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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language and customs, went the Lemnians, Imbrians, and
.^E^inetes (who then occupied ^gina), and moreover the Hes*
tiaeans, who colonised Hestisea. These joined their forces, as
being allies. Of the rest part went as subject allies, part,
though independent, yet as allies, and some merely as mer-
cenaries. And of the subject and tributary states were the
Eretrians, Chalcideans, Styrians, and Carystians of Euboea;
from the islands were the Ceans, Andrians, and Tenians ^ ;
from Ionia, the Milesians, Samians, and Chians. Of these
the Chians, being not tributary, but furnishing ships, followed
as independent allies.

And those being, for the most part, lonians, descended of
the Athenians (except the Carystians, for they are Dryopes),
and being subjects and under constraint, yet followed as lonians
against Dorians.^ Besides them went ^olians, namely the
Methymnseans, with ships, and not tributary subjects, the

> Took their side.] Literally, stood on the side of one or other. So
1. 5, 59. fjiird noXifiKardrtJv oravrtQ, See my note on St. Matt. 12, 36.

* But at each happened, S^c] Such is, 1 conceive, the sense of the per-
plexing passage of tne original, where Goeller edits, a>£ %Ka(rroQ nc riig ^w
Tvxiac f; Kard ro ^vn<j>€pov ff AvdyKtjQ trrx^v. But the alteration is merely
conjectural, and, however specious, is unnecessary, not to say uncritical,
llie reading of Bekker, though difficult, is not inexplicable. The con-
struction is : wc «ic4(TT0tc i<rx(v (npdyfta 'iripi) Kwrvxia^, for wc ^Kdfrroic
^w'lrvxe. Here hx^v and dvdyxy are by Bekker rightly edited, from
several MSS. There will, indeed, be no difference in sense between this
and Goeller's reading ; but the more difficult one is to be regarded as the
more genuine.

5 Temans,] I here follow the conjecture of Valckn., which has been
approved by most recent critics ; and, being found in one of the MSS.,
has been with reason edited by Bekker and Goeller. The common reading
cannot well be defended.

^ Yet/ollotoed.^c,] The sense (which is rather hinted at than expressed)
is, that ** though they went as dependents, indeed, and by constraint, yet
they had also the inducement of going, as lonians against Dorians ; " the
enmity between the two races being such, that they willingly went one
against the other.

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Tenedians and Anions as tributary. Those, the .^EoUans,
were obliged to fight with .dBolians, namely the BoeotiaDs,
their founders, who were on the side of the Syracusans. The
Platseans, too, fought openly, as Boeotians, against Boeotians,
and those only from the justifiable cause of enmity. The Rho*
dians and Cytherians, both Dorians, the latter colonists of
the Lacedaemonians, yet bore arms with the Athenians against
the Lacedaemonians with Gylippus.^ The Rhodians, Argives
by race, were compelled to bear arms against the Syracusans,
as Dorians, and the Geloans their own colonists, who were
on the side of the Syracusans.^ Also of the islanders around
Peloponnesus, the Cephallenians and Zacynthians were in-
deed independent, but because of their insular situation (the
Athenians having the dominion of the sea) followed rather by
constraint The Corcyraeans, not only Dorians, but clearly
Corinthians ^ followed against the Corinthians and Syracu-
sans, though the colonists of one, and the kindred of the other :
and that, indeed, under a specious colour of necessity, but
not less from inclination, through their hatred of the Corin-
thians. Thus, also, the Messenians (as they were now called)
at Naupactus were taken from thence, and from Pylus (then in
the possession of the Athenians) to the war ; as also some few
exiles of the Megareans were compelled, through their cala-
mity, to turn their arms against the Selinuntians, though Me-

As to the rest, their participation in the expedition was
more voluntary. For the Argives, not so much for alliance
sake, as out of enmity towards the Lacedaemonians, and indi-
vidually for their private advantage, went, Dorians against
Dorians, with the Athenians, lonians.

