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HISTORY OF THUCYDIDES.
the return of summer, when the corn was in full growth, the Peloponnesians and their allies, under the command of Archidamus son of Xeuxidamus, went on an expedition into Attica, and taking post there, ravaged the country. Attacks were, as usual, made upon them as opportunity offered', by the Athenian horse, which kept in check the numerous parties of light-armed, and prevented them from advancing before the heavy-armed”, and ravaging the vicinity of the city. After continuing as long as their provisions lasted, they returned back, and dispersed to their several cities.
II. Immediately after the irruption of the Peloponnesians, all Lesbos', except Methymna", revolted from the Athenians.
I Went on an expedition.] Not "made incursions," as Smith renders. . Taking post.] 'Or occupying a fixed station.
3. As opportunity offered, önn a apeixou.). Or “as occasion permitted." A formula which occurs not unfrequently in the historians. There is an ellipsis of kaupos. The complete phrase is found in Arrian E. A. 6, 9, 4. Dio Cass. 803 and 516.
4 Heavy-armed.] As 2, 81. and elsewhere. Hack, however, explains it camp; as in 1, 111. And this sense is of frequent occurrence in Xenophon and Herodotus. Both senses, indeed, merge into each other.
» Lesbos.] An island among the largest and most important of the Ægean sea; and, as Strabo says, Xóyov úžia #Ariorov. On this the reader will do well to consult the excellent account by Strabo, p. 885. seqq.
This they had been desirous to do even before the war; but their wishes were not met by the Lacedæmonians?, and circumstances had compelled them to make this revolt sooner than they intended. For they were waiting until they had
Falc. It was colonized at a very early period by the Pelasgi, and was the mother of the Æolic cities in Asia. Its antiquity, indeed, would appear by the many names it had borne at the period in question, being no less than six, Pelasgia, Lasia, Ægira, Æthiope, Macaria, Himerte, and Lesbos. Of these Pelasgia had reference to its original colonists; and the rest (if we would reject mere fable) will appear to be descriptive of its appearance and qualities, as Britain was called Albion. Thus Lasia signifies rough, and even yet a considerable part of the island is covered with wooded mountains. Ægira signifies goat island; Æthiope, burnt or brown island. Macaria and Himerte have reference to its happy and delightful climate, soil, and temperature; this island being famous for wine and oil. See Diod. Sic. 5, 82. Lesbos was probably derived from the form and configuration of the island, as viewed from the sea (like Cephallenia, and many other names); for doboç is, I suspect, cognate with liopos (an Attic word preserved by the Etym. Mag. 567, 20.), which signifies the hip bone ; or, as applied to animals, the hock bone. (So the name Cercine. See Vol. I. p. 256. note 1.) The name was, probably, given it by the Attic colonists under Macaresu. It is now called Metelin, from Mytilene, its capital ; and it is about forty miles long, and, on the average, twelve broad, though broken up by arms of the sea. It was probably the seat of some violent convulsions of nature at an early period: as seems to be testified by the old report preserved by Strabo, that it was torn from Ida. At the time of the Peloponnesian war it was exceedingly populous and wealthy, and was treated by the Athenians somewhat on a footing of equality, being only required to furnish a naval quota.
This island has produced many distinguished persons, as Pittacus, Alcæus, Sappho, Theophanes, Theophrastus, Pharias, Arion, Terpander, Hellanicus, and others mentioned by Strabo. 1.6 Methymna.] Situated on the northern extremity of the island; and, as Strabo says, two hundred and seventy stadia from Mytilene, and two hundred from the promontory of Sigrium. The island was divided into six independent states, of which Methymna held the second place; the rest were chiefly under the influence of Mytilene.
7. Their wishes were not, fc.] Hence it appears that secession from one of two great powers implied union with the other ; so impossible was it for any but states of power, as Argos, Arcadia, and Thessaly, to maintain any neutrality; and even these were not always able to preserve it.
& For they were waiting, &c.] The two yàps advert to the two causes, 1. why they had delayed the revolt; 2. why they now entered upon it so suddenly. It was certainly well-timed; for the Athenians were yet very weak from the effects of the plague, and the perpetual devastation of their country; and upon the whole (as Diod. Sic. here observes) had very indifferent hopes of the future.
The state of affairs in Lesbos is thus described by Mitford : consideration of their Æolian extraction tended to dispose all the people of Lesbos to the Lacedæmonian alliance; but more especially to the Bæotian, rather than to the Athenian, to which the course of events, the naval superiority of Athens, and their own situation as islanders, had led them. But the momentary interest of faction, too commonly among the Greeks
completed the obstruction of the ports, the erection of fortifications, and the building of ships, and such supplies as had been agreed for to be sent from Pontus, both archers and corn, and whatever else they had sent for. But the Tenedians, who were at variance with them, as also the Methymnians, and some of the Mytilenians themselves, private persons connected with the Athenians by ties of hospitality, and swayed by motives of faction, disclosed to them that the Mytilenians were compelling all the Lesbians to resort to Mytilene as their seat of government", and were hastening
overwhelmed all other considerations; deadened all feeling for the ties of blood; and blinded to all views of enlarged policy. In Methymna the democratical party was decidedly superior, and its people held close alliance with those of the neighbouring island of Tenedos, who were influenced by the same democratical principles. The Methymnians and Tenedians were, therefore, warmly attached to Athens. But in Mytilene the aristocratical party, if not oppressed, must be always insecure, where Athenian influence prevailed.” I would, however, remark that the Lesbians were partly of Athenian extraction; and Methymna was decidedly Athenian, not only, it is probable, from democratical principles prevailing, but from its having been the chief seat of the Athenian colonists.
