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THUCYDIDES. Thucydides was the greatest historian of antiquity, and, if not the greatest that ever lived, as some have deemed him, at least the historian whose work is the most wonderful, when it is viewed relatively to the age in which he did it. The most important facts which we know about him are those which he has told us himself. It matters very little, fortunately, that the biographical materials are scanty. For posterity, his life is represented by his life's labour, the History of the Peloponnesian War ; and the biographical facts are of interest chiefly as aids to the appreciation of that history. He was probably born in or about 471 B.c. The only definite Date of testimony on the subject is contained in a passage of Aulus Genius, who says that in 431 Hellanicus " seems to have been" sixty-five years of age, Herodotus fifty-three, and Thucydides forty (Noct. Att., 15, 23). The authority for this statement was Pamphila, a compiler_ of biographical and historical notices, who lived in the reign of Nero. She must have had access to Greek sources of the 4th century B.C.; and her precision - though qualified, in the version of Gellius, by the word " seems " - would warrant the supposition that she had taken some pains to secure accuracy. Further, the date which she assigns is in good accord with an inference fairly deducible from the language of Thucydides himself, viz., that in 431 he had already reached the full maturity of his powers. Kruger, indeed, would place his birth earlier than 471, and Ullrich later, but for reasons, in each case, which can scarcely outweigh the ancient authority.
The parentage of Thucydides was such as to place him Parent-in a singularly favourable position for the great work to age. which he afterwards devoted his life. His father Olorus, a citizen of Athens, belonged to a family which derived wealth and influence from the possession of gold mines at Scaptesyle, on the Thracian coast opposite Thasos, and was a relative of his elder namesake, the Thracian prince whose daughter Hegesipyle married the great Miltiades, so that Cimon, son of Miltiades, was a cousin, perhaps first cousin, once removed, of Thucydides. It was in the vault of the Cimonian family at Athens, and near the remains of Cimon's sister Elpinice, that Plutarch saw the grave of Thucydides. Thus the fortune of birth secured three signal advantages to the future historian : he was rich ; he had two homes - one at Athens, the other in Thrace, - no small aid to a comprehensive study of the conditions under which the Peloponnesian War was waged ; and his family connexions were likely to bring him from his early years into personal intercourse with the men who were shaping the history of his time.
The development of Athens during the forty years The year: from 471 to 431 was, in itself, the best education which 471-431 such a mind as that of Thucydides could have received. B.C.
In the first two decades of his life the expansion and consolidation of Athenian power was proceeding; between his twentieth and fortieth year the inner resources of the city were being applied to the embellishment and ennoblement of Athenian life. As Cimon had been the principal agent in the former period, so Pericles was the central The biography which bears the name of Marcellinus states that Thucydides was the disciple of Anaxagoras in Tileyphilosophy and of Antiphon in rhetoric. Such statements dides and were often founded on nothing more than a desire to Antiphon. associate distinguished names, and to represent an eminent man as having profited by the best instruction in each kind which his contemporaries could afford. In this case there is no evidence to confirm the tradition. But it may be observed that Thucydides and Antiphon at least belong to the same rhetorical school, and represent the same early stage of Attic prose. Both writers use words of an antique or decidedly poetical cast ; both point verbal contrasts by insisting on the precise difference between terms of similar import ; and both use metaphors somewhat bolder than were congenial to Greek prose in its riper age. The differences, on the other hand, between the style of Thucydides and that of Antiphon arise chiefly from two general causes. First, Antiphon wrote for hearers, Thucydides for readers ; the latter, consequently, can use a degree of condensation, and a freedom in the arrangement of words, which would have been hardly possible for the former. Again, the thought of Thucydides is often more complex than any which Antiphon undertook to interpret ; and the greater intricacy of the historian's style exhibits the endeavour to express each thought.' Few things in the history of literary prose are Style of struggle to mould a language of magnificent but immore interesting than to watch that vigorous mind in its Thueymature capabilities. The obscurity with which Thucy- dides has sometimes been reproached often arises from the very clearness with which a complex idea is present to his mind, and his strenuous effort to present it in its entirety, when the strong consciousness of logical coherence will make him heedless of grammatical regularity. He never sacrifices the thought to the language, but he will sometimes sacrifice the language to the thought. A student of Thucydides may always be consoled by the reflexion that he is not engaged in unravelling a mere rhetorical tangle. Every light on the sense will be a light on the words; and, when, as is not seldom the case, Thucy-dides comes victoriously out of this struggle of thought and language, having achieved perfect expression of his meaning in a sufficiently lucid form, then his style rises into an intellectual brilliancy - thoroughly manly, and also penetrated with intense feeling - which nothing in Greek prose literature surpasses.
