Thucydides Book I: A Students' Grammatical Commentary

Thucydides Book I: A Students' Grammatical Commentary

Language: English

Pages: 136

ISBN: 0472068474

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The first book of Thucydides is a compact masterpiece. Here he sets up the conditions that led to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War in 431 B.C. With great economy, he analyzes the origins of large-scale wars; integrates a sketch of the historical background into the larger thematic threads of his narrative; presents a brief statement of his methods and goals; outlines a hierarchy of causation; develops a theory of character and human nature; and presents a theory of leadership, chance, and foresight, all within a narrative structure that perfectly focuses these elements.
Because Book I is not primarily historical narrative, it inevitably proves difficult for inexperienced readers. Despite the convolutions and density of Thucydides' prose style, no authoritative commentary has been published since the early days of the last century. H. D. Cameron is a renowned expert in Greek and comparative grammar and has written this handbook for all levels of classical students and scholars. His commentary authoritatively accounts for the last one hundred years of evolving grammatical and linguistic theory as they apply to the seminal work of Thucydides.
H. D. Cameron is Professor of Greek and Latin and Director of the Great Books Program at the University of Michigan.

















they had not joined as subjects to the largest cities,” i.e., in such alliances as the Delian League was to be. Crawley translates, “There was no union of subject cities around a great state.” ως εκαστοι. “each by themselves.” 15.3. µαλιστα. “at the most.” The only exception in this period was the Lelantine War between the Chalcidians and the Eretrians ca. 700 B .C. (date quite uncertain). 16.1. επιγενετο δε αλλοις τε αλλοθι κωλυµατα µη αυξηθηναι. επιγιγνοµαι means “happen in addition,” with the

the accusative. Sm. §1702. 31.3. και το αυτων προσγενοµενον. αυτων refers to the Athenians. Hence, “lest the Athenian navy added to the Corcyrean be an impediment.” θεσθαι. After the noun εµποδιον [impediment], which is analogous to a verb of hindering (without redundant µη). Sm. §2744.7. Cf. ου κωλυει τουτο ποιει ν, meaning “nothing hinders doing this.” Hence, “lest [the combined navies] be an impediment to their managing [θεσθαι] the war in the way they want.” 32.1. προυφειλοµενης. Προοφειλω

απορα that define what those απορα are: the prepositional phrase α ιχµαλωτων περι φυλακης and the parallel participial phrase επισκευην ουκ ου σαν. The parallelism is marked by τε . . . και . επισκευην. “repair facilities.” 66 T H U CYD I D E S B OOK I 52.3. του δε ο ικαδε πλου. This genitive is proleptic, going logically with the indirect adverb οπη in the next clause (“in what direction of sailing home”), which introduces the indirect question. The genitive is used with adverbs (e.g., οπου

επιδηµιουργους. “magistrates.” This term was used specifically for the magistrates that Doric cities sent out to their colonies. Potidaea was a Corinthian colony, with annual magistrates sent out by Corinth, but it was also a member of the Delian League and a formal ally of Athens. 57.2. επεπολεµωτο. “had been made an enemy, had been treated as an enemy.” LSJ s.v. πολεµοω II. Gomme (ad loc.) says it means “was at war.” But cf. Thuc. I.37.1, where πολεµουντο cannot mean “be at war” formally;

signifies purpose after a verb of motion (Sm. §2065) and is parallel with the negative purpose clause οπως µη . . . βουλευσησθε. 73.2. ων ακοαι µαλλον λογων µαρτυρες η οψις των ακουσοµενων. The contrast is between the direct experience of the audience (a better argument) and the ancient tales (not so convincing). Here, too, is a grammatical play of singulars and plurals, which may seem confusing. ακοαι [hearsay] is plural because its modifying genitive, λογων, is plural. Hence, “of which stories

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