A Commentary on Thucydides, Volume 2: Books IV-V. 24
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This is the second volume of a three-volume historical and literary commentary of the eight books of Thucydides, the great fifth-century BC historian of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Books iv-v.24 cover the years 425-421 BC and contain the Pylos-Spakteria narrative, the Delion Campaign, and Brasidas' operations in the north of Greece. This volume ends with the Peace of Nikias and the alliance between Athens and Sparta. A new feature of this volume is the full thematic introduction which discusses such topics as Thucydides and Herodotus, Thucydide's presentation of Brasidas, Thucydides and kinship, speech-direct and indirect-in iv-v.24, Thucydides and epigraphy (including personal names), iv-v.24 as a work of art: innovative or merely incomplete? Thucydides intended his work to be "an everlasting Possession" and the continuing importance of his work is undisputed. Simon Hornblower's commentary, by translating every passage of Greek commented on for the first time, allows readers with little or no Greek to appreciate the detail of Thucydides' thought and subject-matter. A full index at the end of the volume.
about speeches versus narrative in section 5 (below, p. 84). So much in defence of my general method and conclusions. I now move on to books iv-v. 24 which are after all the subject of this volume. As it happens, the speeches in this section of Thucydides do not have many references to past history from the period covered by Herodotus; they do, in the form of paradeigmata used by e.g. Pagondas and Hippokrates, contain interesting references to pentekontaetia history, i.e. past history from the
fUadingofXenophon llelleniat 2. j . 117. y 27 (Historia FJntelschrifi 76: 1993). 105-8. See also now Parker. AMI 99 and n. 133, cf. 143 f. Note also his p. 174 and n. 76 on Th. ii. 29 (Tcrcus; Thrace/Athens 'kinship"). , M 65 Introduction But closeness of the Kallias sort is still not the same thing as kinship, and here things get very difficult for Cutty, because there was no actual kinship between Athens and Sparta at all, only vague religious or mythical ties of the sort just discussed. On
volume, but some sections, for instance the discussion of Thucydides and Herodotus in section 2 and the accompanying Annex B, are relevant to the whole of Thucydides' work. Sometimes (though no more often than I felt to be absolutely necessary) the Introduction summarizes or actually repeats things said in the commentary itself. When considering a theme like Thucydides' presentation of Brasidas (Introduction, section 3), it was necessary to bring together items scattered over a wide area of
chronological eras.' The clumsiness of the formula here used about Chrysis is certainly effective preparation for the methodological polemic at v. 20, though 'ludicrous' is perhaps too strong. Dover wondered if Thucydides was prompted to include the Chrysis story because Hellanicus' account of the priestesses of Argos had only recently been published and it stopped before 423, i.e. Thucydides was continuing Hellanicus' work rather than criticizing his methodology. To which Gomme replied that
of the city, the responsibility is felt as being common'. 2. ορώντας π ρ ο σ β ο λ ή ν ΐ χ ο ν τ ό χ ω ρ ί ο ν τή$ Σικ€λία?: 'they saw that Messina was the key to [lit., 'means of entering', LSJ ] Sicily'. This obvious strategic truth hardly needs modern illustration, but see M.Howard, Grand Strategy IV: August 1 $42-September 1043 (London, 1972), 504. Cp. vi. 48, and for the importance of Messina to Dionysius I for control of the straits see Lewis, CAII vi . 141, 144. μ€ΐζονι π α ρ α σ κ ε υ ή