Essays and Addresses/The Speeches of Thucydides
§ 1. The famous phrase in which Thucydides claims a lasting value for his work has had the fate of many striking expressions: it is often quoted apart from the words which explain it. "A possession for ever," not "the rhetorical triumph of an hour": taken by itself this has a ring of exultation, noble perhaps, yet personal, as if the grave self-mastery of the historian had permitted this one utterance in the tone of the Roman poet's confident retrospect or the English poet's loftier hope, speaking of a monument more enduring than brass, of things so written that men should not willingly let them die. It is the context that reduces the meaning to a passionless precision. "The absence of fable in the History," he says, "will perhaps make it less attractive to hearers; but it will be enough if it is found profitable by those who desire an exact knowledge of the past as a key to the future, which in all human probability will repeat or resemble the past. The work is meant to be a possession for ever, not the rhetorical triumph of an hour." That the intention of Thucydides has been fulfilled in his own sense is due largely to the speeches which form between a fourth and fifth of the whole work. It is chiefly by these that the facts of the Peloponnesian war are transformed into typical examples of universal laws and illuminated with a practical significance for the students of politics in every age and country. The scope of the speeches is seen best if we consider what the History would be without them. The narrative would remain, with a few brief comments on great characters or events, and those two passages in which Thucydides describes the moral effects of pestilence and of party-strife. But there would be little or no light on the inner workings of the Greek political mind, on the courses of reasoning which determined the action, on the whole play of feeling and opinion which lay behind the facts.
§ 2. The introduction of speeches became a regular part of ancient historiography, and came in again at the revival of literature, not quite going out, in Italy and France at least, till the end of the last century. But the followers of Thucydides were obeying an established tradition; he was the writer who had done most to establish it; indeed, he might properly be called its founder. The place of the speeches in his design was due to special influences of the age as well as to the peculiar bent of his mind; we have to consider what had been done before him, and the plan on which he went to work.
At the beginning of the Peloponnesian war a Greek prose literature scarcely yet existed. The Ionian prose-writers before Herodotus, or contemporary with him, are known to us only from scanty fragments. But the Augustan age possessed all, or nearly all, their writings; and Dionysius of Halicarnassus has described their general characteristics, comparing them collectively with Herodotus and Thucydides. These Ionian writers, he says, treat the annals of cities and people separately,—not combining them into a large picture, as Herodotus does. Their common object was to diffuse a knowledge of the legends which lived in oral tradition (ὅσαι διεσώζοντο μνῆμαι), and of the written records (γραφαί) preserved in temples or state-archives; and to publish these "such as they received them," without adding anything, and on the other hand without omitting "myths" and "theatrical episodes" which appear childish to a more critical age. As to style, it is much the same for all of them,—plain, concise, "strictly to the point," without artificial display; but with a certain freshness, he adds, and some degree of charm, which has been the secret of their survival. The meagre fragments which remain, such as those of Xanthus and Charon, Hecataeus and Hellanicus, consist chiefly of short, jerky sentences, strung together in the baldest possible fashion. If these Ionian writers introduced dialogues or speeches—as the example of the epic poets might have led them to do—it may be conjectured that these were of the simplest kind. There is one, indeed, who has left proof that he could write dialogue with the ease and grace of Herodotus himself. But Ion of Chios was a poet as well as a chronicler; he knew the Athens of Pericles; and his memoirs, with their sprightly gossip, must have been very unlike the normal type of Ionian chronicle.
Herodotus is distinguished from his predecessors, first of all, by an epic unity of plan. It is hard to say exactly how far he was superior to them in his method of verifying facts; his diligence and his honesty are both unquestionable, and we know that he attempted—not very scientifically, perhaps—to decide between conflicting versions of the same story. But in the dramatic element of his narrative he shows the true freedom of an epic poet. In his History, as in the Iliad and the Odyssey, the author seldom speaks when there is a fair pretext for making the characters speak. The habitual use of "direct speech," or easy dialogue, is evidently a different thing from the insertion of set speeches: there is nothing necessarily rhetorical about it. It is merely the vivid way of describing thought and motive, the way natural to a simple age; and in the case of a work meant to be heard rather than to be read, like the early Greek prose works, it has the obvious recommendation of helping to keep the attention alive. Even the longer speeches in Herodotus have usually the conversational tone rather than the rhetorical. On the other hand, there are a few which may be considered as properly rhetorical, that is, as efforts by Herodotus to work up a vague tradition in the most effective form. The debate in the Persian cabinet on the invasion of Greece is a case in point. The speeches of Xerxes, Mardonius, and Artabanus have been carefully elaborated, and have the elementary dramatic merit of expressing views which Persian speakers could conceivably have taken. Another example is the debate of the Persian conspirators after the death of the false Smerdis. Otanes argues for democracy, Megabyzus for oligarchy, Darius for monarchy; but here the points of view seem purely Hellenic. Herodotus prefaces his report of the discussion by saying, "Speeches were made which some of the Greeks refuse to credit; but made they were": and elsewhere he remarks with triumph that "those Greeks who do not believe" in Otanes having advocated democracy will be surprised to hear that Mardonius established democracies in the Ionian cities. The ground of this dramatic episode, then, was a story current among the Greeks of Ionia, but rejected by some of them as manifestly inconsistent with Persian ideas. The spirit of rhetorical dialectic may be traced again very clearly in the conversation between Solon and Croesus, where Solon refines on the distinction between wealth, good fortune, and happiness. Still, it cannot be said that Herodotus had much love for set rhetorical display: his taste was for conversation—lively, ingenious, argumentative it might be, but still mainly in the colloquial key. A good instance of the way in which he passes by an opportunity for oratory is his brief notice of the speech made by Themistocles just before the battle of Salamis: "His theme was the contrast between all that is worthy and all that is base. He exhorted them to choose the better part in all that men's nature and condition permit; and then, having wound up his discourse, he ordered them to embark." The true rhetorician would have developed the topic which Herodotus barely indicates. It may be noticed, too, that the ornament of the speeches in Herodotus is sometimes distinctly Homeric—illustrating his nearer affinity to epos than to rhetoric. Thus the Corinthian Sosicles, in the debate at Sparta, begins with truly epic force: "Verily now the sky shall be under the earth, and the earth shall hang above the sky, men shall have their pastures in the sea, and fish upon land," if Spartans become the friends of tyranny.
§ 3. Thucydides has stated the general principles on which he composed the speeches in his History. The precise interpretation of that statement depends, however, partly on the question—How far is it probable that Thucydides is there instituting a tacit comparison between his own method and that of Herodotus? So far as we know, the work of Herodotus was the only prose work in which Thucydides could have found a precedent for dramatic treatment applied to history. If Thucydides knew that work, it would naturally be present to his mind at the moment when he was stating the rules of his own practice. It can be shown almost certainly that a period of at least twenty years must have elapsed between the time at which Herodotus ceased to write and the time at which the History of Thucydides received the form in which it has come down to us. It was possible, then, for Thucydides to know the work of Herodotus; that he actually knew it, and that he pointedly alludes to it in several places, cannot be doubted by any one who weighs the whole evidence.
In the view of Thucydides there had hitherto been two classes of writers concerned with the recording of events. First, there were the poets, especially the epic poets, of whom Homer is the type, whose characteristic tendency, in the eyes of Thucydides, is to exaggerate the greatness or splendour of things past. Secondly, there were the prose writers whom he calls chroniclers λογογράφοι; and these he characterises by saying that they "compiled" their works with a view to attracting audiences at a recitation, rather than to truth; dealing largely, as they did, with traditions which could no longer be verified, but had passed into the region of myth. Now with such chroniclers Herodotus was undoubtedly classed by Thucydides. The traits common to Herodotus and the other chroniclers, as Thucydides viewed them, were (1) the omission of really accurate research—the tendency to take what lay ready to the writer's hand (τὰ ἑτοῖμα, i. 20); (2) the mixture of a fabulous element with history; (3) the pursuit of effect in the first place, and of truth only in the second. Probably Thucydides would have said that Herodotus was more critically painstaking and less indiscriminately tolerant of fable than most of the other chroniclers, but that his study of effect was more systematic and more ambitious. The imaginary dialogues and speeches in Herodotus would be the most conspicuous illustrations of this desire for effect. If they were not absolute novelties in the chronicler's art, at least we may be sure that they had never before been used in such large measure, or with such success.
The first aim of Thucydides in his introduction is to show that the Peloponnesian war is more important than any event of which the Greeks have record. He then states the principles on which his History of the War has been composed. "As to the various speeches made on the eve of the war, or in its course, I have found it difficult to retain a memory of the precise words which I had heard spoken; and so it was with those who brought me reports. But I have made the persons say what it seemed to me most opportune for them to say in view of each situation; at the same time, I have adhered as closely as possible to the general sense of what was actually said. As to the deeds done in the war, I have not thought myself at liberty to record them on hearsay from the first informant, or on arbitrary conjecture. My account rests either on personal knowledge, or on the closest possible scrutiny of each statement made by others. The process of research was laborious, because conflicting accounts were given by those who had witnessed the several events, as partiality swayed or memory served them."
The phenomena of the war, then, as materials for history, are classed by Thucydides under two heads—λόγοι, things said, and ἔργα, things done. These are the two elements of human agency. As regards the ἔργα, the deeds, he is evidently contrasting his own practice with that of the chroniclers generally. He has not taken his facts, as they did, without careful sifting (ἀβασανίστως): he had formed a higher conception of his task (ἠξίωσα). In regard to the words, the λόγοι, he is tacitly contrasting his own practice with that of Herodotus, the only conspicuous example in this department. If his statement were developed in this light, it might be paraphrased thus:—Thucydides says: (1) I have not introduced a speech except when I had reason to know that a speech was actually made: unlike Herodotus, when he reports the conversation between Croesus and Solon, the debate of the Persian conspirators, the discussion in the cabinet of Xerxes. (2) I do not pretend to give the exact form of the speeches made: as a writer implies that he does when, without warning the reader, he introduces a speech with the formula, "He said these things" (ἔλεγε τάδε), instead of "He spoke to this effect" (ἔλεγε τοιάδε). (3) On the other hand, I have faithfully reproduced the speaker's general line of argument, the purport and substance of his speech, so far as it could be ascertained. Herodotus disregards this principle when he makes Otanes, Megabyzus and Dareius support democracy, oligarchy and monarchy by arguments which no Persian could have used. And in filling up such outlines, my aim has been to make the speaker say what, under the circumstances, seemed most opportune (τὰ δέοντα μάλιστα).
The last phrase is noticeable as marking a limit of dramatic purpose. According to the regular usage of the words (τὰ δέοντα) in Thucydides, it can mean only "what the occasion required"—not necessarily what was most suitable to the character of the speaker. The latter idea would have been expressed by a different phrase (τὰ προσήκοντα). That is, in filling up the framework supplied by the reported "general sense" of a speech, Thucydides has freely exercised his own judgment on the situation. Suppose a report to have reached him in this shape: "Hermocrates spoke in the congress at Gela, urging the Sicilian cities to lay aside their feuds and unite against Athens." In composing on this theme, the first thought of Thucydides would be, "What were the best arguments available?" rather than, "What arguments would Hermocrates have used?" This general rule would, of course, be liable to various degrees of modification in cases where the speaker was well known to the historian as having marked traits of character, opinion or style.
§ 4. "Set speeches," says Voltaire, "are a sort of oratorical lie, which the historian used to allow himself in old times. He used to make his heroes say what they might have said....At the present day these fictions are no longer tolerated. If one put into the mouth of a prince a speech which he had never made, the historian would be regarded as a rhetorician." How did it happen that Thucydides allowed himself this "oratorical lie,"—Thucydides, whose strongest characteristic is devotion to the truth, impatience of every inroad which fiction makes into the province of history, laborious persistence in the task of separating fact from fable; Thucydides, who was not constrained, like later writers of the old world, by an established literary tradition; who had no Greek predecessors in the field of history, except those chroniclers whom he despised precisely because they sacrificed truth to effect? Thucydides might rather have been expected to express himself on this wise: "The chroniclers have sometimes pleased their hearers by reporting the very words spoken. But, as I could not give the words, I have been content to give the substance, when I could learn it."
In order to find the point of view at which Thucydides stood, we must remember, first of all, the power which epic poetry had then for centuries exercised over the Greek mind. The same love of the concrete and comprehensible which moved the early Greeks to clothe abstract conceptions of a superhuman power in the forms of men and women, "strangers to death and old age for ever," led them also to represent the energy of the human spirit as much as possible in the form of speech. The Homeric ideal of excellence is the man of brave deeds and wise words. The Homeric debates are not merely brilliant, but also thoroughly dramatic in their way of characterising the speakers. The Iliad and Odyssey accustomed the Greeks to expect two elements in every vivid presentation of an action—first, the proofs of bodily prowess, the account of what men did; and then, as the image of their minds, a report of what they said. Political causes strengthened this feeling. Public speech played a much larger part in the affairs of States than it now does. Envoys spoke before an assembly or a council on business which would now be transacted by the written correspondence of statesmen or diplomatists. Every adult citizen of a Greek democracy had his vote in the assembly which finally decided great issues. To such a citizen the written history of political events would appear strangely insipid if it did not give at least some image of those debates which imparted the chief zest to civic life and by which political events were chiefly controlled. He was one who (in modern phrase) had held a safe seat in Parliament from the time when he came of age; who had lived in the atmosphere of political debate until it had become to him an almost indispensable excitement; and who would feel comparatively little interest in hearing the result of a Parliamentary division unless he was enabled to form some idea of the process by which the result had been reached. Such a man would not have been satisfied with the meagre information that the Athenian Ecclesia had discussed the fate of Mitylene, that Cleon had advocated a massacre, that Diodotus had opposed it, and that the view of Diodotus had prevailed by a narrow majority. His imagination would at once transport him to the scene of the parliamentary combat. He would listen in fancy, as he had so often listened in reality, to the eloquence of antagonistic orators, he would balance the possible arguments for severity or clemency, he would conceive himself present at the moment when one uplifted hand might incline the scale of life or death, and he would feel the thrill of relief with which those who supported Diodotus found that Athens was saved at the eleventh hour—saved, if the bearers of the respite, rowing night and day, could reach Lesbos in time—from the infamy of devoting a population to the sword. When Thucydides gave in full the speeches made by Cleon and Diodotus, he was helping his reader, the average citizen of a Greek republic, to do on more accurate lines that which the reader would otherwise have tried to do for himself. Thucydides was writing for men who knew Greek politics from within, and he knew that, if they were to follow him with satisfied attention, he must place them at their accustomed point of view. The literary influences of the age set in the same direction. At the beginning of the war the Attic drama had been in vigour for more than forty years. The fame of Aeschylus was a youthful memory to men who had passed middle life; Sophocles was sixty-four, Euripides was forty-nine. Each had given great works to Athens, and was yet to give more. An age of vivid energy had found the poetry most congenial to it in the noblest type of tragedy, and this, in turn, fed the Greek desire to know character through deed and word. In the hands of Euripides tragedy further became the vehicle of dialectical subtleties and the dramatic mirror of public debate. At the same time Attic oratory was being prepared by two currents of influence which converged on Athens—the practical culture of Ionia, represented by the Sophists, and the Sicilian art of rhetoric.
§ 5. If the speeches in Thucydides were brought under a technical classification, the Funeral Oration would be the only example of the "panegyrical" or epideictic class; the pleading of the Plataeans and Thebans before the Spartan Commissioners might possibly be called "forensic"; and all the other speeches would be in some sense "deliberative." But such a classification, besides being rather forced, does not correspond to any real differences of structure or form. If the speeches are to be viewed in their literary relation to the History, it is enough to observe that the addresses of leaders to their troops may be regarded as practically forming a class apart.
The right of an adult citizen to attend the debates of the Ecclesia must have been acquired by Thucydides many years before the war began. From its very commencement, as he says, he had formed the purpose of writing its history. There is every probability that he had heard most or all of the important discussions which took place in the Ecclesia between 433 and 424 B.C. It was in 423 B.C., or at the end of the year before, that his exile of twenty years from Athens began. Thence we can name some at least of the speeches to which he probably refers as heard by himself (αὐτὸς ἤκουσα), and not merely reported to him. Such would be the addresses of the Corcyrean and Corinthian envoys, when they were rival suitors for the Athenian alliance in 433 B.C.; the speeches of Pericles; the debate on Mitylene in 427 B.C.; and the speech of the Lacedaemonian envoys in 425 B.C., making overtures of peace to Athens. If he was not present on all these occasions, still, as a resident citizen, he would have exceptional facilities for obtaining a full and accurate account. Taking this group of speeches first, then, we may consider how far they are apparently historical in substance, or show traces of artificial treatment.
