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

. (page 9 of 59)
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 9 of 59)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

TtiQ aXri^iiat (which emendation is confirmed by Herodian 8, 5, 15. ^^/mu
fttiKovQ, l^ viroxl/iac, dXti^ilae ididovro); and for in I conjecture M,
Hence may be understood the gnome of iEschylus Choeph. 852. wpbQ
ywcuK&v Stifiaroi'fuvoi \6yot (ex metu efficti) 'wtiapiriot ^piiHrKovet^^fiffKovrti:

^^ Aian equal match.] Literally, ** as equally disposed to face danger."
The word XaoKivbwo^ b exceedingly rare ; and not even the new edition of

Digitized by



would now be the feeling of the Athenians ; for they come
against us as persons who will make no resistance, justly con-
temning us because we did not unite with the Lacedaemonians
in destroying their power. Whereas if they see us daring be-
yond their calculations, they will be more astounded at the
unexpectedness of the thing, than at any force we may actually
send forth.'*

y " Be persuaded, then, above all, to venture on this measure,
' or, at least, to lose no time in making preparations for the war.
And let it be present to«the mind of every one, that contempt
of invaders is best evinced in energy of deeds — well assured
that, for the present, to make our preparations, with fear, the
safest (as in a time of danger), will turn out the most advisable
course.** Indeed, the enemy are advancing ; — they are, I well
know, already on the voyage ; — and are all but upon us ! " '^

XXXV. Thus spoke Hermocrates : On which the mul-
titude of the Syracusans were at great strife one with another,
some maintaining that the Athenians would by no means come,
and that the representations of the orator were not true ; others
exclaiming, " If they do even come, what can they inflict which
they will not suffer in return, and to a greater degree ?" Others,
again, with an utter contempt of the news, turned the whole
afiair into ridicule. There were, however, a few who believed ,
the account of Hermocrates, and were alarmed for the future.' ,'

Steph. Thes. gives any other example but the present passage. It occurs,
however, twice in Dio Cass. p. 22, 81. and 297, 58. koX iaoppo-Koi dKKi]\ovQ
Kol laoKivlwoi lyiyvovTO,

•* Than at any force we may actually tend forth.] Literally, " than by our
true force; namely, when they see it." 'Airb rov dXrj^ovg is a phrase for
an adjective.

»6 Contempt of mvadert it, cj-c] The best commentary on this passage is
the kindred sentiment at 1. 2, 1 1. xpn <^«t — ^V M^*' yvtafiy ^apaaXkovt orpa-
TtvfiV Ttf Bk lpy*^i dtSidrag napaffKivdi^icdai,

>7 Are all but upon tit,] Soch' is the sense of the idiomatical phrase '6<tov
4tvirta trdptiai^ of which, as it has been neglected by the commentators, the
following examples maybe not unacceptable: — Xen. Hist. 6, 2, 9. Ant.
7, 25. bffov oi traptifi i^dri, Dionys. Hal. Ant. p. 45, 55. ^c ^rj^ fiiWovaav ts
leai hoop oiJirw irapovaav eitrvxiav &7rw<ra<T^at, Procop. Bell. G. p. 50, 15.
hoov o^irw d^iKfV^cu* Herodian 1, 15, 5. rifiiiQ 6k 'dcov oMina diroX-

1 And were alarmed for the future,^ As they justly might, when they
mw danger so slighted, and so utterly unprepared for.

Digitized by



At length came forward Athenagoras, who was the leader of
the democratical party, and at the present had much influence
with the multitude, and spoke to the following effect :

XXXVI. " As to the Athenians, indeed, whoever does not
msh them to counsel so ill, and, by coming hither, fall a prey
into our hands, is either a coward, or disaffected to the state. ^
But as to those who tell such terrific stories, and throw you
mto consternation ^, I wonder not at their audacity, but am
amazed at their folly, if they fancy that their views shall escape
detection.'^ As to the fearful, they, on their pai*t, wish to throw
the city into consternation, in order that they may overshadow*
their own terror under the common fear.