Pericles refers, first, to the acquisition of empire by the preceding generation, and then to the improvement of that inheritance by his own contemporaries (ii. 36. 5). It is a natural subject of regret, though it is not a just cause of surprise or complaint, that the History tells us nothing of the literature, the art, or the social life under whose influences its author had grown up. The Funeral Oration contains, indeed, his general testimony to the value and Inner the charm of those influences. There we have the very life of essence of the Athenian spirit condensed into a few pregAthens. nant sentences, which show how thoroughly the writer was imbued with that spirit, and how profoundly he appreciated its various manifestations. But he leaves us to supply all examples and details for ourselves. Beyond a passing reference to public " festivals," and to " beautiful surroundings in private life," he makes no attempt to define those " recreations for the spirit " which the Athenian genius had provided in such abundance. No writer of any age, perhaps, has rendered a more impressive tribute to the power of the best art than is implied in the terse phrase of Thucydides, when, speaking of the works which the Athenian daily saw around him, he declares that " the daily delight of them banishes gloom " ((tv KaO. inapav ilplias TO Atm-npOv 1K7rA.110- Cr EL). But it is not to Thucydides that we owe any knowledge of the particular forms in which that art was embodied. He alludes to the newly-built Parthenon only as containing the treasury ; to the statue of Athene Parthenos which it enshrined, only on account of the gold which, at extreme need, could be detached from the image ; to the Propylma and other buildings with which Athens had been adorned under Pericles, only as works which had reduced the surplus of funds available for the war. Among the illustrious contemporaries whose very existence would be unknown from his pages are the dramatists iEschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes ; the architect Ictinus; the sculptor Phidias ; the physician Hippocrates • the philosophers Anaxagoras and Socrates. If Thucydides had mentioned Sophocles as a general in the Samian War, it may be doubted whether he would have noticed the circumstance that Sophocles also wrote dramas, unless it had been for the purpose of distinguishing him from a namesake. And, had he lived to carry his story down to the debate in the Athenian ecclesia after the battle of Arginusaa, we may conjecture that Socrates, if named at all, would have been barely mentioned as the one prytanis out of fifty who resisted an unconstitutional act, - with some expression, perhaps, of praise, but without any fuller characterization. We think of the countless occasions which Herodotus, if he had dealt with this period, would have found for invaluable digressions on men and manners, on letters and art ; we feel the severity of the loss which the reticence of Thucydides has caused to us ; and we might almost be tempted to ask whether the more genial, if laxer, method of Herodotus does not indeed correspond better with a liberal conception of the historian's office. No one can do full justice to Thucydides, or appreciate the true completeness of his work, who has not faced this question, and found the answer to it. It would be a hasty judgment which inferred from the omissions of the History that its author's interests were exclusively political. Thucydides was not writing the history of a period.
Limit His subject was an event - the Peloponnesian War, - a war, to the as he believed, of unequalled importance, alike in its of the direct results and in its political significance for all time.
History. To his task, thus defined, he brought an intense concentration of all his faculties. He worked with a constant desire to make each successive incident of the war as clear as His The History shows not only a thorough insight into the - Thucydides was an exile from Athens. It is not im- Exile of relation political ideas of Pericles, but also a sympathy with him, probable that the charge brought against him was that of Thuey- to public and an admiration for his character, which indicate per- treason (rpeamrta), for which the penalty was death, and dides.
