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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On the third </ay.] Namely, according to the usual mode of reckoning
among not only the Greeks but the H^rews, and all the antients, who
reckoned the (uy on which any action occurred as the first day, the next
as the second, and so forth. Of this, examples are frequent m the New

< And a wretched departure it wtu^ Sfc^ It is truly remarked by Mitford,
that ''the pen of Thucydides and the language of'^ Athens are wanting to
describe aaequatelv the scene presenting itself upon that occasion ; when^
in the bitterness of antient warfare, every horror ofiered itself to expect-
ation, that the human body can suffer, or the human mind conceive." The
present recital may, indeed, be reckoned among the most pathetic and
touching that were ever penned.

» Instead <f the lofty hopet, ^c.] Mitford well paraphrases thus: ** No
light distress arose from the reflection that, instead or fulfilling the lohj
hopes of their enterprise, the whole of so powerful a fleet was destroyed ;
that, through their failure, ruin threatened their country; and that, instead
of returning, as they had so lately, with reason, expected, conquerors of
Sicily, an ignominious flight was their only, and that almost a hopeless, re-
source (or avoiding slavery or death."

^ Objects of greater fiiy than the dead.] This may easily be conceived,
when we consider the peculiar bittemeM and atrocity of anttent warfare.

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tions and wailiiigs tbey threw thetn into utter perplexity, en-
treating to be taken, and crying aloud to such of their friends
or acquaintances as they saw ; hanging, too» by their departing
comrades ^, or following them as &r as their powers enabled
them; and then, just as they were deserted by strength of body,
were left behind, not without a few entreaties ^ and wailing
and moans. Insomuch that the whole army was dissolved in
tears, and thrown into such irresolution, that it could with dif>
iiculty depart, though from an enemy's country; and after
having already suffered (and fearing, for the unseen future, yet
to sufier) more than tears could adequately bewail.^

How different in modem and especially recent tiroes, when war (thanks to
the spirit of His religion who came to preach peace on earth) is stripped of
half Its horrors 1

Mitford depicts the present scene in the following words : ** Yet the
voices and actions of the man^ living, whom wounds or sickness disabled
for the march — their complaints, their expostulations, their pravers, thdr
embraces, and the painful yet fruitless endeavours of some to follow their
friends, were still more distressing than the compunction which arose from
the n^lect, impious as it was deemed, but so tar excusable as it was un-
avoidable, of the still and silent dead."

s Hanging, too, by, ^c] I know not why the translators should under-
stand this of hanging by their necks, ** throwing their arms about their
necks,*' as Smith renders. It may be understood in a far more general
sense, that of clinsing by their vestments.

This passage b imitated by Dio Cass. 270, 36-89. and Appian, 1. 1, 301,
10. And hence may be emended Athenaeus, p. 257. rov vtavimeov n}v
Xeif>d 7r€ip€iK0T0S'^ iKxptftdfuvo^ ravry, KaHyfnfxt* Yfhere read ravriic and

Enlreaiies.] Literally, ** obtestations," conjuring them by the gods.
The Iwi^fiauiiSiv is wrongly rendered by Hobbes, imprecoHons; and by
Smith, ^ a shower of curses." Such a sense is neither supported by usage
nor agreeable to what follows. Though the expression was so understood
by Dio Cass. 270, 57. seqq. Goeller has well discerned the sense ; and he
appeals to Suidas iiri&cia<r/Ao2 irpbc Oc^v iKtclai, who, after citing these words
of Thucydides, adds rovrian Oilwv iiriKkrifmav*

1 have not thought proper to adopt the conjecture of the critics, voXXtuv
for 6>Jiyiav : it is both destitute of authority, and unnecessary. The sense
is <*arew;" namely, such as their strength would allow, and the time

7 Smffer more than, 4'<^.] This elegance (a kindred one to another in
Herodotus, cited by Wasse) has been imitated by several writers^ very
many passages from whom I shall adduce in my edition. Suffice it for the
present to advert to the Shakspearian diet, •* Light sorrows speak, great
grief is dumb," which seems founded on that of Seneca, •* Curae leves lo.
quuntur, ingentes stupent."

