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 29 of 59)
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cased the prows, and to a considerable distance of the upper
part of the ships, with raw hides, in order that the grapplings
when thrown out, might have no hold. And, when all things
were ready, the commanders and Gylippus addressed an ex^
hortation to them to the following effect :

LXVI. ** That your former achievements, Syracusans and
allies, have been honourable, and that the present combat will
be for glorious future results, ye most of you seem to be well
aware, for, otherwise, ye would not with such alacrity have
undertaken it. And if any should not be sensible of it, as he
ought, we will make it clearly appear. Now, whereas the
Athenians came into this country first for the subjugation of
Sicily, and then, if they should prove successful, for that of
Peloponnesus and the rest of Greece; and whereas they
possessed the greatest dominion of any Greeks past or present^
ye have been the first of mortals to withstand their navy, by
which they obtained and held every thing, and have already
defeated them in some sea-fights, and in all probability will do

e *



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£52 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. BOOK VII.

SO in the present. For, after men have been worsted ^ in that
wherein they thought they excelled, their self-opinion is hence-
forward lower than it would have been if they had never
thought so highly of themselves ; and by coming short of their
expectation in that wherein they prided themselves, they fall
short in their e£Ports of the real strength they could exert.^
Such is, probably, now the case with the Athenians,

LXVII. " Whereas, with us it happens that our former
opinion of ourselves ^ being now confirmed and stable, and
there being added to it the inference * that we must be the best,
since we have conquered the best, the hope of every one is
doubled. And, in most enterprises, the greatest hope supplies
the greatest courage and alacrity. As to the points whenein
they have employed imitation of our equipments and disposi-
tion, they are methods familiar to our practice, and we shall
not be unprepared against each of them. Whereas they^ when
they have on deck (contrary to their custom) many heavy-
armed *, and many (so to speak) landsmen darters ®, Acama-
nians and others, who will not even know how to launch their
weapons sitting, <— how should they do aught else but sway
|he ship about ^, and (being all in confusion among themselves.



' Have hcen worsted,'] Literally, " have been cut short, or corns short."

« In their efortt, <5-c.] Literally, "beyond the force of their stren^h.**
A sort of pleonasm. But, indeed, tVxvc is properly a vox mediae significa*
tionis, as in Soph. Philoct. 104.

' 0/nitton of ourselves,] Not strength, as the translators and commenta-
tors explain ; for, in the neuter rb ifxdpxov there is a reference to the rd y
viroXoivov ri}g dSKfic a little before.

« Inference,] This is a rare signification, and not observed by the inter*
preters, but it occurs also at 1. 4, 87.

* Have on deck many heavy^rmed.] See Polysen; Slrat. 1. 6, 145.

6 Landsmen darters.] The Scholiast, Bauer, and others, do not see the
force of x<p<'aM>c, which is used contemptuously, as when we ourselves speak
of landsmen, or land'lubbers. So Eurip. Androro. 457. vahri^v i^t)Kiv dvrl
Xip<Taiov KOKov, Lucian, t. 1. 687 and 3,115. x^P^^'^^ (iarpaxov duc^v
iKKtKpaykvai, Lycoph. Cass. 480. dypSrrjc x^P^^^^^' where, perhaps, Lyco-
phron had in miAd a kindred passage of our author, 1. 1, 142. (of the Pelo-
ponnesians) dvSptg yeutftyoi, Kai oh SraXcunnoi, mere clowns, not seamen.
There I^ericles might have said xcptraToi. In fact, the primary signification
6f x^ptrog is the dry land as opposed to the sea (from x^pw cocnate with
Xc(»> hisco). Thus x^P^oc ^nd ^oXavtra are opposed in iEscbyl. Eum. 706.

7 Sway the sfUp about.] For landsmen on board of ship, being uneasv^
sddom can keep still, and, by moving about, impede the progress of a barK.



