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this was forbidden; so Arrian E. A. 2, 14, 6. frvfAtrkfiim 8. wapayytiXaQ rt}v
iwiffToXiijv dovtfai AaptUftf a()T^ di fi^ iiaXkyta^ai virkp fitjS^vdc, Nicias,
however, though he permitted these persons to speak, yet took the pre-
caution of telling them what to sav.

^ He now took care, <J-6\] Such appears to be the true sense of this
obscure and controverted passage, the variety of readings in which com-
bines with anomalous phraseology to occasion considerable perplexity. I read
from three MSS. 6 Si rd Kard rb crparSirtSov ^id ^vXa$njQ fwXXov ^Srj ix***'*^9
^ ^i' iKovffiiav Kwdvvofv iirifuXiiro {aifrCiv.) The conjecture of Reiske and
Wyttenbach ditovamv cannot be admitted, for how is it possible to tolerate
Buch an expression as dKowiwv kivSvpwv IxifieXiiro ? As to the Uovaiutv
iuvS(tvutv Imfi, of Bekker and Goeller it is little better.

I am not aware that the reading I have proposed and followed is open
to any fatal objections. The expression IkovcI^v kw^vvhw is sufficiently
defended by the irpbQ aif^aipsrovc kiv^vvovq Itvai in a not dissimilar passage
of Thucyd. 1. 8, 27., also by Xenoph. Anab. 6, 5, 14. dXX' Itrre piv ut, ^
dvipic, oiSiva nut kLv^vvov frpo^iv^oavra vpuv IBtkovtriov Kivduvov, Philostr.
Vit. Ap. 8, 13. luc pf) k KivHvovg iKowiovt lot, Hierocles ap. Stob. Eel. Phys.
t. 2, 423. Kcucoi ai^atpiroi. But, what is of more consequence, I am enabled
to prove that such was the reading of Dio Cassius, who closely imitates
this passage at p. 6 13^ 14. aitrbs fiiv ^trvxdS^i, Kai oitdiva In Kivivvov aidal'
ptTov dvfipeiro, and 516, 58. dXX' airrol re Std ^vXar^c* M^XXov ^ itd kivSwwv
rh vrpardiridov iirotovvro. I grant, indeed, that there is something harsh
and anomalous in ^ ^ mvSw&v scil. e>^«v, which is for ic kiuSvvovc Uav : ^
but ixtiv itd is used with various genitives, as ^€ov, ^pdvridoc, dwovoiac^
fcXiac, Sec. Why not, then, Kivivvov? See note on 1. l, 17. and 2, 22.

> One of the Athenian generals,] Namely, I conjecture, the ten state

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junction with Perdiccas and with a large force of Thracians,
did not indeed take the city, but bringing round the triremes
into the Strymon, he besieged it from the river, making his ap-
proaches from HimersBum. And thus ended the summer.

X. On the ensuing winter, the messengers from Nicias
arriving at Athens, spoke what had been ordered them to
deliver by word of mouth, and answered whatever interrc^^
tions were propounded, delivering also the letter.' On which
the state secretary ^ came forward, and read it to the Athe-
nians, being to the following effect :

XI.^ " With our former proceedings, Athenians, ye have
been made acquainted by many other epistles. On the pre-
sent occasion, it is more especially seasonable that you should
learn the situation in which we are placed, and form your
counsels accordingly.

^^ Having, then, defeated Ihe Sjrracusans, against whom we
were sent, in many battles, and having erected the fortified
walls wherein we now lie, there came Gylippus the Lacedss-
monian, with an army ^ from Peloponnesus, and from certain

\ Delivering also the tettef'.] Hobbes and Smith studiously make the
delivery of the letter come after the verbal information and interrogatories ;
which IS very unlikely to have taken place; neither do the words of Thucy-
dides demand this. There is here a sort of hysteron proteron ; and though
the delivery of the letter be mentioned last, that circumstance need not be
much insisted on.