s Tfie Rhodians and Cytherians, 4-^.] Hence it appears that Cythera was
never restored to the Lacedsemonians at the peace. The Cytherians, we
may suppose, followed the Athenians so much the more willingly, as having
been treated with unusual lenity by the Athenians, on their conquest of the

6 Who were on t/ie side of the Syracttsans] I here read, from the con-
jecture of LindaUy role fierd Xvp», as being required by propriety. Maxo/*i-
votf is to be supplied i'romiudxopro,

7 Clearly Connthians.] The <ra0wc must be referred, not to tlnovro, with
^obbes and others^ but to Kopiv^um

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. Hie MantineaDS, and other Arcadian mercenaries, accus-
tomed ever to go against whoever are pointed out to them as
foes, now, for gain, accounted as such the Arcadians who went
with the Corinthians. The Cretans and ^tolians, too, went
by the impulse of lucre. But it happened that the Cretans
went, however unwillingly, for lucre, not with their colonists,
but against those who lyilh the Rhodians founded Gela.
Some Acamanians, too, partly for lucre, but more through
friendship for Demosthenes, and good-will to the Athenians,
and as' their allies, went as auxiliaries. .
. Tlius far for those situated within the confines of the Ionian
gulf. Next came, of Italiots, the Thurians and M etapontians,
who (hemmed in by such necessity, amidst times of sedition and
violence, as to be compelled thereto) formed the expedition ® ;
as also of Siceliots, the Naxians and Cataneans ; of Bar«
barians the Egestaeans, who also brought over the greater part
of the Siculi; finally, of those beyond Sicily some Tyi*senians
(on account of a diiference with the Syracusans), and Japygians
as mercenaries. Such and so many were the nations which
took part in the expedition with the Athenians.

LVIII. On the other side, the Syracusans were supported
by the Camarinaeans, whose territory bordered on their own,
an^ the Geloans, who inhabited next beyond them, and again
(the Acragantines taking no part), who were situated in the
same direction, the Selinuntians. These occupied that part
of Sicily which is opposite to Libya. The Himeraeans were
of that part which is turned to the Tyrrhene sea, where they
are the only Greek inhabitants. And they in that quarter
were the only auxiliaries of the Syracusans.

8 Hemmed in hy tuch necessity, ^-c] The construction of the passage is
not a little perplexed. Goeller adopts the following : iv roiaiiraiQ dpayKaiQ
rSrt <rTa<rii$triK&v Kaip&v KareiXriftfuviav. and supplies ahriav. He also ren-
ders the whole passage thus : '* ex Italicis vero populis Thurii et Mota-
pontii, qui in hujusmodi temporum angustiis et in reipublicae seditione in-
tercept! essent, eandem militiam sunt secuti." In suppl}ring ahr&v he seems
perfectly nghtJ b"* otherwise his mode of constniction is too com-
plicated. There will be little difficulty if the passage be printed thus:
aLirairdvTiav iv roiavTaig dvayKoi^ irdre (TTaauitTtKwv Katpwv carciXi^^/tivfaiv,
Kvviarpdrtvov, The rotaOraic nas reference to some words omitted, such at
Bauer supplies, &oTt dvayKdlnr^ai arparivuv*

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Such were the Grecian nations of those in Sicily (all Do^
rians and independent) who were allies of Syracuse. OI* the
Barbarians were the Siculi, such as had not revolted to the
Athenians. Of the Greeks out of Sicily were the Laceda&mo-
niansy who furnished a Spartan leader, and some others,
Neodamodes ^ (or newly enfranchised) and Helots. The
Corinthians come with sea and land forces (alone of the
allies with both) ; as also the Leucadians and Ambraciots,
for kindred's sake'®; some mercenaries from Arcadia sent
by the Corinthians ,* some Sicyonians who joined the expedi-
tion from constraint; and, of those beyond Peloponnesus, the

In addition to these auxiliary troops, the Siceliots them-
selves, inasmuch as they were potent states, furnished a num«
ber in all respects greater; for there were collected together
of heavy-armed, ships, and horse, considerable numbers, and
of other kinds of force a great abundance.