After giving the addresses of the envoys from Corcyra and Corinth in 433 B.C., Thucydides notices the course of the debate in the Ecclesia. Two sittings were held. At the first, he says, the Athenians inclined to the arguments of the Corcyreans, and were disposed to conclude an alliance both offensive and defensive; at the second they repented of this, but decided to conclude a defensive alliance. The considerations which prevailed with them were, that war was unavoidable in any case; that the Corcyrean navy must not be allowed to pass into the hands of the Corinthians; and that Corcyra was a useful station for coasting voyages.These three arguments are just those on which the Corcyrean speech, as given by Thucydides, chiefly turns. The circumstantial account of the debate in the Ecclesia cannot be treated as fictitious. Either, then, Thucydides has given the substance of the arguments really used by the Corcyreans, or he has ascribed to them arguments used on their side by Athenian speakers in the Ecclesia. Now the speech of the Corinthian envoys has at least one mark of substantial authenticity: the references to benefits conferred on Athens by Corinth in the matters of Samos and Aegina would certainly have occurred to a Corinthian envoy more readily than to an Athenian writer. In both the Corcyrean and the Corinthian speech it seems probable that Thucydides has given the substance of what was really said, though he may have added touches from his recollections of the subsequent debate in the assembly. Similar is the case of the speech made by the Lacedaemonian envoys at Athens in 425 B.C. The historian's comment on it is as follows: "The Lacedaemonians spoke at such length [i.e. for Spartans], in the belief that the Athenians had previously desired a truce, and had been hindered only by Spartan opposition; so that, when peace was offered, they would gladly accept it, and restore the men." This clearly implies that the speech ascribed to the envoys—which Thucydides may well have heard—is historical in substance.
The Thucydidean speeches of Pericles raise three distinct questions:—How far do they preserve the form and style of the statesman's oratory? how far do they express the ruling ideas of his policy? and how far do they severally represent what he said on the several occasions?
As Thucydides must have repeatedly heard Pericles—whom he describes as the first of Athenians, most powerful in action and in speech,—it would be strange if he had not endeavoured to give at least some traits of the eloquence which so uniquely impressed contemporaries. Pericles is said to have left nothing written: but Aristotle and Plutarch have preserved a few of the bold images or striking phrases which tradition attributed to him. Several examples of such bold imagery occur in the Thucydidean speeches of Pericles, and it can hardly be doubted that they are phrases which have lived in the historian's memory. But the echo is not heard in single phrases only. Every reader of the Funeral Oration must be aware of a majesty in the rhythm of the whole, a certain union of impetuous movement with lofty grandeur, which Thucydides has given to Pericles alone. There is a large alloy, doubtless, of rhetorical ornament in the new manner of overstrained antithesis: but the voice of the Olympian Pericles is not wholly lost in it. There can be no question, again, that the speeches of Pericles in the Ecclesia accurately represent the characteristic features of his policy at the time. But how far do they severally represent what Pericles said on the several occasions? Thucydides makes Pericles use different topics of encouragement at three successive stages.
In 432 B.C. Pericles emboldens the Athenians to reject the Peloponnesian demands by a general comparison of the resources and prospects on either side. In 431 B.C., when Archidamus is about to invade Attica, Pericles repeats his former exhortations, but supplements them by a detailed exposition of Athenian resources, financial and military. In 430 B.C., after the second invasion of Attica, when the land had been devastated and while the plague was raging, Pericles convened a special meeting of the Ecclesia, with the twofold purpose of reassuring his countrymen and of allaying their resentment against himself. "As to the prospects of the war, you may rest satisfied," he says, "with the arguments by which I have proved to you on many other occasions that you have no cause of uneasiness. But I must notice a special advantage which the scale of your empire confers,—one, I think, which has never occurred to you,—which I have not mentioned in addressing you before, and which I should not have noticed now—as the claim implied might seem too arrogant—did I not see you unreasonably dejected. You think that you rule your allies alone. I tell you that of the two fields open to human action, land and sea, the latter is under your absolute dominion, not merely to the extent of your actual empire, but as much further as you please. While you hold the sea in your present naval strength, you cannot be resisted by the Persian king, or by any nation on earth." Thus, as the pressure on the Athenian spirit becomes more and more severe, the exhortations of Pericles go on from strength to strength, until, at the darkest hour of all, they culminate in a triumphant avowal that the naval empire of Athens is not relative but absolute, is not an empire over a limited confederacy but a boundless supremacy on the sea. If this ascending scale, so fitly graduated, was due to the invention or arrangement of Thucydides, it was a dramatic conception. But it seems more probable that the topics really used by Pericles on these three occasions were substantially those given by the historian. It is difficult otherwise to justify the emphatic clearness with which the special theme of the second speech is distinguished from that of the first, and that of the third, again, from both. On the other hand, the first speech of Pericles betrays some remarkable traces of manipulation by the writer. Earlier in the same year the Corinthian envoy at the Peloponnesian congress had given several reasons for believing that the Peloponnesians were likely to prevail in the war. With help from the sacred treasuries of Delphi and Olympia, he had said, they might lure away the foreign seamen of Athens by offering higher pay. They could acquire naval skill by practice. And among the possibilities of the war he suggests the occupation of a fortress in the enemy's country. The speech of Pericles answers these arguments point by point. But the correspondence is not merely in the topics. The very phrases of the Corinthian speech are repeated by Pericles in his reply. Similar parallelisms may be traced between the Corinthian speech and that delivered by the Spartan Archidamus on the occasion of the former congress: one with which the Corinthians cannot be supposed to be acquainted in detail, since it was made to the Spartans only, after strangers had withdrawn. The fact is that the eight speeches recorded by Thucydides as delivered at Athens or Sparta before the commencement of the war form, for his purpose, a group by themselves. In these he has worked up the chief arguments and calculations which were current on either side. Collectively, they are his dramatic presentation of the motives at work, the grievances on each side, the hopes and fears, based on a comparison of resources, with which the combatants entered on the struggle. At the end of his first speech Pericles says: "I have many other reasons to give for hoping that we shall prevail; but these shall be given hereafter as the events arise (ἅμα τοῖς ἔργοις)"—thus foreshadowing the speech of which an abstract is given on a subsequent occasion. In this particular case, as we have seen, the disposition of topics may well be authentic in the main. But the composer's phrase is significant. It suggests the habit of selecting from a certain stock of available material and disposing the extracts with something of a dramatist's freedom.
In the Funeral Oration there is nothing, apart from the diction, which distinctly shows the invention of Thucydides. At first sight there is some plausibility in the view that such an oration would probably have contained allusions to the heroic legends of Attica, and that the mind of Thucydides is to be traced in their suppression. But the argument may be turned the other way. The very absence of mythical embellishment, it might be urged, is rather a proof of the fidelity with which Thucydides has reported a speaker who, regardless of the vulgar taste, was resolved to treat a well-worn theme in a new and higher strain. One or two passages, indeed, have been supposed to hint at the moral deterioration of the Athenian democracy in the years which followed the death of Pericles; but the supposition seems gratuitous.
It remains to notice the debate in the Ecclesia on the punishment of Mitylene. Cleon urges a massacre, Diodotus opposes it. "These views," says Thucydides, "having been stated with nearly balanced effect, the assembly came after all to a division; and on a show of hands the parties proved nearly equal, but the view of Diodotus prevailed." The words can only mean that, in the speeches of Cleon and Diodotus, Thucydides has given the real substance of the arguments which were found to be so "nearly balanced," and which led to so close a division. Cleon's speech has one striking characteristic. In several places it echoes phrases which occur in the speeches of Pericles. But, with these verbal parallelisms, there is a pointed contrast of spirit. As Pericles describes the good side of the intellectual Athenian nature, Cleon brings out its weak side. As Pericles insists on the Athenian combination of intelligence with courage, Cleon declares that this intelligence leads men to despise the laws, and prefers ignorance combined with moderation. Pericles is gone: Cleon echoes the words of the statesman as whose successor he poses, at the very moment when he is contradicting his principles. It may be observed that when Thucydides reports the speech of the Syracusan demagogue Athenagoras, he marks his manner by a certain violence of expression. Cleon, whom Thucydides calls "most violent," has no violence of expression. Probably this abstention from vehemence of the demagogic type, this superficial imitation of Pericles, are traits in which the Cleon of Thucydides is historical.
This closes the series of those seven speeches, delivered at Athens, for which Thucydides probably derived the "general sense" either from his own recollection or from the sources accessible to a resident citizen. The only one of these which exhibits distinct traces of artificial dealing with subject-matter is the first speech of Pericles. And in this the only traces are, first, a certain adjustment of the language to that of the Corinthian speech made earlier in the same year; and, secondly, a phrase by which the composer prepares the reader for a subsequent speech of Pericles.
§ 6. We now come to the speeches made elsewhere than at Athens from 432 B.C. onwards, or made at Athens later than 424 B.C. In regard to all or most of these, Thucydides must have relied on reports of the "general sense" brought to him by others (τοῖς ἄλλοθέν ποθεν ἐμοὶ ἀπαγγέλουσιν). The first general characteristic which claims notice is the occurrence of passages certainly, or almost certainly, written with a consciousness of later events. These passages may be cast into three groups, according as they relate to (I) the affairs of Sicily, (II) the Deceleian war, (III) the final defeat of Athens.
(I) 1. Speaking in the congress at Gela in 424 B.C., Hermocrates warns his hearers against the designs of Athens. The Athenians, he says, are now on our coast with a few ships; but some day they will come with a larger fleet, and endeavour to reduce the whole island. The Athenian fleet on the Sicilian coast at this time must have numbered some fifty or sixty triremes. Hermocrates, speaking in 424 B.C., certainly would not have spoken of these as "a few ships," least of all when it was his object to show that Athens was formidable. But Thucydides, when he composed the speech, had in view the vast fleet—at least thrice as numerous—sent to Sicily in 415 B.C.
2. Nicias, in his second speech dissuading the Athenians from the expedition to Sicily, says that the only Sicilian cities likely to join the invaders are Naxos and Catana. Both Naxos,and Catana did, in fact, join the Athenians. But the Athenians, when they opened the campaign in Sicily, had hopes of other cities also. The alliance of Messene was solicited by Alcibiades, though without success. Both Athenian and Syracusan envoys were sent to Camarina, and it was not without much hesitation that Camarina resolved to remain neutral. The precision of the forecast made by Nicias betrays knowledge of the event.
3. Again, when the Athenian attack on Sicily is imminent, Hermocrates, in his speech at Syracuse, gives reasons for thinking that it will fail. Numerous as the Athenians are, he says, they cannot outnumber the united forces of Sicily. "And if they should fail from want of supplies in a foreign country, they will still leave glory to those against whom their design was laid, even though they should be ruined mainly by their own errors." Thucydides elsewhere expresses his own view of the Sicilian disaster. The primary cause of the failure was not, he thinks, a miscalculation of forces, but rather the neglect of the Athenians at home—distracted as they were by faction—to support the army in Sicily, a neglect which blunted the zeal of those engaged in the campaign. The words ascribed to Hermocrates were written by Thucydides in retrospective view of the Athenian errors which had led to the Athenian defeat.
4. The speech of Euphemus, the Athenian envoy at Camarina, offers another example. Urging the people of Camarina to join the Athenians rather than the Syracusans, he reminds them that they will not often have an opportunity of securing such powerful auxiliaries. And if, he says, you dismiss them now, "one day yet you will long to see even the least part of them, when their succour can no more avail you." A few years later (405 B.C.), the Carthaginians, already victorious over Selinus, Himera, and Agrigentum, advanced against Gela and Camarina. Dionysius, who had become tyrant of Syracuse, failed to relieve Gela. The inhabitants of Camarina, like those of Gela, were forced to abandon their city; and when the conclusion of peace between Dionysius and the invaders allowed them to return, they returned as tributaries of Carthage. The protection of Syracuse, in which Camarina had trusted, proved a broken reed. Thucydides must have been at work on his History for some years after the end of the Peloponnesian war, perhaps as late as 396 B.C. When he put that emphatic menace into the mouth of Euphemus, the fate which actually overtook Camarina soon afterwards was surely present to his mind.
(II) 5. The Corinthian speaker at Sparta in 432 B.C. alludes to the establishment of a fort in Attica as one of the possibilities of the war; and Pericles, in the parallel passage of his first speech, admits that the construction of a hostile fort might do harm by facilitating raids and by tempting slaves to desert.
6. Alcibiades, speaking at Sparta in 415 B.C., urges the occupation of Deceleia. "It will benefit you," he says, "and will embarrass the enemy in many ways. I will briefly notice the chief of these. Most of the property in the country will become yours by capture or surrender. The Athenians will forthwith lose their revenues from the silver mines of Laurium, and all their present gains from the land and the law-courts. Above all, they will suffer by the irregular transmission of tribute from their allies, who, when satisfied that you are making war in earnest, will slight their demands." These predictions accurately correspond with the effects of the occupation as afterwards described in the historian's own words. The temporary presence of the invading enemy had not hitherto hindered the Athenians from reaping the fruits of the soil; but now "they were deprived of their whole land"—including, of course, the mines at Laurium. "More than twenty thousand slaves had deserted to the enemy." All their sheep and oxen were lost. The whole number of adult male citizens was required for military duty on the walls or in the field, a necessity which would suspend the sitting of the law-courts and, as Alcibiades foretold, close that source of profit. The expenses of the State were heavily increased, its revenues were perishing. Alcibiades might easily have foreseen the importance of occupying Deceleia. But the minute correspondence between the special results which he is made to predict and those which Thucydides relates in his own person indicates that the prophecy followed the event.
(III) 7. The Athenian speaker at Sparta in 432 B.C. says to the Spartans: "If you were to overthrow our empire and establish your own, you would soon alienate the good-will which you have gained because we are feared,—if you are to continue the policy of which you gave a specimen during your brief leadership of Greece against Persia. The usages of your community preclude intercourse with others, and moreover a Spartan citizen on foreign service observes these usages as little as those of Hellas at large." There is a manifest reference here to the period after the close of the war, when the Spartan promises of "liberating Greece" were falsified. And the reference to the misconduct of the Spartan citizen abroad was certainly not suggested by the case of Pausanias alone. The war had furnished two signal instances. Gylippus had been convicted by the Ephors of appropriating part of the treasure taken after the capture of Athens. Lysander—the first Greek who received divine honours from Greeks—had surpassed the arrogance of Pausanias.
8. The striking speech of Brasidas to the Acanthians (424 B.C.) deserves to be considered in this connection. It is throughout an emphatic assertion that the cause in which Sparta fights is the cause of Greek liberty. "I have not come," he says, "to support a party. I do not consider that I should be bringing you freedom in any real sense if I should disregard your constitution, and enslave the many to the few, or the few to the many. Such freedom would be harder than a foreign yoke: and we, the Lacedaemonians, should reap no thanks for our pains, but rather blame instead of honour and renown." Now, what Brasidas protests that Sparta will not do, is precisely what Sparta actually did at the end of the war, with the result which he anticipates. Oligarchies of the narrowest type—boards of ten—were established by Lysander in most of the cities, with a Spartan governor and garrison in each to repress the popular party. The many were literally enslaved to the few, and they found the freedom which Sparta had given them harder indeed than any foreign rule. It can scarcely be doubted that this speech of Brasidas—composed by Thucydides after the close of the war—was inserted by him here, just at the moment when Sparta was making the first advances to the democratic cities of Northern Greece, for the purpose of bringing out the glaring contrast between Spartan promise and Spartan performance.
9. In the conference between the Athenian and Melian negotiators, the Athenians remark that, in the event of Athens being vanquished, they would have less to fear from the vengeance of Sparta than from the vindictiveness of smaller States. The reference here is unmistakable. After the surrender of Athens in 404 B.C., a congress was held at Sparta in which the destruction of the defeated city was advocated, according to Xenophon, "by the Corinthians and Thebans chiefly, but by many other Greeks too." It was by the Spartan vote that Athens was saved.
The effect of such touches as these—suggested by a knowledge of occurrences subsequent to the dramatic date—may be compared with that produced in a Greek tragedy when one of the persons unconsciously utters a word or phrase which foreshadows the catastrophe. The spectator who knows the destined end of the drama is affected in the same manner as the reader who knows the sequel of the history. In using such touches, however, Thucydides was probably thinking more of logical than of artistic effect. His mind, with its strong concentration, grasped the whole series of arguments or illustrations which the experiences of the war could yield; and he brought the most forcible of these to bear on his point without caring whether the facts which suggested them were earlier or later than the supposed date.
§ 7. It has already been remarked that the addresses of leaders to their troops may be considered as forming a class apart from the rest. These military harangues, of which there are twelve in all, are usually short. The object is always the same—to bring out vividly the essential points of a strategical situation; and the historian has been less uniformly attentive here to the details of dramatic probability. A modern writer would have attained the object by comments prefixed or added to his narrative of the operations. Thus Archidamus, addressing the Peloponnesian officers before the first invasion of Attica, dwells on the certainty of the Athenians being stung into giving battle when they see their lands ravaged This serves to heighten the reader's sense of the provocation offered, and of the difficulty which Pericles must have had in restraining his fellow-citizens Sometimes the speech of the general on one side is as distinctly a reply to the general on the other as if it had been delivered in debate. The Peloponnesian captains, exhorting their men before the action in the Corinthian Gulf, tell them that, though naval skill is much, it cannot avail against courage. Phormio, exhorting the Athenian crews, tells them, as if in retort, that though courage is invaluable, their decisive advantage is in their naval skill. Pagondas, before the battle of Delium, tells the Boeotians that they must fight, even beyond their own border, for the safety of Boeotia, and reminds them that their fathers secured it for a time by defeating the Athenians at Coroneia. Demosthenes tells the Athenians that they must fight, even on Boeotian ground, to protect Attica, and reminds them of the Athenian victory over the Boeotians at Oenophyta. The speech of Brasidas to his men on his Illyrian expedition is intended to bring out the contrast between Hellenic and barbarian warfare; his speech at Amphipolis serves to explain his tactics. The harangue of Nicias before the last sea-fight at Syracuse marks the peculiar character of the action as "a land-battle on board ship" (πεζομαχία ἀπὸ νεῶν), and at the same time sums up for the reader the whole meaning of that supreme crisis, when, as Nicias reminds the men about to embark, the fleet is all that remains of Athens and her great name This, and the corresponding speech of Gylippus on the Syracusan side, are in a high degree powerful and pathetic; so, above all, is the last speech of Nicias before the retreat. Nowhere else, perhaps, has Thucydides given so free a scope to his own rhetorical power; yet even here it is strictly subordinated to his primary purpose—that of faithfully presenting the cardinal facts of the situation as he conceived them.