^ The state secretary *'\ On this officer Goeller refers to Boeckh. Staatsh.
1. 1. p. 201.; and he remarks that this officer is called by other writers
ypafifiartitc tov drifiov, or, TrJQ povXrjQ km tov drffiov, and, according to Srhoe-
mann de comit. Athen. p. 320. vvoypafifiarevc^ ** Such a person," he adds,
'' was always at hand to the orators in the fofum and the courts of justice,
to read aloud, by their order, public writs and law papers. (See Wolf, on
Demosth. Leptin. p. 244. 384.) This scribe was reckoned among the
ifirripkrai, not public magistrates, nor was his office \ery honourable, as we
learn from the Scholiast and others."

3 This epistle is censureil by Demetrius PhalereUs (referred to by Goeller),
as being too poetic, and written in too tumid a style. But certainly the
former charge is very frivolous ; and as to the other, I agree with Goeller
that Demetrius has not shown in his work such judgment and taste as to
give his criticism much weight. In short, there seems to be nothing in thb
address but what is extremely apposite, judicious, and imprc^ive.

The whole of the epistle, it may be observed, is closely imitated by
Procopius in an epistle of Belisariiis to Justinian.

♦ IViik an army.] Or, with forces; for no armt/ had as yel arrived, but

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Other states in Sicily. And in the first battle, indeed, we de-
fisated him, hot in a subsequent one ^ we were overpowered by
the numerous cavalry and darters, and compelled to retreat to
our wails. Now, therefore, being obliged to cease from the
circumvallation, by reason of the superior number of the ene-
my, we lie still. Nor indeed should we be able to employ our
whole force, some part of our heavy-armed being necessarily
employed in the guarding of our walls. They, too, have built
a single counter^wall over against us, so that it longer
practicable to circumvallate them, unless we should assail this
counter-work with a great force, and take it. Our hap,
however, it is, that while we seem to be besieging others, we
are, at least by land, suffering siege ourselves. For we cannot
go far into the country, by reason of their cavalry.

XII. " They have also sent ambassadors to Peloponnesus,
to request another army, and Gylippus is gone to the various
states of Sicily, to stir up such as have yet been quiet, to join
arms, and from the rest to fetch what auxiliaries he can, both
land and sea forces. For the intentions of the Syracusans
(as I learn) are, with their land forces to make an attack on
our walls, and at the same time with their fleet to try an
attack by sea. Nor let it seem strange that I say In/ sea^ for
though our navy at first, indeed, was in a most flourishing con-
dition, both in the soundness of the ships, and the healthiness
of the crews, yet now (as our enemy well knows), the vessels, by
having so long kept the sea, are grown leaky and decayed, and
the crews are mouldering away. For as to the ships^ it is not
possible to haul them on shore, and careen ' them, because the
enemy's ships, equal or even superior in number, keep us in a
continual expectation that they will make an attack (being

only a fleet, except that pert of the sailors had been converted into heavy

^ Ina tubtequent one."] Or, as Goeller renders, " on the following day;**
which sense, indeed, the expression ry ixmpal^ seems to require; but the
^vords of Thucydides at c. 5. and 6. compel us to suppose a longer interval,
though Goeller arfties, that the activity of Gylippus makes it likely that he
would attack on the following day.

• Leaky — careen.l The words 3aXaa<Teva», ^taC/ooxoi, and ^iaif/v;^a» arc
all terms appropriate, which I shall fully illustrate in my edition.

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plainly 4o be seen exercising), and the attacks are in thei
power % afid they have for more the opportunity of drying
their vessels ^, not having to keep watch upon others.