sonal friendship. If, before 431, Thucydides had wished to that he avoided this penalty by remaining in banish-take a prominent part in the public life of Athens, every- ment. A special psephism is said to have been required thing was in his favour. But there is no trace of his before Thucydides could return in 404, which would have having done so ; and it is possible that his opportunities been regular if a capital sentence had been on record in this respect were modified by the necessity of frequent against him, but not so if he had been merely under visits to Thrace, where the management of such an sentence of exile. Cleon is said to have been the prime important property as the gold mines must have claimed mover in his condemnation ; and this is likely enough. the occasional presence of the proprietor. The manner in Eucles was probably punished also. Grote was the first which he refers to his personal influence in that region is modern writer to state the reasons for thinking that such as to suggest that he had sometimes resided there Thucydides may have been really guilty of culpable The the plague broke out. If his account of the symptoms which had usually been viewed as the vindictive act of plague. has not enabled physicians to agree on a diagnosis of the a reckless democracy - may have been well deserved. malady, it is at least singularly full and vivid. He had Everything turns on the question why he was at Thasos himself been attacked by the plague ; and, as he briefly just then, and not at Eion. No one disputes that, after adds, "he had seen others suffer." The tenor of his the summons from Eucles, he did all that was possible. narrative would warrant the inference that he had been It is true that the facts of the situation, so far as we one of a few who were active in ministering to the sufferers know them, strongly suggest that he ought to have been - in that fearful time when religion and morality lost all at Eion, and do not disclose any reason for his being at control over the despairing population of Athens - when Thasos. But it is only fair to remember, in a case of this all the ordinary decencies of life were set at nought, and kind, that there may have been other facts which we do when even the nearest relatives failed in the duties of not know. There is some presumptive evidence of careless-humanity towards the dying. ness ; but we can hardly say more than that. The absence first time he is found holding an official position. He was From 423 to 404 the home of Thucydides was on 423-404 one of two generals entrusted with the command of the his property in Thrace, but much of his time appears to Travels. regions towards Thrace (rat. E7rr OpiKns), a phrase which have been spent in travel. He visited the countries of denotes the whole Thracian seaboard from Macedonia east- the Peloponnesian allies, - recommended to them by his ward to the vicinity of the Thracian Chersonese, though quality as an exile from Athens ; and he thus enjoyed often used with more special reference to the Chalcidic the rare advantage of contemplating the great war from a peninsula. One reason why Thucydides had been chosen point of view opposite to that at which he had previously for the post was the local influence which he possessed been placed. He speaks of the increased leisure which his among the people of the Thracian seaboard, through his banishment secured to his study of events. He refers family connexions and his ownership of the gold mines. partly, doubtless, to detachment from Athenian politics, His colleague in the command was Eucles. About the partly, also, we may suppose, to the opportunity of visit-end of November 424 Eucles was in the city of Amphi- ing places signalized by recent events, and of examining polis, on the river Strymon. That city was not merely their topography in the light of such information as he more important to Athens than any other place in the could collect on the spot. The local knowledge which is region, - it was the stronghold of Athenian power in the often apparent in his Sicilian books may have been north. To guard it with all possible vigilance was a acquired at this period. The banishment of Thucydides matter of peculiar urgency at that moment. The ablest was the most fortunate event that could have occurred for of Spartan leaders, Brasidas, was then in Thrace with a him and for us, when it enabled him, in this way, to look Peloponnesian army, - not, indeed, close to Amphipolis, at his subject all round. If it is always hard for an but still within a distance which imposed special caution historian to be impartial, it is especially so for the historian on Athenian officers. He was in the Chalcidic peninsula, of a great war in which his own country has been one of where he had already gained rapid success ; and part of the combatants. The mind of Thucydides was naturally the population between that peninsula and Amphipolis judicial, and his impartiality - which seems almost super-was already known to be disaffected to Athens. Under human by contrast with Xenophon's Hellenica - was in circumstances so suggestive of possible danger, we might some degree a result of temperament. But it cannot be have expected that Thucydides, who had seven ships of doubted that the evenness with which he holds the scales war with him, would have been near his colleague Eucles, was greatly assisted by the experience which, during these and ready to co-operate with him at a moment's notice. years of exile, must have been familiar to him - that of It appears, however, that, with his ships, he was at the hearing the views and aims of the Peloponnesians set forth island of Thasos, several miles distant from the Thracian by themselves, and of estimating their merits otherwise coast. Brasidas, making a forced march from the Chal- than would have been easy for an observer in a hostile cidic peninsula, suddenly appeared before Amphipolis. camp.
Eucles sent in all haste for Thucydides, who arrived with His own words make it clear that he returned to Athens, 404.
his ships from Thasos just in time to beat off the enemy at least for a time, in 404. Classen supposes that his Return ti from Eion at the mouth of the Strymon, but not in time return took place in the autumn of that year, about six Athens.
Fall of to save Amphipolis. Only a few hours before, it had months after Athens had surrendered to Lysander, and Amphi- capitulated to Brasidas, who had offered exceptionally while the Thirty were still in power. Finding that the favourable terms. The profound vexation and dismay rule of the oligarchy was becoming more and more violent, felt at Athens found expression in the punishment of the Thucydides again left Athens, and retired to his property commander who seemed primarily responsible for so grave in Thrace, where he lived till his death, working at his a disaster. For the next twenty years - i.e., till 404 History. The preponderance of testimony certainly goes to show that he died in Thrace, and by violence. It Thucydides has subjected his materials to the most searching Dis- would seem that when he wrote chapter 116 of his third scrutiny. The ruling principle of his work has been strict adher- tinctive book, he was ignorant of an eruption of Etna which took ence to carefully verified facts. "As to the deeds done in the war, aim of I have not thought myself at liberty to record them on hearsay Thucyplace in 396. There is some reason then, for believing from the first informant or on arbitrary conjecture. My account ales.