• It is strange that Goeller should not have perceived that in that Lexicogra^
pber, for Ot^ should be Ocdr, and probably for Oti^r, Ocw.

B 3

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There was, moreover, a deep dejection ^ and extreme self-
reproach. Indeed, they were like nought else bat the popn-
lation (and that not small) of a city reduced by siege, and
making their escape ^ ; for the whole multitude diat went on
the march '^ amounted to not less than forty thousand.^ ^ And
of these not only the great bulk carried what each was able
that would be useful, but the heavy-armed and cavalry, con-
trary to custom, themselves carried their provisions under their
armour, partly through want of servants, partly dirough dis-
trust; for some had before deserted to the enemy, and at present
the greater part left them. However, even thus, they carried
scarcely sufficient for their supply ; for there were no longer
any stores of provisions '^ in the camp. No, nor was tlie cir-
cumstance that others were suffering also ^\ and that there was
an equal participation of evil ** (which however brings some
alleviation, namely, that it is borne with many '^), even thus^ at

• Deep detection.] Hobbes and Smith render jcar^^cio, ** a hanging
down of the head : " but that is being needlessly literal. Indeed, the word
properly denotes a casting down of the eyes. So Hippocrates sajs Karii'
0ciC^aX/toJ, and car^fa rd limarcu See Foesii (Ec. Hippocr. So also
Eurip. Heracl. 633. W X9W^ Ktiatu^ koX Karn^k^ djifL ix^iV' But it is used
in a metaphorical sense by Homer U. ir. 498. (toI ydp iyu> — Karti^tifi Kcd
SviiSoc ((ftroficu, as also by many of the hbtorians, as Dionys. Hal., Josephus^
and Proeopiusy who have imitated this fine passage. ... ^

Like nau^t else, ^e,] Of this passage Goeller has noticed imitations
in Nicol. Damasc. and others. To which may be added closer ones in
Joseph. 129, 31. oi^^tvi ydp ^cXX^ ^ ir6Xfi lAtTavurrafiivyKoi Ko^iBpoukyti
iMMf. Dio Cass. 970, 46. Dionys. Hal. 376, 1 5. Plutarch Phoc c. 98. Uvy
1. 5, 3. ** cursus clamorque baud multum a parore capts urbis abesse.**

■0 That went <m the marck.] This is said in exclusion of such as were
left behind in the fortifications.

II Forty thousand] The historian has been so careful to state thb as
the numbKer of the whole multitude (Joyko^\ including the very numerous
camp-followers of every kind, that it is strange that ^Tian Var. Hist, should
be so negligent as to narrate that forty thousand heavy-armed perished in
Sicily. The same error, indeed, has been committed by Isocrates de Pace,
§ 29. p. 280. Lang, and Libanius Orat. p. 399. B., in both which cases the
speakers caught at the number in Thucydides, and founded on it an ora-
torical exaggeration.

1^ Stores of provisions,] Such seems to be the sense of <r7roc {v: for
provisions, it b clear, there were. Hobbes renders : ** for not a jot more of
provisions was left remaining in the camp."

'3 Others were steering also.] 'AXX9 is here used in a manner, I con-
ceive, unprecedenti^.

>^ ParttcwaOon of emL] Dionys. Hal. p. 433. has kok&v n xai Aya^ttv
hofiotpla. He, indeed, often nses the word ho/totpia.

*^ Brills some alieviaium, 4rc.] This is imitated by Dio Cass. p. 32^ 64.
V fuv ydp irp6t ro^ d^fr«^f?c evvovvia i^pi rwa ainvi^ Kovft&iv, So dso

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the present thought to be tolerable ; especidly when they con-
sidered yrom how great an original splendour and glory to
what a catastrophe and lowly estate they were reduced. For
this, truly, was the greatest reverse that ever happened to a
Grecian army, inasmuch as they had to depart^ instead of en«
slaving^others (for which they cam§)^ with the fear rather theoH
selves tosuffer the same ^^; and instead of the prayers and paeans
with which they sailed, to set out in return with omens and
presages '/ the very contrary; that they were going as lands*
men instead of seamen, and relied, not on their navy, but their
land forces. However, through the greatness of the danger '*
yet suspended over their heads, even all these afflictive circum-
stances seemed to be tolerable.