§ 8. The expression of character in the Thucydidean speeches has the same kind of limitation which was generally observed in Attic tragedy. It is rather typical than individual. Thucydides seizes the broad and essential characteristics of the speaker, and is content with marking these. We are sometimes reminded of the direct simplicity with which the epic or tragic heroes introduce themselves: "I am Odysseus, the marvel of men for all wiles, and my fame goes up to heaven." "I am pious Aeneas, renowned above the stars." "You voted for war," says Pericles, "and now you are angry with me,—a man who deems himself second to none in discerning and expounding the right course,—a man devoted to his country and proof against corruption." These were salient points in the public character of Pericles as conceived by the historian, and accordingly Pericles is made to say so. The fate of Nicias seemed to Thucydides a signal example of unmerited misfortune, since Nicias had been remarkable throughout life for the practice of orthodox virtue. And so, in his speech before the retreat from Syracuse, Nicias says, "The tenor of my life has been loyal to the gods, just and without offence among men." In the debate at Athens on the Sicilian expedition Alcibiades is introduced by a prefatory sketch of his position and character, Thucydides notices his ambition, his magnificence, especially in the matter of horses and chariots, the licence of his private life, his insolence, his public efficiency, his personal unpopularity. Then Alcibiades speaks, and begins by saying in so many words that he has a better right than others to high command; he boasts of having entered seven chariots at Olympia; he avows that he does not regard his fellow-citizens as his equals; he asks whether his personal unpopularity interferes with his administrative capacity. The speech is merely the sketch developed. It is the character of Alcibiades, as Thucydides saw its salient points, condensed in a dramatic form; but it is not such a speech as Alcibiades could conceivably have made on this occasion, or indeed on any. Thucydides has given us distinct portraits of the chief actors in the Peloponnesian war, but these portraits are to be found in the clearly narrated actions of the men; the words ascribed to them rarely do more than mark the stronger lines of character; they seldom reveal new traits of a subtler kind. The tendency of Thucydides was less to analyse individual character than to study human nature in its general or typical phenomena. His observation was directed, first, towards motives and passions which may be considered, in regard to practical politics, as universal influences: next, towards the collective attributes which distinguish whole communities from each other. Thus the normal Spartan character is exhibited in its merits and its defects. The political character of the Athenians is arraigned and defended; their intellectual character is illustrated in its strength and its weakness. And Thucydides shows a desire to comprehend these conceptions of national character in formulas, which he gives as epigrams to his speakers. The Spartan disposition, says an Athenian, might be described as one which regards everything that is pleasant as honourable, and everything that is expedient as just. The Athenians, says a Corinthian, are, in brief, men who will neither rest nor allow others to rest. Athens, says Pericles, might be described as the school of Greece, and the Athenian nature as the most gracefully versatile in the world.
§ 9. Those cases in which Thucydides gives merely a brief summary of a speech or debate suggest how slight the materials may often have been which he worked up in the oratorical form. The political or ethical reflections with which the meagre outlines were filled up were doubtless supplied in large measure by Thucydides himself. The speeches, taken altogether, are pervaded by certain general conceptions, expressed in formulas more or less constant, which indicate unity of authorship. But it cannot be said, in the same sense, that they bear the stamp of one mind. They do, indeed, suggest certain intellectual habits, but it is seldom possible to distinguish between opinions or modes of thought which were in the air, and such as may have been proper to Thucydides. Nor would much be gained if we could. The real interest of the speeches in this aspect is something more than biographical; it is their interest as a contribution to the intellectual history of a transitional period in an age of singular mental energy. The age of faith was passing by, and a rational basis for ethics—which were then included in politics—was only in process of being sought. Thucydides is here the representative of a time which, for the most part, could no longer believe with Herodotus, but which had not yet learned to bring a Socratic method to bear on generalisations. He appears—so far as he is revealed at all—as a thinker of intense earnestness, with a firm and subtle apprehension of his chosen subject, alike in its widest bearings and in its minutest details; and of profound sensibility in regard to the larger practical aspects, that is the political aspects, of human destiny. He has neither a dogmatic religion nor a system of ethics. He cleaves to positive fact; his generalisations rarely involve a speculative element, but are usually confined to registering the aggregate results of observation upon human conduct in given circumstances. In the spirit of a sceptical age he makes his speakers debate questions of political or personal morality to which no definite answer is offered. In Plato's Gorgias Callicles distinguishes between "natural" and "conventional" justice, contending that "natural justice" entitles the strong to oppress the weak, and that "conventional justice" is merely a device of the weak for their own protection. In the Republic Thrasymachus defends a similar doctrine, namely, that "justice is another's good and the interest of the stronger, and that injustice is a man's own profit and interest, though injurious to the weaker." The sophist Hippias, in Xenophon's Memorabilia, argues in a like strain that justice and law are merely arbitrary and conventional. This, no doubt, was one of the commonplaces of sophistical dialectic in the time of Thucydides. The Athenian speakers in his History defend the aggressive policy of Athens by arguments which rest on substantially the same basis as those of the Platonic Callicles and Thrasymachus. But the historian is content to state their case from their own point of view; he does not challenge the doctrine—as the Platonic Socrates does—by comments of his own. The victims of aggression, indeed, the Plataeans or Melians, appeal to a higher justice than the right of might, and Thucydides hints that his sympathies are with them; but that is all. The abstention is characteristic. On the whole, it may be said that he evinces a personal liking for moral nobleness, but refrains from delivering moral judgments, as if these would imply laws which he was not prepared to affirm or deny. But he insists on discovering a rational basis for action. If a man or a State pursues a certain line of policy, there must be some intelligible reasons, he feels, which can be urged for it. This desire to enter into the mind of the actors—to find the motive behind the deed, and to state it with all possible logical force—is the mainspring of the oratory in Thucydides, in so far as this is his own creation. It is an element of dramatic vividness; sometimes also of dramatic untruth, when the reasonings supplied by the historian to his actors are subtler than would probably have occurred to the speakers or commended themselves to the hearers. Thucydides is a philosophical historian, in the sense that he wishes to record the exact truth, in a form which may be serviceable for the political instruction of mankind. But he has not, in the sense of Plato or Aristotle, a theory of ethics or politics. Thucydides groups the observed facts of practical politics, but without attempting to analyse their ultimate laws. It might be possible to piece together Thucydidean texts and, by filling up a few gaps, to form a tolerably coherent system of doctrine; but the process would be artificial and delusive. Possibly a Shakespeare might re-create Thucydides from the fragments of his personal thought, but the breath of life would be the poet's gift; the broken lights are all that really remain. The paradoxes of one age are said to be the truisms of the next, but the violent contrast suggested by the epigram is hardly the important point to seize if we desire to trace the growth of opinion. There was a moment when the so-called paradoxes were neither paradoxes nor as yet truisms, but only rather new and intelligent opinions, seen to be such against the foil of notions which were decaying, but had not quite gone out. For instance, when Thucydides makes his speakers say, as he so often does, that the future is uncertain, we do more justice to the originality of the remark if we remember that in the time of Thucydides there were those who thought that the future was very frequently indicated, at great moments, by signs from the gods. Herodotus, for example, would have disputed the statement that the future is uncertain, if it had been placed before him as an unlimited proposition covering such crises as the Peloponnesian war. The same consideration applies to many of the political or moral aphorisms, which may be regarded as those of Thucydides himself. They are in silent controversy with some unexpressed dissidence of contemporaries. The principle of tacit contrast pervades the whole History, as in the Funeral Oration the picture of Athens requires to be supplemented by a mental picture of the Sparta to which it is opposed. This was of the inmost nature of Thucydides: the reluctance "to speak at superfluous length" was deep in him. His general views must be measured both by the credulity and by the higher scepticism of a naive age; so gauged, they are never commonplaces, but, at the least, hints for a part of the history which he has not told in words, because he did not distinctly conceive that it could ever need to be told. "Fortune," τύχη, is the name by which he usually designates the incalculable element in human life; but this fortune" is no blind chance; it is, as he once explains it, "the fortune given by heaven" (ἡ τύχη ἐκ τοῦ θείου), the inscrutable dispensation of a divine Providence. The course of this fortune not only baffles prediction, but is sometimes directly opposed to the reasonable beliefs of men concerning the source which dispenses it. Thrice only in the long tragedy of the war, as Thucydides unfolds it, do men appeal expressly to the gods, invoking the name of religion, in their agony, against tyrannous strength; thrice the power behind the veil is deaf, thrice the hand of the avenger is withheld, and the miserable suppliant is struck down by the secure malignity of man. The Plataeans appeal to the altars which had witnessed the consecration of Greek liberty, and the Spartans kill them in cold blood. The Melians are confident against the Athenians as the righteous against the unjust; their city is sacked, their men are slain, their women and children enslaved. Nicias, after the great defeat at Syracuse, believes that the jealousy of the gods must now be exhausted, and has a firm hope, based on a good life, for himself and his followers; but the wretched remnant of his defeated army are in great part butchered as they slake their thirst with the bloody water of the Assinarus; he himself is put to death lest he should tell tales under torture, and the survivors pass into a horrible slavery. Thucydides feels that the ways of Heaven are hard to understand, but he does not complain of them; they are matters not for reasoning but for resignation. He regards the fear of the gods as a potent check on the bad impulses of men, and notices the loss of this fear as a grave symptom of moral anarchy. As to omens, oracles, and similar modes of seeking miraculous light or aid, he nowhere denies the possibility of such light or aid being occasionally given, though his contempt is excited by the frequency of imposture; this, however, he would affirm—that such resources are not to be tried until all resources within human control have been tried in vain. There is one way only, Thucydides holds, by which man can certainly influence his own destiny, and that is by bringing an intelligent judgment (γνώμη) to bear on facts. Some have traced the influence of Anaxagoras in the prominence which Thucydides gives to the intellectual principle; but no such prompting was needed by a strong understanding of sceptical bent, and it may be observed that Thucydides has at least not adopted the language of Anaxagoras. It is the peculiar merit of the Athenian character, as portrayed in Thucydides, to recognise intelligence as the true basis of action and the true root of courage, instead of regarding mental culture as adverse to civic loyalty and warlike spirit. If soothsayers cannot give us prescience, reason well used can enable such a man as Themistocles at least to conjecture the future. In a trial of human forces the chances baffle prediction, but superiority in ideas (διάνοιαι) is a sure ground of confidence. Yet the man of sound judgment will not presume on this confidence, for he will remember that the other element, "fortune," is beyond his control. Justice, rightly understood, is the "common good," and is identical with true self-interest. As the remorseless exaction of an extreme penalty, "justice" may be opposed to "equity"; or as a moral standard, it may be opposed to "self-interest" in the lower sense. And self-interest, when thus opposed to justice, can appeal to "the immemorial usage," believed to obtain among the gods, and so certainly established among men that it may plausibly be called a sort of natural necessity,—that the stronger shall rule the weaker. No speaker in Thucydides goes quite so far as Callicles in the Gorgias, or proclaims this to be "natural" as distinguished from "conventional" justice. It is not said to be just, but only natural and not unreasonable. The argument against capital punishment, which is put into the mouth of Diodotus, rests on the observation that no restraints have yet been devised which can be trusted to keep human passions in check. Legislators have gone through the whole list of possible penalties, and even the prospect of death is found insufficient to deter those who are goaded by want or ambition, and tempted by opportunity. The friendship of men and of communities must be founded in the first place on a persuasion of mutual benevolence, and on some congeniality of character; but in the long-run the only sure bond between States is identity of interests. The Peloponnesian league is loose just because the interests diverge. In default of a common interest, the only guarantee for an alliance is balanced fear. Similarly, in the relation of the citizen to the State, patriotism is enforced by the dependence of private on public welfare. Pericles even says that no fair or just legislation can be expected from citizens who have not such a stake in the country as is represented by the lives of children. The distinctive merits of an oligarchy—always provided that it is constitutional, and not of the narrow type which Thucydides calls a "dynasty"—are fairly recognised in the History. Archidamus and Brasidas claim stability, moderation and disciplined loyalty for the Spartan State. A true democracy is pictured as one in which three elements work together for the common good: the rich are the guardians of property, the able men offer counsel, and the mass of the citizens decide on the opinions laid before them. Democracy was the form of government under which Athens had been greatest and most free: and the best phase of the Athenian democracy in his recollection, Thucydides says, was just after the Revolution of the Four Hundred, since then the oligarchic and popular elements were judiciously tempered. Destiny may alter the part which a State is called upon to perform, and its institutions may require to be modified accordingly. Thus the Corinthians say to the Spartans, "Your system is out of date if you are to cope with Athens. In politics, as in art, improvements must prevail. Fixed institutions are best for a city at peace. But the call to manifold enterprise imposes the need of manifold development. Hence—owing to their varied experience—the Athenians have been greater innovators than you." The analogy suggested here between politics and a progressive art is the more significant when it is remembered what the historian's age had seen accomplished in sculpture, architecture and drama. It is also worthy of remark that the only unqualified censures of democracy which occur in Thucydides, and the only protests against change as such, are ascribed to the "violent" Cleon and the "licentious" Alcibiades.
§ 10. The choice of moments for the introduction of speeches is not, with Thucydides, a matter of rhetorical caprice, but has an intelligible relation to the general plan of his work. A speech or debate reported in the direct form always signalises a noteworthy point in the inner or mental history of the war, as distinguished from the narrative of its external facts: it announces thoughts and arguments which exercised an important inHuence, and which therefore require to be apprehended with the utmost possible distinctness. The event which furnishes the occasion for inserting a speech need not be of first-rate importance in itself, if only it is typical of its kind, and therefore suitable for the dramatic exhibition of reasonings which applied to several similar cases. The destruction of Plataea by Sparta was an impressive event; but its effect on the general course of the war would scarcely have warranted the amount of space devoted to the Plataean and Theban pleadings, if the occasion had not been a typical illustration of Spartan and Theban policy. Such, again, is the case of Mitylene, viewed as exemplifying the relation between Athens and her subject allies; and the dramatic form is given accordingly, not merely to the Athenian debate on Mitylene, but also to the appeal of the Mityleneans at Olympia. The speech of Brasidas at Acanthus is given in the direct form as a specimen of his persuasive diplomacy in dealing with the cities of the Chalcidic peninsula. The rival overtures of Athens and Syracuse to Camarina have a similarly representative character in relation to the wavering neutrality of the Sicilian cities, and accordingly the direct form is given to the arguments of Euphemus and of Hermocrates. The absence of speeches in the Eighth Book has been reckoned among the proofs that this book had not received the author's last touches. There can be no doubt that Thucydides was prevented by death from completing or revising the Eighth Book: but if his general practice is considered, the argument from the absence of speeches will appear questionable. Much of the Eighth Book is occupied with negotiations, either clandestine or indecisive, or both; and in a period of similar character which fills the greater part of the Fifth Book Thucydides nowhere employs the dramatic form. It cannot surprise us that Thucydides has not given a dramatic emphasis to the mere misrepresentations by which Alcibiades and Chalcideus prevailed on the Chians to revolt. The Revolution of the Four Hundred certainly afforded opportunities for the insertion of speeches made in debate. But that Revolution was primarily concerned with the form of the Athenian constitution; its special importance for the history of the war lay in the use which Alcibiades was making of it to procure his own recall. This is perhaps the only point in the extant part of the Eighth Book at which the usual practice of Thucydides would lead us to expect the dramatic emphasis; and just here it is found. Peisander brings his opponents to admit that the case of Athens is desperate without the help of Persia. "This, then," he says, "we cannot get, unless we adopt a more temperate policy, and concentrate the administration in fewer hands, so as to secure the confidence of the king, . . . and recall Alcibiades, the only man living who can gain our end." In a revision of the book Thucydides would possibly have worked up the speech of Peisander at greater length.