Death: that he did not survive his seventy-fifth year. According rests either on personal knowledge or on the closest possible scrutiny before to ancient tradition, he was killed by robbers. His relics of each statement made by others. The process of research was Athens, ht t brought to ens, d laid in the vault of Cimon's laborious, because conflicting accounts were given by those who ness with which the History breaks off agrees with the A period of at least twenty years must have elapsed between the Hero.
story of a sudden death. The historian's daughter is said date at which Herodotus ceased to write and that at which the dotes to have saved the unfinished work, and to have placed it History of Thucydides received its present form. There can be no and doubt-that Thucydides knew the History of Herodotus, and that Thucyin the hands of an editor. This editor, according to one in some places lie alludes to it. The diligence and the honesty of dides. account, was Xenophon, to whom Diogenes Laertius assigns Herodotus are alike beyond question, and would, we may be sure, i the credit of having " brought the work into reputation, have been fully recognized by Thucydides. The work of Herodotus of an immeasurably higher order. While they dealt, in a bold however, very doubtful. In its origin, it may have been fashion, with the annals of separate cities or peoples, Herodotus merely a guess, suggested by a feeling that no one then set the first example of multifarious knowledge subordinated to the living could more appropriately have discharged the office execution of a great historical plan, and also showed for the first of litera executor than the writer who in his Hellenica time that a prose history could have literary charm. But Thucy, , dides doubtless thought of Herodotus as having certain traits in continued the narrative. common with the Ionian chroniclers, and as being liable, so far, to Con- At the outset of the History Thucydides has indicated his general the same criticism. One such trait would be the inadequate siftception conception of his work, and has stated the principles which governed ing of evidence; another, the mixture of a fabulous element with of the its composition. His purpose had been formed at the very begin- historical fact ; and another, perhaps, the occasional aiming at History. ning of the war, in the conviction that it would prove more im- rhetorical effect. Of this last trait the chief instances would be portant than any event of which Greeks had record. The leading those imaginary dialogues or speeches with which Herodotus some-belligerents, Athens and Sparta, were both in the highest condition times enlivens his narrative. This brings us to an important topic, of effective equipment. The whole Hellenic world - including - the purpose with which Thucydides himself has admitted speeches Greek settlements outside of Greece proper - was divided into two into his History, and the manner in which they have been corn-parties, either actively helping one of the two combatants or medi- posed.
tating such action. Nor was the movement confined within even The speeches constitute between a fourth and a fifth part of the The the widest limits of Hellas; the "barbarian" world also was History. If they were eliminated, an admirable narrative would speeches.
affected by it, - the non-Hellenic populations of Thrace, Macedonia, indeed remain, with a few comments, usually brief, on the more Epirus, Sicily, and, finally, the Persian kingdom itself. The. aim striking characters and events. But we should lose all the most I Per- of Thucydides was to preserve an accurate record of this war, not vivid light on the inner workings of the Greek political mind, on manent only in view of the intrinsic interest and importance of the facts, the motives of the actors, and the arguments which they used, - interest but also in order that these facts might be permanent sources of in a word, on the whole play of contemporary feeling and opinion.
of the political teaching to posterity. His hope was, as he says, that his To the speeches is due in no small measure the imperishable war. History would be found profitable by "those who desire an exact intellectual interest of the History, since it is chiefly by the knowledge of the past as a key to the future, which in all prob- speeches that the facts of the Peloponnesian War are so lit up with ability will repeat or resemble the past. The work is meant to be a keen thought as to become illustrations of general laws, and to possession for ever, not the rhetorical triumph of an hour." As acquire a permanent suggestiveness for the student of politics. this context shows, the oft-quoted phrase, "a possession for ever," When Herodotus made his persons hold conversations or deliver had, in its author's meaning, a more definite import than any mere speeches, he was following the precedent of epic poetry ; his tone anticipation of abiding fame for his History. It referred to the is usually colloquial rather than rhetorical ; he is merely making permanent value of the lessons which his History contained. thought and motive vivid in the way natural to a simple ate. Thucydides stands alone among the men of his own days, and has Thucydides is the real founder of the tradition by which historiaLs no superior of any age, in the width of mental grasp which could were so long held to be warranted in introducing set speeches of seize the general significance of particular events. The political their own composition. His own account of his practice is given education of mankind began in Greece, and in the time of Thucy- in the following words. "As to the speeches made on the eve Their dides their political life was still young. Thucydides knew only of the war, or in its course, I have found it difficult to retain a language.
the small city-commonwealth on the one hand, and on the other memory of the precise words which I had heard spoken ; and so the vast barbaric kingdom; and yet, as has been well said of him, it was with those who brought me reports. But 1 have made the "there is hardly a problem in the science of government which persons say what it seemed to me most opportune for them to say the statesman will not find, if not solved, at any rate handled, in in view of each situation ; at the same time I have adhered as the pages of this universal master."' closely as possible to the general sense of what was actually said."
