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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See Alberti on this passage, Enschedii Diss, de tutelis et insignibus navtum,
Kunz. Obsst de vexUlo navis Alexandrines qu& Paulus in Italiam vectus est,
Jen. 1734, 4, the commentators on Sil. It. 14,409., Salmas. on Solin.
p. 403., Bochart Geo^. Sacr. 1. 2. c. 5. p. 712., Meursius on Lycoph. 110,
1299, Scheffer de MilitiA navali 3. 1 . p. 372 ^eq., Burman on Petrpn. c. 105.
and Val. Flacc. 1,301., Heyne on Virg. iEn. 10, 171., and Schiitz on
^schyl. Theb. v. 210." See also the numerous passages illustrating the
figures of ships' prows and poops, collected by Westein, a few of which I
have in the above-mentioned note selected.

Of these tuteke it may be added, the principal (as miffht be expected)
were the vaXXddia, which, as appears from Aristoph. Acharnt 547., were
^It. At the same time it seems not improbable that these Trapd^njfia were
sometimes only paintings, not figures or bas-reliefs. Such, indeed, is proved
by a passage of Aristoph. Ran. 933. (which has escaped all the editors),
where we nave the very word here used by Thucydides ; Qtnuiov, oiv rai^
vawiv, 4^ fia^kerar, ivlypairro.



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60 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. BOOK VI.

they were selected from the best lists ^, and the different corps
zealously vied with each other *^ in their arms and accoutre-
ments for the body. Insomuch that there would sometimes
arise a strife as to the officers under whom any should be
' ranged ", and to the other Greeks it suggested the idea of
a display of power and opulence, rather than an armament
against an enemy. For if any one reflected on the ex-
pense to the state, and the private one incurred by those who
went on the expedition ; of the state^ considering what sums
it had now expended on the expedition ^^, and had sent in
charge of the commanders ; of individuals^ what expense each
had incurred in his personal equipment, and the captains on their
ships, besides what it was probable every one would furnish
as a provision for so long an expedition ; also what sums each
one, whether soldier, or merchant ^^, took with him for ex-
change and traffic ^'^ ; he would find the whole sum thus car-



9 Selected from the best Rsis,] 'EKKpivnp is a vox propria de hac re, as in
the Tragedians, in Herodotus, and Plato ap. Stepb. Thes. So also iEscbyl*
Pers. 808. 7r\ fj^oQ ixKpiTOv orpaTov.

10 Vied with each other.] ^AfiiXXti^^v is not, as Bauer fancies, put for the
middle, but rather is a passive form with an active sense, on which see
Matt. Gr. Gr. § 493 and 496.

» > A strife at to the officers under whom any shotdd he ranged^ So I have
ventured to render the passage (in which I find I have the support of
Smith), though I gttint this version is not justified by the use of Trpo<rr^(T-
mti^ai in Thucydides, according to which, Goeller has truly remarked, the
sense should be : " contigit autem, ut simul et illi inter se certarent in illo
munere, cui quisque fueraft prsefectus et," &c. Thus the term will denote
a quarrel for precedency among the officers, as to the corps each had
assigned to him. That sense, however, cannot be elicited from the words,
and the other seems more natural, and agreeable to what precedes.

i> What sums it had now expended on the expedition,] I have here seen
no reason to deviate from the common reading, and aidopt the conjecture
frpocrcrcX^Kct, propounded by some. It is truly remarked b^ Goeller that
the common reading may mean, ''quse in expeditionem impenderant."
With the TTfMxrrcXIw here we may compare xpoffSavavoua in St. Luke,
10, 55.

13 Merchant,] These merchants seem to have been something like our
nUlers and camp-followers ; with this difference, that they calculated on
driving some petty traffic with the people of the country where they were
going. And, no doubt, their ignorance of its real nature, would cause
as many ridiculous mistakes as to the kind of articles proper to be taken,
as sometimes our own merchants have committed m sending off ship-
ments to foreign countries.

