., but with the sense of irtpurKovelv at 1. 6, 49.
SufifXXtiiniv nipurKOfrovtrris oxSrepoi Kparnaovcu And so Appian^ t. 1. 295,
S8. t6 fuXXov loic^ai irtpiop,

< For the praeftL] Swce that preMing emei^geney required thejirtt

^ Gul^ppus.] Apereon who had been banished, when t»tor to the young
Idn^ Pleistoanax, for misconduct in a former war with Athent, and on sut •
picion of takiag bribes from Pericles.

A man, however, more qualified for tlie business committed to hin coald
hardly have been selected. (Mitfbrd.)

* ConsuU wUh them md the CormtMam,] Not, « with the leading men of
Syracuse and Corinth," as Mitford narrates; for how could he consult with
the leading men of Syracuse at Lacedsenion ? By the Syracusaas and Co-
rinthians must be meant the amhmsadort of both powers then present.
The wteasures to be concerted doubtless were, that the Corinthians should
supply, besides vessels of burden, some triremes as a convoy, and that the
Syracusans should send out a naval force to assist in coovo}ing the trans-

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There arrived also from Sicily the Athenian trireme \vhich
the commanders had sent in order to procure money and
horsemen. And the Athenians, after hearing their requests,
decreed to sendj)ff to the armjr 5Jig ?flpplifis ^ p"^ t^fi h'^rgf::
jn^nJ^ - And thus ended the winter and the seventeenth year
of the war which Thucydides hath narrated.

YEAR XVIII. B. C. 414.

XCIV. Immediately at the commencement of the spring
of the subsequent summer, the Athenians in Sicily, weighing
from Catana, coasted along to Megara in Sicily, the inhabit-
ants of which the Syracusans having (as I have before related y
expelkd, in the time of Gelo the tyrant, themselves held the
territory. Having disembarked there, they ravaged the
country, and proceeding against a certain fort ^ of the Syra-
cusans, and not taking it, they again proceeded along the coast
with their land and sea force to the river Terias ^y and ascend-
ing to the plain ^, they wasted it, and burnt the com on the
ground; and happening upon a small party of Syracusans^
and killing some, and raising a trophy, they retreated to their
ships: then hoving sailed to Catana, and furnished themselves
with provisions, they marched to Centoripa*^^ a town of the
Siculi; and having brought it to surrender on terms, they
departed, after having burnt also the com of the Inessaeans ^^

^ tSuppUes,] By rpwjti^v may be meant, as often in Thucydides, the pay,
of the troops ; a sense, indeed, which here seems to be required by the

* Horsemen.] Horses, it seems, they could procure in Sicily.

7 A certain fort] This seems to have been the fort lately erected 1^ the
Syracusans on the site of the old Megara.

• Terias,] On which see siwra, c. 50.

9 The plain.] Namely, of Leontini.

10 CenioripaJ] The situation of this place may be tolerably well ascer-
tained fVom two passages of Strabo and Sil. Italicus, cited by Cluverius. It
was on a high hill, at the roots of Mount iEtna, and not far from the
river Svmsetbus. See more in Cluverius and Wasse on ThucyxL 7, 3e,

With respect to the ratio appellationis (on which all the geographers are
silent), it may perhaps denote i>otvr** town; for Kivrdpivoi: seems to have
been an adjective for jc^vrw/o, which, as we find from Hesych., signified a

»i Iness€eans.] See note on 1. 5, lOJ. The anUentUtUe city of Inessa,

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and Hyblaeans ^^; and on reaching Catana, they find the horse-
men arrived ^^ from Athens, two hundred and fifty, with accou-
trements, but without horses, which were to be provided for
them in the country ;] also^ thirty horse-archers, and three
hundred talents of silver.

XCV. This same spring also the Lacedaemonians, taking
the field against Argos, advanced as far as Cleone ; but on the
occurrence of an earthquake they retired : and after this, the
Argives, making an irruption into the bordering territory of
Thyrea, took considerable spoil of the Lacedaemonians, which
was sold for not less than twenty-five talents.*

This same summer, and not long after, the popular party ^
at Thespiae made an attack on those that held the offices of
state, yet could not seize the reins of government ; but on the
Thebans ^ proceeding to support the government, some were
seized, while others fled to Athens.