LXXVI. And now Nicias, perceiving the army to be ex-
ceedingly dispirited, and considering the reverse of fortune in
which it was situated ^ went up to them, heartening and com-
forting them as far as circumstances would permit ^ ; and as he
advanced along the line, through Zealand earnestness, used a
louder tone of voice than usual, desirous that the sound of his
words might produce the most extensive benefit.

Joseph. 766,51. ^pav koI co^^unv. With the sentiment I would compare
Soph. Aj. 6S4. irapafivdia ydp tic kffri rb fiiiix(*v Tivd r&v rov yivovQ rwv
mifT&v kokOv,

>^ Inasmuch at they had to depart y 4*^.] I know not whether it be pos*
sible to come nearer to the original. Hobbes renders thus : ** For whereas
thev came with a purpose to enslave others, they departed in greater fear
of being made slaves themselves."

17 Omeru ami presages.] Not maledictionif as Hobbes renders. Duker
aptly cites the Hesychian gloss, ohaviffjuKft. It may be added, that iwt^ri^
fufffui is used in a good sense by Dio Cass. 210, 10. 764, 30. Joseph. 1305,
27. icavToioiQ ivt/^tifiUrfiafft. %pt&f(cvo(. and Liban. Orat. 509. B.

»» Howevery through the, (J-c] The passage is imitated by Dio Cass. 56,
75. ow firiv aiXd imtlva Koltrtp ^oXf irwrara bvra — olffra l^^rcc There 18
also a similar one in Dionys. Hal. Ant. 585, 8. 6 iroK^ioc iccUtoi fikyag koI
XaX«ir6c XP1<"'^C i^vtro irapd rhv (I read ra) Ivrbq row rtixovc hUTai6iuvoc.

> Considering the reverse of fortune, ^c] Such is, I conceive, the sense
of Kal Iv fuySky luratoKg 5v, though a different one is assigned by the

« Went up to them, &c.] It is truly observed by Mitford, that •* Nicias
here wonderfully supported the dignity of his character and atuation.
Individually, the distress of the existing circumstances appeared not to
affect him ; his only anxiety seemed to be to relieve that of others, and to
diffuse encouragement among all."

R 4

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LXXVII. « Even yet^ Athenians and allies, even in our
present situation, we may nourish hope — for some have been
saved under still more perilous circumstances.^ Nor should
you too much blame yourselves, either for your calamitous
condition, or for the miseries which you now undeservedly *
suffer. For my own part, I, who have as little bodily strength
to bear up as any of you (nay, ye see to what a condition sick-
ness has reduced me ! ^), I, who was once thought fortu-
nate * and in prosperity, both in private life and otherwise,
faiferior to none, am now exposed to ^ the same danger as the
meanest of you!

^^ And yet my life has been habitually occupied in all
accustomed devout observances towards the gods, and actions
just and irreproachable towards men.^ Hence, however, I

» For tome have been saved^ Sfc^ Hence may be seen the sense of a
panage of Euripides, which has been wrongly treated by the commentators,
liippol. 702. &XX* IcTi K&K ritvit Sttrrt out^nvcu. The r&vdt is emphatical.

< Undeservedly,] Perhaps this passage was had in view b^ Syne^ius
p. 141. B. a'i rf trap* ^liav KoXovfiivag ovfi^opal. Indeed^ it grew mto a sort
of proverb.

This, indeed, would not seem to be a good topic of consolation; for
P&usanias 4, 11,2. has truly said, tre^viuici dk irCi^ ol dv^pntnot ii6Xurra tx^ir
oKpariaQ ^pbc tA vap dJiiav, But, in fact, the orator only adverts to it
indirectly, and does not make it a topic, or argument.