But the Syracusans themselves contributed a number, I may
say, more considerable than all " the rest, both because of the
greatness of their sta^ and the imminent peril in which they
were placed.

LIX. Such and so great were the forces collected on both
sides ; for the whole were then present to each, nor was there
any further accession to either side.

The Syracusans, then, with reason, thought it would be a
noble achievement, if, in addition to the recent victory at sea,
they could capture the whole armament, considerable as it was,
of the Athenians, and prevent their escape by any way, whe-
ther by sea or by land. They therefore immediately pro-
ceeded to block up the mouth ' of the great port (which is
about eight stadia across), with triremes placed broadside, to-

' » Nieodamodet,] See 1. 5, 54 and 67. and the notes. Also Plutarch Ages,
c. 6. init.

'0 For kmdred^i sake.] Not with the Syracusans, as Smith understands,
but the Corinthians.

» » More considerable than aU.] The irpbg here, and just before, denotes,
not addition (as Hobbes supposes), but comparison,

1 Block up the mouth.] Diodorus says that this work was effected m
three days. Certunly, the one allowed by Dodwell is too short ft tune.


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gether with vessels and barges, mooring them fast at anchor ;
besides making other preparations, in case the Athenians
should venture another sea-fight; and nothing in any respect
trivial did they meditate.^

LX. And now the Athenians, on seeing this blocking
up of the port, and perceiving what the enemy aimed at,
thought proper to take counsel on what was to be done. Ac^
cordingly both the commanders and the taxiarchs ^ being con-
vened to consult upon the present difficulty of their affairs,
as well in other respects, as because they had not provision for
their immediate supply (for, expecting ihey should sail away,
they had sent forward to Catana, and forbade any further im-
portation), nor would have any in future, unless they should
obtain the mastery at sea — they therefore resolved to evacuate
the upper fortifications *, and wall in such a space ^ (the small-
est possible) as should be sufficient for their baggage and the
sick, and having established a garrison there, then the whole
of the rest of the land force to embark, and man all the ships,
both those that were fit for service, and even those that were
somewhat damaged % and fighting it out, if victors, to steer

< Nothing in any respect trivial, S^c] See an altogether kindred senti-
ment at i. 2, 8. init.

3 T(unarchs,'\ Corresponding, some say, to our colonels; others, more
properly, our captains. See the note of Duker, who truly remarks that it
was not unusual for these, at a perilous crisis, to be called into council, as
in the Roman armies the centurions were sometimes summoned to a
council of war. No example is cited by Duker from our author, though
something similar is mentioned at 1. 4, 4.

The rank of taxiarch cannot well be parnlleled with any in modem
armies, and it varied in different ages. The most exact account of the
taxiarchs, as they existed in the time of Thucydides, may be found
in Schcemann de Comit. Athen. p. 3 1 5., from which work Goeller adduces
the following quotation : ^* Proximi imperatoribus dignitate erant decern
Taxiarchi, ex tribubus et ipsi singulis singuli a populo creati. Hi et
in delecto habendo imperatoribus aderant, et indices (KaroXdyovf) juniorum,
quibus adhuc merenda erant stipendia, ex sua quisque tribu conscriptos in
potestate habebant, et in bello tribulibus suis, sed hoplitis tantum prseerant,
ordines instruebant, in proelium ducebant. Nam tribuum ilia descriptio non
minus militias quam domi valebat."

* Upper fortifications.] Namely, those of the circumvallation which they
had last erected on the west side of Syracuse.

* A space.] This was not circular (as Smith supposes), but rather
square; and 1 suspect it to have been at the mouth of the Anapus.

« Those tltat were somewhat damaged.] Or, less serviceable^ though still

Digitized by



/ ^ »\ £ vanquished) to burn their ships, and

y^ e retreat in battle array to such a place^

' If as they could reach.

