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.













Thucydides' own responsibility. This simple example shows that a narratological insight can be arrived at without the language of narratology. We discussed another example above, the argument between Gomme and Andrewes about how Brasidas' northern expedition is described before the thinking behind it is revealed. Chapters iv. 70 and 79-81 are not just a piece of delay or narrative anachrony (deviation): we are told about this 54 55 56 57 See I. dejong. Narrators andFoca/rzers- the

scholars (of whom I am one) of Thucydides' own autobiographical statement at v. 26 that he spent his exile not least among the Peloponnesians. So far from neglecting this on the page cited by Stroud I quoted it in full and in pride of place, making the additional comment that Thucydides' personal wealth was surely relevant to his ability to make these travels —a point now made by Stroud at length, with comparisons of Corinth to Las Vegas and so forth. But the idea that Thucydides spent time in

(Würzburg. 1934) E.-A. Betant, Lexicon Thucydideum, 2 vols. Bruce I. A. F. Bruce, An Historical Commentary on the CAM 'liellenica Oxyr/iyrichia' {Cambridge, 1967) Cambridge Ancient History P. Cartledge, Sparta and Lakonia (London, Cartledge, Sparta andiMkonia CID Classen/Stcup (Geneva, 1843. repr. Hildesheim. 1969) 1979) G. Rougemont (ed.), Corpus des inscriptions del- phiques (Paris. 1977- ) Thukydides, erklärt von. J. Classen, bearbeitet von J. Steup. 3rd to 5th edns. (Berlin.

Spartans at home. At 86.1 he claims Ί have made the authorities at Sparta swear the most solemn oaths to respect the autonomy of any allies I bring over to their side*. Without corroboration from the narrative, this would be hard to believe, coming as it does straight on top of an identifiable lie (that about Nisaia), quite apart from the extraordinary prestige it implies Brasidas enjoyed at Sparta. But as it happens, narrative corroboration exists, at 88. 1, where we are told that the Akanthians

I am making a trivial claim. I hope that on the contrary it will emerge that there are more such allusions than one might think. If we proceed in chronological order of event mentioned, pride of place goes to an indirectly Spartan item contained in an exchange of speeches not normally thought of as rich in 'ancient history': the Mclian Dialogue. At v. 112. 2, the Melians say that their city was founded by Sparta 700 years ago. This is not directly from I lerodotus. The chronological question has

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