§ 11. As regards the language of the speeches, Thucydides plainly avows that it is chiefly or wholly his own. The dramatic truth, so far as it goes, is in the matter, not in the form. He may sometimes indicate such broad characteristics as the curt bluntness of the ephor Sthenelaidas or the insolent vehemence of Alcibiades. But, as a rule, there is little discrimination of style. In all that concerns expression, the speeches are essentially the oratorical essays of the historian himself. At the end of the war, when he composed or revised them, the art of Rhetoric was thoroughly established at Athens. The popular dialectic of the Sophists had been combined with lessons in the minute proprieties of language. Protagoras taught correctness in grammatical forms, Prodicus in the use of synonyms. The Sicilian Rhetoric had familiarised Athenian speakers with principles of division and arrangement. Gorgias, with his brilliant gift of expression, had for a while set the fashion of strained antithesis and tawdry splendour. It might have been expected from the character of his mind that Thucydides would be keenly alive to what was hollow and false in the new rhetoric. Several touches in the History show that he was so. Citizens in grave debate are contrasted with men who play audience to the empty displays of sophists. A contempt for rhetorical commonplace is frequently indicated. Thus Pericles declines to dilate on the legendary glories of Athens or on the advantages of patriotic fortitude, and Hermocrates begs to be excused from enlarging on the hardships of war or the blessings of peace. On the technical side, however, Thucydides shows the influence of the new art. This often appears in his method of marshalling topics and in his organisation of the more elaborate speeches. It is seen still more clearly if his style is compared with that of the orator Antiphon. The extant work of Antiphon as a writer of speeches for the law-courts falls in the years 421—411 B.C. The warmth of the terms in which Thucydides describes him as "a master of device and of expression,"—a phase identical with that which is ascribed, as a definition of statesmanlike ability, to Pericles—testifies at least to an intellectual sympathy. There is, however, no evidence for the ancient tradition that the historian was the pupil of the orator. Thucydides and Antiphon belong to the same rhetorical school, and represent the same early stage in the development of Attic prose. Both writers admit words of an antique or a decidedly poetical cast. Both delight in verbal contrasts, pointed by insisting on the precise difference between terms of similar import. Both use metaphors rather bolder than Greek prose easily tolerated in its riper age. On the other hand, there are three respects in which the composition of Thucydides may be contrasted with that of Antiphon. First, Thucydides has a pregnant brevity which would not have been possible in such measure for a practical orator, since no ordinary hearer could have followed his meaning with full comprehension. Secondly, Thucydides often departs not only from the natural but from the rhetorical order of words, in order to throw a stronger emphasis on the word which is the key-note to the thought; and in this again he is seen to be writing for readers, not for hearers. Thirdly, the strings of clauses, forming periods of a somewhat loose and inartistic kind, are longer with Thucydides than with Antiphon, and this because Thucydides is striving to express ideas of a more complex nature. The originality and the striking interest of the historian's style consists, in fact, in this, that we see a vigorous mind in the very act of struggling to mould a language of magnificent but immature capabilities. Sometimes the direction of the thought changes in the moment that it is being uttered. Then arise obscurities which have their source in the intense effort of Thucydides to be clear at each successive moment—to say exactly what he means at that moment. The strong consciousness of logical coherence then makes him heedless of formal coherence. The student of Thucydides has one consolation which is not always present to the student of a difficult writer. He knows that he is not engaged in the hopeless or thankless task of unravelling a mere rhetorical tangle. Every new light on the thought is sure to be a new light on the words.
§ 12. The practice of introducing speeches was continued through the whole series of Greek and Roman historians, and, owing to its classical prestige, even maintained itself for a time in modern literature. But it is curious to trace the process by which it was gradually estranged from the spirit and significance of its origin. For Xenophon, the idea of portraying character in deed and in word was as natural as for Thucydides. Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon, with all their differences, alike belong to an age in which the historian draws from life and for life, setting forth what has been done and said, but rarely theorising or commenting. In the political life which Thucydides and Xenophon represent, public speech wielded the decisive force; but while the main purpose of Thucydides is political, that of Xenophon is rather ethical. Xenophon introduces direct speech or dialogue chiefly to enforce the moral lessons of individual character. The colloquial tone prevails even in political debate, and there is rarely any attempt at condensed reasoning of the Thucydidean type. In the course of the fourth century B.C. the school of Isocrates developed a normal literary prose, and such writers as Ephorus and Theopompus applied a rhetoric more florid than their master's to the misplaced embellishment of history. At the same time the political life of Greece was decaying, and with it the instinct which in earlier days would have been offended by the obtrusion of false ornament on a narrative of civic action. Then came the age of the Alexandrian erudition, and history was made a province of learned research. Polybius is a learned historian with a theory, but he is also a practical statesman and soldier. He is utterly opposed to the rhetorical treatment of historical subjects. He expressly condemns the sensational writers who confound the scope of history with that of tragedy. Tragedy, he says, may stir the emotions by any fiction which is not too improbable: the part of history is to teach lessons of permanent worth "by means of real deeds and words." At the same time, he is keenly alive to the power of oratory. He observes how a single weighty speaker may turn the tide at a crisis, and he apparently feels bound to make some attempt at representing oratorical effect. When he makes his persons speak, he does so much in the spirit of Thucydides, though less elaborately: that is, he has some definite points or arguments which he wishes to present in the most vivid form at a critical moment. Like Thucydides, he sometimes balances the harangues of generals on opposite sides. Sometimes he begins to give merely the purport of what was said, and then passes from the oblique to direct speech, as Thucydides occasionally does. And it may be concluded that, like Thucydides, he gave the "general sense" faithfully whenever it could be ascertained. But Polybius stands alone in this respect among the historical writers after Xenophon. In the period between Alexander and Augustus the rhetorical school of history prevailed. Diodorus Siculus and Dionysius of Halicarnassus are both rhetoricians, the rhetoric of Diodorus being combined with a quasi-philosophical bent, and that of Dionysius with aesthetic criticism. Diodorus, indeed, has some quaintly judicious remarks on the introduction of long speeches into history. They interrupt the story, he says, and distract the reader: writers who wish to show their eloquence should do so somewhere else. A history should be an organic whole; a speech which is inserted amiss cannot have vital grace. Still, speeches are sometimes desirable, Diodorus adds, for the sake of variety (ποικιλία). When circumstances require that an envoy or senator should speak, the historian must gallantly accompany his personages into the arena of debate. Diodorus appears to recognise, as he certainly used, the free licence of invention. His view is substantially that of Plutarch and Lucian. They demand that the speech shall be appropriate to the speaker and to the occasion, but the same conditions are equally binding on an epic poet. Among the Roman historians of the first rank, Livy is the one who has made the largest use of this freedom. He once says, in reference to a speech of Cato's, that, as the real text is extant in Cato's Origines, he will not give the reader a pale copy of that rich eloquence. It might have been inferred that Livy was careful in his speeches to represent individual character and manner. But the inference is scarcely supported by the extant portion of his work, though it is possible that his portraits may have become more accurate in this respect as he came to later times and ampler materials. The speeches are sometimes of great power and beauty, but the rhetorical colour is uniform, and there is sometimes an absolute disregard of dramatic probability. Sallust has higher merit in this department. The war of Jugurtha and the conspiracy of Catiline were, when Sallust wrote, events of recent memory, and each had been illustrated by striking contrasts of character. According to Plutarch, the employment of shorthand writers to report debates in the Roman Senate began in 63 B.C.; it was certainly well established in the closing years of the Republic. Sallust had some advantages for the presentation of character in a manner at once dramatic and historical, and he seems to have used them well. There is no reason to doubt that Caesar's speech in the debate on the punishment of the conspirators was substantially such as Sallust reports; and his way of introducing a discourse of Memmius in the Jugurthine War implies that it is true not only to the substance but to the manner. Tacitus uses the dramatic form more variously than Sallust, but with a stricter historical conscience than Livy. He resembles Thucydides and Polybius in never introducing a speech merely for oratorical effect, but always for the purpose of illustrating a political situation or character. There is a well-known instance—the only one in ancient literature—in which the discourse given by the historian can be compared with an official record of the discourse really delivered. In the Eleventh Book of the Annals the Emperor Claudius addresses the Senate in support of a proposal for imparting the Roman franchise to the provincials of Gallia Comata. The bronze tablets found at Lyons in the sixteenth century, and now in the Museum there, give what purports to be the real speech of Claudius on this occasion. Tacitus and the tablets disagree hopelessly in language and in nearly all the detail, but agree in the general line of argument. Knowing the antiquarian turn of Claudius, Tacitus might easily have concluded that the Emperor's speech would dwell largely on historical precedents; but it seems more likely that he knew, from oral or written report, the substance of what Claudius had said, and worked up this in his own way. Here, then, is a rough gauge of the approximation which might be made to the truth by a historian who composed a speech based on "the general sense of what was really said." Thucydides and Polybius, Sallust and Tacitus, are widely removed from writers who introduce harangues merely as opportunities of display. The latter tendency prevailed in what Gibbon calls "the elaborate and often empty speeches of the Byzantine historians." The Latin chroniclers of the middle ages rarely ventured on such ambitious efforts. But at the revival of letters the classical practice of inserting speeches was revived by historical writers, whether they wrote in Latin or in their vernacular. M. Daunou quotes some curious examples from the French literature of the three centuries before our own. Thus Vertot, in his Révolutions romaines, entered into competition with Dionysius, Livy and Plutarch, by inventing a fourth version of the appeal made to Coriolanus by his mother in the Volscian camp. Mézerai could make Joan of Arc address her executioners in a harangue full of violent invective and sinister prediction; and this when the contemporary record of her trial existed, with its notice of the rare and broken utterances which belonged to her last hours. By degrees a controversy arose on the question whether a historian is entitled to invent speeches for his persons, and the literary world was long divided upon it. Isaac Voss and Mably were among the more distinguished champions of the oratorical licence; among its opponents were Voltaire—whose opinion has been quoted already—and D'Alembert. The latter declared, in 1761, that a historian who filled his work with speeches would be sent back to college. But the practice lingered on a little longer, being commonly defended by the plea that it was enlivening, and that it could not be really deceptive. The spirit of scientific criticism has now banished it for ever from history, and has relegated it to its proper sphere in the province of historical romance.
§ 13. Thucydides set the first great example of making historical persons say what they might have said. The basis of his conception was common to the whole ancient world: it was the sovereign importance of speech in political and civic life. But in Thucydides the use of the licence is dramatic—that is, conducive to the truthful and vivid presentment of action. In most of the later Greek and Roman historians it is either rhetorical—that is, subservient to the display of the writer's style—or partly dramatic and partly rhetorical. The art of rhetoric passed through two stages of educational significance in the ancient world. In the first stage, with which Thucydides was contemporary, rhetoric meant a training for real debate in the assembly or the law-courts. Then, as Greek political life died down, rhetoric came to mean the art of writing or declaiming. The speeches in Thucydides have the dramatic spirit, and not the rhetorical, because, although the art of rhetoric has helped to make them, they are in direct relation with real action and real life. The rhetorical historians of the ancient world represent the second stage of rhetoric: their speeches are only more or less possible declamations. The modern writers who attempted to revive the practice were in a lower deep still, since for them rhetoric was not even a living element of culture. But it may be well to consider a little more closely how far and in what sense Thucydides can be called dramatic. The epithet "dramatic" is sometimes applied to narrative when no more is apparently meant than that it is vivid or graphic. In the proper sense, however, a narrative is dramatic only when it elicits the inherent eloquence of facts. Thucydides is dramatic, for instance, when he places the Melian dialogue immediately before the Sicilian expedition. The simple juxtaposition of insolence and ruin is more effective than comment. The bare recital, thus ordered, makes the same kind of impression which the actions themselves would have made if one had immediately succeeded the other before our eyes. It might not be difficult, with a little adroitness, to represent Thucydides as a conscious dramatic artist throughout his work; and an ingenious writer has actually shown how his History may be conceived as a tragedy cast into five acts. But it would perhaps be truer to say that the war itself presented striking contrasts, analogous to those which a dramatic poet contrives: the dullest writer could not have wholly missed these contrasts; and if Diodorus had been the historian, his work, too, might have revealed the five acts; but Thucydides was peculiarly well fitted to bring out these contrasts with the most complete effect. He was so, because he felt the whole moment and pathos of the events themselves; because he saw them with the distinctness of intense concentration; and because, partly under the influence of language, he had even more than the ordinary Greek love of antithesis. It is obvious that the Peloponnesian war, as a subject for history, may be said to have dramatic unity in the sense that it is a single great action: as, by an analogous metaphor, the subject of Herodotus may be said to have epic unity, because the various parts, though they cannot be brought within the compass of one action, can be brought within the compass of one narrative. And, apart from this rudimentary dramatic unity, the Peloponnesian war has a further analogy to a drama in presenting a definite moment at which the cardinal situation is decisively reversed—as it is reversed in the Oedipus Tyrannis, for instance, when the king discovers that he is an incestuous parricide. That moment is the Sicilian expedition. The supreme test of "dramatic" quality in a history of the Peloponnesian war must be the power with which the historian has marked the significance of the Sicilian expedition as the tragic "revolution" (peripeteia), the climax of pity and terror, the decisive reversal. Thucydides has devoted the whole of his Sixth and Seventh Books to the events of those two years, thus at once marking the significance of the expedition as the turning-point of the war. And every reader knows with what tremendous effect he has traced its course, from the moment when the whole population of Athens was gathered at the Peiraeus in the early midsummer morning to see the splendid fleet sail for Sicily, and the trumpet commanded silence while the whole multitude joined in prayer, and wine was poured from vessels of silver and gold as the pæan arose, down to that overthrow of which he writes that they were destroyed with utter destruction, and that few out of many came home. Here, at the point in his story which supplies the crucial test, Thucydides shows that he possesses true dramatic power. By the direct presentment of the facts, not by reflections upon them, he makes us feel all that is tragic in the Sicilian disaster itself, and also all that it means in relation to the larger tragedy of the war. The same power is seen in many particular episodes of the History: for example, in the self-restrained majesty of Pericles, the great protagonist of the opening war, whose courage, amidst havoc and pestilence, ever rises as the Athenian courage declines; or in the first appearance of Alcibiades on the scene, with his brilliant versatility and his profound lack of loyalty, with his unmeasured possibilities for good or evil, just when the Sicilian project is trembling in the balance. Without pressing the parallel between the History and a work of dramatic art to any fanciful length, it may be said with a definite meaning that Thucydides has not merely the inspiration of action, but often also the spirit of the noblest tragic drama.
It is natural to regret his silence in regard to the social and intellectual life of his age. The simplest explanation of it is that he did not conceive such details as requisite for the illustration of his purely political subject. The art and poetry of the day, the philosophy and the society, were perhaps in his view merely the decorations of the theatre in which the great tragedy of the war was being played. Though he wrote for all time, he did not conceive of an audience who would have to reconstruct this theatre before they could fully comprehend his drama. No writer has ever been at once so anxiously careful and so haughtily improvident of the future. His characteristic dislike of superfluous detail seems to have been allied with a certain hardness of temperament, such as is indicated by the tone of his reference to the poets. His banishment may also have infused something of bitterness into his recollections of the Athenian life, with all its gracious surroundings, with all its social and intellectual delights, from which he was suddenly cut off, so that he should know them no more until he came back in his old age and found them changed. No one can tell now how the memories of early sympathies may have grouped themselves in his mind as he looked out in later years from his home in Thrace on the sea over which he had sailed on the long-past day when he failed to save Amphipolis; but at least there is a twofold suggestiveness in those passages which touch on the glories of Athens. There is the feeling of the man who has never lost his love and admiration for the Athenian ideal; and there is also a certain reluctance to translate this ideal into concrete images, as if, in the words of Oedipus after his ruin, it were sweet for thought to dwell beyond the sphere of griefs. Perhaps in this very reticence the modern world may find a gain when it views his work from the artistic side. Thucydides must always hold his fame by a double right; not only as a thinker who, in an age of transitional scepticism, clearly apprehended the value of disciplined intelligence as a permanent force in practical politics, but also as a writer who knew how to make great events tell their own story greatly; and the dramatic power of the immortal History is heightened by its dramatic reserve.
|TABLE OF THE SPEECHES.
[Asterisks mark those delivered at Athens before the exile of Thucydides.]
|I.||32—36||433||Corcyrean||} Envoys to the Athenian Ecclesia.*|
|„||68—72||432||Corinthian||} Envoys in the first Congress at Sparta.|
|„||80—85||„||King Archidamus||} to the Spartan Assembly.|
|„||86||„||The Ephor Sthenelaidas|
|„||120—24||„||Corinthian Envoys in the second Congress at Sparta.|
|„||140—44||„||Pericles to the Athenian Ecclesia.*|
|II.||35—46||431||Funeral Oration of Pericles.*|
|„||60—64||430||Pericles to the Athenian Ecclesia.*|
|III.||9—14||428||Mitylenean Envoys to the Peloponnesians at Olympia.|
|„||37—40||427||Cleon||} to the Athenian Ecclesia.*|
|„||53—59||„||Plataeans||} to the Spartan Judges.|
|IV.||17—20||425||Lacedaemonian Envoys to the Athenian Ecclesia.*|
|„||59—64||424||Hermocrates in the Sicilian Congress at Gela.|
|„||85—87||„||Brasidas to the Acanthians.|
|V.||85—116||416||Conference between Athenian and Melian negotiators.|
|VI.||9—14||415||Nicias||} to the Athenian Ecclesia.|
|„||33—34||„||Hermocrates||} to the Syracusan Assembly.|
|„||41||„||A Syracusan General|
|„||76—80||„||Hermocrates as Envoy of Syracuse||} at Camarina.|
|„||82—86||„||Euphemus as Envoys of Athens|
|„||89—92||„||Alcibiades at Sparta.|
|II.||11||431||Archidamus to the Peloponnesian Officers before invading Attica.|
|„||87||429||Peloponnesian Commanders to their crews||} before an action in the Corinthian Gulf.|
|„||89||„||Phormio to the men of the Athenian Fleet|
|IV.||10||425||Demosthenes to his troops at Pylos.|
|„||92||424||Pagondas to the Boeotian troops||} before the battle of Delium.|
|„||95||„||Hippocrates to the Athenian troops|
|„||126||423||Brasidas to his troops on the campaign against Arrhibaeus.|
|V.||9||422||Brasidas to his troops before the battle at Amphipolis.|
|VI.||68||415||Nicias to his troops before the first battle at Syracuse.||
|VII.||61—64||413||Nicias to the Athenian troops||} before the last sea-fight.|
|„||66—68||„||Gylippus to the Syracusan troops|
|„||77||„||Nicias to his troops before the retreat from Syracuse.|
|The short speech of the Elean Teutiaplus to Alcidas and the Peloponnesian leaders at Embaton (iii. 30, 427 B.C.) is virtually of this class.