XCVI. And now this same summer, the Syracusans
hearing that the Athenians, having received the horsemen,
were about to advance upon them, and considering that
unless the enemy should acquire possession of Epipolae (a
steep and rocky tract, lying immediately above the city),

which seems to have been first called iEtna, was (as we find from Strabo)
not far from Centoripa, and (as he says) eighty stadia from Catana. Wasse
supposes it to have occupied the site of the present Coenobium S. Johannis
de Arenis; Dorville (Sic. p. 224.) that of St. Nicola dell' arena, probably
another cbapelry of the same parish, and corresponding almost exactly to
the distance given by Strabo.

»« HybUeans,] lliose of Hybla Galeatis, or Major.

>9 Find the horsemen arrived.] The Athenians had been all this while
WMting for them, during which much time was lost in petty operations.

1 Soid for not leu than twenty'five talents.] Hence it appears that the
spoil was not permitted to be appropriated by individuals, but was thrown
into one common stock, and sold, whether for the benefit of the captors,
or of the state.

« Popular party.] That there was such a party at Thespian, namely,
those who were then suspected of Atticizine, we may conjecture from 1. 4,
133. The Thebans, however, demolished their walls, and probably placed
the oligarchical party in possession of all the power. Hence, perhaps, the
present attack proceeded from the long-suppressed indignation of the
democratical party at this treatment, who therefore attempted a revolution.

3 Thebans.] I here follow the reading of two good Ml^., which is
adopted by Bekker and Goeller. The common reading *h^nvaiiav yields a
tense the contrary to what b required.

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they (i. e. the Syracusans) could not easily^ even if defeated in
battle, be circumvallated S formed the deagn of guarding
the ascent thither, that the enemy might not unawares mount
and seize the post: for in no other way could they effect their
purpose, as the rest ^ of the situation, the whole of Epipolae^ _
is elevated ^ (insomuch as to afford a complete view of all* —
within the place) ; but it inclines gradually down to the city.
It was called by the Syracusans Epipolce because^ of its
being above the rest of the country. And the Syracusans
going forth at the early mom, in (uU posse to the jmeadow ^^

1 ney could not, ^ circmnvaliated,] Mitford understands this diffi-
culty ta hare consisted in the form of a hill, over the skirt of which a
suburb extended; and the hill, sloping towards the town, being precipitous
toward the country. This, however, seems to be a mistaken view of the
subject. The impracticabHity of circnmvallating did not arise from the
form, or situation of the hill, for it was not so near as that the line of at-
cumvallatn>tt should have needed to cross any part of it; and as to the
suburb of EpipolK, there was ai that time none, it having arisen in after-
ages. The impracticability adverted to seems to have been this : that as
the Epipolse consisted of a continuity of lofty heights, which would have
extended all along the upper part of the line of circumvallation» therefore
if that ground were occupied by any tolerable force, the wall of drcumval-
lation would always be in dancer of attack, and the guards have do defence
from their assailants on the heights; therefore, ctrcumvallation alone was
impracticable, and a wall of contravaiiation also would be requisite : but the
Atnentan force was not sufficient to man both.

^ As the rest, ^c] I have here somewhat altered the arrangement of the
clauses, as seemed required by perspicuity.

9 Is eievatetL} As the commentators have not adduced examples of t^s
sense of iKapraa^ca (like suspendi m Latin), the following may be accept-
able: Phitarch Anton. 46. rd fdyaXa iriiui rwv Xo^&v roitTinv i^ffprriTat.
Strabo ap. Steph. Thes. miprrjrat i) x^P^ """pbe v6tov,

* It taas caued Eptpoke because, 4^.] So Etym. Mag. 363, SB. 'Ett/itoXic.
r6voQ Iv l£vpaKoiJeatg, ical d/vdfiaeTai dirb rov iTrtwcXfic rufv aXKiav elvcu. See
also Schwebelon Onosand. 18.

Mitford observes that Epipolse is sjmonymons with the English name
Overton. Perhaps we may more appositely compare the name of a part
of Lincolnshire called Above-hill, it may be remarked that Thucydides
uses the article with Epipolse even in the^^Z mention of the place, because
such was usually done in the case of names of places which had yet scarcely
become regular appellatives. Now since, as descriptive nouns, they required
the article used Kar €Cox>)v> so, as bein^yet in the midway between common
nouns and nouns appellative they retained it.