V

\



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CHAP. LXVIII. THE HISTOBY OF THUCYDIDE& 288

and moviog in a manner not their own ®) fall into disorder?
And as for the number of their ships (if any of you be appre-
hensive, as not fighting on an equality), that will profit them
nothing ; for being many in a small compass, they will be the
slower to accomplish whatever may be intended, and the easier
to be annoyed by the measures we have prepared against them.
*< Know, too, this for very truth, and founded on what we
esteem certain information. Misfortunes multiplying around
them, and having no way to provide for their present wants,
they are driven by desperation to run the hazard of ^ battle
just as they may, and not in reliance on their forces or their
fortune ; in order, that, either by forcing their passage, they may
make sail away ; or else, after this trial, may make their re-
treat overland, since, under existing circumstances, they could
not change their situation (gt the worse.

LXVIII. " Against such a confused rabble ', then, of in-
veterate foes, whose fortune betrays ^ them into our hands, let
us engage with vehement resentment ^ ; fully convinced, both
that it is most lawful with respect to one's enemies, for any
to desire, for the avenging himself on an aggressor, to sa-
tiate the fury of his wrath ; and especially as we shall, more-



Thus old Charon is designated, in a well-known composition, as exclaim-
ing to his landsmen passengers, " Trim, trim^ the boat, and keep steady ! "

* Moving in a manner not their ownS i. e. not as they have been used to
do on terra firma, but tottering on a ship's deck.

9 They are driven by desperation to run the hazard of.] I have here fol-
lowed the reading of the Scholiast, diroKivSwtwai for dnoKtvivvtveti, which
is approved by Acacius and Duker. The alteration is so slight as scarcely
to require MS. authority.

> A confuted rabble,] 'AraKlav is here, by a bold hypallage of thing for
person, put for ap^putnovg druKrovQ, Of which idiom the following are
illustrations : iBschyl. p. 59. Edit. Steph. e/c roiavTriv dra^iav rwv vofiuv
irpotaiiJTe. which passage is imitated by iEschin. C. Ctes. § 1 5. fitjy if/iiiQ
TTore iic TOva^Trjv dra^iav rCiv v6fiwv wpo^aiiirf. So dvapxia is used by
iGschyl. Suppl. 913. and Eurip. Hcc.611. iv roi fivpitft arpaUvfiart 'AicdXair-
rog uxXofi vavriKr) r kvapyla, where Dio Chrysostoni reads aral^^ia^ which 1
should be inclined to think the true reading, but for the following imitation
(as it seems) in Philostr. Vit. Ap. 1. 3, 31. dvSpdc v^p^<rraQ r« Kai KvyKXvda^
Avapxlay iranav.

< Whote fortune betrays,] Such is the real, though not the hteral, sense
of the passage, which is phrased too harshly for our language.

3 Let us engage with vehement resentment.] Bauer aptly compares Liyy,
1. 21,414 itaque vos ego, milites, non eo solum animo, quo adversus alios
hostes soleti?, pugnare velim ; sed cum indignatione quadam atque ira.



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2S4 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. BOOK. VII.

over, attain what is usually called the sweetest of all gratificaf
tions, revenge on an enemy.* That they are enemies, and our
bitterest ones, you all know ; since they came to our country
in order to enslave it; wherein, had they succeeded, they
would have subjected the men to the most ci*uel, and the
women and children to the most shameful ^ fate, and imposed
on the city the most ignominious appellation.® This being the
case, it would become no one to suffer his anger to evaporate,
nor to think it advantageous ^ for us to let them go without
putting ourselves to further danger ; for that they will equally
do, should they gain the victory : but after having done, in all
probability, what we wish, to avenge ourselves of these, and to
deliver to all Sicily a freedom before enjoyed, but then more
secure and stable; — that were an achievement woithy of all
honour. And surely of all dangers the rarest are those which,
inflicting very little injury from failure, confer much advantage
from success/'

LXIX.* The Syracusan generals and Gylippus, having
addresse<l these exhortations to their soldiers, immediately had
the ships manned, on perceiving that the Athenians had done
so. As to Nicias, being in much perturbation at the present
state of affairs, and seeing how great was the danger, and how
imminent ; thinking, too (as is usually the case in contests so
momentous), that in deeds the dispositions were even yet de-
fective, and, as far as t&or^/^ were concerned, enough had not been
said, he again summoned every one of the captains, and call-
ing each by the name of his father ^, and by their own proper



4 That it must be lawful^ S^c.'\ Few passages are to be found more per-
plexing in the construction than this. Perhaps the mode pursued by
Goeller, who treats it as a blending of two constructions, is the most
^fectual.