^ ^^^9 y^ '^^> 4^*] With the sentiment I would compare Soph. Trach.
1081. ZSov ^iwsht wipTe^ d^Xiov iifiac, 6pari r6v dvcnivov, ite oticrp&c ix"**
Eurip. Hippol. 1393 hp^Q fit itfc cx*»» ritp d^Xtov. Eurip. Troad. 113.
ivorrivoQ iynt rr/c fiapvdalfiovog 'Ap^pwv cXt<noc, ^ iidxeificu* Herodian 1. 1,
4, 3. dx^e<T^ai i/ olc ^part fu ttaxiiiuvov,

-* FortuneUe,] Nicias was always esteemed fortunate. So Alcibiades
!• 6, 1 7. says, lutQ kytt re In &gfi6Zt»» fitT air^Cy k<<^ ^ "Sixiac eifrvxOQ ^okiX

' Exposed io.] Or, tott^ out. So, in a physical sense, Eurip. Cyd.
w6\iv ^dkaatrg, xp<^<»' Ivauitpovfuvov, The passage is imitated by Dio Ciass.
1348, 49. ol vdw iu nparrovrt^ IK Icov toIq <!XXocc cdntpovvrau

« And yet my fife, ^c] He mi^ht have truly added, " and liberally
charitable." To his devotional exercises we have the testimony of Aristoph.
Eq. 30. Nunoc-— jcp<irc(rra roivw r&v Vitpovrtav Ivri Vifv^ QtStv iSvri irpoa^
mviiv woi wpbc /3p«raf. Afifju Bpkras; voXov ppkrOc; Ir^ rrftl ydp diovc;
"Suc'Eywyt, ^iifi» Iloiy xP^f^^^ ^^l*^P*H*9 ^^* 'Orii) dtoXinv ix^P^ ^'M' ^<^*

It is well observed by Mitford, *< that this passage is highly interestiiig,
as marking the opinion entertained of the Divine ProvkieQce by a man of
Mked Twk, of extensive informatiou and experience, just, and religiously
diy ga ed , b«it neper taught to consider this life as a state of probation, and
to expect, ki Aitority, toe reward of good or the punishment of evil deeds.*"
Such, it mmy be addled, was the general spirit and sentiment of the heathens.
Thus Vii^, iEn. 2, 689. Jupiter oranipotens — hoc tantum — et, si pieiatc.

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entertain a confident hope of the future - ^thou^ indeed,
misfortunes so unmerited may well cast us down. ^ But, per-
haps, they may even cease ; for our enemies have had sufficient
good fortune; and if by this expedition we have incurred the
displeasure ^ of any of the gods, we have been already sufficiently
punished. Thus others ® elsewnere have heretofore attacked
their neighbours, and, having done what men are accustomed
to do, have suffered what' men are lable to b!ear.^> We there-
fore may justly hope that we shall receive milder treatment at
the hands of the gods ; for surely we are objects rather of
their pity, than their wrath, or envy.'^ And truly, when you

vieremur. Da deinde auxiiiuro, &c. Donrille Chant, p. 49S. remarks : ** Non
raro sacrificia et alia meriia diit quasi exprobrarU, We cannot^ there-
fore, expect that Nidas should have risen above his age ; thoueh, at the
same time, his words need not be too rigorously interpreted.* We ought
not surely, as Mitford seems inclined to do» to account the sendroent as
one of Thueydidct^s.

7 Displeasure.] Or, " envy and displeasure ;" for M^ovoi denotes as
much. It is well known that the antients did not scruple to ascribe to
their gods, among other human passions, that of envy, and even envy of
men and their too great success. Of this Homer, Herodotus, and Virgil
supply abundant examples.

It 18 probable, however, thoush Nicias so spok^ that he did not believe
any such envious vifitinc of the gods existed in this case; but really
thought that the injustice of their cause had provoked the wrath and drawn
down the iudgments of the gods : and we may suppose he only uses the
words he does to avoid giving offence to his Athenian hearers. That such
was his real meaning is dear from what follows.

* 7%us others, Jjrc] Mitford ably paraphrases thus : ** We are not the
first who have drawn our swords in the attempt, unjustifiable be it con-
fessed, to subjugate and reduce to slavery our (sllow-creatures, and sdze to
oursdves thdr possessions. In doing thus, doing only what is. ordinary
among men, others have suffered for it only what men may bear."

» What men are able to bear.] Thus in Grenesb 4, 15. ** my pimishmettt is
greater than I can bear."

