A Commentary on Thucydides, Volume 2: Books IV-V. 24

A Commentary on Thucydides, Volume 2: Books IV-V. 24

Simon Hornblower

Language: English

Pages: 538

ISBN: 2:00245679

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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.











so complaints on the literary score are unfair. But they are tempting because Gomme does have things to say about Thucydides as literature. Thus his iv-v. 24 commentary includes references of the form 'see my Sather lectures', a purely literary work I have mentioned already. As it happens that 1954 book must have been written about the time that he was working on the commentary on iv-v, after the theft from a train in 1945 of all his notes. On this section it is instructive to compare the Sather

of Th. covered in my vol. i, but Stroud's treatment of the First Pcloponnesian War leaves some unease. At 279-80 Stroud rightly notes the wraith of what a literary theorist might call Corinthian-focalized detail at i 105-6. He also (n. 18) rightly praises Lewis's 'perceptive and valuable' account of Corinth's aspirations and tactics in the war (as set out in G. Shrimpton and D.J McCargar (cds). Classical'Contributions Stmiiti in Honor of Η F. McGrrgor(Locust Valley NY, 1981). 71-8; cp. more

independently rejects my suggestion as well. Proof can hardly be had. But it is no disproof to urge against me, as Kennelly does, that Thucydides might have cited other examples of Corinthian euergesiai listed in Herodotus such as their arbitration in Athens' favour against Thebes (Hdt. vi. 108), and that it is arbitrary to suppose that he went to Herodotus for just this one. In the context of the argument between the Corcyraeans and Corinthians, in which naval power features so prominently, an

Language of Heroes (Princeton. 1993). 146-105. 220-2 for Achilles' special use of repetition. Brasidas represented in a distinctive way? See A Boegehold, Thucydides' Rcprcscntation of Brasidas Before Amphipolis', CP 74 (1979). 148-52; K F. Francis. 'Brachylogia Laconica: Spartan Speeches in Thucydides'. BICS 38 (1991-3). 198-212. esp 211 for Brasidas' fondness for abstract nouns in -ait. R. Symc. Taa/us (Oxford. 1958); but on such 'idiolects' see A. N. Shcrwin-Whitc's review. JRS 49 ( 959)« ' 4 3

kinship from [i.e. because of their shared descent from) the gods and heroes, and because king Ptolemy is a descendant of Heraklcs and traces his descent to the kings who are descended from Herakles*. '''' Lines 17-18 for Lcto as τήν τής ηόλιως άρχηγίτιν τής ημετέρας. On the meaning of the word anhegelis I am indebted to comments by Christopher Jones, who hopes to deal with the matter in print; see meanwhile O.Jcssen, RE 2 (1895). 441-4. and W Leschhorn. Gritruler der Stoat (Palm genesia 20:

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