>« For exchange and traffic,] Of this sense of ^ra^oXi) I know no other
example, though it is common in furdtoXoQ,



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CHAP. XXXII. THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. 61

ried out of the city to amount to a considerable number of
talents.*^

The armament, too, was noised abroad with astonishment,
no less at the daringness of the enterprise, and the splendour
of the show, than at the immense magnitude of the force, as it
regarded those it was going to attack, and because it was the
longest voyage from their own country they had ever made ^^,
and enterprized widi the greatest expectation of future acqui-
sitions in addition to present possession.

XXXII. When the ships were manned, and every thing
was put on board which was to be taken with them, silence
was ordered by the sound of the trumpet S and the usual
prayers directed by law were recited, not by each ship sepa-



• 5 The whde tttm thus, ^c] By this Thucydides seems to have thought
that the removal of so much coin from the country was an injury;
whereas most of our political economists are of another opinion^ whether
on just grounds, or not, I will not presume to say.

10 Und because it was the longest, 4-c.] The translators seem to scruple at
expressing the superlative sense, which, however, is required by the ^^ (for
so I would read, with Bekker) : perhaps they do this from remembering
the Athenian expedition to Egypt. But though Egypt is, strictly speaking,
farther from Athens than Sicily, yet the coasting navigation, necessary to be
adopted in the latter voyage, made it in fact longer.

Mitford says, Thucydides calls it the greatest expedition ever under-
taken by any Grecian state. This, however, Thucydides does uotprecisely
say, for his words plainly regard Athens only ; though such would be, per-
haps, true of any single state in Greece. Nay, taking into consideration
the magnitude of the future hopes in comparison with the present posses-
sions, perhaps no armament had yet lefl any country that equalled it.

Of the words iw« fAeyUrry iX^rc^c t&v ^fXX6vru>v, irpbg rd virdpyovra, lirc-
X^^PV^V the best commentary b the seventy-first chapter of book l.

1 Silence was ordered hy the sound of the trumpet.] A mode of issuing
orders used by all the antient nations, both Oriental and Occidental ; the
trumpet being employed to command attention to the order which followed
its sound, as with us in the tase of a beadle's bell. I will only cite Dio
Cass. 521, 69. ea\7riyKr7)g — vTTKrtjfiaive. and 575, 78. 17 frdkiriy^ vvtefifiy^
vtv, Joseph. 1124, 32. viroffrifidvd tf <rdXiriy^.

The word is used metaphorically in Plato Polit. 1. 8. of a factious dema-
gogue, who preaches up and proclaims (a doctrine which would be relished
by many of our own times) abolition of debts and division of propertv.

There is a passage highly illustrative of this whole context in Diod. Sic.
1. 13, 3. (whicn seems to be taken from some more antient writer) ol ftkv
civ rpiripiiQ Witp* *6\ov rbv Xifikva xapittpfiovv, ictKO<TfiTffikvai roig iiri raig 'n-ptom
paiQ ivtffrrifiaffi Kai rj XafiirpdrriTi rdv BttXwV 6 Sk kvkXos liiragTov Xifdvoc
iy€fi£ 9vfiiaT7jplu)V Kai Kparhpiav dpyvputv, IK ivlKinofiam XP^^^^C icirtvlov
ol n/iwvrcc rb .&eTov, Kai Trpoatvxofuvoi Kararvx^'^v TfJQ tTTpariioQ,



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62 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. BOOK VI.

rately, but all together, tlie whole multitude responding to the
voice of heralds ^ ; cups of wine, too, were mixed throughout
the whole armament, and the officers and soldiers made liba-
tions ^ out of golden and silver goblets. In these prayers, too,
participated all the rest of the multitude of citizens on shore,
and whoever else present with them wished well to the expe-
dition. And after singing the Paaan, and completing the li-
bations, they put to sea, at first sailing in column, and then
making a race of speed ^ as far as ^gina. They then made
all speed for Corcyra, whither the rest of the allied forces was
assembling.

At Syracuse they had received news of the expedition from
various quarters ; yet for a long time no credit was given to



« Responding to the voice of heralds.] Namely, who first pronounced the
words to be uttered. Such is the real, though not literal, sense (which has
been strangely mistaken by Hobbes and Smith, the signification assigned by
whom is inconsistent with, the Kvvtirt{fxovTo) ; for the idiom virb Kt)pvKoc
(on which see Matt. Gr. Gr, p. 914.) hardly admits of a literal ren-
dering.

