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before us have invaded foreign lands, and by thus acting under common human impulse, have incurred sufferings within the limit of human endurance. We too may reasonably hope henceforward to have the offended god dealing with us more mildly-for we are now objects fitter for his compassion than for his jealousy1. Look moreover at your own ranks, hoplites so numerous and so
δοκεῖ περιάπτειν. Compare Xenophon, Memorab. ii. 5, 2. ὥσπερ τῶν οἰκετῶν, οὕτω καὶ τῶν φίλων, εἰσὶν ἀξίαι; al ibid. i. 6, 11. and Isokratês cont. Lochit. Or. xx. s. 8; Plato, Legg. ix. p. 876 E.
The words κar' ȧğíav in Thucydidês appear to me to bear the same meaning as in these passages of Xenophon and Aristotle—" in proportion to their value,” or to their real magnitude. If we so construe them, the words ave' v, oμws μèv, and dè, all fall into their proper order: the whole sentence after ȧve' v applies to Nikias personally, is a corollary from what he had asserted before, and forms a suitable point in an harangue for encouraging his dispirited soldiers-"Look how I bear up, who have as much cause for mourning as any of you. I have behaved well both towards gods and towards men: in return for which, I am comparatively comfortable both as to the future and as to the present as to the future, I have strong hopes-at the same time that as to the present, I am not overwhelmed by the present misfortunes in proportion to their prodigious intensity."
This is the precise thing for a man of resolution to say upon so terrible an occasion.
The particle δὴ has its appropriate meaning-αἱ δὲ ξυμφοραὶ οὐ κατ’ aţiav dn poßovo-" and the present distresses, though they do appal me, do not appal me assuredly in proportion to their actual magnitude.” Lastly, the particle καὶ (in the succeeding phrase τάχα δ ̓ ἂν καὶ λωφήσelav) does not fit on to the preceding passage as usually construed : accordingly the Latin translator, as well as M. Didot, leave it out and translate-" At fortasse cessabunt." "Mais peut être vont ils cesser." It ought to be translated—“ And perhaps they may even abate," which implies that what had been asserted in the preceding sentence is here intended not to be contradicted, but to be carried forward and strengthened: see Kühner, Griech. Gramm. sect. 725-728. Such would not be the case as the sentence is usually construed.
1 Thucyd. vii. 77. ἱκανὰ γὰρ τοῖς τε πολεμίοις εὐτύχηται, καὶ εἴ τῳ θεῶν ἐπίφθονοι ἐστρατεύσαμεν, ἀποχρώντως ἤδη τετιμωρήμεθα· ἦλθον γάρ που καὶ ἄλλοι τινες ἤδη ἐφ' ἑτέρους, καὶ ἀνθρώπεια δράσαντες ἀνεκτὰ
excellent let that guard you against excessive despair, and recollect that wherever you may sit down, you are yourselves at once a city; there is no city in Sicily that can either repulse your attack or expel you if you choose to stay. Be careful yourselves to keep your march firm and orderly, every man of you with this conviction-that whatever spot he may be forced to fight in, that spot is his country and his fortress, and must be kept by victorious effort. As our provisions are very scanty, we shall hasten on night and day alike; and so soon as you reach any friendly village of the Sikels, who still remain constant to us from hatred to Syracuse, then consider yourselves in security. We have sent forward to apprise them, and entreat them to meet us with supplies. Once more, soldiers, recollect that to act like brave men is now a matter of necessity to you-and that if you falter, there is no refuge for you anywhere. Whereas if you now get clear of your enemies, such of you as are not Athenians will again enjoy the sight of home, while such of you as are Athenians will live to renovate the
ἔπαθον. Καὶ ἡμᾶς εἰκὸς νῦν τά τε ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐλπίζειν ἠπιώτερα ἕξειν· οἴκτου γὰρ ἀπ' αὐτῶν ἀξιώτεροι ἤδη ἐσμὲν ἢ φθόνου.
This is a remarkable illustration of the doctrine, so frequently set forth in Herodotus, that the gods were jealous of any man or any nation who was pre-eminently powerful, fortunate, or prosperous. Nikias, recollecting the immense manifestation and promise with which his armament had started from Peiræus, now believed that this had provoked the jealousy of some of the gods, and brought about the misfortunes in Sicily. He comforts his soldiers by saying that the enemy is now at the same dangerous pinnacle of exaltation, whilst they have exhausted the sad effects of the divine jealousy.
