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 40 of 59)
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supplied pay to the Peloponnesians very ill ^ and would not
suflfer them to fight by sea, but alleging that Phoenician ships ^^
would come, and then they might contend with a great superi*-
ority of force ,^S he thus ruined the business, and wore down
the vigour of *^ their navy, which had been very powerful, and
in other respects too manifestly to escape observation^ assisted
in the war with great backwardness.

XLVII. The above counsel Alcibiades gave to Tissa*
phemes and the king, when in conference with them, both
as thinking he was advising them for the best, and moreover as
aiming at bringing about ^^ his own restoration to his country ;

bac re, and signifies to take away from another, and apply to one's own
benefit. So Plato : ovkow rris rdv irXrjaiov x^P^C W^^ &iroTfiTjHov. Pausan. ol
AaKiiaifiSvioi r^c 'ApicaSitig dtl AviHfivovro, Poiyb. 9, 28, 7. iirortfWfjuvog
TUQ v6Ktic Kol Tt^v xb>pav vfuiv, Herod. 1, 82. r^g Ovp€tis ot AoKtdaifwvtot.
diroTt^ofitvot Iffxov,

B Gave hit entire confidence.] The expression of the original irpofr&dc
iavTov Is viffTov is a rery strong one, and is somewhat akin to that of Pro-
verbs 23, 26. ** my son, give me thy heart."

9 Very ill.] Kokioq. Justin elegantly renders it maligtie. It might be
rendered irregularfy,

10 Phoenician ship9.] These, I find from Plutarch in Alexand., amounted
to one hundred and fifty in number.

1 » • With a great tuperioritv of force.'] *Bk n>5 inpi6vroc, for I cannot agree
with the late editors that the article should be cancelled. The phrase occurs
with the article supra, c. 6, 55. iroXXtf rtf TrtpiSvri. Also Phil. Jud. 642. B.
Lucian 2,435. Stob.Serm. p. 152. Isidor. Epist. 2, 271. Joseph. 166. 1, 646,
6. Procop. p. 13,27. Arrian94. SextEmp. p. 14. J.Chrysostom frequently.
On the contrary, I scarcely know one unimpeachable example, from any
good author, of the phrase without the article. Yet the kindred phrase Airb
or Ik irtpiowriac never (I think) has the article.

>4 Wore down the vigour of.] i. e. suffered it to moulder away; for delajr
in such a case (as we find by the example of the Athenians in Sicily) is
almost as pernicious as active war; and, moreover, as Nicias says in his
Epistle (1. 7, 14.) ppaxfia iucfiii rrXtipuffAOTOC.

•3 Aiming at bringing about.] More literally, « taking care to bring about."
'Biri^fpairtvetv is a very rare word, nor do I know more than one example
elsewhere, Dio Cass. p. 68, 66. ir^q rStv rfei iroXffiovvro^v e^tsXv iK^^pa.^
tftiMovrai. The kith has an intensive force.

With respect to the thing itself, Mitford observes, that ^ the idea was
bold even to extravagance, but was in character for Alcibiades, and the
times were favourable. The Athenians had been making vast exertions^

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knowing, that if he destroyed it not, it would be some time in
his power to prevail on his countrymen to recall him. And
persuade them he thought he should best do, by making it
appear that Tissaphemes was his friend ; as, indeed, proved
the case. For, after the Athenian army in Samos understood
that he had great influence, partly also by Alcibiades sending
messages to the most influential persons of them, to remember
him to the respectable people, and say that *^ he should be
willing to return to his country, on condition of its having an
oligarchy, and not a wretched mob-rule, nor the democracy
which had driven him away ; thus he would join his cares with
theirs in administering the commonwealth, and procure them
the friendship of Tissaphernes." But yet more, and of their
own accord, were the trierarchs, and the most powerful of the
Athenians, become inclined towards abolishing democracy.^^

XLVIII. And the matter was first agitated in the camp;
afterwards it was debated in the citi/. Certain persons went
from Samos, and had conferences with Alcibiades ; and, on
his holding out hopes ^ that he could make Tissaphemes Jirst
their friend, and after that the king also^ if they would not be
under democratical government ; for thus the king could place
more reliance upon them : then they that were most powerful
(who also suffered most inconvenience ^) were in great hopes

but those had nearly exhausted them ; and to hold out long against the Pe-
loponnesian power, supported by Persian wealth, would be impracticable.
Well aware both of the weakness of the commonwealth and the dispositions
of the people, he thought things so much in his power, that he might de-
mand a change of government as the price of the eminent services he could
render it."