» The men to the most cruel, cj'c.] Those who know the enormities
which were practised by the heathens on the sacking of cities, will need no
explanation of this sentence, in which is so briefly, yet forcibly, depicted
the fa|e of a conquered place.

The ahx^^n is employed verecundh.

« Ignommow appellation,] Namely, that of subject,

7 Think it advantageous.] Literally, '* clear gain." See 1. «, 44. fin. and
note.

> CalUng each by the name of his father,] Heyne on Hom. II. 10, 68.
(cited by Goeller) remarks, ** id eniro benevolentiam declarare putabatur.



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^HE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. 235

their tribes, entreated each one that had

V, not to betray it; also those whose fore-

not to tarnish their hereditary virtues ;

high degree of liberty in their country,

' power to all therein in regard to their

d saying whatever else persons in isuch

ay, who are little studious to avoid ad-

, and hackneyed (though they repeat what is

u forward on such occasions, respecting their

children and country's gods), but whatever they

. useful, in the present alarming emergency, sound forth

fh their ears.*' ^°

After having addressed to them admonitions, not so much
what he thought sufficient^ as all that the time would permit,
he left them, and led tlie land forces to the sea side, and
ranged them along as large a space as possible, so as to be of
the greatest benefit in confirming the courage of those on
board the ships. And now Demosthenes, Menander, and
Euthydemus (for those were the commanders of the Athenian
fleet) went on board, and unmooring, immediately made sail



Causes tamen plures esse potuere, ut discemeretur alter ab altero, etiam
honoris causa, cum pater esset clarus.*' It may be added, that there is
something very similar in Herod. 6, 14, 13. iv trrrjXy dvaypa<l>fivai rrarpo^Ev,
Xen. Cyr. 1, 4, 15. ical TrapaxaXovvrtc ivo^vri sKoffrov. Pausan. 5, 14, 1.
ot//Xij irarpA^iv bvSaara ix^vtra. Plutarch Brut. 49. and Symp. narpobiv
bvoaiZ^uiV, MWsiTi V. H. 6, 2. narpo^iv rbv viaviav Trpoffiiirov, Soph, CEd.
Col. 215i Tivbc it (TTrkpfiaroQ, Xiive, ^wvei TraTpS^ev. Pollux 5, lO. irarpb^ev
Tivd KoXfXv,

« Uncontrolled power, 4^c,] So Pericles in his Funeral Oration, 1. 2, 57.
says, " Thus liberally are our public affairs administered ; thus liberally,
too, do we conduct ourselves as to mutual suspicions in our private and
ever3'-day intercourse ; not bearing animosity towards our neighbour for
following his own humour, nor darkening our countenance with the scowl
of censure, which pains though it cannot punish.'* All this, however,
appears to have been more in words than deeds ; at least, the higher ranks
had even less of it than the lower; Athens being certainly the very para-
dise of the mob, the very lowest of which could at any time make those
endued with merit, virtue, and wealth tremble.

3 Who are Utile studiotu to avoid, ^c] See Goeller, who has very well
explained this somewhat intricate passage; also compare Livy 1. 5?, 5.
multa jam saepe memorata de majorum virtutibus, simql de militari laude
Macedonum quum disseruisset, ad ea quae turn maxime animos terrebant,
quibusque erigi ad aliquam spem poterant, venit, and Heliod. iGthiop. i.
p. 55, 21. Bourdel. He also truly remarks, that by the rd vwkp airdvnw
frapairXiieta are meant common-places. See Lucian 1. 2, 337, 66, Isocr.
Nicocl. p. 40. Also, the note on 1. 1, 130, 7.