9 Obstruction.] This the Scholiast explains of raising a bank in the mouth of the port, to prevent the entrance of a naval force too strong to be resisted. This was effected, perhaps, by first sinking hulks filled with stones, and then laying on such materials as were fitted for the work. The Scholiast speaks as if this were frequently done; but so desperate a measure was not likely to be often resorted to. Only one example, elsewhere, occurs to my memory, and that is in Arrian.
10. Private persons, &c.] This passage has not been well understood, partly from misconception of the punctuation and construction, and partly from the sense of a phrase being mistaken. I would place a comma after στάσιν, and construe the passage as follows: και άνδρες ιδία αυτών M., πρόξενοι (όντες) Α., μηνυται κατά στάσιν εγίγνοντο. So 1. 3, 34. πολέως εαλωκυίας υπό Ι. και των βαρβάρων, κατά στάσιν ιδία επαχθέντων. for such should be read there. The iõią is opposed to the dnpocią.
On the origin of the war of the Mytilenians, Wasse refers to Aristot. Polit. 1. 5. c.4. e. 4. 5, 135. Diod. 12, 314.
11 Resort to Mytilene as, &c.] Such is the real and full sense of EvvoıkiLovol, which is wrongly understood by the Schol. and translators, of their abandoning their towns, and going to reside at Lesbos. A similar instance, indeed, might be adduced at 1, 58. where the Chalcideans are said to have abandoned their maritime towns, and gone to reside at Olynthus. But there the phraseology is very
different. The word ξυνοικείν must here be taken in the same sense as at 9, 15. ες την νύν πόλιν – ξυνώκισε παντάς, where see the note.
The orthography Mytilene has been rightly adopted by the recent edi. tors; since it is supported both by Steph. Byz., Strabo, and the best MSS, and the coins, as also by the origin of the appellation, if indeed it be (as the antient grammarians tell us) derived from its founder Myton; which, however, may be doubted, since it leaves the ilene unaccounted for. Now
every sort of preparation for a revolt, with the co-operation of the Lacedæmonians and Bootians, as being of the same race 12; and that unless measures of anticipation were employed, they would be deprived of all Lesbos. 13
III. But the Athenians (for they were suffering severely from the effects of the pestilence, the war, too, being not only on foot, but at its height) regarded it as a serious affair to have to go to war with Lesbos in addition', which was in
considering that wine is the chief produce of the island, we may suppose that lývn comes from Invòs, a wine-press or val, and pútis, which signifies the snout of a shell-fish ; with reference, perhaps, to a small island on which old Mytilene was built, as we learn from Diod. Sic. I. 13. Strabo, too mentions that island, which he represents as forming part of the city. He also adds that Mytilene has two ports, one to the south, k/eTorog tpiņpeol, which words Falconer renders non triremibus aptas, sed naviculis solis. On the contrary, tpinpoi signifies triremibus solis, as is plain from the words following kai év vavoi tevrýkovra, which denote that it would hold fifty. Such a sense, too, is contrary to fact; for, from Pococke (whom I shall cite infra), it appears that the southern port is used for large ships only. In short, kdeLOTÒG signifies, not exclusus, but inclusus. It is strange that so learned a man was not aware of this sense of KleLotòs, which is not unfrequent in Strabo and Scylax; ex. gr. 1075, 29. δύο δ' έχει λιμένας, τον μεν κλείστον, τον δε ανειμένον. And so Diod. Sic. 1. 14. ών τον έτερον (λίμενα) Klelorov. I must not omit to observe that the ĉv in the above passage of Strabo seems to have no place. It arose, I suspect, from the letter representing fifty. After the AELotòg should be placed a comma; and after τριήρεσι and ναυσι understand επιτήδειον, or something similar. The KAELOTOS denotes that it was provided with chains and other means of shutting it up. See the note supra 2, 94. lepévwv kleidet. The northern port, Strabo adds, was large, deep, and covered by a mole. The channel between the island and Lesbos was, as we learn from Diod., called the Euripus, with allusion to the one between Eubea and Attica. Longus, too (who has been strangely neglected by the geographers), says, Pastor. 1. init. Πόλις μεγάλη- διείληπται εύρίπoις-και κεκοσμηται γεφύραις ξεστού και λευκού λίθου, νομίσεις ου πόλιν οράν, αλλά νήσον. Hence it should appear that there were many canals cut from the Euripus to various parts both of the old and new city.
Such are the only circumstances which I can gather from the antients concerning the plan of the place, of which I shall probably give a sketch in the present work. Hence it appears that by the Nepévwv Tv xãouv, struction of the ports,” above, there is reference to Mytilene only; and it is easy to see how ports so situated might be blocked up; for the mole mentioned by Strabo was probably not then built.
12 Same race.] Namely, as being descended from the Æolic colonists, who were Beotians, and consequently of the Æolic race. See 7,47.
15 And that unless measures, fc.] The passage is imitated by Dionys. Hal. Ant. 619, 20. και (ήγγελλον) ει μή προκαταληφθήσονται φυλακή αξιωχρέω, αναστήσεσθαι κακείθεν απροσδόκητον ραι πόλεμον. .
I To have to go to war, fc.] Literally, to make an enemy of Lesbos likewise ; i. e. to have Lesbos added to the number of their enemies. The