Jetermined, so they acted } for they privily

he upper walls, and manned all the ships,

le to embark that was of suitable age, and

ice. And there were manned to the num*

ber of one hunureii and ten ships in all, on board of which they

embarked numbers of archers and dartmen of the Acamanians,

and other foreign auxiliaries ; besides making all other provi*

sion as far as it was possible, under their present distressesi

and with the designs which they meditated*^

Every thing being now mostly in readiness, Nicias, perceiving
the soldiers ^ to be much dejected at this great and unusual de^
feat at sea, and, by reason of the scarcity of provisions, anxious,
as speedily as possible, to try the fortune of battle, called them
together, and first ^^ addressed them in an exhortation to the
following effect " :

LXI. << Soldiers, whether Athenians, or auxiliaries, the

of some use. Such b the sense, and not that assigned by the Scholiast and
Smith, <' laid up for want of hands," which is not inherent in the words;
nor is it true that the ships wanted hands. Ki&temaker has seen the true
sense, which, indeed, had been discerned by Hobbes.

7 Primly descended.] For that is implied in the v^r^.

• Under their present, 4rc.] Goeller very well render thus : ** in solcher
nothdurft, prout ipsis in eas angustias compulsis, et hujusmodi cogitationes
in animo volventibus, licebat.'*

9 7^ soldiers.] l^rparuarric was indifferently applied to naval ai well ai
land forces.

»• First,] i. e. before they went to battle. Hobbes renders, "then, for
the first time;" Smith, " the first of the kind he had ever made." But
that sense is solely founded on a false reading ; nor, indeed, is it at all satis-
factory. The recent editors seem rightly to have adopted 9rapfieeXc^<ravr«

rt Tp&TOV.

» > Addreued them in an exhortation, S^c] Diodorus tells us that " it was
addressed from on board a ship, and while sailing along the lines of
triremes :" but he seems to have been thinking of that mentioned at c. 69%
See Hack.

It is truly observed by Mitford, that "as the spiriu of those under nis com-
mand sunk, the animation, and, indeed, the whole character, of Nicias
seemed to rise. His behaviour on the occasion was truly great. Little anv
bitious, under favouring fortune rather deficient in exertion, and sometimes
culpably remiss in his command, his activity and animation increased as
eyils pressed and dangers threatened."

Q 2

Digitized by



combat we are about to engage in will be alike common to all ;
^nd to each of us, as well as the enemy> it will be for our pre-
servation, and that of our country* For if we do but now gain
the superiority by sea, every one may again be blessed with a
sight of his native country. And now be ye not dispirited, nor
feel like raw recruits, who, being frustrated in their first trials,
ever entertain a fearful expectation assimilated to their previous
calamities.^ But such of you as are Athenians, having already
had the experience of many wars, and you, allies, who have all
along fought under our banners, call to your minds the unex-
pected events of war, and expecting that fortune may even yet
be on our side, prepare yourselves to again encounter ^ the foe,
in a manner worthy of such a midtitude as ye see yourselves to
consbt of.

LXII. " As to what we have thought would be advan-
tageous, amidst the narrowness of the port, against the crowd
of ships that will be mingled together, and against the enemy's
disposition of troops on their decks (in all which we were here-
tofore injured), these points have been now, as far as our means
would permit, considered with the ship-masters, and due pre-
paration made. For many darters and archers will be placed
on the decks, and such a multitude as, had we been going to
engage in the open sea, we should not have used, because our
skill would have been impeded^ by the heaviness of our ships;

1 Entertain a fearful expectatum, 4^c.] The Scholiast has well explained
this passage, witn wnich Duker compares one of Lucian, t. 2, 899, 5. To
whicn may be added Onosand. p. 85, 6. vTroXofi^dvovoai ydp (scil. ol ^x^)
rt xe<pov wv irsvoyrai^ ^^tpihrppov ic^^xovrai rb fUXXov. and p. 119, 1. o ydp
06€oc, ^iv6rj£ fidvTic, & dUoucf, ravra diiifffrai Kai yivio^at. Fausan. ). 1, 25,
2. ppSvfjfia Iv av^puiirotg trapaaxofuvoc owt'x&Q lirrcuKoai kcu oi aiirb oi/Sk
2v Xpritrrbv oM ig tA fisKKovra Ikiri^ovm, .£schyl. Agam. 965.