XIII. "Nay, this v^ould scarcely be in our power even with a
great su)>erabundance of ships, and c;prtainly not, as now com-
pelled to keep watch with all our force; compelled, I say, because
if we should remit ever so little of our vigilance, we might be
deprived of necessaries, which even now we fetch in * with
great difficulty, close past their city. Hence it is that our
crews have decayed, and are yet decaying ; the sailors^ by
having to go far to fetch wood, water, and necessaries, being de-
stroyed by the cavalry. The servants^, too, since things have
been brought to an equality, desert ; and the foreigners, some,
as entering from compulsion, go off straight to their homes; and
others, at first allured by high wages, and supposing they had
come to plunder rather than fight, since they have found the
enemy^s resistance, both in respect of naval and other forces,
contrary to their expectation, some of them seize an excuse to
go off, in order to desert ^ ; others — just as they can, for
wide is Sicily ! ^ Others there are who by purchasing

« The aiittch are in their power,] i. e. the season for attack, and the
power either to attack or not.

3 Thei/ have far more the opporiumtif of drying their vessels.] Not the
means, as some render; for though the Syracusans had indeed far greater
means for careening, and possessed docks (the Athenians having nothing
that could be called a secure station), yet that is not here had in view.

< We fetch in,] For IKKOfiiKoiiivot I am inclined to conjecture iUofu-

» The servants,] Namely, those that had to wait on the mariners, and
do the drudgery of the ship, like our cabin-boys; for 1 read, with Bekker
and Goeller, for dtpatrivovTfQ, ^fpairovrts.

6 Scixe an excuse, Sire] The true punctuation of the original is, ol fikv
lir avTO/*oXinc, Trpo^a<ri«, dnffixovrau At npofden subaud itriy " eXCUSatione
aliqua arrepta." There is a similar construction in a kindred passage of
I. 30, 111., where at irpdipnmv is to be supplied Kara, The word airrojioXia
is, indeed, rare in the plural, but it occurs in Josephs 1288, 28., and Dionys*
Hal. Ant. 380, 23.

As to the excuses to go forth, in order to desert, they would be many, as
going for wood, water, &c. ; some of which are adverted to in Plutarch
iEm. Paul, c 23., cited by Goeller. ....

7 Wide is Sicily.] The phraseology here has been imitated by many
writers, as Plat.> Phsed. iroXXi) r; 'EXXac. Max. Tyr. Diss. 17. 1, 521. xoXX^
^ i) 2i«X{a. Chant, p. 72. iroiCKfi y&p if 'Aeia. Joseph. 49, 9. iroXXi) ydp 4

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Hyccaric slaves, to put on board in their stead (prevailing on
the trierarchs lo grant leave), have undermined the complete-
ness of our navy.

XIV. " I am writing to those who well know that short in
duration is the height of vigour ' in any armament, and few
are there of mariners who are able both to urge on the ship,
and to back the rowing.^

^^ But of all these circumstances the most distressful is, that«l^
b not in my power, though commander in chief, to hinder these

'iSovfuua, Theocrit. Idyll. 22, 156. IloXXci roi lirdpra iroXXd ^ Imrtikaros
"AXig, 'ApKadia rivfiaXo^, Philostratus Vit, Ap. 8. c. 7. p. 346. irrri 6k iroXXi)
17 'ApKaSia icai vXwJ]7j;., where, from not being avrare of this idionmtical use
of iroXX»), Olearius has greatly erred.

Mitford here well pamphrases thus: '* Sicily is wide; and wholly to
prevent these desertions is impossible; even to check them is difficult.

' Short in duration is the height 6f vigour.'] So Plutarch Anton, c. 28.
ctVeiv 8ri iroXKoi fiiv oine eiatv oi duirvovvrtg, dXXd Tripi SutStKcu dil ^ dKfii^v
l;^civ TMV TTopari^tftEvutv cfcaoroi/, fjv axaphg cipag uapaivet,