* The meadow.] It may seem strange that the article should here be
used, as no meadow has before beeu mentioned ; but, in fact, the article k
here employed to denote a certain meadow well known, and a usual place
of military exercise. This use of a noun often ended in the noun becoaung
a regular appellative, at first employed with the article, and afterwards
without it. Sometimes, for perspicuity's sake, some csae of the participle
KoKovfitvoc is employed, as just auer rbv KctKovfuvov Aiovra,


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near the river Anapus, Hermocrates and his colleagues (for
they were yet in possescdon of the command) made a review of
the heavy-armed, and first set apart six hundred^ chos^i
men of the heavy infantry (putting them under the command
of Diomilns, a fugitive from Andros ^ ), in order that they
might serve as a garrison for Epipdiae, and be quickly at
hand for any service where their presence might be necessary.

XCVII. And now the Athenians, on the day subsequent
to this night ^ were reviewed, and, undiscovered by the
Syracusans, effected a landing (after leaving Catana) at what
is called Leon \ which is distant from Epipolse six or seven

It may be observed, that there were places in our antient Roman stations
which had a similar name, and were used for a similar purpose. Thus a
field called Me Wang at Homcastle, in Lincolnshire.

Six hundred.] All the MSS. have 9even hundred; but the present
reading (adopted by Bekker from Valla) is required by almost all tne best
MSS. m the next chapter, and all at 1. 7, A3.

The Syracnsan generals might well appoint their troops to guard this
post, feanng that it should be as suddenly and secretlj^ seized by the Athenians
landing at the port of Trogilus, as their former station was occupied. How
well founded tneir apprehensions were, the event speedily proved.

7 DiomiluSf a JitgiHvefrom Andros.] The appomtment of an Athenian
exile to this important command, strongly indicates (Mitford observes) how
conscious the Sjrracusan generals were of the inferior skill and experience
of their own ofacers,

1 The day tuAsequent to this night] Such is the import of the words of
die original. Smith renders the whole passage thus : '* The Athenians, who
had mustered their forces on the preceding day, had stood away from
Catana, and were come in the night undiscovered to the spot called Leon."
So also Mitford. And certainly that is a very intelligible sense; yet it
cannot be elicited from the words as they now stand ; nor do the mSS,
supply any materials for emendation : and, probably, the common reading
is correct. By this night must be meant the night of the da^ when the
Syracusans met for review: consequently, the Athenians reviewed their
troops on the nejrt da^, and, embarkine in the evening, made the coast at
Thapsus on the morning of the day after the review in question. Yet, as
we afterwards find the Syracusans were in the meadow at the time the
Athenians landed, we must suppose that the review (which was, indeed, a
sort of exercise and training) was extended to a second day. If such be not
the sense, tbepassaffe must be corrupt.

* Leon.] There nas been some difference of opinion as to the situation
of this place, which Letronne puts between Thapsus and Catana. He is,
however, solidly refuted by Goeller, who rightly maintains that Leon was
between Thapsus and the Portus Trc^iliorum ; and he adds, that it was
some distance inhind. But this last opinion, though maintained by Bochar^
and others, seems very ill founded; and to take icard in such a sense were
very harsh. I eannot but think that Leon was an inlet running up the

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i^tadia, and diflembarkiiigy they anchored with the fleet at
Thapsns. ^ Now titis is a peninsula, with a narrow istbrnus,
jutting outinto the seat and is at no great distance from Sjrra*
aise, by either sea or land. The naval forces of the Athe-
nians, baTiDg formed a palisade across the bthmie at Thapsus,
lay still ; but the land forces marched full speed to Eptpoke,
and anticipated theSyracasans by ascending at Euryalus, before
diey heard of it at the meadow, and leaving the reTiew, re*
paired thither ^ ; proceeding to succour, with all possible haste,
both the rest and also the six hundred under Diomilus* ^ But
the distance they had to traverse from the meadow was not less
than twenty-five stadia. Meeting, therefore, with the enemy in

bod near to the PorUn Trogilionim ; from which, to tomepms of Epipolae*
it would not be more than the distance mentioned by Thucvdides. It is
true that LAvy 1. 24. 39. speaks of it as five miles from Hexapylum; but CIu-
verius has proved that the reading is corrupt, and for v. miUia passuum he
would read ntiile et qukmeniit pastibus. That, however, is too bold; and I
would propose for v. miilia passuum, ii. milUa pastuum. Thus there will be
no discrepancy between Thucydides and Livy; for, no doubt, some parts of
SpipolflB were nearer by severM stadia to Leon than others.