" Now this is the very scope of these reports ; which have not
started up by chance*, but been manufactured® by men who are
fever working such mischief. As to yourselves, if ye consult
wisely, ye will consider, and form your conjecture of probabili-
ties not from what they tell you, but from what men long-

^ Is either a coward or disaffected to the state,] This is an oratorical
mode of expression, similar to that of Diodotus I. J, 43. 6<mc iiafidxerai —

^ Consternation.] Uepi<po^og is a very strong term, occurring also in Xen.
Anab. 3, 1, 9., &c, Dionys. Hal. 429, 23. 163, 31. Aristid. 1, 256.
. s If they fancy that their views shaU not escape detection,] Literally, ** if
they think they shall not be seen through.

+ Overshadota.] The sense of iTrtjXvydKta^ai has been well illustrated by
J)uker, who gives examples from Aristotle, Diog. Laert., Synesius, and the
Greek lexicographers. It may be added that the passage is imitated by
Dexippus ap. Corp. Hist. Byz. t. 1. p. 11. D. {>7b>c &v rb ff^irtpov iso^
iTrrjXvyd^ea^ai, The word also occurs in Agath. p. 49. ^lian Hist. Ao.
1,41. and in the Schol. on Find. Pyth. 138. jJ vapdaXia — eaiccirc Kcd
onrriXvyi, I conjecture lirriXvyt.

As to the noun rjXvyTj, which Duker could only find in the Greek lexico-
graphers, it occurs in Aristoph. Acharn. 682. r^c ^t«»?c rrjv f)\vyriv. Also
Xt^yi; occurs in Appian 1, 864. And I would restore it in a corrupt passage
of Lucian, t. 3, 122, 46. ij -Kpo ruiv Xoyutv, dXXd irpb ckotov^^ uriKWi fifj roX"
uTiaiiQ ToiovTo fiTiSkv, whcrc the critics could think of nothing better than
ipya)v for Xoyutv, The true reading is, beyond all doubt, Xvy&v, and
the sense may be thus expressed : ** Certainly before dusk, yea, even before
dark, you will no longer venture any thing of that kind."

^ Have not started up by chance.) Or, as it were, of themselves. This
passage seems to have been in the mind of iEschin. C. Tim. p. 18, 8.
u\J/(vStic Tig dirb Tavrofidrov TrXavdrai fprifirj icard r»)v ir<JXtv, cat dtayy^XXti^
K. r. X. He thus defines ^^/xi; at p. 47, 23. ^^/ii; l<rTiv hrav rb wX^^oc
rutv voXiTufV avrdfiaTOv iv fitiitfiiag 'irpw^ffiiog Xiyy nvd itg yeycvi}fUyify

6 Manufactured.] Literally, " put together.**

F 8

Digitized by



headed, and experienced stagers ^ (& I reckon the Athenians to
be) would be likely to do. For very improbable it is that they
would leave the Peloponnesians at their backs, and, though they
have not yet thoroughly disposed of the war there, vohintarily
enter upon another of not less consequence. No ; they are, I
trow, well content that we, states so many and potent, do not
invade them.

XXXVII. ^' But indeed should they come (as these men
tell us), I am of opinion that Sicily will be more able to carry the
war through ^ than Peloponnesus, inasmuch as it is in all respects
better provided with resources ; and I hold that our own city
itself is far an overmatch for the armament now (as they say)
coming, nay, and for one twice as great, should it arrive. Sure
I am that the enemy can at least bring no horses with them, nor
procure any here, except some few from the Egestaeans ; nor
can they transport a force of heavy infantry equal to ours on
board ships : for it were an arduous affair for them to accom-
plish so long a voyage as this, even with light ships ', and such
other equipments as would be necessary against such a city as
this, and which could not be small*

^^ So far, then, am I from seeing danger, that methinks^
though they had another city as great as Syracuse, and carried
on the war from an adjacent one, they would scarcely escape utter
destruction ; much less, then, in Sicily, entirely hostile and in
combination as it will be ; with an army, too, placed in per*
petual dependence on their fleet, cooped up in paltry huts, and