*o We are obiecU ratfter^ ^c] These and the words following, *• ye need
not feel utter despondency," may, perhaps, justly be thought to savour too
much of that drooping spirit which it was the professed object of the4>rator
to raise. Such language it was especially injudidous to use, since it was,

rie superstition of the antients, regarded as omhoui. It has been truly
rved by iEschylus Suppl. 530. S^utz. d€i ^ dvoKTiav IcrrJ itifi iiaiffw^

* Especially the ^pafftia iKwis of the recent editors ; l^paffM being for ^mp^^ta.
And indeed Goeller, though be adopts »pcufM (from Bekker), seems to incline to
bapa€7d. But though ndther he nor Bdtker has adduced any reasons ftr the
preference of 3pflM-€<a, yet it is undoubtedly more Attic : thus iEschyl. Choeph.
1409. h^ &\ic^s ^fwrttd Airff. Eurip. Androm. 444. oOkovi^ ^patnua y a^r^
^XirU h^atUvti. iEschyl. 965. ob rh iraa^ Hw 4\iri9o$ ^iko¥ ^pi^osy and 1412 i
so also ^pduros for »dpeos occurs frequently in the Tragedians.

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survey*' yourselves, and see bow numerous and brave are
the embattled squadrons of heavy-armed in which we march
ibrth, ye need not feel utter despondency; but may reflect
that wherever you may fix yourselves, you are yourselves a
state ^% and such as no other in Sicily could easily withstand
when coming upon ^^ them, nor remove when settled. Now
as to your march, that it may be secure and orderly, be that
your own watchfiil care, thinking each of you of nothing but,
in whatever place he may be compelled to fight, to lay hold
of and occupy that as his country and castle. You must,
however, press forward with all diligence, alike by night and
by day (for our stock of provisions is but scanty), by which if
we reach some friendly part of the country of the Siculi (for
they, through fear of the Syracusans, are yet faithful to us),
then account yourselves in safety. A message has been sent
to them '^, both to meet us at an appointed place, and withal '^
to bring provisions. Upon the whole, be assured, comrades,
that it is necessary for you to act the part of brave men, since
there is no place whither, should you give way, you can save
yourselves. Whereas, if you now escape your enemies, both
the rest of you will obtain what you desire again to see, and

<i And tntfy when you turvey^ fcl It if plain that this commences a
new sentence, though all the ^itions connect it with the for^;oing. This
Mitfbrd seems to have been aware of, and he skilfully introduces it in his
paraphrase thus : * Confiding thus far in the divine mercy, let us look to
what, mere human things considered, our circumstances are, and surely we
ought not to despond. Such a force,** ftc.

>*< A state.] i. e. not merely an army, but a commonwealth. So Zonaras
Lex. 1565. ir^Xcc* einrnifUi' lipvfiivov Kard v6imv Sioueotifjuvov, Herodian 1.
6, 14. UeX n rf *Pwfi9, 5xov iror* Stv 6 paeiXiiQ ij, Ovid. ** omne solum forti
patria est" lAv. 9, 4. ** Sed hie patriam video, hie quidquid Romanarum
legionum est*'

>3 Coming upon,] i. e. with the view of occupying a situation.

14 A me9$ase hat been sent to thejn.] I have here followed the readine
of three MSS. ir^iriire/iirrat, which has been edited by Hack, Bekker, and
Goeller. Such, indeed, I many years ago consider^ as tbe true reading.

The time at which the messengers hs^ been sent off was, doubtless, 3ie
night of the last fatal defeat.

«» WUhaL] The reading of all the MSS. is SKKa^ L e. other provisions.
But though the commentators make no objection to it, it really cannot be
tolerated ; and when it is conddered how trifling u the difference between
'AAAA' and *AMA. few will hesitate to believe that I have riehtl v conjectured,
rbe air of the sentence, it may be observed, is very mu<m like that of the
Apostle to Philemon, ver. 9S. "A/a a H Koi IroifUiKkf fun Uviav.