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236 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDE8, BOOK VII,

for the barrier * of the port, and the passage yet left not com-
pletely closed, intending to force their way out

LXX. But the Syracusans and their allies had previously
weighed anchor with about the same number of ships as be-
fore ; and with part of them kept guard at the outlet S and
the rest of them round the other part ^ of the harbour, that
they might fall upon the Athenians from all sides at once, and
their land force, at the same time, draw down to their assist-
ance where the ships occupied their stations*

The Syracusan fleet was commanded by Sicailus and Aga-
tharchus, each stationed at a wing: and Pythen and the
Corinthians maintained the centre.

When the Athenians had approached to the barrier, they
made right for it, and at the first charge overpowered the ships
stationed there, and endeavoured to remove the barricade.
Whereupon the Syracusans and their allies rushing upon them
from every side, the battle was no longer off the barrier, but
also in the port itself. It was stiffly maintained, and such as
was not any of the former battles.® For much spirit was
evinced by the seamen on either side, in advancing to the
charge when ordered * ; there was also much counter-manceu-
Tring of the ship-masters, one striving against another. The



< Bartier,] Namely, that barricade across the port's mouth composed
of triremes turned broadside, &c. mentioned supra, c. 59. As the commen-
tators here adduce no classical examples, the following may be not unaccept-
able : Plutarch Marcell. c. 14. c. in. virkp St luyakov iitvyfiaroc vtwv, 6ktu»
rrpbg ciXXi7\ac ovvh^tikviav. Compare also c. 1 5.

1 Kept guard at the outlet.] So iEschyl. Pers. 370. IvirXovQ fvSAoativ xai
TrSpOVQ dkiftpo^ovQ,

« Round the other part,] Smith renders, " ouite round," &c. ; which is,
however, more than Thucydides says, or, I think, means. The harbour
was too extensive for that, neither would such a manoeuvre have been of
the least service. The remaining ships seem to have been ranged on each
side of the mouth as far as they could reach.

3 Such at was not any of the former battles.] Hobbes wrongly renders,
" such as there had never before been the like." There had been battles
as obstinately disputed, but not any of the preceding, between the Syra-
ousans and Athenians. There have, however, been tew like it in any age.
The late battle of Navarino was, in all respects, strikingly similar.
. * When ordered.] Namely, by the sound of the icf\«v<rroi, who were like
our boatswains. See Dr. Blomfield on .£schyl. Pers. 403. From £)urip.
Iph* Taur. 1126 — 6. it may, I think, be inferred that that -was done by a
pipe, such as our boatswains use.



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CHAP. LXX. THE HISTORY OP THUCYDIDES, 237

marines, too^ were studious, when ship fell on board ship, not
to be outdone in any points of skill which could be shown
from deck; and each at the post where he was stationed
strained every nerve to appear the foremost

Many ships, however, grappling together in a narrow com-
pass (for they were indeed the greatest number that had ever
combated in so small a space, both fleets together falling little
short of two hundred sail), the charges with beak were few,
because there was no power of recoiling and then dashing
tlirough the line ; but of assaults ^, as ship chanced to fall foul
of ship, either in flying or in chasing another, there were very
many* And while ship was brought against ship, those sta-
tioned on the decks launched darts, arrows, and stones in
abundance at her ; but when they had closed, the marines
coming to close combat, endeavoured to board each other's
vessels. And it often happened % that, by reason of the nar-
rowness of room, they partly charged upon others, and partly
were themselves charged ; and that two, or sometimes more,
ships were by compulsion closely locked together, insomuch
that the steersmen had to take care, not on one quarter alone, but
on all sides to guard against some and contrive against others ;
and great Was the shouting, and such as at once to stupify,
and preclude all hearing of the orders of the celeustas [or boat-
swains]. Frequent, indeed, and loud was the sound of the
celeustae on both sides, not only according as their art re-
quired, but as incited by the ardour of rivalry ; the Athenians
shouting out ^^ to force the passage, and now, if ever again, to
zealously strive to attain ^ a safe return to their country ;'* the
Syracusans and their allies, ^^ that it were glorious to hinder
their escape, and for each, by conquering, to increase the



s Charges with beak^ 4^.] Such is the distinction between ifi!^\jaX and
9rpo<y€oXaJy on which Goeller annotates thus : *' Diflert ir/xxTCoXi), concursut
adversus ab i/if oXt), quae mode est impetus quivis, modo impetus in latera.
Yid. 2, 89. 7, 36." it may be added, that the terms are carefully distin-
guished in Dio Cass. 616, 69.