7 Long-hemded, and experienced stagers,} As the terms of this oration are
■ot meant to convey praise^ therefore the yersion here of Smith, ** wise
and enlightened/' seems ill judged. Assuredly the terms in question are
sometimes employed m sensu deleriori; as in Isocrates Panath* $ 90. Avdpa
Stivbv Koi irdXXwv ift-jrupov* Herod* 5, 29, 10. dvdpt liivif rt koI ao^m
Plut. Coriol. 27, 1. avt)p hivbQ kqX rif ^poviXv xal roXfi^v frtpirrbg. On the
sense of ^cTvoc, see Wolf, on Liban. Epist.277. With the iroXXwv e^irnpoe
may be compared Xenoph. Cyr. 8, 7, 3, Thiem. ruv n\tt6vMf Ifunlpw ; and
Lucian 1, 10. AirdvTmf tfiiTftpov ;. also the cajcwv ifiirupog restored at iEschyU
Pers. 604. by Dr. Blomfield. The above passages are adduced, chiefly to
show how unnecessary is the conjecture ot Lennep, mentioned by Goeller.

' Carry the war through.] i. e. bring it to a successful conclusion. See
S, 14 and 25.

^ * It were an arduous, 4*c.] Nothing can be a stronger proof of the infe*
riority of the antients to the moderns in nautical skill than such an asses-
lion as thb.

Digitized by



with make-shiftly ^^ equipments and supplies, and not able to go
far, for fear of our cavalry. In short, so superior do I account
our force, that I think they would not even effect a landing, or
secure a post.

XXXVIII. '' But of all this the Athenians are so well
aware, that they (sure I am) will mind their own afiairs ; and
our men here are setting abroad^ stories which are not and can-
not be true ^ ; men who^ I know, are not now for the first time^
but have been continually aiming, either with such words as
these, or yet baser fictions than these, or else by actions^ to
throw the common people into alarm ^ and thus themselves rule
over the city. And much I fear lest, after long attempting, they
may at last succeed ^ in their purposes, and we be too sluggbh
and pusillanimous to foreguard, or, on perceiving the mischief
to remedy it before we are suffering under the consequences.
From this cause, indeed, it is that our country is seldom quiet,
but takes up multiplied factions and quarrels, not so much
against the enemy, as within itself, and at times falls under
tyranny and unjust domination.^ Of these I will endeavour^

1* Make-shifUi/.] Such (to use a colloquial expression) b the true sense
of dvayKaioQ,

I Mind their own affcan,'] And not attempt to meddle with ours.

« Setting abroad stories] The word Xoyovodu is used by Josephus fre-

Suently, by Dio Cass., Dinarchus, Polyaenus. It implies falsehood. So
lesych. \oyo-7roifi<Tavrtc. irkao&fitvot \6yovq rl/tvdtic; and Theophrastus
Char. Eth. mpi XoyoirotaQ. t/ Sk Xoyowoia ivri <rifv^t<ft^ \l/tvS&v \6ytnf xal irpa^
ii(avy wv povXerai 6 Xoyoiroi&v, The punishment for tills was very heavy;
namely, to be broken on the wheel, as appears from Plutarch Nic. 1,542.

» Which are not and cannot he true."] Xiiterally, which neither have nor
can have any existence in truth. So Eurip. frag, incert. 132. irfic rig ^hrcu
Xkyiov tA t 5vra Kai firj, Lucian 3, 19. ovrt &vtoq rivdy, ohri ytvofUvov wSre,
Xenoph. Hist. 1, 1, 51. SSKoi rd 6vra Xkynv, et Anab. 4, 4, 15. o^roc ^SSkh
xoXXd f^dri dXij^ivffai, rotavra rd 6vra rt wp 6vra, koI rd firjf 6vTa (if oIk Bvtcu
In the same sense, too, yhnr^ai is used.

'* Bi/ actions,] i. e. by deeds of seditious tendency.