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the Athenians will re-erect the mighty power of their state,
however faUen ; for the strength of a city consists in men^ not
walls, nor ships, destitute of defenders/' ^^

LXXVIIL ^Rcias, having addressed this exhortation, at the
same time advanced to the army, and where he saw any party
straggling, or not marching in rank, he brought it into com-
pact form, and put it in array. And Demosthenes did the
same towards his own men ', after having addressed them * te
much the same effect. And now marched forward ranged
in a hollow square (or long parallelogram ^), first the division
of Nicias, which formed the van, and after it that of Demos-
thenes, which brought up the rear.^ The baggage-bearers
and rest of the multitude ^ the heavy-armed received within the

>0 The tirengik of a eiiy, ^c,] Wasse compares a very similar sentiment
in Soph. (Ed. t. 53.> and Duker one from Justin. 2, 12. To which pas-
sages may be added tiie following close imitaHons: Die Cass. 811, 49.
dv^ptiiroi ydp irov w6\ic Irriv, 6XK' oifK olxia Mk eroaif oitik dyopai^ &vdp&
lekvau where for Ivriv I conjecture iUrlv, which is required by propriety of
language and by the sense. Lucian t. 2. 900, IJ. Themist. p. 184. A. il yt
Av^t^ it iroXic. See also Philostr. Vit. Ap. 1. 8, 18. Anonym, ap. Suid.
Eurip. Phryx. frag. 9. .£schyl. Pers. 555. Alcaei frag. 9. (Mus. Oit. 1, 426.)
Plutarch Lycure. c. 19. Lycurg. Contr. L. p. 159, 41. Philostr. Vit. Ap. I,
59. and 4, 7. This passage was had in view by Aristid. t. 2. 571. c Aris«
tides t. 5. 559. A. says, that the sentiment brought forward by so many
writers was borrowed from Alcsus.

1 His own men,'\ Namely, those of his own diyision ; for though nothii^
has been said of any such division bdng made, yet in all great armies it
was usual, as we have lately seen in the case of the first Athenian expedition
to Sicily.

^ Addreued thenC[ From the specimens we have had of the spirit-stirring
oratory of this heroic officer and truly great man, one cannot but wish the
harangue in question had been preserved.

9 A lon^ parallelogram,] See note on 1. 6, 67., to which may be added
the foUowmg illustrations : Xen. Anab. 5, 2, 56. d<T^Xi<rrtpov niuv Tropiv*
f odoi wkaieiov wcttieauivovg rHv hirhnv^ *iva rd OKtvo^pa Kai 6 woKbg 6x\o£
iv AafaXtariptf if. Folyaen. 5, 10, 7. irali rb orpardirtiov tic iTtpSupiuc
wXtv^ioVf ra ftkv aKtv^6pa, xai H^ "ivirw sic rb ftivov Xatiinf. Arrian Tact,
p. 69. Ukaimov ik bvofUiJ^rtu^ bi^av wpbi wdeat rat wXivpdc ^aparditirai,
rtt iv irtpOfi^Kti <rx4/Mtn. Ukivdiov dky r. r. X.

< The van, <Jt?., the rear.] In this arrangement there was much judgment
shown; for the command of the rear division was a much more arduous
office, and therefore fittest for the youtii, strength, and energy of Demoa-

» Multitude,] Namely, ligbt-eraied of evefy class, and also camp-fol-
lowers of evary description.

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When they were arrived at the ford of the river Anapas ^,
they found there a party of the Syracusans and allies drawn
up in battle*array against them. These they routed, and
having gained the passage, they went forward. The Syra-
cusans, however, pressed hard upon them, the cavalry riding
alongside of them, and the light-armed ^ pouring in their
missUes. lAHaving this day proceeded about forty stadia, the
Athenians encamped for the night on a hiii.^ On the follow-
ing day, they were on their march early in the morning, and
after proceeding about twenty stadia, having descended into a
champaign spot, they there encamped, with the intention of
procuring some eatables at the houses (for the country was
inhabited), and of carrying some water ^ with them from
thence ; for, further on, it was, for many stadia of the way they
had to pass, not abundant fiut in the meantime the Syracu-
sans going forwards, obstructed the passage in the way before
them. This was a hill difficult of access, on each side of
wliich was a rocky ravine; and the place was called the
Acrasum Lepas.^®. On the day following the Athenians went
forwards, and the cavalry and darters of the Syracusans and
their allies, who were numerous, impeded their progress by
launching missiles and riding alongside.'^ And for a con-
siderable time the Athenians maintained the combat, but at

Ford of the Anapus.] ^ This must have been near at hand, unlets they
traversed the river bank in order to find a ford higher up ; for. according

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 32 of 59)