Leon, then, was very pear the place afterwards called Galeagra, or

3 Th^p^ut.] This place wns taken in preference to the Portus Trogi*
liorum, because, from its peninsular situation, there would be far better
defence for the sailors when on shore.

It is remarkable that this peninsula, in Goeller*s plan, is made any thing
but with a narrow isthmus. And though such is its form at present, yet
that will not justify his representation, since, from the perpetual earth-
quakes, and irruptions of the sea here, great changes must have taken place.

The origin of the name Thapsus is uncertain ; for though it may seem to
be deriveafrom dawno^ jet that is, perhaps, more specious than true. Pro-
bably it is of Punic origm.

^ Hearing of it, Src] Such appears to be the sense of this perplexing
passage, the difficulty of which nas been chiefly occasioned by excessive
brevity, and the blending of two phrases. I have followed the reading of
Bekker and Goeller, U to^ XtifitHvoc xal rijg iiiTdattaQj as founded on most
of the MSB. ; yet I cannot admit that the common reading is bad Greek.
It may, indeed, justly be questioned (with Duker] whether 17 i|ira<nc rod
Xtifiutvo^ be equivalent to recensio, qua fit in prato. But ,why Goeller
should regard Oorville's mode of takmg the words (namely, '' the field of
review '*) ** yet worse," 1 cannot imagine. We use the very same kind of
expression when we say, "* the field of exercise." Bauer remarks that it
savours of Hebraism. But it is probably one of those modes of speech
which are common to all languages, antient and modem.

* The Mix hundred under JHomilus.] It is plain that these troops were th«i
at the meadow with the rest, and not on guard at Epipolae ; which, if this
was the second day gf review, was a fault of the generals.

L 2

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a somewhat disordered. manner, and being defeated in battle^
at Epipola^ they made a retreat to the city, with the loss of
Diomilus and three hundred others. After this, the Athenians,
raising a trophy, and giving up the dead, under truce, to the
Syracusans, descended on the following day to the city itself,
and on the enemy not coming foith to meet them, they retired
and erected a fort at Labdalum, on the summit of the rocky
eminence of Epipolae^, and looking towards Megara, in
order that it might serve as a depository for their utensils
and efiects % when they advanced eidier for battle or for

XCVIII. And not long after, there came to them from
Egesta three hundred horse, and of Siculi, Naxians, and
some others, about one hundred. There were also two
hundred and fifty Athenians, for whom they had procured
horses, some from the Egestseans, and others by purchase.
And the total number of cavalry collected together was six
hundred and fifty. ^

Having stationed a garrison at Labdalum, the Athenians
then marched to Syca [or Tyca ^], whither taking post, they
raised, with all speedy tEe wall of circumvallation ^ ; and by

c Defeated m baitie.] This defeat seems to have been occasioned not only
by their disorder, but by the Athenians having the vantage ground. Mit-
ford relates that there was a Jierce battle : but to this the words of
Thucydides do not give the least countenance.

7 Labdalum, on the summit, 4rc<.] This sense has, indeed, been objected
tOy on the ground that Euryalta was the top. But, as I have shown in a
preceding note, Labdalum was probably the top, as would seem from its
name, which signifies peaked,

• Effects,] Hobbes and South render, money: Mitford, ^military
chest But such would be yet safer on board the fleet ; and xpnv^fo^ may
ver}' well signify eflents and moveables of every kind.

• The total number, 4-c.] Diodorus Siculus, however, reckons eight
hundred. And, indeed, we might have expected that the Siculi, Naxians,
and others should have furnish^ more than one hundred.

3 Syca, or Tyca.] The latter is thought by Duker and others to be the
true reading ; while Goeller considers the Syca as a Doric form. See, how-
ever, Schweighauser on Polyb. 8, 5, S. and the commentators on Liv^
1.^4, SI.