The use of iXiri^ut, respecting evil, is deserving of attention. The most
remarkable example of which is in Aristoph. Av. 956. rovri — rb Kaxbv ov
voT fiXiriOT* av. Soph. Trach. 11 1 . jcajcdv Avtrravov IXiri^ouirav altrav.
Hence is illustrated Eurip. Orest. 849. o7/ioc, ^rpocn/X^cv ^Xn-ic, ^ 6o€ov/juvfi

^ Again encounter.] Or, fight up your defeat. So Xen. Cyr. 5, 1, 20. 6
KoaTTi^iic <fifi^ri dvafiaxtifT^ai -"- irdXeig dXovaai dovreu dvafAax^O€ur^ai &v»
Dio Cass. 305, 17* dvafAdx^<T^at pailio^ iBvvaro,

9 Jn^peded,] The translators and commentators have not seen that
^dvTHv is used in the sense retardare, impedire, of which see tlie examples
adduced by Dr. Blomfield on.^)8chyl. 1 17. ftXa^kyra Xow^iioy dp6fu»tv.

Digitized by



whereas, in the present land^ht we must maintain from our
ships, they will be useful. Whatever counter-devices, too,
seemed expedient (and especially against the thickness of their
beaks), have been contrived by us, such as the fixing of iron
harpoons ^ which, when thrown out, will hinder the recoil of
the boarding ship, if, as to what follows, the marines will do,
their duty. For to this, in fact, we are compelled — to make
a land-fight from our ships ; wherefore it will be expedient
for u& neither ourselves to back our ships, nor su£Per the ene-
my so to do; especially as the whole shore is hostile, except
so &r as it is occupied by our land forces.

LXIII. " Bearing these things in mind, it behoves you to
. maintain the combat to the uttermost ^ of your power, and no
to suffer yourselves to be driven out to the shore, but when
ship falls on board ship, to never think of loosing your grapple
before you have swept ^ the heavy-armed from the enemy's

" Now these exhortations are meant not less for the soldiers
than the seamen, inasmuch as this last is the province rather
of those above deck.^ It is even now in your pcmer to gain
the superiority by the use of your forces. The seamen, too, I
admonish) and at the same time entreat, not to be too much

4 Iron harpoont^ Or, grappling iront. See 1. 4, 25. and note. The use
of liri^Xal nere is somewhat harsh, and only suited to poetry. Thus
.£schyl. Suppl. 447. iroXv/icrtow irkirkhtv T' iirtkatikQ ifiQv. Eurip. Iph. Taur.
872. x^V*^ vipti^oXdc iUbc XaEtTv, Yet I have remarked a similar use (no
doubt from imitation) in Polyaen. 1, 40, 9. rdg (vavg) xc»pwv otSrip&v iin^o-
Xaig i^elXicc. Dionys. Hal. Ant. 441,31. ut^tafioi ra Kai x^H^*^^ iiritoXal,
Joseph, p. 171. 9avidiov iTriSoXdig,

1 Maintain the combat to the uttermost.] Literally, " fight it out to the

« Stvept,] Literally, ** mown down." There is a phrase Very similar in
Herod, f. 8, 90, 11, ro^c lni€araQ Airo Trjg k, vijbg ^dX^ovrtg AirrfpaKav, and
5,112,12. tpiTT&vtii TrXr/^oc avcLpdoau tov 'itrirov rov 7r6dac, Dionys. Hal.
Ant. 494, 10. iarrtixov ii'Kop.ax6ftivo% yiwa'mg, Kai rroXXoKic iTritalvovraQ
TOV TiixovQ Toi)g froXifiiovg dirijpa^av. And there is A sitnilar use of the
word (but with a similar error) nt p. 551, 25. and 553, 16. Perhaps the
expression was originally derived from Horn. II. X 497. ipwadfiivog Ki^e
6$^, Aitx^Pa fik<T9ov (Xatreov, diriipa^t dk x^H^^^» Airy ffiiv vTjXtjKif Kdpri,

3 Above deck,] Such is the sense of ru>v dvw^«v, which have been passed
over by Smith. According to the structure of the tow-galleys of the an-
tients, the rowers were chiefly below deck ; and upon the deck were sta
tioned the marines,

Q 3

Digitized by



dismayed by recent calamities, having now a greater number
of ships, and a much larger force on deck.