'* The most powetful^ ^c] No wonder; for, as Mitford observes, the
proposal held out to them the prospect, at the same time, of an advantage-
ous conclusion of the war, and of a change of eovemment, favourable both
to the power of those who were ambitious of power, and to the ease of
those who only desired ease.

1 Holding out hopei.'] At vironivovrot subaud IXniia^ which is supplied
by the Scholiast. Goeller refers to Valckn. on Herod 7, 158. where vvo-
rrx^atv is to be supplied. It may be added, that the complete phrase occurs
in Dionys. Hal. Ant. 245, 43. and in Philostr. ap. Suid. IkirUa irucpdv vvo^
TiivH Tov fUXKovTOQ, which words occur verbatim in Svnes. Epbt. 105.
There is the same elliptical use of vn-oreiVw in Aristoph. Acbam. 657. Eurip.
Crest. 905. and Xiphilin, p. 1334.

'I Steered most tnconvenience.] For, according to the democratical con-
.tlitution of Athens, the rich were exposed to numerous burdens, and

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that they should get the administration of public affitirs into
their own hands, and should gain the victory over their ene-
mies. On returning to Samos, they drew together such per-
sons as were their friends, by a solemn bond of union ^, and
openly said to the people at large, that the king would be their
friend, and supply them with money, on the recall of Alci-
blades, and on their being no longer under a democracy. And
the multitude, though they were at the instant somewhat dis-
pleased at what was doing, yet because of the readiness ^ of
the hope held out of pay from the king, they kept quiet.* But
those who were combined to set up oligarchy, afler they had
communicated the matter to the people, again took into con-
sideration the proposals from Alcibiades, both among them-
selves and with the greater part of their adherents. And the
thing appeared to them all very practicable, and to be relied
on ; except to Phrynicus, who was yet commander in chief, to
whom it by no means approved itself. It appeared to him (as
was really the case) that Alcibiades cared no more for oligarchy
than for democracy ; nor did he imagine him to have any other
view, than merely how, by changing the constitution of the
state from its present form, he might, at the solicitation of his
friends, obtain his recall. But their great care should be ^ espe-
cially this — not to fall into factions. It would be by no means
easy, he said, now that the Peloponnesians were their equals at
sea, and occupied many cities in his dominions, and those not
the least considerable, to attach the king to the Athenian in-
terests, nor induce him to take trouble about those on whom
he placed little reliance, when it was in his power to have the
Peloponnesians for his friends, from whom he had suffered no

might, indeed, be said to live in great misery. And now their property was
principally resorted to, to supply the increased exigencies of an exhausted

3 Solemn bond of union,'] Namely, one confirmed by a form of oath to be
administered to all who narticipated in the project, by which they engaged
to mutually stand by eacti other : a precaution, Mitford observes, common
among the factions of the antient republics.

< Headinest.] i. e. the practicability of bringing the thing about : a rare
sense of tlwopoc*

* Kept gttieL] Consoling themselves for loss of power, by increase of
security and profit.

• Their great care should be,] This is a very rare sense of xffHi5irro.
fuu. As to the var. lect. frtpunciTrrhv, it is a gloss.

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injinry* Also^ that the confederate cities, to whieb, fbrsootb,
oligarchy was held out, because they themsdves would not be
under democracy, he well knew, be said, that neither those
which had revolted would be the more disposed to return, nor
those that remained true, be the firmer in their obedience. For
they, he said, did not so mudi wish, whether under an oligarchy
or a democracy, to be in subjection ; but, under whichever of
these forms they might be, to be free ; but would think that
those who were called the respectable sort of pec^le ^ would '
give them not less trouble than the common people, being new
contrivers ^ and introducers of evil projects to the people, from
which they themselves were the most benefited. And well he
knew the allies would think that this was being thrown in their
power, and that they should then be put to death without trials
and even more viokndy ; whereas, now the people was their
refuge, and the moderator of the violence of the others. More*
over, he assuredly knew that the cities, having learnt this fix>m
the actions themi^elves, are of this opinion. Therefore, as to
himself, nothing of what was proposed by Alcibiades, or at
present carrying on, met his approbation.