9 Cupt of wine, too, ^c] Hobbes confounds both together, or rather
omits all mention of the latter. Smith, too, though he mentions the liba-
tions, makes the crews drink them out of the gold and silver cups.
Whereas it was only cups of mixed wine which were J!rst filled and drpnk
round, to the success of the expedition ; and then the officers, with gold and
silver cups of wine unmixed, made the libation, which was not drunk, but,
as its name implies, poured out on the ship, or into the sea. It is to be ob-
served, that, though the kmtarat and the dpxovrtg (the crews and officers)
are placed together, yet (per hyperbaton) the former must be construea
with KipdoavTis, the latter with (rrrMovrfc*

On the pouring of the libation, Duker compares Arrian E. A. 6,5, He
might more aptly have adduced Pind. Pyth. 4, 343. xpv<rsav xtipt<r<n \a€wv
^uiXav 'Apx^C ^^ ^P«'/**'fj «• ''• ^»

4 Making a race of speed,] Such is, I conceive, the sense of the phrase
HfiiXXav iirotovvTo : though the translators and commentators take it only
to mean "made the best of their way." The above view of the sense,
however, is required by the literal meaning of the phrase ; and it is placed
beyond doubt by the following examples, most of them imitations of this
passage* Herod. 7, 44, 7. Ifu^ri twv vt&v ^fuXXay ytvofikvriv ISitr^ai,
Pausan. 2, 55, 1. a/tiXXi^c irXoioiv TtBiaviv i^\a, Aristid. 2, 19. ol Sk Kpa-
rnptc Kal y fiivp^ Alylvtic UfUKKa, 2, 2, 24. D. oix dvafivrjff^rjfrdfjteva — diro-
fufuivfuvoi. and 2, 25. D. voiav d/Ju\Xav ifuXKifffovrai trphq oXXj^Xovf iLvairXk"
ovrac, ifAOiav ry irpwrjv. 2, 56. y r6rt AfiiXXa fuxpi^ AlyivfiQ, Isocr. p. 303.
rpiripwv AfifXKaig, Onosand. 48. UfJuXXag wouia^ai. Xen. Hist. 6, 2, 28.
Virg. iEn. 3, 290. Certatim socii feriunt mare, et sequora verrunt ; and
128. Pseudo Eurip. Rhes. 364. iEschyl. Prom. Vinct, 130.

At the same time I grant that the expression is sometimes used in a
JSgurative sense, to denote makina ereat haste; as Aristoph. Pac. 950. And
so ammtor in Livy, 1. 52, 51. and Caesar Bell. Civ. 1, 46.



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CHAr. XXXIII. THE HISTORY OF THUCYOIDES. 63

ll)e reports. However, on an assembly being called, speeches
such as the following were made (some crediting the accounts
of the expedition of the Athenians, others speaking to the con-
trary), and Hermocrates son of Hermon, having come forward
to the assembly, as conceiving that he had certain knowledge
of the matter in qu^tion, addressed to them the following
counsels : ^

XXXIII. " It will perhaps be my lot ^ as it has been that
of others, to utter what may seem incredible, when I speak of
the expedition as a matter of actual truth ; and well I know
that those who tell or relate what seems unworthy of belief,
not only fail to persuade, but are even regarded as fools.^
However, I will not, through fear of such an imputation, hold
my peace, while my country is in danger, since I persuade
myself at least, that I am speaking from more certain infor-
mation than others possess.

" The AthenianSj then, (however ye may be amazed) are ad"
vancing ® agamst you with a great armament both for sea and
land service, under the pretext, indeed, of rendering assistance
to their allies the Egestseans, and again settling the Leontines ;
but, in truth, through desire to subdue Sicily, but especially



» Addressed to them the following admonition,] The patriotic and able
Hermocrates, the peace-maker of Sicily when harassed by internal war,
was amonff the foremost to propose vigorous measures against foreign
attack. (Mitford.) The same writer also gives the following able statement
of afiairs at Syracuse : ** It is not specified bv historians, but the account of
Thucydides makes it evident, that there had been a revolution in the
government of Svracuse, or at least a great change in the administration,
since the oligarchical Leontines were admitted to the rights of Syracusan
dtizens. The democratical party now bore the sway ; and some jealousy
toward the nobles, lest preparation for war should throw an increase of
power into their hands, appears to have influenced the leaders of the day.
At the same time the circumstances of Svracuse, considerably altered since
the former interference of Athens in the afiairs of Sicily, were such as
would inflame the usual presumption of a democratical government."