6 It often happened that, ^c] The whole of this passage is imitated by
Plutarch Nic. c, «5. and Edo Cass. p. 627. Svo rt ydp ^ koI rtwdpa ry a(/rf
vifi trpoffdnTovvai, k, r. X.

7 Strive to attidn, ^c] Such is the sense of dvriXdUvdat, which is not
well perceived by the interpreters. The word is so used by Arrian E. A.
% 29, 14. dvr. rov ipyov.



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238 THE HISTORY OF TUUCYDIDES. BOOK YII.

glory of his own country.'* And moreover the commanders
on both sides, if they any where saw one rowing to poop ®
without necessityi calling upon the captain by name, the Athe-^
nians would ask him ^^ if they retreated because they esteemed
the most hostile land more their own than the sea, of which
by no small trouble they had gained the dominion ;" the SyrO"
cusanSf " if they would flinch from those whom they well knew
to be striving by every means to escape, and thus fly from
the fliers."

LXXL Meantime the land forces of each side, which were
drawn up along the beach ', while the battle was yet unde-
cided ^, sustained a mighty conflict and commotion of mind %



• Rotving to poop.] Or retreating.

1 Along the beach,] Drawn up each to give aid to such of their ships as
should be hard pressed, and driven on shore.

s Undecided.] Literallv, " was maintained on equal terms, the balance
of the scales inclining neither way."

3 Sustained a nti^hty conflict and commotion of mind*] Even that of sym-
pathy with their friends on the water, and of alternate hope and fear.

There has, however, been no little perplexity experienced by editors and
critics to determine the true reading and sense of this passage. They
remark that the Scholiast must have read IvvraaxQ, by which Goeller under-
stands cruciatus animi: but it would rather signify animi conteniio. It may
be added thai Kvpravic seems to have been read by Valla, and is found in
almost a transcript of this passage in Dio Cass. p. 367. AvriwdKov yap riJQ
/*^X*?C"^^C ^X^C vvvTaaiiy cvvuvai fiXovro. Yet, strange to say, the
common reading, ivfrraoiQy is found in another equally close imitation at
p. 575 and 576. 6 irkl^oQ — avtrratni ttiq yviofifiQ trvvtffxovTo, There can be
no doubt, too, but that Plutarch read IvoraaiQ : for, in the reference which
he makes to this passage at p. 547, B. (quoted by Duker), he writes,
SKaarov dytava Kai (yvtrramv rrJQ yviljfirig l^*^^* where the common reading
<r{fVTaKiv is indefensible; and SKatrrov points to triftTraaiv rather than to
aifVTaovif : nor do I remember one instance of ohvrajaiQ in a metaphorical
sense. The whole of that passage is thus emended by Goeller : koX cH ttc-
^o/ucxovvrec likv Ik daXarrijc Aoice^aift^vtoi, vavfiaxovvriQ dk dirb yrjc 'AJ^ip>
yaloi, Kal irdXiv 6 Iv roTc l&wtXtKolg U rijc yvc w^^ Afi^orkptoVy i<Tof»p6irov rric
vavftaxiag Ka!^€<rrriKviagy SXaarov dydva Kai (Htaraoiv TiJQ yvotfiijc lx<«»v Bid rd
dxpiri^ owix^Q tTiq dfitKKriQ, Kai toXq autfiamv ahrol^ laa rj d6Zy irepii(&^
avfiirviktv fuvrd ry Sia^itrtt Kai ry iiarviru<ru rStv yivofikvutv ypa^ucric ivap*
yiiaQ iari where t6 oKpiru^ is undoubtedly the true reading; and, indeed,
the same emendation I myself made many years ago. I also emended
owajrovtviovy which Goeller only timidly proposes as a qusere. As to
the last emendation /icord — iariy it is far too bold ; for how is it possible
to account for the omission of two words which might seem essential
to the sense? I say ieem, for they are not really so. It may suffice to
subaud tpyov iariy a very common ellipsis, on which see Bos.