From the set speeches are to be distinguished a few shorter utterances in the direct form, but of a more colloquial character, viz. the dialogue between Archidamus and the Plataeans (ii. 71—74, 429 B.C.); the conversation with the Ambracian herald and an Athenian (iii. 113, 426 B.C.); and the words of Peisander in the Athenian Ecclesia (viii. 53, 411 B.C.). The letter of Nicias (vii. 11—15, 414 B.C.) would be classed by some with the speeches composed by Thucydides, by others as an authentic document. Cp. p. 403, note 4.
- A table of the Speeches will be found at the end of the Essay.
- Reprinted from Hellenica, A collection of Essays on Greek Poetry, Philosophy, History, and Religion; Edited by Evelyn Abbott (Rivingtons 1880).
- i. 22. The τε after κτῆμα in the original marks the connection of the thought: "and so." Cp. i. 4, Μίνως . . . ἐκράτησε . . . τό τε λῃστικόν, ὡς εἰκός, καθῄρει: so 5, τό τε σιδηροφορεῖσθαι: 6, ἐγυμνώθησάν τε: 9, Ἀγαμέμνων τε.
- Dionys. de Thuc. c. 5. Dionysius concedes the more dignified name of (συγγραφεῖς to the Ionian logographers. He names, (1) as anterior to the age of Thucydides,—Eugaeon of Samos, Deiochos of Proconnesos, Eudemos of Paros, Democles of Phigaleia, Hecataeus of Miletus, Acusilaus of Argos, Charon of Lampsacus, Amelesagoras of Chalcedon; (2) as elder contemporaries of Thucydides,—Hellanicus of Lesbos, Damastes of Sigeion, Xenomedes of Chios, Xanthos of Lydia. His words imply that these, "and many more" (ἄλλοι συχνοί), were then extant.
- Ib. οὐ συνάπτοντες ἀλλήλαις (τὰς ἱστορίας), ἀλλὰ κατ' ἔθνη καὶ κατὰ πόλεις διαιροῦντες: wheras Herodotus is said πολλὰς καὶ διαφόρους πράξεις ἐς μίαν περιγραφὴν πραγματείας ἀγαγεῖν.
- Dionys. de Thuc. c. 5, ἐν αἷς καὶ μῦθοί τινες ἐνῆσαν ὑπὸ τοῦ πολλοῦ πεπιστευμένοι χρόνον (cp. Thuc. i. 21, of the stories told by the logographers, ὑπὸ χρόνον . . . ἐπὶ τὸ μυθῶδες ἐκνενικηκότα) καὶ θεατρικαί τινες περιπέτειαι, πολὺ τὸ ἠλίθιον ἔχειν τοῖς νῦν δοκοῦσαι.
- Ib. τοῖς πράγμασι προσφυῆ. In Herodotus (i. 27, etc.) προσφυέως λέγειν is simply "to speak pertinently." But the phrase of Dionysius seems to mean, not merely "adapted to the subject," but closely adhering to the facts of the story (whether mythical or not), without attempt at verbal embellishment. It is illustrated by the dry and absolutely matter-of-fact style of the extant fragments.
- Müller, Fragm. Histor. Graec. i. 1—68. The longest fragment of Hecataeus may serve as a specimen:—"Orestheus, son of Deucalion, arrived in Aetolia in search of a kingdom; and a dog produced him a green plant; and he ordered the dog to be buried in the earth; and from it sprang a vine fertile in grapes. Wherefore he called his son Phytius. Now the son of Phytius was Oeneus, so named after the vine-plant; for the ancient Greeks called the vine Oena: and the son of Oeneus was Aetolus." (Frag. 341, p. 26.)
- The story of the poet Sophocles defending the phrase ἐπὶ πορφυρέαις παρῇσιν against the criticisms of a learned guest at a supper-party in Chios. (Müller, Fragm. Hist. vol. ii. p. 46.) The Ἐπιδημίαι, in which it occurred, seem to have been Ion's account of his own "visits" to Athens and other cities. (Ibid. p. 45.)
- E.g. the speech in which Aristagoras of Miletus appeals for aid to Cleomenes, king of Sparta (Herod. v. 49), and that of Sosicles at Sparta (v. 92), which is simply a plain sketch of the Corinthian tyrannies, put into the mouth of a Corinthian speaker.
- Her. vii. 8—11. The council is called σύλλογος ἐπίκλητος Περσέων τῶν ἀρίστων: as in viii. 101 Xerxes ἐβουλεύετο ἅμα Περσέων τοῖσι ἐπικλήτοισι: i.e. with his "privy-councillors." Later writers went at least as far as Herodotus in reporting speeches made on occasions which presuppose privacy; as when Dionysius, Livy, and Plutarch give the expostulations of Veturia (or Volumnia) with Coriolanus,—when Sallust is present in imagination at a debate of Catiline's conspirators,—or when Livy transcribes the brilliant, but domestic, remonstrances of Pacuvius Calavius with his son Perolla, offered with a view of dissuading the young man from murdering Hannibal at Capua. Thucydides never violates dramatic probability in this particular way.
- Her. iii. 80—82. Similarly in Her. iii. 36 the Lydian Croesus utters Hellenic thoughts.
- Her. iii. 80, ἐλέχθησαω λόγοι ἄπιστοι μὲν ἐνίοισι Ἑλλήνων ἐλέχθησαν δ' ὦν.
- Her. vi. 43, ἐνθαῦτα μέγιστον θῶυμα ἐρέω τοῖσι μὴ ἀποδεκομένοισι ἑλλήνων Περσέων τοῖσι ἑπτὰ Ὀτάνεα γνώμην ἀποδέξασθαι, ὡς χρεὼν εἴη δημοκρατέεσθαι Πέρσας: where μὴ ἀποδεκομένοισι implies more than μὴ πιστεύουσι would have implied,—viz. that the statement was offered for acceptance, not simply by Herodotus himself, but by a widely-spread rumour.
- Her. i. 32. The question of Croesus to Solon had been—τίνα ἤδη πάντων εἶδες ὀλβιώτατον; Solon answers, in effect, that πλοῦτος is certainly an element of ὄλβος, but that complete ὄλβος requires εὐτυχία also, and that a man's life cannot be called εὐτυχής unreservedly until we have seen it to the end. Dean Blakesley observes (on Her. i. 32), that this "might have proceeded from the mouth of Protagoras, or Hippias, or any other of the μεριμνηταὶ λόγων alluded to by Euripides" (in Medea 1225 f.). If it has not the matured subtlety of the rhetorical dialectic, it may certainly be said to anticipate its spirit.
- Dionysius says most truly of Herodotus that he has almost all the excellences of style except the ἐναγώνιοι ἀρεταί—the combative excellences,—such as were afterwards developed by strenuous controversy, political or forensic. οὐδὲ γὰρ δημηγορίαις πολλαῖς ὁ ἀνὴρ οὐδ' ἐναγωνίοις κέχρηται λόγοις, οὐδ' ἐν τῷ παθαίνειν καὶ δεινοποιεῖν τὰ πράγματα τὴν ἀλκὴν ἔχει (de Thuc. c. 23).
- Her. viii. 83, τὰ δὲ ἔπεα ἦν πάντα κρέσσω τοῖσι ἕσσοσι ἀντιτιθέμενα. ὅσα δὲ ἐν ἀνθρώπου φύσι καὶ καταστάσι ἐγγίνεται, παραινέσας δὴ τούτων τὰ κρέσσω αἱρέεσθαι καὶ καταπλέξας τὴν ῥῆσιν ἐσβαίνειν ἐκέλευε ἐσ τὰς νῆας.
- Cp. Plato, Hippias Major, p. 286, where the sophist Hippias tells Socrates that he has composed "an admirable discourse" on the theme of a question supposed to be put by Neoptolemus to Nestor after the taking of Troy—What are καλὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα? The phrase of Herodotus, καταπλέξας τὴν ῥῆσιν, reminds us of the tone in which the speakers of Thucydides sometimes decline to develop commonplaces.
- Her. v. 92, ἦ δὴ ὅ τε οὐρανὸς ἔσται ἔνερθε τῆς καὶ ἡ γῆ μετέωρος ὑπὲρ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι νομὸν ἐν θαλάσσῃ ἕξουσι καὶ οἱ ἰχθύες τὸν πρότερον ἄνθρωποι, ὅτε γε ὑμεῖς, ὦ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, ἰσοκρατίας καταλύοντες τυραννίδας ἐς τὰς πόλις κατάγειν παρασκευάζεσθε. Compare the epic phrase which closes the spirited oration of Dareius in the debate of the conspirators—οὐ γὰρ ἄμεινον (Her. iii. 83; Iliad xxiv. 52, οὐ μήν οἱ τό γε κάλλιον οὐδέ τ' ἄμεινον, etc.).
- Herodotus alludes to no event later than 425 B.C., the latest mark of time being a doubtful reference to the death of Artaxerxes in 425 (vi. 98). And there are instances in which his silence affords presumptive proof that later events were unknown to him. (1) In 437 B.C. Athenian colonists founded a city on the spot formerly called Ennea Hodoi, and their leader Hagnon named it Amphipolis, because the Strymon flowed on both sides of it. Herodotus mentions Ennea Hodoi (vii. 114), but nowhere speaks of Amphipolis. Had he been writing after the new colony had become important, he would naturally have mentioned it in this connection; he could scarcely have failed to do so after the battle of Amphipolis in 422 B.C. had made the place famous. (2) Demaratus tells Xerxes that Spartans never yield: it is their fixed law to conquer or die (Her. vii. 104; cf. 209). This passage would have been singularly infelicitous if it had been written after the surrender of the Lacedaemonians at Pylos in 425 B.C., when 120 Spartan prisoners were brought to Athens; an event which, as Thucydides expressly says (iv. 40), astounded the Greeks, precisely because their belief had been that which Herodotus expresses. (3) Demaratus advises Xerxes to detach 200 ships from his fleet, for the purpose of occupying the island of Cythera, and quotes the saying of Cheilon, that it would be well for Sparta if Cythera were sunk in the sea (Her. vii. 235). Xerxes neglected the advice. But in 424 B.C. the Athenians actually occupied Cythera, and the damage thence inflicted on Laconia was one of the causes which disposed the Spartans to conclude peace. Herodotus would not have omitted, if he had known, so forcible an illustration of Cheilon's saying. And there are indications that Herodotus did not live to give the last touches to his work: thus a promise made in vii. 213 is left unfulfilled. [The revolt of the Medes "from Dareius" (Her. i. 130), which Dahlmann identified with the revolt of 408 B.C. (Xen. H. i. 2. 19), has been shown by the Behistun inscription to belong to the reign of Dareius Hystaspes.]
F. W. Ullrich (Beiträge zur Erklärung des Thukydides; Hamburg, 1846) has ingeniously argued that Thucydides composed his first three Books, and Book iv. as far as ch. 48, in exile (about 421–413 B.C.); and the rest of the work, as a continuation, after the final close of the war. This view rests mainly on the alleged existence of passages in Books i.—iv, 48 which imply ignorance of later events. Classen has examined these passages in detail (Einleitung, xxxii.—liv,), and has, I think, shown that they are insufficient to support the theory built upon them. My opinion has not been altered by reading a learned essay in favour of Ullrich's hypothesis, which has appeared since Classen's Introduction was published (Ueber die successive Entstehung des Thucydideischen Geschichtswerkes, by Julius Helmbold; Colmar, 1876). But for the present purpose it is enough to assume, what even the supporters of Ullrich's view would allow, viz. that the whole work was at least revised by Thucydides after the end of the war. (See Thuc. i. 13. 18; ii. 65.) The probable influence of Herodotus is here being estimated in relation to those parts of the work of Thucydides which would have been the last to receive his finishing touches—the speeches.
- That Thucydides knew the work of Herodotus is assumed by Lucian (de cons. hist. § 42), Marcellinus (vit. Thuc. 54), Suidas (s.v. ὀργᾶν), Photius (cod. 60), and the Scholiast on Thuc. i. 22, etc. In modern times it has been denied or questioned by F. C Dahlmann (Herodot. p. 214), K. O. Müller (Hist. Gk. Lit. c. xxxiv. § 2, and Dorians, ii. 98, § 2), by J. C. F. Bähr (in his edition of Herodotus), and in an essay De plurimis Thuc. Herodotique locis, by H. Fütterer (Heiligenstadt, 1843). The proofs that Thucydides knew the works of Herodotus have been brought together by Mure (Hist. Gk. Lit. Bk. iv. ch. 8), and more recently by H. Lemcke, in an essay entitled Hat Thuc. das Werk des Herod. gekannt? (Stettin, 1873). The crucial texts are (1) Thuc. i. 20, on the common errors regarding the vote of the Spartan kings and the Pitanate company, compared with Her. vi. 57 and ix. 53; (2) Thuc. ii. 97, on the Thracians and Scythians—tacitly correcting what Herodotus says of the Thracians (v. 3) and of the Scythians (iv. 46); (3) Thuc. i. 126, on Cylon's conspiracy, compared with Her. v. 71; Thuc. vi. 4 on Zankle (Messene) compared with Her. vi. 23; Thuc. ii. 8, on the earthquake at Delos (cf. i. 23) compared with Her. vi. 98. In view of all these, passages, it seems impossible to doubt that in i. 97 Thucydides includes or specially designates Herodotus among those who ἢ τὰ πρὸ τῶν Μηδικῶν ἑλληνικὰ ξυνετίθεσαν ἢ αὐτὰ τὰ Μηδικά.
I must add a word on the vexed interpretation of Her. vi. 57, τοὺς μάλιστά σφι τῶν γερόντων προσήκοντας ἔχειν τὰ τῶν βασιλέων γέρεα, δύο ψήφους τιθεμένουσ, τρίτην δὲ τὴν ἑωυτῶν. The question is, Does Herodotus mean τιθεμένους δύο ψήφους ἑκάτερον, τρίτην δὲ τὴν ἑωυτοῦ? Shilleto (Thuc. i. 20) thinks that this is not certain, suggesting that τοὺς προσήκοντας might mean τὸν ἀεὶ προσήκοντα, and comparing Her. iv. 62, τοῖσδε = τῷ ἐν ἑκάστῳ ἀρχηΐῳ, but he sees the difficulty of supposing the same person to be nearest of kin to both kings. Failing this resource, we must surely allow that Herodotus means δύο ψήφους ἑκάτερον, for else how could he possibly have written τρίτην δὲ τὴν ἑωυτῶν? Would he not have written δευτέρας δὲ τὰς ἑωυτῶν?
- Thuc. i. 10, εἰκὸς ἐπὶ τὸ μεῖζον μὲν ποιητὴν ὄντα κοσμῆσαι: 21, ὡς ποιηταὶ ὑμνήκασιν ἐπὶ τὸ μεῖζον κοσμοῦντες.
- Thuc. i. 21, ξυνέθεσαν, as again 97, ξυνετίθεσαν, implying a process more external and mechanical than ξυγγράφειν.
- Thuc. i. 22.
- Shilleto remarks (on i. 21 § 2): "τὰ δ' ἔργα τῶν πραχθέντων is a somewhat bold expression for τὰ δ' ἔργα τὰ πραχθέντα." It may be added that the phrase has the special effect of bringing out the antithesis between facts of speech and facts of action.
- Cp. Her. iii. 80, where the speeches of Otanes, Megabyzus and Dareius are introduced by λέγων τάδε . . . λέγων τάδε . . . ἔλεξε τάδε: so v. 91, ἔλεγον τάδε . . . εἶπον ταῦτα: 92, ἔλεξε τάδε (Sosicles): vii. 8, ἔλεξε Ξέρξης τάδε: and so usually. Thucydides nearly always has ἔλεξαν or ἔλεγον τοιάδε, with τοιαῦτα (or τοσαῦτα) at the end. In i. 85 (of Sthenelaidas), ἔλεξεν ὧδε ("in this manner," not = τάδε). In i. 58 the speech of Hermocrates is introduced by τοιούτος δὴ λόγους εἶπεν, where δή appears to mean "as we may presume"; i.e. he spoke "to this general effect"—the phrase intimating somewhat more plainly than the usual τοιάδε oiaSc that Thucydides had only a very general notion of the ξύμπασα γνώμη.
- Thuc. i. 70, τὸ τὰ δέοντα πρᾶξαι: 138, αὐτοσχεδιάζειν τὰ δέοντα: ii. 43, γιγνώσκοντες τὰ δέοντα: ii. 60, γνῶναι τε τὰ δέοντα καὶ ἑρμηνεῦσαι ταῦτα.
- Preface to the Hist. of Russia, § 7.