> // will perhaps be my lot, ^c] The commencement of this oration is
imitated by Herodian 7, 8, 6. diruTra fikv olSa Kai irapdSoKa Xs^a/v wpbc vficLQ,
Dionys. Hal. Ant. 282. ikSouca ur^ dvurra r. a. E. dok^a Xlyeiv.

« And well I know, 4rc.] This passage is thus imitated, or rather copied,
by Dio Cass. 698. 79. ical yiyvcaaiccii rovd' 8ri ol rd /ii) Tiard doKovvra ilvai
Xi yovTiSy ovx ^(rov ov TrtL^ovai rivas, dXXd ical KotaKoi SoKovtriv clvot.

3 The Athenians, ^c, are advancing,] This may very well bring to mind
the spirited commencement of the song, " The Campbells are coming.'*
The ydp is inchoative.



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6* THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. BOOK VI.

our city, Uiinking that if they get possession of this, they will
easily obtain the rest.

^^ Since, therefore, they will be speedily at hand, consider,
with your present means \ in what way you may best repel
their attacks ; and neiUier, through contempt of your enemy,
expose yourselves defenceless, nor, through incredulity, neglect
the public safety.*

*^ Let not, however, such as may credit my representations
feel astonished at the daring, and alarmed at the power, of the
enemy. For they will not be able to infiict on us more than
they will themselves stfffer ; nor, because they come upon us
with a great armament, will they be without giving us some
advantage ^ ; nay ^, it will be the better for us, with respect to
tdie other Siceliots, for, through alarm, they will be more dis-
posed to side with us ; and if, hideed, we either worst the enemy,
or send them away without' effecting their purpose (for, truly,
I fear not lest they should attain their aims), a work will be
effected most glorious for us, and, indeed, such as I am not
without hopes to see accomplished. For, indeed, few great
armaments, whether of Greeks or Barbarians, which have gone
from thence, have been successful.^ Neither are our assailants
superior in number to the inhabitants of this and the neigh-
bouring cities (for, through fear, all will unite), and if, through
want of necessai'ies in an enemy's country, they should prove
unsuccessful, they, nevertheless, will leave a fame to those whose
destruction they have sought, even though they should mis-
carry chiefly through their own fault ; which was the case
with these very Athenians themselves, who, on the Medes



4 With if our pre$ent meam,'\ i. e. pro prsesenti copia, &c. Such is plainly
the sense, which, however, the translators have missed.

» The public safety, '\ Such must be the sense of rov Kvftir&vToCf with
which the translators have been perplexed.

Wiil they be without giving ut tome advantage,'] This sense of dvwptkuQ
Uovraiy which is required by the context, is not easy to be paralleled out of
our author.

7 Nay.} I agree with Bauer that for 6XK& re we should read oXXd yt,
quin certo*

* Few great armaments, ^c,] This is, perhaps, as true in modem as it
was in antient times, except that since the great improvements in arts and
sciences, armaments can go farther from home with less danger. Even now,
however, expeditions, I willnot say to India, but even across the Atlantic,
have usually been disastrous.



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CHAP. XXXIV. THE HISTORY OP THUCYDIDES. 65

sufiering defeat unlooked for, grew great by the object pro-^^
fessed by the enemy, that ^ he was going only against the
Athenians/ And that something like this^ may happen in
our case I am not without hope.