* Few are there of mariners^ cj-c] There is no little perplexity connected
with this passage, since, from our imperfect knowledge of maritime affairs in
antient times, it is difficult to assign any certain sense to the words. 'E^op-
jiSiVTiQ vavv is rendered by Dorville and Duker •* piloting a ship out of port,
or out to sea ; '* and IwkxovrtQ dpeaiav is explained " discharging that
office among the crew which pertained to the t:e\iv<rrai** But that would
confine the sense solely to officers, whereas the meaning seems to be in a
general way, *' that the loss of abie seamen is one not easily repaired."
The expressions must, therefore, have reference to the employments of
seamen in general. Thus, I prefer taking the i^oo/ic^vrec, with Fortus and
most others, in the sense eigere navem, navis cursum incitare. And so it
seems to have been taken by Pollux 1, 12.5. In the same manner, too, I
would understand a passage of Eurip. Iph. Aul. 1528. ro'ii di i^opfidv, Toig Sk
oTiWiiv scil. rj)v vavv, and, where it is used metaphorically, Aristopn.Thesm.
659. XP^) Kov^v l^opftav w66a., and perhaps Eurip. Hec. 145. Ik re yipaias
Xipi>i ^PM^foQi where I would join i^opfir/ffac. The sense is to separate.

The iwixovreg ilpuriav I formerly, with Abresch, took to mean ^ keeping
at the rowing,*' referring to Ariscopb. Ran. 201., which passage contains,
perhaps, the most graphic description of rowing any where to be found.
That sense, however, is too feeble, and not significant enough. I must,
therefore, acquiesce in the explanation of Goeller remis inhibere: <n;vlx<»> in
the sense hold, hold back, is frequent. Now, it must be borne in mind that
in the management of the row galleys of the antients, where in battle so
much depended upon nimble and sudden turns, it Was very necessary that
the rowers should be as well able to back the ship as to forward it ; which
was done, I apprehend, not by altering and changing their places, but by a
certain movement of the oars; though, when there was not sufficient time,
and it was necessary to back the ship very speedily, all rose and shifted
their places, and then rowed to poop, as it was called.

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abuses ^ (your tempers * are difficult to govern), and that we
have not any place from whence we can recruit oji r prp.w s
(which the enemy can do from various quarters) ; but must
of necessity have them alone from whence we derived those
which we had when we came, and those we have lost For
as to Naxus and Catana, which are now our allies, they are
unable to supply us. If, too, one more advantage should b^
added to our enemies, that the cities of Italy which supply us
with provisions, seeing the state we are in, and that you send
no reinforcen]ents, should go over to them — why then the war
will be decided in their favour, and we be induced to sur-
render without striking a stroke I

"I could have written you other accounts of things more
pleasing, but none which it more highly imports you to know ^,
if it behoves you to have a clear knowledge of things here, in
order to take your measures accordingly. And moreover
(knowing your dispositions, that you like, indeed, to hear the
most pleasing and favourable reports, but afterwards, if things
do not fall'out according to those representations, you impeach
the relators), I thought it the safest course to make you ac-
quainted with the truth.^

XV. " And now rest assured of this, that in respect to the
business which we at .first came to accomplish, neither the
soldiers nor the officers have so acted as to deserve any blame
at your hands.

*^ But since the whole of Sicily is in combination against

^Itis not in my power, <$-c.] Mitford paraphrases : " I find my authority
insufficient to control the perverse disposition, and restrain the pernicious
conduct, of some under my command."

^ Your tempers,] Literally, " natural dispositions." So Eurip. Heracl,
199. AXK' old" iydt r6 rtovSt (scil. Atheniensium) Xrjfui Kai ^xxnv. Aristoph.
Pac. 607., where it is said of the Athenians, UtpucKkriQ — rtkg fiftnig vfi&v
itSouciltc «a« Tov aifTodti^ TpoTOv, Soph. (Ed. Tyr. 674. at roiavTai <p(fff(ic
AifToli; ducaititg ilalv aKyuyrai ipeptiv,

* / could tiave written, <J-c.] So Eurip. Elect. 293. 0fpw Aoyovc dLttpiruq^
<SfXA' avayKaiovg kKvhv.

G / thought it the tafest course, <J-c.] See the passages cited by Dr. Blom-
field on ^chyl. Agani. 603., to which may be added the following : Livy
1. 22, 38. concio fuit verior quam gratior populo. iE»chin 71, 33. irSnpa
rAXfj^kg tiTTw i) rd i^Surrov ctKovirai; rAXridig ip&, rb ydp &ti tcpbg rfiovijv
Xiyofiivoy ovTutai ti)v itoKiv diaTk^tuctv, See more in my note on Galat«
4, 16.