" Think, too, of that pleasure how worthy it is of being
preserved, even that of being (as ye have hitherto been) ac-
counted Athenians, even such of you as are iiot so * ; and by
your knowledge of the language, and your imitation of our
manners, have been both admired throughout Greece ; and, in
respect of being benefited from' our empire, have derived no
less advantage than ourselves ; nay, as regards being objects of
fear to the subject states, and in not being unjustly treated,
have enjoyed a far greater.^ So that, being freely partakers
with us alone of empire, you would not now with any justice
betray the same to ruin.® Nay, rather, despising the Corin-
thians, whom ye have often vanquished, and the Siceliots, not
a soul of whom dare withstand us, as long as our fleet was in
unimpaired vigour — drive them before you, and show that,
even upder weakness and calami^, our knowledge is better than
the fortunate strength of others.

LXIV. " Such of you, too, as are Athenians, I must yet
further remind, that you have neither left in your docks any
other ships equal to these, nor an army in the flower of youth
and strength.^ And that, if aught shsJl befall you but victory,
your enemies here will presently be upon you at home, and you
will be unable to repel both those already there and those that
shall come in addition. And, thus, part of you will immediately

^ Such of you at arc not *o.] Here are meant the iiiroiKoty on the con-
dition and righu of vhom Goeller refers to Boeckh. Staatsh. d. Ath. 1. 1.
PIV 30. 48. 279, 280. 285. sq., as also Schoemann de Comit. Athen. p. 81. F.,
from whom he gives the following quotation : — " Dicebantur iidero iVorc-
Xcic, quia populi beneficio pari fere cum civibus jure fruebantur. Itaque
inquilini percussor non minori pcena affectus est, quam civem qui interfe-
cerat. V.Meier, de bonis damnat. p. 23. 'IfforeXcTc tamen non omnes inqui-
lini erant, sed tanturo qui fxtroiKUft sive annuo inquilinorum tributo soTuti
idem atque cives tributum solvebant, et eodem cum civibus adscriptitiis
jure ac conditione erant."

» Nay, as regards, 4"^.] The sense is somewhat obscure ; but the orator
refers to that odium and iniurv to which those in rule are exposed ; aJlud-
ing to the ingratitude which the Athenians often suffered from those whom
they had benefited.

* Betray to ruin.] The Kard in Karavpo^iiotri is intensiire.

> An army m the flower, 4"^.] Literally, ** a flower of soldiery ; ** namely,
tike the present.

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be at the mercy of the Syracusans (against whom ye know
with what intent ye came hither), and the rest at home witl
become subject to the Lacedaemonians. Now then, having, in
this battle, to fight to avert both these calamities, exert all your
courage, now if ever, and reflect both individually, and collect
tively, that those of you who are now to man the fleet, are
both the land force, and the navy of the Athenians, yea, the
whole surviving state, and the great name of Athens, in
behalf of which, if any one in aught excel another, whether in
skill or in bravery, he can never have any better time wherein
he may show it, and thereby be both the means of saving him-
self, and contributing to the salvation of the state!"

LXV. Having addressed these exhortations, Nicias im-^
mediately ordered them to man the ships. Kow, Gylippus
and the Syracusans, seeing this bustle of preparation, could
well discern that the Athenians meant to come to a battle ; they
had also received previous information of their intention to
throw out iron grapplings. For which, and every thing else,
they had made preparatory equipments accordingly; having

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 28 of 59)