^ TTtrow the common people into aiarm,] The very mode, in all ages and
countries, of working upon the multitude, who, being governed by pAssion
rather than reason, are, like instruments, played upon by every artful agitator.

6 And much I fear les(,^c.] For as Theocritus says. Idyl. 15,62. 1^
Tpoictv Trupiitfitvot JX^ov 'Axaiot — irdp^ ^i)v irdyra reXtiTca,

7 Tjfranny and unjust domination,] By the former of these expressioDs
there seems a reference to the government of Qelon and others ; and by the
latter, to the occasional predominance of aristocracy, which appears to nave
prevailed when the last pacification of Sicily was effected, undef Hermo-

F 4

Digitized by



if at least you be disposed to support me, to permit none
to arise among us, and that by bringing y<ni the many to my
opinion, and by punbfaing the authors of such machinations^
— not only when caught in the fact (for hard it were to catch
them), but for what they meditate, but cannot accomplish.
For it behoves us to anticipate vengeance on our foe not for
what he effects only, but for his very intention ; for if a man use
not this foreguard, he will suffer Jirst. On the other hand,
with yoti the Jew ^ I shall deal partly by convicting, partly by
watching, and partly by admonishing you.^ For thus, I con-
ceive, may such most effectually be deterred from their mal-

** And now (what has often occupied my reflections) what
is it, young men, that you would have ? Is it to bear rule at
present ? But that is not permitted by law. And the law
was promulgated from your not having the requisite abiUty,
rather than to disgrace you being competent. ^^ WeU, then, is
it that you should not be put on an equal footing with the
multitude ? But how can it be just that the same fellow-men
should not be thought worthy of the same privileges? ^^

urates; but dnce that time to have been displaced, or, at least, its power
clogged, by the formidable increase of democratical influence.
' Vw the few.] L e. those of the arbtocratical or oligarchical party.

9 I ihaU deal partly ^ convicting^ ^.] Athenagoras is here spring
jather of the course he intends to adopt respecting the party in question,
than that which he is now going to pursue ; for thus ^vkacouiv would have
jio sense. Smith and others have therefore missed the scope of the passage.

10 And the law was promulgated, ^c] By this it shoula seem that a law
had been enacted during the last ascendency of the democratical party,
limiting the age at which any should be eligible to state offices. And it ap-
pears by these words that tlie young men of the higher ranks conceived the
law to have been levelled against t£nn, as, indeed, it doubtless was; there,
perhaps, happenine to be a considerable number of young men of talent
and spirit, or the higher ranks, who would otherwise have aspired to the
offices of the state. This law, then, the orator now justifies, but in a man-
ner which would be little satisfactory or palatable to the persons in ques-
tion. It is plain, however, that, though the democratical party bore the
«way, yet the state offices were still left to be filled bv the privileged classes.

I > But how eon it be just, 4^.] Such is certainly the sense ; and the
T&v aifT&v is equivalent to cffcuv. Here we have the common argument so
perpetually harped upon by democrats of every age, the *' natural equality
^men, and the naturally equal rights of men;" who forget that there is
.little natural equality at all ; ana what there is, is materiallj^' changed by
rdrcurostances. My learned and reflecting readers will not be indifferent to

Digitized by



XXXIX. ^* But you will urge that democracy is a state
repugnant both to wisdom and equity, but that those who have
wealth are the fittest to govern well. I, however, aver, first,
that democracy is the name of the whole, but oligarchy of a
part ^ ; and then, that, though the rich are the best guardians
of the treasury ^, persons of ability make the best counsellors ^,
and that the multitude^ on hearing what is urged, are the best
to decide. Now in a democracy, all these, both conjointly and
severally, have an equal share of privileges.^ But oligarchy
imparts an equal share of dangers to the many, while of the
advantages it not only holds a greater portion, but takes away
and keeps the whole. Now this is what the rich and the
young among you zealously promote; a thing impossible to be
attained in a great city. But even yet now, O ye greatest of
dolts ! unless ye know that ye are contriving evil, ye are either
the most ignorant I know of Grecians, or the most wicked if,
knowing it, ye dare persist in your practices.