XXXIV. " With confidence, then, let us make our prepar-
ations here, and send to the Siculi, in order more to confirm
the amity of some, and endeavour to form connections of fiiend-
ship and alliance with others ; let us, too, despatch embassies to
the rest of Sicily, apprizing them that the danger is common, and
also to Italy, that they may either form an alliance with us, or at
least engage not to receive the Athenians. It seems to me,
too, advisable to send also to Carthage : for the thing is not
unexpected by them ; nay, they have been always in fear lest
the Athenians should make an attack upon their city ; so that
perhaps, conceiving that if they abandon us they may them-
selves be in trouble, they may choose, either secretly, or openly^
in some way or other, to give us assistance. And they are of all
present powers the most able to do this ^ if they be but willing;
for they are in possession of the most gold and silver, whence
war and every other purpose is facilitated. Let us also send
to Lacedsemon and Corinth, entreating them to give assistance
with all speed, and stir up the war there.

<^ But what I especially account expedient, an^ you by your
accustomed indolence will least of all heartily be induced to^ —
nevertheless it shall be spoken.^ If, then, the Siceliots (all



9 Something Uke thii.] This is certainly modest id Hermocrates ; indeed,
he could not reasonably reckon on so complete a triumph as bis country-
men afterwards obtained.

' Of all present potversy S^c,'\ Mitford paraphrases, " the richest com-
monwealth upon earth, and, therefore, ablest to give that kind of assistance
which was most desirable, as being most efficacious with least danger ;"
which is very true, but not the truth expressed by Thucydides. The
most efiectual assistance they could have was naval assistance ; for unless
the sea were open to the Athenian ships bringing reinforcements and sup-
plies, the army m Sicily could not long exist.

« Induced to.] The aposiopesis here (which, however, is unnoticed by
the commentators) has a fine effect.

» Nevertheteu it shall bespoken,] This has been extensively imitated bjr
other authors; ex.gr. Demosthenes irtpi Svfi^op. p. li. edit. Allen, vapa -
SoKov fuv oUa \6yov 6v fuWut Xeyctv, bfitac ^ sipvrTtTcu. Dionys. Hal. 3dO, 25.
8 Bk -K&VTiav iftri Kparitrrov iv toIq TroXifion:, Kai ovrt vjiCiq avrb ivi^vuri^tjik
iTia, ovTe Twv ovfiJ^vXittv oUhq Xkyu, rovro irpoe^iie wavffofuu.

VOL. III. y The



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66 THE HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES. BOOK VI,

together, if it be thought good, or, if not, a considerable force in
conjunction with us), launching the whole of their ships, were
to go, with two months' provisions, and meet the Athenians at
Taras and Cape Japygia, thus showing them that they must
have to fight for the passage across the Ionian gulf, before they
combat for Sicily — it would strike them with the utmost terror,
and set them on reflecting that we are sallying from ^ a friendly
country as its defenders (for Taras will receive us), whereas
they will have a wide extent of sea to traverse, with all their
stores and equipments, and, because of the length of the voy«
age, it will be difficult for them to preserve order, and their line
will be a ready object of attack to us, while it is making its way
slowly, and can engage with us but by a few at a time.^ f^And
if, again, they clear ship ^, and bear down upon us with their
swifl-sailing squadron in more compact order, then, should they
take to their oars, we can attack them when wearied, or, if that
should seem inexpedient, it is in our power to retire to Taras:
while they, making their passage with but slender stores, as
for a sea-fight ^, will soon be in want of provisions in places
that afford no supply, and either, if they remain, will be reduced
by starvation ^, or, if they attempt to proceed, will leave be-
hind them the rest of their consorts ^, and, being ill assured
whether the cities will receive them, or not, they will be dis-



The counsel in question was at once bold, and yet judicious, and to a
certain dcjsree safe, such in fact as great generals in perilous circumstances
choose. This was, perhaps, suggested by the counsel of Themistocles to
put to sea, and meet the Persians on theur way to Greece.

* We are saUt/ing from.] Or, ** we have a sally-post in," &c. ; Spfiwiu^a
being for bpfiiorrjpiov Ix^fuv. Mitford here paraphrases: " we shall go
into action with our crews refreshed in a friendly port, and our gallies
light"

^ By hut a few at a ftW.] I here read, with the recent editors, Kar
SKiyov, To the passages adduced by Duker may be added Polysen. 3, 9, 48.
^Xirac iKTO^ag — Kar SKiyov SXKov oXXy.