Compare the story of Amasis and Polykratês in Herodotus (iii. 39), and the striking remarks put into the mouth of Paulus Æmilius by Plutarch (Vit. Paul. Emil. c. 36).
great power of our city, fallen though it now be. It is men that make a city-not walls, nor ships without men 1"
The efforts of both commanders were in full harmony with these strenuous words. The army was distributed into two divisions; the hoplites marching in a hollow oblong, with the baggage and unarmed in the interior. The front division was commanded by Nikias, the rear by Demosthenês. Directing their course towards the Sikel territory, in the interior of the island, they first marched along the left bank of the Anapus until they came to the ford of that river which they found guarded by a Syracusan detachment. They forced the passage however without much resistance, and accomplished on that day a march of about five miles, under the delay arising from the harassing of the enemy's cavalry and light troops. Encamping for that night on an eminence, they recommenced their march with the earliest dawn, and halted, after about two miles and a half, in a deserted village on a plain. They were in hopes of finding some provisions in the houses, and were even under the necessity of carrying along with them some water from this spot; there being none to be found farther on. As their intended line of march had now become evident, the Syracusans profited by this halt to get on before them, and to occupy in force a position on the road, called the Akræan cliff. Here the road, ascending a high hill, formed a sort of ravine bordered on each side by steep cliffs. Th
Thucyd. vii. 77. "Ανδρες γὰρ πόλις, καὶ οὐ τείχη, οὐδὲ νῆες ἀνδρῶ
ment of the
peded by the Syracusans.
Syracusans erected a wall or barricade across the whole breadth of the road, and occupied the high ground on each side. But even to reach this pass was beyond the competence of the Athenians; so impracticable was it to get over the ground in the face of overwhelming attacks from the enemy's cavalry and light troops. They were compelled, after a short march, to retreat to their camp of the night before'.
Every hour added to the distress of their posino progress tion; for their food was all but exhausted, nor could
made by the retreating
any man straggle from the main body without encountering certain destruction from the cavalry. Accordingly, on the next morning, they tried one more desperate effort to get over the hilly ground into the interior. Starting very early, they arrived at the foot of the hill called the Akræan cliff, where they found the barricades placed across the road, with deep files of Syracusan hoplites behind them, and crowds of light troops lining the cliffs on each border. They made the most strenuous and obstinate efforts to force this inexpugnable position, but all their struggles were vain, while they suffered miserably from the missiles of the troops above. Amidst all the discouragement of this repulse, they were yet farther disheartened by storms of thunder and lightning, which occurred during the time, and which they construed as portents significant of their impending ruin2.
This fact strikingly illustrates both the change
1 Thucyd. vii. 78.
a Thucyd. vii. 79. ἀφ ̓ ὧν οἱ ̓Αθηναῖοι μᾶλλον ἔτι ἠθύμουν, καὶ ἐνόμιζον ἐπὶ τῷ σφετέρῳ ὀλέθρῳ καὶ ταῦτα πάντα γίγνεσθαι.
in the last
which the last two years had wrought in the con- Violent tending parties-and the degree to which such re- effect proligious interpretations of phenomena depended for both parties their efficacy on predisposing temper, gloomy or cheerful. In the first battle between Nikias and the Syracusans, near the Great Harbour, some months before the siege was begun, a similar thunder-storm had taken place: on that occasion, the Athenian soldiers had continued the battle unmoved, treating it as a natural event belonging to the season, and such indifference on their part had still farther imposed upon the alarmed Syracusans'. Now, both the self-confidence and the religious impression had changed sides?.
Exhausted by their fruitless efforts, the Athenians fell back a short space to repose, when Gylippus tried to surround them by sending a detachment to block up the narrow road in their rear. This however they prevented, effecting their retreat into the open plain, where they passed the night, and on the ensuing day, attempted once more the hopeless march over the Akræan cliff. But they were not allowed even to advance so far as the pass and the barricade. They were so assailed and harassed by the cavalry and darters, in flank and rear, that in spite of heroic effort and endurance, they could not accomplish a progress of so much as one single mile. Extenuated by fatigue, halfstarved, and with numbers of wounded men, they were compelled to spend a third miserable night in the same fatal plain.
As soon as the Syracusans had retired for the night to their camp, Nikias and Demosthenês took See above, c. lviii. p. 301. 2 H
Thucyd. vi. 70.