XL. ** Now, then, either informing yourselves better, or
changing your purposes, strive to promote with all the com-
mon prosperity of the state ; assured of this, that the good
among you will have an equal, nay a greater share than the
multitude of the city ; but that if ye aim at aught further, there
may be danger of being deprived of the whole. With such sort
of stories, then, have done, as being told to those who perceive
and will not permit your designs. For this city, even should

the strong sense and perfect truth of the following observation of the Sta-
girite (Polit. 5, 5.) oTa<Tta^ov<Ti ^ iv bXiyapxiatc ol voKkoi^ u>^ aiiKovfiivoi,
hri oi) fUTtxovtri ruv XffufVy iffoi ovtiq, Iv dk toiq ^fjfioKparlatc oi yvioptfiot^ on
fitHxovffi rCtv 7<Twv, oir \(tot hvrtQ, How would this mighty master in the
theory of politics have admired a constitution like our own, which unites
the benefits, and avoids the peculiar defects, inherent both in democracy and

> Thai democracy is, 4^0.] So Herod. 3, 80. vXij^os dk dpxov — 8vo^

irdvTtMfV KdXXuTTOV ^X^l l<T0V0fli7IV,

« The rich are the best gudrdians of the treasury.] See Dionys. Hal. Ant.
223, 10. and Isocrat. Areop. § 10. p. 224. et Panath. § 52.

5 Persons of ability make the best counsellors,] There is something very
similar in Herod. 1. 3, 80. dplarutv Sf Avipdv tUoc Apwra fiovXwfiara

* Have an equal share of privileges.] So Dio Ca»s. 388, 14. ArmoKpana
yAp ovofia litffxflftov fx<«> ««* ''»>'« hofiotpiav iraatv U Ttjc hovofiias ^pe«v
doKfh See also Aristot. 1,389. A.

Digitized by



the Athenians come, will repel* them in a manner worthy of
itself, and we have generals who will look to such matters.
And if aught of your story be true, which I think is not the
case, it will not be terrified at your reports, nor, by choosing
you for rulers, put its neck voluntarily into the yoke of servi«
tude, but will of itself consider and judge the 'words that come
from you as workSf and will not, by hearkening to your coun-
sels, be deprived of the liberty it possesses ; but by keeping
actual guard of you, will endeavour to irustrate the execution
of your purposes."

XLI. Thus spoke Athenagoras. Whereupon one of the
generals arose, and would not suffer any other orator to come
forward, but himself spoke respecting the present points to
the following effect ' :

" Criminations such as these it is neither decorous in any
to vent against each other, nor prudent^ in the hearers to
listen to, but rather, from what is reported, to consider how
we may be prepared, both individually and collectively, to
repel the invaders. And if, indeed, our care should prove un-
necessary, there can be no harm that the public should be fur-
nished with horses and arms, and the other requisites for war.^
As to the care and inspection of this affair, we will look to it,
and moreover contrive for the sending round to the cities, both
for observation of the state of things, and to provide for what
may seem necessary. Part of these matters we have already.

» Whereupon one of the generetU arose and, 4-c.l Mitford is wrong in
saying that the general interrupted Athenagoras, who, it is clear, concluded
his speech. Only the general, to stop the attempt to excite popular pas-
sion, would not suffer another to rise. He, there is no doubt, was one of
the aristocratical party.

^ Decorous in, ^c., nor prudent, (j-c] There seems to be a dilogia in
ffo^pbv, which is used in two significations in the two different clauses of the

3 Other requUites for war.] Smith is here unusually literal, rendering,
** other habitments which are the glory of war." But the expression (as »
shown by the Scholiast) is a mere phrase (somewhat too bold and poetical,
indeed), signifying wv xpyln* Thus Duker might here have spared his
discussion on the comparative merits of ayaSXia^ai and Xafnrpvvio^ai.

The passage, it may be observed, is almost copied by Isidor. Epist. S, H6.
Our present Scholiast plainly appears to have lived before him ; which may
serve to prove the antiquity of thb commentator.