XLIX. But those of the association ^ who were assembled
together, agreeably to their former determinations, approved

7 Respectaifle sort of people,] Or, the better sort of people. Krueger
renders optimates. See Lex. Xen. Hobbes has here the following curious
note : ** The best men of aristocracy, a diflerence from the oligarchy, which
was of the richest sort onljr. For the good men who, m the democracy, are
the peoples minions, and put the people upon all they do, will do the same
tMnjgs themselves when they have the sovereignty in their hands.**

s Contrivers^ The word wopierai is explained by Suidas : ol roifg vdpovQ
(ifffiyoiffuvoi drjfiayutyoi Ini rtf iavrStv, As we should say, financiers; but
here the term is used, in a figurative sense, to denote projectors. The
UenytiTai is ex^tical of the peceding.

The whole of this passage is thus paraphrased by Mitford : ** Neither was
the supposition less unfounded, that person and property could be more
•ecure under the rule of those called the better people ; for those better
people, in the exercise of power, commonly sought their own in preference
to the public benefit. Nowhere, indeed, were men in public service so
liable to oppression of every kind, even to capital punishment wiUiout trial,
as where the power of the people, the remge of the innocent, aikl the
moderator of the excesses of the great, was done away."

1 Association,] Or rather, conspiracy; for Krueger seems to have rightly
conjectured {wa»^la, which had also occurred to Hobbes. Perhaps, how-
ever, the wound is more deeply seated. I suspect that the true reading

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of the present proposal^ and prepacred to send Pisatider and
others, as ambassadors to Athens, that they might treat con-
oeming the recall of Alcibiades, and the abolition of democracy
there, and on the methods of procuring the friendship of Tis-
saph^nes to the Athenians.

L. And now Phrynichos, knowing that thare would be an
overture made for the recall of Alcibiades, had that the people
would embrace it, and alarmed at the opposition made by him-
self in his speech, lest, if he should return, he would do him
some mischief, as a hindererof his recall, be resorts to the £;^
lowing scheme ' : He secretly sends to Astyochus, who was
then still at Miletus, in the command of the Lacedaemonian
fleet, informing him, by letter, that Alcibiades b ruining their
affairs, by negotiating the friendship of Tissaphernes to the
Athenians ; writing therein also the rest of the business dis-
tinctly ; remarking^ that ^^ it was excusable in him to work
evil to a bitter enemy, even with some prejudice to the welfare
of his country."

But Astyochus had not now any intention of bringing Alci-
biades to punishment^ especially as he no longer came so much
within his reach. And going up to Magnesia to him and
Tissaphernes, he moreover declares to them both the intelligence
which had been sent him from Samos, and turns informer to
them ; and, as was reported, he (for the sake of private lucre)
gave himself up to Tissaphernes' purposes, and communicated
with him both on this and other affairs. Wherefore he the
more faintly remonstrated respecting the pay not being paid
in full. Thereupon Alcibiades immediately writes letters to
Samos, to those in office, against Phrynichus, informing them
of what he had done, and requiring that he should be put to

is r^c Kvvtafiooiac, the c being absorbed by the {following: then the dative
■eemed to recfuir e a preposition^ and iv was mariced in the roai^gm, and aflei^
wards passed into the text.

^ SchemeJj Which Mitford pronounces extreroely hasardous, but still
more unjustifiable; and certainly it was little accordant with that prudence
and ability which Thucydides, on another occasion, ascribes to Phrynichus.
It is true he was placed in very awkward circumstances ; and havine taken
his party, he could not appease the enmity he had excited, and he nurried
blindly forward to the destruction of him whom he most feared, and to
whom he seems before to have been bitterly inimical.

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death. Phrynichus, in great consternation, and being brought
into the most imminent peril by the information, sends again
to Astyochus, complaining of his former conduct, that the
communication had not, as in honour it ought % been kept
secret And now that he is ready to put it into their power
to destroy the whole of the Athenian armament at Samos ;
writing each particular at large, and (especially as Samos was
unwalled) in what manner the thing might be effected; adding,
^^ that it was excusable for him, who was now in peril of his
life, on their account,^ to do this, or any thing else, rather than
himself fall a sacrifice to his bitterest foes." This communi-
cation also Astyochus reveals to Alcibiades.

LI. But Phrynichus having had previous intelligence of his
treachery, and that a letter from Alcibiades on this subject is
all but arrived, himself anticipating the blow, he makes a dis-
covery to the army, " that, by,reason of Samos being unforti-
fied> and, moreover, all the ships not having moorings within
the harbour, the enemy is about to make an attack. That he
had received full intelligence of the matter, and that they ought
to fortify Samos as quickly as possible, and put every thing
else in a posture of defence." Now he was commander in
chief, and for doing this he had full authority.^ So they set
themselves about the walling ; and thus it was that Samos,
which, indeed, was about to be walled, was walled the quicker.