On the above sense of TrpofnrlirTovTii see note on 3, 78.

fi Clear thip,] Namely, for action; as Dio Cass. 628,81. 817,31.
327, 8. 315, 98. On the thing itself, see Polyb. 2, 5, 1 1. 7, 39, 4. 1, 60, 3.
and 8. A similar expression occurs in Acts 27,38. Uov^iZov t6 nXdiovy
where see my note. Here it is contemplated that part of the stores may
be thrown overboard.

7 As for a sea-fight] i. e. as expecting to fight by the way.

8 Reduced by starvation.] i. e. be compelled to surrender. UoXiopKoivro
18 for iicTToX., wnich verb is used at 1, 135. and 7, 15.

9 Leave behind them Uie rest of their consorts.] i. e. the heavier laden ves-
lelt and transports. Here the translators are all in error.



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CHAP. XXXIV. THE HISTORY OP THUCTDtDES. 6?



heartened X Insomuch that (I fancy), daunted by this reflec-
tion '*^, they will not even weigh from Corcyra ; but either, while
they are deliberating, and sending out squadrons of observation,
to learn our numbers and position, they will be thrown upon
the winter season ^^ or else, dismayed at this unexpected
resistance^ will give up the voyage; especially since (as I
learn) the most experienced of their generals has unwillingly
undertaken the command2.and would be glad to lay hold of
any reason &r abandoning thcL measure, if any tolerable show
of resistance should be made on our part. ^ And well I wot **
that report will rate us ^^ at more than our real strength. For
indeed the sentiments of men are usually of a colour with what
is rumoured, and they stand in greater awe of those who at-
tack first, than such as merely show that they will repel as«
sailants, since those they account as an equal match.^^ Which



10 Perplexed by this reflection,] Literally, " hemmed in, excluded fix)m
opportunity to act."

11 Will be tkroum upon the winter seatim,} I.e. the season will be pro-
tracted till the winter. This substitution of the person for the thing is
frequent in all languages. The phrase is imitated by Appian 1, 775. 11^
o^vai i<tfc x<*M<*^ iirkiTiot, And something like it occurs in Eurip. C^cl.
S77. irvivfiaatv ^aXaoaioiQ Hrjv ycuav kKf^o^hn-tg iiicofiiv.

IV Well I wot.] This, I think, will not ill represent the force of the iZ
oXda 8ri, which may be more literally rendered, ** And report will rate us
(that I well know) at," &c. ; for the phrase is usually inserted parentheti-
cally ; as Xen. Cyr. 3, 3, 33. diaXsySiitvoi tnpi rffi&v, lyut ol^ 6rc, oifSkv
Tavovrau

«» Report will rate «#.] This sense of dyyiWta^aij as used of persons,
is somewhat rare. I have, however, noted the following examples:—^
Eurip. Hec. 591. dyytX^iura fiot ytvvdio^, Xenoph. Hist. 6, 4, SI. d^tie ^
AyytX^dc 5irf| woptvoiro. and 4, 57. iXeytv «l»c dyyiXotro 6 Tltieavipo^ rcrcXcv*
TtiKut^. 6,4,16. ?«vr€c y)yy £\fdvot ri<rav, Cyr. 5,5, 15. 8 A. i/iidXXtiv
&yy sKKtrcu. Dionys. Hal. 1, 210. 15. ^^v rov pmnKktog dyytKouivov,

With reitpect to the Itri rdjmZovy it has the sense of the Latin tn majus;
as in a kindred passage of Livy, 1. 21,52. '* QuA (scil. fam&) incerta in
majus vero ferri solent." So Dionys. Hal. Ant. 46, 24. dyyiXXtrai tA ytv^
fuva iiri rb fottpurtpov. Aristid. 5, 5, 75. itri rb uf t^oy alpeiv. So also iwl
rb xc^pov and iirl /icixXov, as Joseph. 675, 1 5. Hence may be emended an
imitation of the present passage in Onosand. p. 67. ult. ait yap 5 iitihina ric
ihfpoKtv iXx/^Ci fuXZov yc, rate dKri^iiaiQ in Kal r^ rb fuXXovroc ^^ n)v
iXirlda furptX TpbQ rb x«^^<^«P<»'« where for ratf aXiT-^etaic I would read



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 8 of 59)