Digitized by



taken care of, and whatever information we receive, we shall
report to you."

On the general having thus spoken, the Syracusans broke
up the assembly.^

XLII. As to the Athenians and their allies, they were all
now at Corcyra.* And first the commanders made a further
review ^ of the armament, and formed dispositions and arrange-
ments as to the order and mode in which they should both
take up their anchorage, and form their encampments ; and
having divided the forces into three parts ^, they cast lots
that each should have one.^ This they did in order that they
might not, by sailing together ^, be in want of water, harbour-
age, or necessaries at the places where they touched ; and

♦ Broke up the assentb/i/.'] i. e. departed. Hobbes wrongly renders, " dis-
solved the assembly;" for that was the office of the general, who had vir-
tually done this by permitting no more speeches to be delivered, nor the
question to be put to vote.

Of these generals (or praetors) there were fifleen ; whose duties
were, doubtless, the very same as those of the state eenerals of Athens.

^ Were all now at Corcyra.] It should seem, then, tnat the plan proposed
by Hermocrates was impracticable ; for the Athenians would probably have
reached the coast of Italy before the Syracusans could have been there to
hinder them.

6 Further review,"] Notwithstanding that some MSS. have iir* UkTamy,
doubtless iirt^hamv is the right reading. The word is of the same form
with iiriKepyavia. But the translators are wrong in affirming its sense to
be the same as that of the simple IKsramg. The cir denotes what is done
further. There had, it seems, been a review at Pirseus previous to the de-
parture ; and now there was a further one at Corcyra, after all the allied
forces had joined.

7 Afid having divided the forces into three parts'] Polyaenus, 1, 40, 4.
ascribes this measure to Jlctbiades; only, perhaps, because he was in the
chief command (for such he was, notwithstanding that Mitford all along
supposes Nicias to have been the commander-in-chief).

8 Cast lots that each should have one.] I have here followed the emend-
ation of Valcknaer and Reiske, and the reading of Valla, %Vy which has
been received by all the recent editors. Yet the common reading may very
well be defended as to the sense. They cast lots on each of the divisions
separately, namely, whose it should be. Such was the custom in casting lots,
as appears from Polyb. 6, SO, 20. jcXtj/oouat (scil. Tribuni) t^q ^vXdg icari
n'lav, Kai vpooKCLKovvrai rijv Ati Xaxovaav, And so I understand St. Mark,
15, 24. paXKovTfQ cX^pov in ain-dj riQTt dpy. Yet as tv is the more difficult
reading, so it is probably the true one. There is here a blending of two

9 Sailing together.] Here again I adopt, with the late editors, the reading
of Valla, aim vMovnc. And I would add, that such seems to have been
read by Polyaenus ubi supra.

Digitized by



that in other respects they might be in better order, and more
easy to govern, being ranged into squadrons each under a
separate commander.

They then sent forward three ships to Italy and Sicily, to
learn which of the cities would receive them ^*^, with orders to
meet them before they made the opposite coast, that they
tnight know where to touch.

XLIII. This done, the Athenians now weighed from Cor-
cyra with the grand armament, and proceeded to make their
passage to Sicily, with, in all, one hundred and thirty- four
triremes, and two Rhodian fifty-oared barks ^, (of which
one hundred were Athenian, whereof sixty were swift-sailing
vessels, the remainder such as conveyed the troops *^). The rest
of the navy was composed of the Chians and the other allies,
with heavy infantry, in all amounting to five thousand one
hundred (of which one thousand five hundred were Athenians
of the regular lists^, and seven hundred Thetes (or marines ^) :

10 To learn which of the citiet would receive them.] Mitford ascribes the
ignorance in this respect, which argued a deficiency in preparatory
measures^ to the rash precipitation of one party, and the opposition which
perplexed and hampered the other.

I One hundred and tJurty-four triremes^ and two Rhodian Jifti/'Oared
barks.] Plutarch. Alcib. c. 20. reckons them at something short of one

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 9 of 59)