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usy and the enemy are in expectation of other f<H'ces from
Pelc^onnesuBy consult what is to be done, bearing in mind
that those already here are not a match even for the enemy'9
present forces, but that it is- necessary either to recall these, or
to' send over another armament^ both of land and sea force,
not inferior to the former, and a supply of money to no small
amount, as well as a successor to me, since I am unable to
remain by reason of a nephritic disorder.^ Tliis indulgence^ I
think, I may claim at j^our hands ; for when I was strong and
healthy, I did you good service in several commands.

" But, whatever you determine to do, do it at the very
beginning of spring, and not by procrastination \ since the
enemy will soon provide themselves with what assistance
they can procUre from Sicily ; and that from Peloponnesus,
though it will be later, yet unless you give your whole at-
tention to the object, they will partly (as before) elude your
observation ^, and partly anticipate you."

XVI. Such was the purport of Nicias's epistle. After
hearing its contents, the Athenians did not, indeed, remove
him from the command, but, that he might not labour alone
amidst sickness, chose two of the officers that were there,
Menander and Euthydemus, as his colleagues pro tempore,
until others, who might be appointed as joint commanders
with him, should arrive. They also decreed to send over
another army ^ both of land and sea forces^ composed both of

I A nephritic ditorder.] Namely^ the stone and gravel. See Foesii
(Econ. Hippocr.

< Do U not by procrastination.] Mi) i^ ava€o\ac irpcKfotrt, As this idiom
has been neglected by the commentators, the following examples may be
not unacceptable: Herod. 8,21. ovk in ig dva€o\ac tTrotovvrd rr}v dvax***'
pfl<nv, Plutarch Demetr. 56. oifK etc ava€o\uc» aXKii to irp&rov, Joseph.
508, 34. oh^kv liq avaOAAg vTripc^ivro, and 770, 18. piiHv tig avato\iuQ^ «XX'
Ik tov bikutQ (I would read i^loc) icrtivavrac, k, r. X. 784, 23. 788, 17.
804, 8.

3 Elude your obiervatiott.] Nicias, it seems, lays the blame of the Pelo-
ponnesians not being intercepted to the Athenians at home ; who, indeed,
deserved to share it, but not to bear the whole blame, since there must have
been neglect on the part of the squadron despatched to watch the arma^

< Decreed to tend over another armyA One cannot but wonder at the
pertinacity with which the Athenians clung to their purpose ; though it
may be thought the more excusable^ considering how near it was of success.

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Athenians from the listSj and of allies. They also chose as
colleague to Nicias, Demosthenes son of Alcisthenes, and
Eurymedon son of Thucles; the latter whom they sent to
Sicily, about the tiqne of the winter solstice, with ten ships
and twenty talents ^ of silver, with orders to announce to the
army there that a reinforcement would be sent, and every at-
tention be paid to their welfare.

XVII. As to Demosthenes, he remained behind, and
superintended the preparations for the voyage, in order to set
out at the commencement of spring. He also proclaimed
an expedition ' among the allies, and furnished himself from
every quarter with money, ships, and heavy- armed.

The Athenians, too, sent twenty ships ^ to cruise round
Peloponnesus, in order to keep watch, that none might cross:
over from Corinth and Peloponnesus to Sicily.. For the
Corinthians, as soon as ambassadors had come, and brought
news that things were much altered for the better in Sicily,
thinking that they had well timed the former despatch
of shipsa prepared to send out heavy-armed to Sicily, in
vessels ot burden ; and the Lacedaamonians, in like manner,
were intent on doing the same from the rest of Peloponnesus*
The Corinthians also equipped and manned ^^ twenty-five
ships \ that they might attempt a battle against the guard-
force at NaupactuS) and that the Athenians might the less

& 7Wn/y taienU.'] Bredow, Benedict, Bekker, and Hack think that the
true reading is one hundred and twenty ; as twenty would seem too small
a number. And I myself, many years ago, thought of the same conjecture.
But this opinion has been shown to be groundless by Boeckh. Staatsh. d.
Att. t. 2. p. 197. and Goellerin loc.