Finally, IvvraoiQ is also supported by Plutarch Vit Hom, § 807. 4 ^<n'a-
m^ HlQ ^x^C dv'uTM Kai rd fUXi} tov oiitpATOQ Xvirou AUo by Eurip.



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CHAP. LXXI. THE HISTORY OF THUCTDIDES. 239

those of the country being eager for an increase of the credit
already gained; the invaders fearing lest they should fall into
a yet worse condition than their present one. For, indeed,
affairs being with the Athenians wholly centred in ^ the shipsj
their fear for the future was unparalleled.^ And by reason
of the fluctuating inconsistency of fortune, they were also com*
pelled to view the combat from land with fluctuating feelings.®
For the scene being at but a short distance, and all not look-
ing at one and the same part, upon their own side prevail-
ing, they would take courage, and would fall to invoking the
gods not to deprive them of their safety ; while those who
saw their friends defeated, broke out into a shout of lament*



Hippol. 987. U&Tfpf /icvoc /i^v ^v<rra<n£ t€ toUv ^pcvwv Aavri, And the pas-
sage is imitated by Philostratus Vit. Ap. 5, 35. thus: rb vpSffbtTrov rov
^aiXfiOQ dyufva iTTtSriXov rfjc yvw/iijc* OuT author, it may be observed,
plays upon the double sense of dyutv, and hints that those on shore had
also a contest, though of another kind. So Die Cass. 575, 86. 6 dytav
UoKi H^v T&v vavfiaxovpnav ftovtav cTvac, rj ^ oXij^ei^ Kai t&v aXXa>v lykviro,
Dionys. Hal. Ant. 155,24. ^[ka^ov obTobq rov riov KivSwivot^iav furaXafi^
tdvovTtQ wddovQ, iykiVKTTai n fiaXXov ito^Xovro ^ dtaral t&v tputfUviav
yiyovkvat,

*♦ Wholly centred in. '\ Or dependent on.

* Unparalleled.] Literally, ** equal to none (before)," I e. greater than
any heretofore; for there is a meiosis.

6 And by reason of^ ^c] There are not many passages, even in Thucy-
dides, more perplexing than the one in the original, which is so obscurely
worded that critics have long been at issue on the sense. The difficulty
centres in the ^td rh dvutfwXov, where the Scholiast, Stephens, Reiz, and
Herman take the t6 for tovto : but it is truly observed by Goeller, that
Thucydides could never have used rb for tovto in such a position, where it
could scarcely be taken otherwise than as the article, and joined with
Sivo)udkov, Krueger notices with approbation the following interpretation
of Kaltwasser : koI Sid t6 dvtofiaXov und bet der to ungleichen und schtoar^
kenden Lage i^vayKd^ovro ^x^tv Kai Ti^v i-7ro'4/iv miutten sie auch noch dot,
Seegefecht vom lande her mil antehen. But this is with reason rejected by
Goeller, who finally acquiesces in the conjecture of Bekker, Kai di ainb-
dvwfiaXov, though he does not explain the sense arising. It must be this :
" and by reason of this (fear) they were compelled,** &c. To which sense
there is no objection. Yet the emendation requires the support of MS.
authority ; and the cat before n)v irroypiv is thus worse than useless. I
would, therefore, retain the common reading, and take the dviajidKov
twice, as Bauer directs, and as did also Valla, unless he read in his copy
Std rh dvwfiaXov, dvu>}iaXov : a reading, however, not necessary, for the koI
plainly has reference to the dvutnakov to be repeated. Finally, at rA
dviafiaXov I would subaud Ttjc Tvxm> ot the like. And so the phrase seems
to have been taken by Libanius, who, in his Orat. p. 716. D. writes : Tif
dv(i*/idX<^ T^C Tvxm irKTTivvavTiQ, So also the Schol. on Blurip. Hippol.
1102. daviidl^ia tov ^iov rb dvufnaXoy*



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240 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDE8. BOOK YII*

ation ^, nay, at the very sight of what was done^ they were even
more agitated in spirit than those engaged in the action.^
Others, again, having their view fixed on some quarter where



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 29 of 59)