Not long after, came the letter from Alcibiades, " that the
army is betrayed by Phrynichus, and the enemy is about to
attack them." But Alcibiades, being thought not worthy of
credit, nay, rather suspected, from knowledge of the enemy's
designs, to have endeavoured to fasten on Phrynichus (through
enmity to him) a charge * of criminal consciousness, therefore

9 Attn honour it ought.] Such must be the sense of koX&c, and not that
assigned to it by the translators.

3 For doing this he had full authority.] Abresch notices it as an unprece-
dented construction for rb Kvpiov dvat to be followed by a participle (instead
of an infinitive) ; but an example is adduced by Goeller at 1. 5, 34.

4 Fasten on Phrynkhui, ^c'] Here is to be understood alriav. The coiw-
^Me phrase occurs in Demosth. de Corona : oXq &v airiav dva^iiav Uvavrti,
Polyb. 5, 1,6, a. rt}v airiav M riva. Isocrat. ad Demon, voi rds air lag

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he did him no injury, bnt rather bare witness to the troth of
what Phrynichus had before told them.

LII. After this, Alcibiades influences and persuades Tis-
saphernes to be a friend to the Athenians. Tissaphemes,
indeed, was in awe of the Peloponnesians, because they were
present with more ships than the Athenians ; yet he was willing^
if it were possibly to be prevailed upon*, especially after be
heard of tlie dissension in Cnidus about the treaty made by
Theramenes. For that disagreement had taken place at the
very time when Alcibiades was persuading Tissapheraes, and
when now the Peloponnesians were at Rhodes % in which tho
former saying of Alcibiades, concerning the Lacedasmoniasto
liberating all the cities, had been made good by Lichas, when
he declared it was a condition not to be endured, that the king
should hold those cities which either himself or his ancestors
had ruled aforetime. And thus Alcibiades, inasmuch as he
was striving for momentous interests, laboured earnestly to
ingratiate himself with Tissaphemes.

LIU. And now the ambassadors of the Athenians, who
were sent from Samos with Pisander, aniving at Athens, made
their representations to the people, comprising much that might
be said into a summary ^ and principally: " That if they would
recall Alcibiades, and not continue to be in the same manner

The whole passage is thus paraphrased by Mitford : " The intelligence
now onl^ appeared to confirm that communicated by Pbrynichus, and to
justify his measures : so that the accusation accompanying it was wholly
meifectual, being considered merely as the scheme of a man, enough known
to be little scrupulous, to ruin a political enemy."

^ Wat wiUing to be prevailed upon.] Or, to erant his request. I retain
the common reading, though several critics prefer iruTTitf^fi>at^ from almost
half the MSS.; which, however, involves too harsh an ellipsis. The reading
I have followed is well defended and explained by Goeller.

For thai disagreement, 4rc.] I know not what other sense to assign to
the awkwardly^written passage of the original, which Goeller thus para^
phrases: "janri ea dissensio acciderat hoc tempore, cum hoc ipso impore,
quo hsc Alcibiades, in Rhodo essent Peloponnesii. Cnidi enlm dissidium
rectum erat, et ex Cnido Rhodum navigaverant. 5, 44."

1 Drawing much that, 4^?.] Such seems to be the closest representation
of the expression Kt^aKau>vvrtQ U xoKKSty, with which I would compare
Herod. 9, 75, 31. dTrcKopv^ov o^t rddt.


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tiiider democracy ^ they might have the king for their ally,
and gain the superiority over the Peloponnesians.'* But many
spoke against the matter respeoting democracy, and especially
the enemies of Alcibiades, who vociferated ^^ that it would be
shameful indeed if he should be recalled by a violation of the
laws ; *' and the Eumolpidae and the Ceryces ^ testified agidnst
him for the violation of the mysteries, for which he ab-
sconded, and adjured * them by every sacred tie not to recall
him. At this great opposition and vehement complaint^,
Pisander, stepping forward, asked each one of the opposers,
taking them aside, ^^ what hope they had of saving their country,
seeing that the Peloponnesians had now ships ranged against
them, not fewer in number than their own, and more confede-
rate cities, and were supplied with money by the king and
Tissaphemes, unless some one could persuade the king to
come over to their side.'* But when, on being inteiTogated,
they made no answer, then, indeed, he flatly told them, ** This
therefore is not in our power, unless we will adopt a more
moderate form of government, and will place the magistracies
more in the hands of a few ^, in order that the king may place