» Proclaimed an cjtpedilion.] i. e. sent notices for an expedition. I here
read arpaTtiav, which the sense requires. In the same signification iTrayylX-
Xw occurs at 1. 5, 45. and 49., and elsewhere.

^ Twenty ships.'] Or rather, MtV/y ; for at c. 20. we read of" the thirty "
ships. And this is confirmed by Diod.irus. The single X and r, it may be
observed, are often confounded. It is, however, possible that the thirty
in question arose from the present twenty being added to ten, which had
before been stationed there.

s Equipped and manned,] Both senses seem to be comprehended in
ivXiipovv^ as in many other passages.

^ Twenty-five ships.] This passage has been had in view by Polyaen.
Strat. 6, ^3. where for i^cucortovc read mcwh, and a little after for *jctw koI
irlvrf read cueovi irivTt.

■ ?

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hinder their transports from making their passage, having
to keep watch against their own line of triremes ranged
against them.

XVIII. The Lacedaemonians, too, were preparing for an
irruption into Attica, as had been before determined on by
them, and at the instigation of the Syracusans and Corinthians,
when they heard of the reinforcements to be sent by the
Athenians to Sicily, in order that, by the occurrence of the
invasion, it might be hindered* Alcibiades, moreover, im-
portunately urged them to fortify Decelea ', and to carry
on the war with spirit. The courage \ too, of the Lacedae-
monians was especially invigorated because they reckoned that
the Athenians having in their hands a double war, both
against themselves, and the Siceliots, would be the more easily
brought down ; and because they conceived that they ihem"
selves had been the first to violate the fofjmer treaty ®, for that
in the former war the breach of the peace had been ikeirSf
because the Thebans had invaded Plataea in time of peace,
and because, though it was a proviso in the former treaty,
** that they should not resort to arms, if the other party were
willing to submit to judicial determination," yet they had
never hearkened to the Athenians when they invited them
thereto.^ To this injustice they thought their disasters in
the war might fairly be attributed, and in this light they con-
sidered their calamity at Pylus, and whatever other had
befallen them. But when the Athenians with those thirty
ships \ setting out from Epidaurus, had ravaged part of that
territory, and Prasiae and other places, and had also made de-
vastations from Pylus ; and, as often as differences arose from
the debatable points in the treaty, on the Lacedaemonians in-
viting them to judicial decision, would not leave it to arbitral

I Drcelea.] One hundred and twenty stadia from Athens, and situated
on a high and conspicuous spot which overlooked the plain, and was well
adapted for the use the Syracusans meant to make of it. lu present name
is Tatoi. See Po()po Proleg. t. s, 262.

^ The courage, 4'^.] p*»ffii yiyvnj^a^ is here put for pilfvwe^ai,

3 The former treaty,] Namely, the thirty years' truce^ or peace, which
was entered into after the reduction of Euboea, 1. 1, 23 and 115.

4 Invited them thereto.] As b recorded at 1. 1, 145.
» Thoie ihirfy iftips.] See 1. 6, 105.

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tion, then, indeed, the Lacedaemonians, thinkmg that the
transgression which had formerly been committed on their
sidejwas now, on the contrary, shifted round to the Athe-
nians % felt much alacrity for the war. They, therefore, in
the course of the winter sent round to their allies to procure
iron and other materials, with tools for the raising of the fort
And in order to send the succours to Sicily on board the'
transports, they themselves made provision, and compelled the
other Peloponnesians to do the same. And thus closed the
eighteenth year of the war which Thucydides hath narrated.

' YEAR XIX. B. C. 418.

XIX. Immediately on the commencement of spring, the
Lacedaemonians and their allies made the irruption into
Attica, under the command of Agis, son of Archidamus, king

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 22 of 59)