3 yvall of circumvallaHon.] So the Scholiast, Letronne, and Goeller
rightly take t6v kvkXov ; though others understand it of the fort of Lab-
dalum. That, however, is satisfactorily refuted bv Goeller, who truly re-
marks that KifKkoQ u in like mannelr used of the blockading wall at 1. 7, 3.;

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the rapid progress of the work, they struck a terror into the
Syracusans, who, going forth, determined to give batde, and
not suffer the accomplishment of the work. When, how-
ever, they were already ranged for battle in opposite lines,
the Syracusan commanders, seeing their men in disarray,
and not easily to be put into order % led them back to the
.city, except a party of the cavalry, who, in spite of the Athe-
nians, hindered the men from bringing up stones, or wander-
mg to any distance^; until, at length, one battalion ^ of the
Athenian heavy-armed, in conjunction with the whole of
their horse, charged and put to rout the Syracusan cavalry,
and having slain some, set up a trophy.

XCIX. On the day following, the Athenians, part of
them, were employed in building the wall at the north part
of the line of circumvallation ^ ; while others brought together
stone and timber ^, and laid them down, in regular order ^,
towards the place called Trogilus '^, where was the shortest
cut for their circumvallatory wall from the great port to the

and it may be added, that the term k^kXoq is here employed, as being
adapted to the sense included in circumvaUaHon,

♦ tn ditarraj/, and not, ^c] The very fault of all raw troops, especially
when oirer-eager and not in much subordination.

* Wandering to any ditiance.] Namely, to procure wood, water, &c.

« One battaUon.'] Or rather, tribe : for Acacius and Duker have proved,
by a reference to Herod. 6, 1 1 1. Plutarch. Aristid., Thucvd. 3, 90. and 100.,
and the present passage, that the Athenians always fouent with each tribe
separate; as was the case (Goeller remarks^ with the Lacedaemonians and
most other iiations of antiquity, and of which vestiges (he thinkb) may be
found in the Words of Nestor, Horn. II. 2, 362. See also Schneider on
Xenoph. Hist. 4, 2, 19.

7 The wall at the, 4*<?] Such is, I conceive, the sense of rh irp6c Bopiav
Tov kvkXov rtlxoQf which words are absurcly rendered by Hobbes, and in-
accurately by Smith, according to whose version the Athenians were*
building a second wall, besides that of circumvallation. It is clear that the
Athenians commenced their wall on the north part, and drew it towards

8 Timber,] Hence it clearly appears that timber was used, together with
stone^ iti walls of circumvallation; chiefly, we may suppose, for the
towers. And, therefore, carpenters would be taken as well as other

» In regular order,] i. e. as they were brought, depositing them in heaps
to be reac^ for the work.

>o 7Vogt/ra.] This is supposed by the commentators to have been a vil-
lage. But that is not clear. By the name's being accompanied by rbv ko^
Xo^/i4i^v, it seems to have been k place of Very little account.

L 3

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Other sea* But the Syracnsans, at the suggestion, in a great
measure, of Hermocrates, resolved no longer to pat mat-
ters to hazard by any general battles with the Athenians. It
was likewise thought most advisable to build an under (or
intercepting) wall ", in the direction where the Athenians
were about to carry their wall, seeing, that if they were befi>re-
hand with the thing, they should cut off all further progress.
And, moreover, in case the Athenians should attack them in
the work, they determined to send part of their army to keep
them off; and it was thought that ihey would thus preoccupy
with palisades the approaches of the enemy, while the
Athenians would have to cease from their work, if they turned
their attention thither with all their forces.'^ They, therefore,
went forth, and set to work: (commencing from their city
wall), and carried forward a transverse wall below the wall of
the Athenians *°, cutting down the olives of the Temenps ^*,
and therewith erecting wooden towers. As to the Athenian
fleet, it had not yet sailed round to the great port; but the
Syraeusans still had the command of the parts by the sea ^\

■ > An under (^or interc€fting)waU,'\ i.e. a wall which should protrude frooi
the north part of their city wall, and which, crossing the place where their
wall of circumvallation was meant to be carried, should effectually prevent
the accomplishment of the thing. See the SchoL (who has here an excel-
lent explanation) and the plan of Syracuse.

IS It was thought that they would, ^c] This is the best version that the
passage seems to admit ; for it is so obscurely and briefly worded that no
mere version can clearly give the sense, whicn may best be represented in

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 19 of 59)