- Sir G. C. Lewis, in illustrating this point, instances the embassies from Corcyra and Corinth to Athens (Thuc. i. 68), from Mitylene to Olympia (iii. 9), and from the Athenians and Syracusans to Camarina (vi, 76). (Methods of Observation and Reasoning in Politics, vol. i. p. 232.)
- The early history of Greek oratory, and the various influences which contributed to mould it during the fifth century B.C., have been traced by the writer in the Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeos, vol. i. Introduction, pp. xciii—cxxxvii.
- I.e. in the largest sense of συμβουλευτικοί, under which the addresses of leaders to troops would be included as προτρεπτικοί—the speeches in political debate being δημηγορίαι in the proper sense.
- See the table at the end; and below § 7.
- Probably from 451 B.C., if his birth may be placed in 471 B.C. Cp. K. F. Hermann, Antiq. i. § 121; Xen. Mem. Socr. iii. 6. 1.
- Thuc. i. 44.
- i. 32—36.
- i. 42.
- Thuc. iv. 17—20.
- By τοσαῦτα in such a context Thucydides usually means "only thus much," as ii. 72, τοσαῦτα εἰπόντων Πλαταιῶν. But in iv. 21, τοσαῦτα εἶπον refers back to iv. 17 § 2, τοὺς δὲ λόγους μακροτέρους οὐ παρὰ τὸ εἰωθὸς μηκυνοῦμεν.
- See e.g. ii. 13, ἔλεγε δὲ καὶ ἄλλα οἷάπερ εἰώθει Περικλῆς.
- i. 139.
- Plutarch, Pericl. c. 8: ἔγγραφον μὲν οὐδὲν ἀπολέλοιπε πλὴν τῶν ψηφισμάτων, ἀπομνημονεύεται δὲ ὀλίγα παντάπασιν.
- Arist. Rhet. iii. 10 § 7: ὥσπερ Περικλῆς ἔφη τὴν νεότεητα τὴν ἀπολομένην ἐν τῷ πολέμῳ οὕτως ἠφανίσθαι ἐκ τῆς πόλεως, ὥσπερ εἴ τις τὸ ἔαρ ἐκ τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἐξέλοι: ib. τὴν Αἴγιναν ἀφελεῖν ἐκέλεθσε τὴν λήμην τοῦ Πειραιέως. Plut. Per. 8 § 5 quotes his saying, τὸν πόλεμον ἤδη καθορᾶν ἀπὸ Πελοποννήσου προσφερόμενον: and of those who fell at Samos, ἐγκωμιάζων ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἀθανάτους ἔλεγε γεγονέναι καθάπερ τοὺς θεούς· οὐ γὰρ ἐκείνους αὐτοὺς ὁπῶμεν, ἀλλὰ ταῖς τιμαῖς ἃς ἐχουσι καὶ τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς ἃ παρέχουσιν ἀθανάτους εἶναι τεκμαιρόμεθα.
- E.g. ii. 43, τὸν ἀγήρων ἔπαινον κάλλιστον ἔρανον προϊέμενοι . . . : 41, μνημεῖα κακῶν κἀγαθῶν ἀΐδια ξυγκατοικίσαντες . . . : 43, ἀνδρῶν ἐπιφανῶν πᾶσα γῆ τάφος . . . , and others passim in the ἐπιτάφιος: in ii, 62, κηπίον καὶ ἐγκαλλώπισμα πλούτου, and many more. Bold imagery of this kind was characteristic of the elder school of oratory, and generally of what Dionysius calls the αὐστηρὰ ἁρμονία: cp. Attic Orators, vol. i. p. 27.
- The most glaring example is the reiterated contrast of "word" and "deed," which occurs some eighteen times in the Funeral Oration, and is parodied (as Mr H. M. Wilkins observes, Introduction to the Speeches, p. xxv) in the Platonic Menexenus [Menex. p. 236 D, Ἔργῳ μὲν ἡμῖν οἵδε ἔχοθσι τὰ προσήκοντα σφίσιν αὐτοῖς, ὧν τυχόντες πορεύονται τὴν εἱμαρμένην πορείαν, προπεμφθέντες κοινῇ μὲν ὑπὸ τῆς πόλεως, ἰδίᾳ δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν οἰκείων· λόγῳ δὲ δή, κ.τ.λ. And immediately afterwards, ἔργων εὖ πραχθέντων . . . λόγῳ καλῶς ῥηθέντι.]
- Περικλέης οὑλύμπιος, Ar. Acharn. 530. Eupolis notices the rapidity, the charm, and the sting of his eloquence (Δῆμοι, Frag. Com. i. 162); cp. Attic Orators, i. p. cxxx.
- Viz., to make no derogatory concessions, but to accept the war; to wage it, however, mainly on the defensive, allowing the enemy to ravage their lands, but guarding their possession of the city and the sea; to rely chiefly on their navy, and to retain a firm hold upon the allies, whose tribute gave the financial superiority to Athens.
- i. 140—144.
- ii. 13.
- ii. 59, ξύλλογον ποιήσας, i.e., ξύγκλητον ἐκκλησίαν which Pericles could convene as one of the Ten Generals (ἔτι δ' ἐστρατήγει).
- ii. 62 § 2.
- Compare ii. 13 § 2, παρῄνει δὲ καὶ περὶ τῶν παρόντων ἅπερ καὶ πρότερον (referring to i. 140—144) . . . θαρσεῖν τε ἐκέλευε, κ.τ.λ. (introducing the special subject of the second speech), with ii. 62 § 1, introducing the special subject of the third.
- i. 121 §§ 3—4; 122 § 1.
- Compare (1) Pericles, i. 143 § 1, εἴ τε καὶ κινήσαντες τῶν Ὀλυμπίασιν ἢ Δελφοῖς χρημάτων μισθῷ μείζονι . . . ὑπολαβεῖν τοὺς ξένους τῶν ναυτῶν, with the Corinthian speech, i. 121 § 3, ἀπὸ τῶν ἐν Δελφοῖς καὶ Ὀλυμπίᾳ χρημάτων . . . ὑπολαβεῖν μισθῷ μείζονι τοῦς ξένους αὐτῶν ναυβάτας: (2) Pericles, i. 142 § 6, with Corinthian, i. 121 § 4; (3) Pericles, i. 142 § 2, with Corinthian, i. 122 § 1.
- Compare i. 120—4 with i. 80—85.
- See the Table at the end of the Essay; cp. i. 21, ὅσα εἶπον μέλλοντες πολεμήσειν.
- i. 144 § 2, ἀλλ' ἐκεῖνα μὲν καὶ ἐν ἄλλῳ λόγῳ ἅμα τοῖς ἔργοις δηλωθήσεται. The promise is fulfilled by the speech of which an abstract is given in ii. 13, and by that reported in the direct form in ii. 60—64.
- The suggestion of F. C. Dahlmann (Hist. Forschungen, i. 23), to which Grote justly opposes the μακρηγορεῖν ἐν εἰδόσιν οὐ βουλόμενος ἐάσω (Thuc. ii. 36). The analogy of similar extant pieces (the Menexenus, the ἐπιτάφιοι falsely ascribed to Lysias and Demosthenes, the Panathenaicus of Isocrates, etc.) justifies Dahlmann's major premiss, but does not support his conclusion.
- Viz. (1) ii. 37 § 3, the reference to a restraining δέος, and to those laws, ὅσοι ἄγραφοι ὄντες αἰσχύνην ὁμολογουμένην φέρουσι: (2) 40 § 1, φιλοκαλοῦμεν μετ' εὐτελείας καὶ φιλοσοφοῦμεν ἄνευ μαλακίας. I cannot assume the allusions which Classen finds here to a subsequent and opposite state of society.
- Compare (1) Cleon, iii. 37 § 2, τυραννίδα ἔχετε τὴν ἀρχήν, with Pericles, ii. 63 § 2, ὡς τυραννίδα γὰρ ἤδη ἔχετε τὴν ἀρχήν: (2) Cleon, iii. 40 § 4, ἐκ τοῦ ἀκινδύνου ἀνδραγαθίζεσθαι, with Pericles, ii. 63 § 2, εἴ τις καὶ τόδε ἐν τῷ παρόντι δεδιὼς ἀπραγμοσύνῃ ἀνδραγαθίζεται: (3) Cleon, iii. 38 § 1, ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ὁ αὐτός εἰμι τῇ γνώμῃ, with Pericles, ii. 61 § 2, καὶ ἐγὼ μὲν ὁ αὐτός εἰμι καὶ οὐκ ἐξίσταμαι. Compare also Cleon's notice (iii. 37 § 2) of τὸ καθ' ἡμέραν ἀδεές in Athenian life, with what Pericles says of τὰ καθ' ἡμέραν ἐπιτηδεύματα, ii. 37 § 2.
- Cleon, iii. 37 § 3, ἀμαθία τε μετὰ σωφροσύνης ὠφελιμώτερον ἢ δεξιότης μετὰ ἀκολασίας, κ.τ.λ., contrasted with Pericles, ii. 40 § 2, οὐ τοὺς λόγους τοῖς ἔργοις βλάβην ἡγούμενοι, κ.τ.λ., and ii. 62 § 5, τὴν τόλμαν . . . ἡ ξύνεσις . . . ἐχυρωτέραν παρέχεται.
- E.g. vi. 40, ἀλλ' ἔτι καὶ νῦν, ὦ πάντων ἀξυνετώτατοι, εἰ μὴ μανθάνετε κακὰ σπεύδοντες, ἢ ἀμαθέστατοί ἐστε ὧν ἐγὼ οἶδα Ἑλλήνων, ἢ ἀδικώτατοι, εἰ εἰδότες τολμᾶτε.
In a Mémoire sur Thucydide, by M. Meierotto (in the Memoirs of the Berlin Academy for 1790–91, p. 530), the writer observes, with reference to the discrimination of character in the speeches: "Cléon et Athénagore parlent ordinairement d'un ton dur, offensant et grossier, dont pourtant ils s'écartent quelquefois." We have only one speech of Cleon and one of Athenagoras; so far as these go, however, the striking thing, it seems to me, is not the resemblance, but the contrast.
- As the Corinthian speech contains a prophecy (after the event) of the occupation of Deceleia (ἐπιτειχισμός, i. 122 § 1), so the corresponding passage of Pericles contains what may be a reference to the Athenian occupation of Pylos and of Cythera (i. 140 § 3, ἐπιτειχίζειν . . . πλεύσαντας ἐς τὴν ἐκείνων).
- Thuc. v. 26: "It befell me to live in exile for twenty years [423–403 B.C., or nearly so] after my command at Amphipolis. I thus became conversant with both parties—indeed, as an exile, I saw most of the Peloponnesians—and was enabled to study the events more at my leisure." The phrase here—καὶ γενομένῳ παρ' ἀμφοτέροις τοῖς πράγμασι—certainly implies more than thatThucydides was in the countries which were the theatre of the war. It imphes that he was in intercourse with the actors. The words καθ' ἡσυχίαν denote the "ease" or "leisure" of one who had no official status, political or military. Hitherto Thucydides had been himself an actor in the war (in the Ecclesia or as στρατηγός); now he was only a thoughtful spectator. During his exile Thucydides certainly spent some time in Italy and Sicily. Marcellinus quotes (§ 25) the statement ὡς φυγὼν ᾤκησεν ἐν Ἰταλίᾳ, and there was even a tradition of his burial there (§ 33). There are traces, I think, of Thucydides' personal knowledge of Sicily in the speech of Alcibiades (vi. 17 § 3). Niebuhr conjectured, and E. Wölfflin has shown (Antiochus v. Syrakus u. Coelius Antipater, Winterthur, 1872), that Thucydides (vi. 2 ff.) used the Σικελιῶτις συγγραφή which Antiochus of Syracuse brought down to 424 B.C. These are the chief data for conjecturing the general nature of the materials which Thucydides may have had for the speeches subsequent to 425 B.C. In many cases, probably, he had good sources of information, though it is hardly likely that the words ὧν αὐτὸς ἤκουσα can include any speeches except those made at Athens before his exile.
- In the list of nine passages noticed here, I have not included any in which the suggestion of acquaintance with subsequent events did not seem to me tolerably strong and clear. Thus I have purposely omitted the passage in which Archidamus says (432 B.C.) of the war, δέδοικα δὲ μᾶλλον μὴ καὶ τοῖς παισὶν αὐτὸν ὑπολίπωμεν (i. 81 § 6), in which some find a knowledge of its actual duration; a passage in vi. 11 (in the speech of Nicias), which might possibly be regarded as foreshadowing the aid actually lent by Sicily to Sparta at a later time (viii. 26); and a reference by Hermocrates to future feuds and reconciliations between the Sicilian cities (iv. 64).
Five of these passages have been noticed by previous writers, viz. Nos. 1, 5, 6, 7, 9; the others—Nos. 2, 3, 4, 8—have not, to my knowledge, been considered in this light before.
- iv. 60, ὀλίγαις ναυσὶ παρόντες . . . πλέονί ποτε στόλῳ ἐλθόντας.
- Twenty triremes had been sent in 427 B.C. under Laches (iii. 88), whom Pythodorus had superseded; forty more were afterwards sent under Eurymedon (iii. 115), and these had now joined the first detachment (iv. 48).
- As Grote remarks, vii. 189, n.
- Thuc. vi. 31.
- vi. 20.
- vi. 50.
- vi. 88.
- vi. 33.
- ii. 65.
- vi. 86, ἣν εἰ τῷ ὑπόπτῳ ἢ ἄπρακτον ἐάσετε ἀπελθεῖν ἢ καὶ σφαλεῖσαν, ἔτι βουλήσεσθε καὶ πολλοστὸν μόριον αὐτῆς ἰδεῖν, ὅτε οὐδὲν ἔτι περανεῖ παραγενόμενον ὑμῖν· (For ἔτι thus used in menace or presage, cf. Soph. El. 471. In Aesch. Eum. 812, Shilleto conjectured ὑμεῖς δ' ἔτ' [for ἐς] ἀλλόφυλον ἐλοῦσαι χθόνα | γῆς τῆσδ' ἐρασθήσεσθε.
- Diod. xiii, 108—114; Xen. Hellen. ii. 3.
- Thucydides mentions an eruption of Aetna in 426 B.C. as the third on record (iii. 116)—implying ignorance of that in 396 B.C., noticed by Diodorus, xiv. 59. On the probability that Thucydides was at work on his History for at least some years after 403, cp. Classen, Einl. xxx. I cannot, however, accept Ullrich's ingenious suggestion that the reference to Antiphon—ἄριστα τῶν μέχρι ἐμοῦ θανάτου δίκην ἀπολογησάμενος (viii. 68)—points to a tacit comparison with the defence of Socrates (399 B.C.).
- Thuc. i. 122 § 1.
- i. 142 § 2.
- vi. 91 § 7. In the sentence, οἷς . . . ἡ χώρα κατεσκεύασται, τὰ πολλὰ πρὸς ὑμᾶς τὰ μὲν ληφθέντα, τὰ δ' αὐτόματα ἥξει, the word αὐτόματα, as commentators have seen, refers to the desertion of slaves, included in the κατασκευαί as household chattels or "live stock."
- vii. 27—28. On the αὐτομολίαι of slaves, cf. viii. 40.
- The reference of Alcibiades in the words ὅσα . . . ἀπὸ τῶν δικαστηρίων νῦν ὠφελοῦνται is to the income which the State derived from court-fees of various kinds, especially the deposits (πρυτανεῖα) made by parties to a law-suit, as well as from pecuniary fines, confiscations, etc. Böckh (Publ. Econ. i. 461) understands the passage thus, following the scholiast. Meineke (Hermes iii. 359) and Madvig (Adv. i. 328) conjecture δεκατευτηρίων, "places where public tithes and taxes were taken"—objecting, as against the vulgate, that it does not appear why even a virtual state of siege should suspend the sitting of the law-courts. Thucydides, vii. 28 § 2, gives the plain answer—all the citizens were required for military duty.
- Thuc. i. 77 § 6.
- Plut. Lys. 16—17, Nic. 28, cf. Diod. xiii. 106.
- With Plut. Lys. 18 cf. Paus. vi. 3 §§ 14—15, Athen. xv. 696.
- Thuc. iv. 86 § 3. In § 4 there is no doubt to my mind that οὐδ' ἂν σαφῆ [for οὐδὲ ἀσαφῆ] is the right reading, ἂν ἐπιφέρειν being the oblique of ἂν ἐπιφέροιμι.
- See Isocr. Panegyricus, §§ 110—114, where he denounces the partisans of the narrow Lacedaemonian oligarchies in the several States—οἱ τῶν δεκαρχιῶν κοινωνήσαντες—and speaks of the miseries which they inflicted on their own cities by "choosing to be enslaved to a Helot" (i.e. to the μόθαξ Lysander: ἡροῦντο δὲ τῶν Εἱλώτων ἑνὶ δοθλεύειν). The passage is a striking commentary on the Acanthian speech of Brasidas.
- Thuc. v. 91.
- Xen. Hellen. ii. 2, §§ 19—20.