« CorUinue to be, ^c] Or, not continue under a democratical govern-
ment of the same form. The ^ororoentators have failed to remark the
caution discernible in these ambiguous terms, which do not import a </tr-
solution of democracy, hut a modification of it. It was, indeed (as Mit-
fbrd observes), a bold undertaking to propose to a sovereign people to
surrender their power, and submit to be governed by the men of superior
birth and wealthy over whom they had so long been accustomed to tyran-

s EumolpidtB and the Cerycet,] The Eumolpidce were a family descended
from EumolDus, the founder of the mysteries of Ceres at Athens. Hence the
family had the chief authority in matters that concerned those rites. The
Cerycet were heralds in war, ambassadors in peace. See Suidas. They
pronounced all formal words in the ceremonies of their reh'gion, and were
a family descended from Ceryx, the son of Mercury. (Hobbes.)

These were families who inherited the richt of the Eleusinian priesthood.
Of such tribes and iamilies, inheritine:, as their own, certain public sacred
rites (for each tribe had, respectively, its private sacred rites), there are
many on record, as the Eteobutadae, Thaulonidc, Hesychidse. (Goeller.)

-» Adjured,] There is a similar use of ^€«i^w in Joseph. 850, 40. ifri^iiA-^
XflVTiQ Kai troTvtwfiivot,

ft Great opposition and vehement complaint,] Goeller renders bey viUem
unwilUgen, zomigen widerspruch.

« More in the hands of a few. '\ Hobbes and Smith have omitted to
render the fiSXXov, But that is destroying the Jinesse of the orator, who
does not propose a total change, but a government somewhat more at-
^mpered with aristocracy. The force of the (rutfpovktrrepov will best be

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more confidence in us ; and will choose to consult, at the pre-
sent, not so much on forms of government, as for the preser-
vation .of the country. And hereafter, if it should not please
us, we shall be at liberty to alter it.^ Let us but recall
Alcibiades, who is the only person now existing that can
accomplish this."

LIV. As to the people, they at first were indignant at
hearing of the proposal respecting an oligarchy ; but being
thoroughly convinced by Pisander that there was no other
means of preservation, — what with fear, and what with a hope
that the thing might hereafter be altered, — they gave way to
his solicitations, and decreed ^^ that Pisander should go with ten
colleagues, and negotiate aflbirs both with Tlssaphernes and
Alcibiades, as might seem to them most expedient.'* And as
Pisander, at the same time, preferred accusations against
Phrynichus, the people removed him, and his colleague
Scironides, from their commands, and sent on board the ships
Diomedon and Leon in their place. Now Pisander had thus
impeached Phrynichus, affirming that he had betrayed lasus
and Amorges ', because he thought him not well affected to
the matter in hand with Alcibiades. And Pisander, after
having gone about to those combinations ^ which had afore-

understood by the words of Alcibiades himself (the mover of the present
project) in his speech at 7, 89, r^c ^^ virapxo<>9riQ dKoXaatac Ifntpwfieda
fierpmnpoi kg rd iroXtrucd cfvot. It may be observed, that Pisander does
not venture to say roi^g dXiyovg, because that would suggest a disagreeable
association, but dXiyovg.

? And hereafter^ S^c] To soften the zealous partisans of democracy, he
urged that they had only to choose between certain ruin, and what would
be at worst a passing evil. (Mitford.)

» Betrayed Amorges,] Namely, by not going to his assistance. See
supra, c. 27. (Goeller.)

« Combinations.] Or, clubs. Goeller compares a similar use of hatptla
in Plato Theaetet. p. 173. D. <nrovdai iTaipfi&v iir* iLpx&Q, The term,
Krueger observes, meant origmally a club of persons of the same age, but
at length came to denote a faction. Goeller here, moreover, cites from
Meier and Schoemann the following apposite remark: " Erant Athenis
qusedum sodalitates, quibus adscripti cives mutuam inter se opcram dabant
consequendis magistratibus et in judiciis sibi invicem aderant, ^"^ J^J®*^""
dum videtur etiam ipyatrrripiov wko^vtHv ap. Demouth. contr. Bceot. d.
dot. p. 1010, 24. Conf. or. contr. Theocrin. p. 1335.- A yet better account
is given of these associations by Mitford in the followmg words : There
were at Athens societies called Synomodes, which bore connderable w-

Y 2

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time existed in the city, for the obtaining of oflSces of judica-
tore and magistracies ; and having exhorted them, by close

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 40 of 59)