- Thus (1) the harangue is sometimes ascribed to several leaders collectively; e.g. vii. 65, παρεκελεύσαντο ἐκείνιος οἵ τε στρατηγοὶ καὶ Γύλιππος καὶ ἔλεξαν τοιάδε. So ii. 86, ὁ Κνῆμος καὶ ὁ Βρασίδας καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι τῶν Πελοποννησίων στρατηγοί . . παρεκελεύσαντο καὶ ἔλεξαν τοιάδε. In the case of the political speeches, the only similar instance is when a single speech is given as made by the two spokesmen of the Plataeans (προτάξαντες σφῶν αὐτῶν Ἀστύμαχόν τε . . καὶ Λάκωνα). It is obviously a different case when a speech is assigned to envoys collectively (i. 32, οἱ Κερκυραῖοι ἔλεξαν τοιάδε, etc.), when one would speak for the rest. (2) The military harangue is sometimes introduced in words which imply that it was made several times over; thus iv. 91 (Pagondas), προσκαλῶν ἑκάστους κατὰ λόχους, ὅπως μὴ ἀθρόοι ἐκλίποιεν τὰ ὅπλα, ἔπειθε . . λέγων τοιάδε. Cf. vi 68 (Nicias), κατά τε ἔθνη ἐπιπαριὼν ἕκαστα καὶ ξύμπασι τοιάδε παρεκελεύετο. (Cf. ἐπιπαριὼν τὸ στρατόπεδον παρεκελεύετο, iv. 94.) In vii. 76 Nicias ἐπιπαριὼν ἐθάρσυνέ τε καὶ παρεμυθεῖτο, βοῇ τε χρώμενος ἔτι μᾶλλον ἑκάστοις καθ' οὓς γίγνοιτο, καὶ βουλόμενος ὡς ἐπι πλεῖστον γεγωνίσκων ὠφελεῖν.
- Thuc. ii. 11.
- ii. 59 f.
- ii. 87.
- ii. 89.
- iv. 92.
- iv. 95.
- iv. 126.
- τὴν ἐπίνοιαν φράσαι, v. 9.
- vii. 61—64, ἡ ὑπόλοιπος πόλις καὶ τὸ μέγα ὄνομα τῶν Ἀθηνῶν
- vii. 65.
- vii. 76. The two last military speeches of Nicias take something of the political character from the fact that, as he says in both, the army is now the city: ἄνδρες γὰρ πόλις—a striking illustration of Sophocles, Oed. Tyr. 56.
- Od. ix. 19; Aen. i. 379; cf. Soph. Oed. Tyr. 8, αὐτὸς ὧδ' ἐλήλυθα, | ὁ πᾶσι κλεινὸς Οἰδίπους καλούμενος.
- Thuc. ii. 60.
- ii. 65.
- vii. 86, ἥκιστα δὴ ἄξιος ὢν τῶν γε ἐπ' ἐμοῦ Ἑλλήνων ἐς τοῦτο δυστυχίας ἀφικέσθαι διὰ τὴν πᾶσαν ἐς ἀρετὴν νενομισμένην ἐπιτήδευσιν: i.e. lit., his whole course of life, regulated by law and tradition (νενομισμένη) in the direction of virtue. The ἀρετή of Nicias was that which consists in fidelity to the established observances of religion and to received notions of duty—as distinguished from the ἀρετή, less in conformity with popular conceptions, which Thucydides can still recognise in such a man as Antiphon (viii. 68).
- Thuc. vii. 77, πολλὰ μὲν ἐς θεοὺς νόμιμα δεδιῄτημαι, πολλὰ δὲ ἐς ἀνθρώπους δίκαια καὶ ἀνεπίφθονα. As to the Letter of Nicias (vii. 11—15), its substantial genuineness might perhaps be argued from the fact that, while it dwells on the wear and tear of the armament, there is no attempt to excuse his own delay and his failure to prepare for the coming of Gylippus; but the manner of its introduction (δηλοῦσαν τοιάδε) seems to indicate the composition of Thucydides.
- vi. 15.
- vi. 16.
- iii. 82 § 2, γιγνόμενα μὲν καὶ ἀεὶ ἐσόμενα ἕως ἂν ἡ αὐτὴ φύσις τῶν ἀνθρώπων ᾗ.
- i. 68—72, 80—85.
- i. 68—72, 73—78.
- ii. 37f.; iii. 37—40.
- v. 105.
- i. 70.
- ii. 41. I regard the Melian dialogue as neither less nor more historical than those speeches in which Thucydides had to rely on a slight knowledge of the ξύμπασα γνώμη. I cannot suppose, with Classen, that Thucydides had any written documents to go upon. The frankness of the Athenians, which Grote finds startling, is Thucydidean: his wish to portray ruling motives is stronger than his regard for dramatic nicety.
- E.g. i. 72 (where the general lines of the discourse in 73—78 are indicated); iv. 21 (the general sense of Cleon's answer to the Spartan envoys); iv. 58 and vi. 32 (debates at Gela and Syracuse); viii. 53 (debate at Athens in 411 B.C.), etc.
- Plato, Gorgias, p. 482, c. 38.
- Rep. p. 367 C.
- Xen. Mem. iv. 4. 14.
- Thuc. v. 105; vi. 82—87.
- Not expressly, but by the naked repulsiveness in which he exhibits the "right of might."
- As Professor Sellar says ("Characteristics of Thucydides," Oxford Essays, 1857): "His own feeling shines out in such expressions as this,—'Simple-mindedness, which is mostly an ingredient in noble natures' (iii. 83). The speeches attributed to Pericles are especially expressive of generous ideas of man."
- It is enough to instance the manner in which he relates without comment the treachery of Paches to Hippias (iii. 54), and the assassination of two thousand Helots by the Spartans (iv. 80).
- E.g. iv. 62, τὸ ἀστάθμητον τοῦ μέλλοντος ὡς ἐπὶ πλεῖστον καρτεῖ: vi. 9, περὶ τῶν ἀφανῶν καὶ μελλόντων κινδυνεύειν: ii. 42, τὸ ἀφανὲς τοῦ κατορθώματος: ii. 87, νομίσαι ταῖς τύχαις ἐνδέχεσθαι σφάλλεσραθ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, etc.
- See e.g. Her. i. 45, θεῶν τίς μοι . . . προεσήμαινε τὰ μέλλοντα ἔσεσθαι: vi. 37, φιλέει δέ κως προσημαίνειν ὁ θεός, κ.τ.λ. On the omens, prodigies, dreams, etc., in Herodotus, see Mure, Bk. iv. ch. 6, § 3, and Rawlinson, i. 71 f.
- Esp. ii. 37 and 39.
- μακρηγορεῖν: i. 68, ii. 36, iv. 59.
- v. 104.
- iii. 59 § 2.
- v. 104, ὅσιοι πρὸς οὐ δικαίους.
- vii. 77 § 4, καὶ ἡμᾶς εἰκὸς νῦν τά τε ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐλπίζειν ἠπιώτερα ἕξειν. οἴκτου γὰρ ἀπ' αὐτῶν ἀξιώτεροι ἤδη ἐσμὲν ἢ φθόνου.
- ii. 64, φέρειν τε χρὴ τά δαιμόνια ἀναγκαίως τά τε ἀπὸ τῶν πολεμίων ἀνδρείως.
- ii. 53; iii. 82.
- E.g. ii. 21; v. 26, 103; vii. 50 (of Nicias), ἦν καὶ ἄγαν θειασμῷ τε καὶ τῷ τοιούτῳ προσκείμενος.
- v. 103.
- νοῦς, in Thucydides, occurs only in the phrases ἐν νῷ ἔχειν (to intend), τὸν νοῦν ἔχειν πρός τι, or προσέχειν, and κατὰ νοῦν, "to one's mind." The general term for the power of the intellect is γνώμη, with which διάνοια and σύνεσις are sometimes nearly synonymous.
- ii. 40 § 2; 62 § 5.
- As Archidamus does (i. 84), and Cleon (iii. 37).
- i. 138, τῶν μελλόντων ἐπὶ πλεῖστον τοῦ γενησομένου ἄριστος εἰκαστής.
- i. 84 § 3; vi. 11 § 6.
- iv. 64.
- τὸ κοινὸν ἀγαθόν, v. 90.
- i. 41.
- iii. 40; iv. 19.
- i. 76, 79; iii. 56; v. 90; iv. 61.
- i. 76, τὸ ἀεὶ καθεστός.
- v. 105, ἡγούμεθα γὰρ τό τε θεῖον δόξῃ τὸ ἀνθρώπειόν τε σαφῶς διὰ παντὸς ὑπὸ φύσεως ἀναγκαίας οὗ ἂν κρατῇ ἄρχειν. Cf. iv. 61, vi. 87.
- vi. 85, οὐδὲν ἄλογον ὅτι καὶ ξυμφέρον.
- iii. 45 § 3.
- iii. 10.
- i. 124.
- i. 141.
- τὸ ἀντίπαλον δέος, iii. 11; cf. iv. 92.
- ii. 60.
- ii. 44.
- The δυναστεία (οὐ μετὰ νόμων, unconstitutional) of Thebes in the Persian wars is opposed to the later ὀλιγαρχία ἰσόνομος, iii. 62.
- i. 84; iv. 126 § 4.
- vi. 39 (Hermocrates); cf. ii. 37 (Pericles). It is only Alcibiades (at Sparta) who uses δημοκρατία in a narrow and bad sense, as a synonym for ἀκολασία πλήθους (vi. 89).
- vi. 89 § 6.
- viii. 97.
- i. 71.
- "Among early inquirers into the nature of human action the arts helped to fill up the void of speculation." (Prof. Jowett, Introduction to Plato's Republic.)
- iii. 37 § 3; vi. 18 § 7. Thucydides speaks of the οὐ δημοτικὴ παρανομία of Alcibiades in vi. 28; cf. vi. 15, where the same term is applied to him as in i. 132 to Pausanias.
- iii. 53—59, 61—67.
- iii. 9—14.
- iv. 85—87.
- v. 76—80; 82—86.
- Classen examines the evidence in his Vorbemerkungen to Book viii., with these results:—(1) Book viii. was left unrevised, owing to the author's death while he was engaged upon it, and hence several inaccuracies of expression or statement remain [cf. e.g. c. 8 § 3—4: the notice of the βραχεῖα ναυμαχία in c. 80, compared with c. 102: c. 89 § 2 (τῶν πάνυ στρατηγῶν, κ.τ.λ.): c. 90 § 1, where σφῶν recurs four times in a few lines: c. 101 § 3, where the geographical details are obscure]. (2) Such defects of the text were early recognised, but for a long time no attempt was made to remedy them. (3) In the Alexandrian or Roman age a recension of the whole History was made, of which codex Vaticanus 126 is the representative. For Books i.—vi. the cases in which the codex Vaticanus alone has the true reading are not numerous: in vii. they are more so: in viii. they are so frequent that here the Vaticanus, as compared with all the other mss., assumes the character of a revised text.
- Thuc. v. 14—83 (422—416 B.C.). In Book v. the direct form of speech occurs only in the harangue of Brasidas (v. 9) and the Melian dialogue (85—116).
- viii. 14.
- viii. 53.
- The absence of military harangues, too, in Book viii. is sufficiently explained by the absence of any good occasion for them. The sea-fights at Euboea (95) and Cyzicus were hardly such: and the narrative breaks off before the more decisive actions of Cynossema and Aegospotami. The question has been discussed lately in an essay, De Thucydidei Operis Libri viii. indole ac natura, by Paul Hellwig (Halle, 1876).
- i. 22, where the ἀκρίβεια αὐτὴ τῶν λεχθέντων is opposed to the ξύμπασα γνώμη.
- i. 86, τοὺς μὲν λόγους τοὺς πολλοὺς τῶν Ἀθηναίων οὐ γιγνώσκω, κ.τ.λ.
- vi. 18 § 3, ταμιεύεσθαι ἐς ὅσον βουλόμεθα ἄρχειν: § 4, στορέσωμεν τὸ φρόνημα, etc., where the scholiast remarks that, this is the harshest (σκληρότατον) of the metaphors in Thucydides, ἀλλὰ κατὰ Ἀλκιβιάδην.
- ὀρθοέπεια, Plat. Phaedr. 267 C.
- ὀρθότης ὀνομάτων, Plat. Euthyd. p. 277 E.
- The two things which the early Sicilian Rhetoric most sought to teach were skill in marshalling facts and skill in arguing probabilities: cp. Attic Orators, vol. i. p. cxviii f.
- Cp. ib. i. cxxiii. Gorgias was not properly either a student of technical rhetoric or a sophist.
- Thuc. iii. 38 § 7. σοφιστῶν [the word only here in Thuc] θεαταῖς ἐοικότες καθημένοις μᾶλλον ἢ περὶ πόλεως βουλευομένοις. Cf. § 5, μετὰ καινότητος λόγου ἀπατᾶσθαι ἄριστοι. Thucydides thrice uses ἐπίδειξις, but only once in reference to oratory, and then in a general, not in a technical sense (iii. 42). The regular speakers in the Ecclesia are thrice spoken of as ῥήτορες, and always in a more or less unfavourable tone (iii. 40; vi. 29; viii. 1).
- ii. 36.
- ii. 43.
- iv. 59.
- iv. 62. Compare what Alcibiades says at Sparta in declining to dwell on the evils of democracy—ἀλλὰ περὶ ὁμολογουμένης ἀνοίας οὐδὲν ἂν καινὸν λέγοιτο.
- As in the Plataean and Theban speeches to the Spartan judges (iii. 53—59, 61—67), in the speeches of Hermocrates and Athenagoras to the Syracusan assembly (vi. 33—34, 36—40), and in the Funeral Oration. We can recognise a conscious partition, more or less complete, into προοίμιον, πρόθεσις (or προκατασκευή), διήγησις, πίστεις, ἐπίλογος. Cp. Attic Orators, vol. i. pp. 36, 181; ii. 422.
- Of his extant works, Or. v., περὶ τοῦ Ἡρώδου φόνου, may be referred to about 417 B.C., and Or. vi., περὶ τοῦ χορευτοῦ, to about 412 B.C. Cp. Attic Orators, i. 34, 58, 63.
- viii. 68, κράτιστος ἐνθυμηθῆναι . . . καὶ ἃ γνοίη εἰπεῖν. Cf. ii. 60, ὃς οὐδενὸς οἴομαι ἥσσων εἶναι γνῶναί τε τὰ δέοντα καὶ ἑρμηνεῦσαι ταῦτα.
- Caecilius of Calacte, in the Augustan age, conjectured that Thucydides had been the pupil of Antiphon (Vitt. x. Oratt.); Hermogenes (περὶ ἰδ. ii. 497) notices the belief as current, but rejects it. It seems to have been a mere guess, resting on resemblance of style. See Attic Orators, i. p. 4.
- E.g. Antiphon: ἀλιτήροις—ποινή—προστρόπαιος—ἐνθύμιος—ἀσπαίρω (ii. δ. 5)—ἀνθρώπινον φῦλον (iv. α. 2)—εὐδία (ii. β. i)—χωροφιλεῖν (v. 78)—φιλοθύτης (ii. β. 12). Thucydides: περιωπή (= σκοπία, iv. 86)—ἀχθηδών (ii. 37)—ναυβάτης (i. 121; cf Pollux i. 95, τὸ ναυβάτας ὀνομάζειν (τοὺς ναύτας) τραγικώτερον—ἐσθήματα (iii. 58)—ἑσσαμένων (= ἱδρυσαμένων, ib.)—κεκμηῶτες (iii. 59)—περίρρυτος (iv. 64)—φυλοκρινεῖν (vi. 18)—ἐπηλυγάζεσθαι (vi. 36), and many more.
- E.g. Antiphon: γνωρισταί—δικασταί—δοξασταί—κριταί (v. 94): the πράκτορες τῶν ἀκουσίων distinguished from the αἴτιοι τῶν παθημάτων (ii. β. § 6): τὰ παρῳχημένα σημείοις πιστῶσαι, τὰ δὲ μέλλοντα τεκμηρίοις (ap. Ammon. 127). Thucydides: αἰτία—κατηγορία (i. 68): φρόνημα—καταφρόνημα—αὔχημα—καταφρόνησις (ii. 62): ἐπανέστησαν—ἀπέστησαν (iii. 39)—οὐκ ἀξυνετωτέρου, κακοξυνετωτέρου δέ (vi. 76): κατοικίσαι—ἐξοικίσαι (ib.)—παραίνεσις—ἀξίωσις (i. 41)—δοκοῦσα—φαινομένη (i. 32)—προεπιβουλεύειν—ἀντεπιβουλεύειν (i. 33): δικασταί . . . σωφρονισταί (vi. 87).
- E.g. Antiphon: τὰ ἴχνη τῆς ὑποψίας εἰς τοῦτον φέροντα (ii. γ. 10): ἰατροὺς τῆς ἀτυχίας (ii. β. 13); cf. i. γ. 1 and ii. β. 10. Thucydides: ἡ ἐπιστήμη ἐγγηράσεται (vi. 18)—ἰατρὸς τῆς πόλεως (vi. 14)—δουλοῖ τὸ φρόνημα τὸ αἰφνίδιον (ii. 61)—πόλεμος βίαιος διδάσκαλος (iii. 82)—ἐπικλασθῆναι (iii. 59), etc.
- This brevity appears (1) in such constructions as γυναικείας ἀρετῆς, ὅσαι . . . ἔσονται (ii. 45), or τῶν μὲν ἄρχειν τῶν δὲ διανοεῖσθαι (sc. ἄρχειν, i. 124); (2) in the suppression of a clause which can be supplied mentally, as often before a sentence introduced by γάρ (cf i. 120 ad init.): (3) in the pregnant use of words, as vi. 11, ὅπερ ἡμᾶς ἐκφοβοῦσι (= ἐκφοβοῦντες λέγουσι). Cic. de Orat. ii. 22, sententiis magis abundat quam verbis . . . ; 13, ita verbis aptus et pressus est, etc. Quint. x. i, densus et brevis et semper sibi instans. Dionys., p. 792, says that it belongs to Thucydides περιᾶσθαι δ' ἐλαχίστων πλεῖστα σημαίνειν, and Marcellinus, § 50, speaks of his θαυμασταὶ βραχύτητες.
- E.g. iii. 39, μετὰ τῶν πολεμιωτάτων ἡμᾶς στάντες διαφθεῖραι: i. 33, γενήσεται δὲ . . . καλὴ ἡ ξυντυχία κατὰ πολλὰ τῆς ἡμετέρας χρείας: vi. 82, οὓς ξυγγενεῖς φασιν ὄντας ἡμᾶς Συρακόσιοι δεδουλῶσθαι: v. 91, ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ νῦν τοὺς λόγους ἐροῦμεν τῆς ἡμετέρας πόλεως.
- E.g. such a sentence as that in Antiphon v. 21, ἡ μὲν πρόφασις ἑκατέρῳ—ἀποθανεῖν αὐτὸν τὸν Ἡρώδην, may be compared in general structure with Thuc. vi. 82, ἡμεῖς γὰρ Ἴωνες ὄντες . . . Συρακόσιοι δεδουλῶσθαι, but the latter has a much longer series of clauses. In Thucydides the transition from a simple string of clauses to a period properly so called is commonly made by the insertion of explanatory parentheses introduced with γάρ.
- E.g. vii. 42, τοῖς Συρακουσίοις . . . κατάληξις ἐγένετο . . . ὁρῶντες, κ.τ.λ. Cp. iii. 36, vi. 24, iv. 108, etc.
- Jelf (following Kühner) rightly classes Thucydides with those writers who, "engrossed vvith the subject, were overpowered by their flow of thought, and endeavouring to concentrate these notions in all their fulness in as few words as possible, passed from thought to thought, without taking much care that the several parts of the whole sentence should be connected together with a strict grammatical accuracy." The constructions of Thucydides, he adds, "in spite of, or perhaps because of, their grammatical inaccuracy, have a power and depth of expression which perhaps no other prose writer ever attained." (Greek Grammar, ii. 593.)—Thucydides wishes his thought to be what Aristotle requires in the period (Rhet. iii. 9)—εὐσύνοπτον. Cp. Attic Orators, i. 35.
- See e.g. the speeches of Critias and Theramenes in Xen. Hellen. ii. 3. This colloquial tone is one element of the quality in Xenophon which Quintilian (x. i) calls "iucunditas inaffectata."
- On the rhetorical historians of the Isocratic school, see Attic Orators, ii. 48 and 427.
- Polyb. ii. 56: ἐκεῖ μὲν γὰρ (i.e. in Tragedy) δεῖ διὰ τῶν πιθανωτάτων λόγων ἐκπλῆξαι καὶ ψυχαγωγῆσαι κατὰ τὸ παρὸν τοὺς ἀκούοντας, ἐνθάδε δὲ (in History) διὰ τῶν ἀληθινῶν ἔργων καὶ λόγων εἰς τὸν πάντα χρόνον διδάξαι καὶ πεῖσαι τοὺς φιλομαθοῦτνας.
- Polyb. xi. 10: οὕτως εἷς λόγος, εὐκαίρως ῥηθεὶς ὑπ' ἀνδρὸς ἀξιοπίστου, πολλάκις οὐ μόνον ἀποτρέπει τῶν χειρίστων ἀλλὰ καὶ παρορμᾷ πρὸς τὰ κάλλιστα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.
- E.g. of Hannibal and Scipio, Polyb. iii. 108—111.
- Polyb. xi. 28; xxii. 14.
- See Polyb. xxx. 4: ἦν δ' ὁ νοῦς τῆς ἀποκρίσεως τοιοῦτος,—the ξύμπασα γνώμη of Thuc. i. 22.
- I have purposely abstained from examining the criticisms of Dionysius on the speeches in Thucydides, since he regards them exclusively from the point of view of contemporary rhetoric, not at all from the historian's. His criticisms on Thucydides are, for this very reason, immeasurably inferior to those in his excellent essays on the orators. The lengthy speech of Veturia to Coriolanus (Dionys. Ant. Rom. viii. 46—53) is a fair specimen of his own practice in the rhetorical embellishment of history.
- ἐστέρηται τῆς ψυχικῆς χάριτος, Diod. xx. 2.
- Diod. xx. 2, ὁ μὴ τεθαρρηκότως συγκαταβαίνων πρὸς τοὺς ἐν τοῖς λόγοις ἀγῶνας καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπαίτιος ἂν εἴη.
- Thus he says, ib., μεγάλων καὶ λαμπρῶν τῶν ὑποθέσεων οὐσῶν, οὐ περιορατέον ἐλάττονα τῶν ἔργων φανῆναι τὸν λόγον.
- Plut., praecept. ger. Reipubl. 6, where he objects to long speeches before battles as out of place. The speeches, often happily dramatic, in his own biographies are the best comment on his remark (de glor. Athen. p. 346), τῶν ἱστορικῶν κράτιστος ὁ τὴν διήγησιν ὥσπερ γραφὴν πάθεσι καὶ προσώποις εἰδωλοποιήσας.
- Lucian, de conscrib. hist. 58, ἢν δέ ποτε . . . δεινότητα: "And if it should ever be necessary to introduce a person speaking, first of all let the speech be suitable to the person and the matter; next let it be as clear as possible: then, however, you are at liberty to declaim (ῥητορεῦσαι) and to show your oratorical power."
- "Simulacrum viri copiosi," Liv, xlv. 25.
- As Quintilian says of Livy, "ita dicuntur omnia, cum rebus tum personis accommodata," x. 1.
- E.g. Liv. ii. 40; xxiii. 8, 9. Livy seems sometimes to have taken hints from Polybius or Thucydides; cp. xxx. 30 with Polyb. xv. 6, and vii. 30 with Thuc. i. 32.
- Plut. (Cat. min. 23) says that the speech of Cato in the debate on the conspiracy of Catiline is believed to be the only one of his preserved—Cicero having taught some of the most rapid writers the use of a shorthand (σημεῖα προδιδάξαντος ἐν μικροῖς καὶ βραχέσι τύποις πολλῶν γραμμάτων ἔχοντα δύναμιν), and having distributed these writers through the Senate-house. For the Romans, Plutarch adds, did not yet possess τοὺς καλουμένους σημειογράφους: this was the beginning of it. Suetonius mentions a speech of Julius Caesar which, Augustus thought, must have been imperfectly taken down by the actuarii (Caes. 55). The usual Roman word was notarius. Martial has an epigram on a shorthand writer, xiv. 208.
- Sallust, Catil. 51, 52.
- Bellum Jugurth. 31—a striking illustration of the Roman feeling that oratory, for its own sake, deserved a place in history.
- Ulrici, indeed (Charakteristik der antiken Historiographie, p. 148), regards some of the speeches in Tacitus as inserted merely for dramatic ornament; e.g. Ann. i. 17, 22, 42, 43, 58, 59; ii. 14, 45, 46; iii. 16, 61; iv. 34, 35; xii. 10. But in all such cases, I think, it will be found that a more serious motive is also present.
- Tac. Ann. xi. 24.
- The text of the two bronze tablets, found in 1524, has been edited by A. de Boissieu in his Inscriptions antiques de Lyon. It is printed in Orelli's edition of Tacitus at the end of Book xi. of the Annals, p. 342.
- As they are introduced, for example, by Quintus Curtius, who gives the speech of the Scythian ambassadors to Alexander (vii. 8), and an impossible harangue of Dareius to his army before the battle of Arbela (iv. 14).
- Decline and Fall, ch. 43. It is difficult to believe, with Gibbon, that the speech of Attila to his soldiers before the battle of Chalons—as given in Cassiodorus—can rest on any basis of fact (ch. 35); however it may be with the letter of Belisarius to Justinian given by Procopius, which Gibbon thinks "genuine and original" (ch. 43).
- E.g. Paulus Aemilius, Strada Mariana, Buchanan, Grotius, De Thou.
- E.g. Machiavelli, Guicciardini, Mézerai.
- Cours d'Études Historiques, vol. vii. p. 466 ff.
- As M. Daunou gravely observes: "La plus simple réflexion suffit pour concevoir que les Anglais, tenant en leur pouvoir la malheureuse Jeanne, ne lui auraient pas permis, à sa dernière heure, de débiter publiquement toutes ces sottises" (p. 476). The authentic records of her trial and execution are contained, he adds, in vol. iii. of the Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque du Roi. It is an extraordinary example of the rhetorical taste of the age that Mézerai should have preferred to declaim, when he might have told a true story of the deepest pathos.
- Ars Historica, 20.
- De la manière d'écrire l'Histoire, Works, vol. xii. 452—461.
- "Tranchons le mot, aujourd'hui l'on renverrait aux amplifications de collége un historien qui remplirait son ouvrage de harangues": quoted by Daunou (vii. 472) from a paper on the art of writing history, read by D'Alembert to the French Academy (ib. p. 115).
- Thus Gaillard, in his History of Francis I., published in 1766, answers the charge of a "petite infidélite" by saying: "Je réponds que je ne puis voir une infidélite réelle où d'un côté personne ne veut tromper, et où d'un autre côté personne ne peut être trompé" (Daunou, p. 458). This is much the same as the apology for Livy's speeches made by Crevier in the preface to his edition: "Quasi vero cuiquam innocens ille dolus imponat." Botta's History of Italy from 1780 to 1814 contains one of the latest examples, perhaps, of the licence, when he gives (Book iii.) the speeches of Pesaro and Vallaresso in the debate of the Venetian Senate on the French invasion of Italy (1793), and (Book v.) a debate in the Piedmontese Council. The practice was thoroughly suited to the Italian genius, and maintained itself longest in Italy.
- The process of this change has been sketched in the Attic Orators, vol. ii. ch, xxiv.
- The Roman historical writers of the Empire were under the influence of the recitations (cp. Mayor on Juvenal iii.; and Heitland and Raven, in the Introduction to their extracts from Quintus Curtius, in the Pitt Press Series, p. 12). Prejudicial to history as this influence was, it yet gave a special interest to the speeches, regarded as exercises in a familiar art.
- In the remarkable speech of the Athenian envoy Euphemus at Camarina (vi. 82—86, 415 B.C.), the dramatic purpose of the Melian dialogue is continued and completed. The plain avowal of Athenian motives is reiterated, and their bearing on the Sicilian expedition is explicitly stated. See vi. 83, τήν τε γὰρ ἐκεῖ ἀρχὴν (in Greece) εἰρήκαμεν διὰ δέος ἔχειν, καὶ τὰ ἐνθάδε (in Sicily) διὰ τὸ αὐτὸ ἥκειν μετὰ τῶν φίλων ἀσφαλῶς καταστησόμενοι. 85, ὥστε καὶ τἀνθάδε εἰκὸς πρὸς τὸ λυσιτελοῦν καί, ὃ λέγομεν, ἐς Συρακοσίους δέος καθίστασθαι.
- Ulrici, Charakteristik der antiken Historiographie, p. 313. Book i. is a prologue, he says, which acquaints the reader with the immediate antecedents of the drama and the relative positions of the chief actors. The First Act comprises the plague at Athens, the supreme efforts of Pericles and his death, the destruction of Plataea by Sparta, the overthrow of Mitylene by Athens (ii. 1—iii. 68). The Second Act presents the typical party-strife at Corcyra; fortune wavers; the Athenians are defeated by the Aetolians, but blockade the Spartans in Sphacteria (iii. 69—iv. 36). The Third Act opens with the surrender of the Spartans; the Athenians occupy Cythera; both sides are weary of the struggle, and at length a peace is concluded. But there are signs that it cannot last, and now Alcibiades comes forward to advocate the Sicilian expedition (iv. 37—vi. 23). The Fourth Act is the crisis—the Sicilian expedition, ending in the Athenian defeat (vi. 24—vii.). In the Fifth Act the catastrophe is delayed for a moment by the recall of Alcibiades. He brings back a gleam of prosperity with him. But he is again dismissed; and then comes the final ruin of Athens (viii.).
- The Greek instinct for symmetry and just measure sharpened the perception of contrast, and the desire of vividly expressing contrast helped to mould the language. Thus when it is said of Antigone, πασῶν γυναικῶν ὡς ἀναξιωτάτη| κάκιστ' ἀπ' ἔργων εὐκλεεστάτων φθίνει (694), it is the keenly felt opposition of things that is striving to utter itself in the forcible opposition of words. Then Rhetoric arose, with its opposition of words even where there was no commensurate opposition of things. Thucydides was partly under this influence of Rhetoric: witness his ἔργον and λόγος, etc.; but, by a reversal of the natural process, the very habit of verbal antithesis tended to quicken the observation of opportunities for its effective employment.
- I.e. no drama on the Persian wars could have included (e.g.) the Egyptian and Scythian episodes of Herodotus.
- vi. 30.
- vii. 87.
- The names of Aeschylus, Sophocles (the poet), Euripides (the poet), Aristophanes, Pheidias, Ictinus, Anaxagoras, Socrates, are among those which Thucydides nowhere mentions. In addition to Helen (i. 9) and Procne (ii. 29), only four women are named in the whole History, and not one of them has the slightest human interest in reference to the war—Chrysis and Phaeinis, successively priestesses of the Argive Hera (ii. 1, iv. 133); Stratonice, the sister of Perdiccas (ii. 101); and Archedice, the daughter of Hippias (vi. 59). The Parthenon is alluded to as a treasury; and the Propylaea are noticed—as a work which had reduced the balance in it (ii. 13 § 3, where ἐν τῇ ἀκροπόλει = ἐν τῷ ὀπισθοδόμῳ).
- Thucydides can, indeed, imagine a time when Sparta shall be desolate, and only the ruins of Athens shall remain; i. 10 § 2, Λακεδαιμονίων γὰρ εἰ ἡ πόλις ἐρημωθείη . . . Ἀθηναίων δὲ τὸ αὐτὸ τοῦτο παθόντων, κ.τ.λ. But he has no conception of a time when the Hellenic civilisation that he knew should have passed away. Thus Pericles says that Athens (unlike Troy or Mycenae, he means) needs no Homer to persuade posterity of her greatness: she has established on every shore imperishable monuments of her power for evil or good, where the ἀΐδια μνημεῖα are the Athenian settlements on conquered or on friendly soil. Cf ii. 64, ἢν καὶ νῦν ὑπενδῶμέν ποτε . . . μνήμη καταλελείψεται, κ.τ.λ.,—where the μνήμη assumes a purely Hellenic standard.
- He cites them simply as authorities for facts, whose statements often require to be modified: i. 21 § 1. Thus he makes a sort of apology for quoting so equivocal an authority as Homer respecting the power of Agamemnon (i. 9 § 4), and the size of the Greek fleet (10 § 3). His extracts from the fine passage in the Hymn to the Delian Apollo are the briefest which could establish his two points—that there was an Ionian festival at Delos, and that it included a musical contest (iii. 104).
- There is a singular suggestiveness in the speech which the exile Thucydides attributes to the exile Alcibiades (at Sparta in 415 B.C., vi. 92). It is the historian's way of showing how the pain which he himself had known might work in a disloyal character. "My patriotism," says Alcibiades, "is not for a country that wrongs me; it was given to a country that protected my rights . . . The true patriot is not he who abstains from moving against the country from which he has been unjustly banished, but he who, in his passionate love for her, strives by all means to regain her."
May not these words—καὶ φιλόπολις οὑτος ὀρθῶς, οὐχ ὃς ἂν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀδίκως ἀπολέσας μὴ ἐπίῃ—have a reference to Thrasybulus and the patriotic exiles who marched from Phyle upon Athens? Just after the restoration of the democracy the point would have been peculiarly effective.
- Most striking of all these, perhaps, is one in the speech of Nicias to the army before the retreat from Syracuse (vii. 63 § 3), where, addressing the non-Athenians, he reminds them, of the pleasure (ἡδονή) which they have derived from passing for Athenians—through their knowledge of the Attic dialect, and their imitation of Attic manners—and so being admired throughout Greece: Ἀθηναῖοι νομιζόμενοι καὶ μὴ ὄντες . . . τῆς τε φωνῆς ἐπιστήμῃ καὶ τῶν τρόπων τῇ μιμήσει ἐθαυμάζεσθε κατὰ τὴν Ἑλλάδα. Among Peloponnesians, Italians or Sicehots, the Athenian exile had ever carried about with him the consciousness of belonging to that city which was the παίδευσις Ἑλλάδος.
- Even in the Funeral Oration—that splendid monument of his grave enthusiasm for Athens—Thucydides has been restrained, whether by fidelity to the original or by his own feeling, from exceeding the limit of such abstract expressions as τὰ καθ' ἡμέραν ἐπιτηδεύματα, πόνων ἀναπαῦλαι, ἀγῶνες, θυσίαι, φιλοκαλεῖν, φιλοσοφεῖν.
- τὸ γὰρ | τὴν φροντίδ' ἔξω τῶν κακῶν οἰκεῖν γλυκύ, Oed. Tyr. 1390.