Such being the spirit in which he approached his task, it is So far as the language of the speeches is concerned, then, Thucy- interestino. to inquire what were the points which he himself con- dides plainly avows that it is mainly or wholly his own. As a sidered to be distinctive in his method of executing it. His Greek general rule, there is little attempt to mark different styles. The predecessors in the recording of events had been, he conceived, of case of Pericles, whom Thucydides must have repeatedly heard, is The epic two classes. First, there were the epic poets, with Homer at their probably an exception ; the Thucydidean speeches of Pericles offer poets. head, whose characteristic tendency, in the eyes of Thucydides, is several examples of that bold imagery which Aristotle and Plutarch to exaggerate the greatness or splendour of things past - as, for agree in ascribing to him, while the Funeral Oration, especially, instance, conceding the historical character of the Trojan war, he has a certain majesty of rhythm, a certain union of impetuous supposes the strength of the Greek fleet to be overstated in the movement with lofty grandeur, which the historian has given to Iliad. Secondly, there were the Ionian prose writers whom he no other speaker. Such strongly marked characteristics as the The calls " chroniclers "(No-yo7pcicboL). These writers are directly known curt bluntness of the Spartan ephor Sthenelazdas, or the insolent prose to us only by meagre fragments; but Dionysius of Halicarnassus vehemence of Alcibiades, are also indicated. But the dramatic chroni- has described their general characteristics in a manner which serve. truth of the speeches generally resides in the matter, not iu the Their ledge of legends preserved by oral tradition, and of written docu.- contained in the History, - Thucydides could rely either on his men ts - usually lists of officials or genealogies - preserved in public own recollection or on the sources accessible to a resident citizen. archives; and they published their materials as they found them, In these cases there is good reason to believe that he has repro-without any attempt at sifting fact from fable. Thucydides de- duced the substance of what was actually said. In other cases he scribes their work by the word tuvTIOlval, but his own by luyypitcpetv, had to trust to more or less imperfect reports of the "general - the difference between the terms answering to that between corn- sense"; and in some instances, no doubt, the speech represents pilation of a somewhat mechanical kind and historical composition simply his own conception of what it would have been "most in a higher sense. The vice of the "chroniclers," in his view, is opportune" to say. The most evident of such instances occur in that they cared only for popularity, and took no pains to make the addresses of leaders to their troops. The historian's aim in The standpoint of a Greek in the 5th century B.C. Epic poetry had Greek then for many generations exercised a powerful influence over the view. Greek mind. Homer had accustomed Greeks to look for two elements in any complete expression of human energy, - first, an account of a man's deeds, then an image of his mind in the report of his words. The Homeric heroes are exhibited both in action and in speech. Further, the contemporary readers of Thucydides were men habituated to a civic life in which public speech played an all-important part. Every adult citizen of a Greek democracy was a member of the assembly which debated and decided great issues. The law-courts, the festivals, the drama, the market-place itself, ministered to the Greek love of animated description. To a Greek of that age a written history of political events would have seemed strangely insipid if speech " in the first person " had been absent from it, especially if it did not offer some mirror of those debates which were inseparably associated with the central interests and the decisive moments of political life. In making historical persons say what they might have said, Thucydides confined that oratorical licence to the purpose which is its best justification : with him it is strictly dramatic, an aid to the complete presentment of action, by the vivid expression of ideas and arguments which were really current at the time. Among later historians who continued the practice, Polybius, Sallust, and Tacitus most resemble Thucydides in this particular ; while in the Byzantine historians, as in some moderns who followed classical precedent, the speeches were usually mere occasions for rhetorical display. Botta's History of Italy from 1780 to 1814 affords one of the latest examples of the practice, which was peculiarly suited to the Italian genius.
The The present division of the History into eight books is one eight which might well have proceeded from the author himself, books. as being a natural and convenient disposition of the contents.
Ths first book, after a general introduction, sets forth the causes of the Peloponnesian War. The first nine years of the war are contained in the second, third, and fourth books, - three years in each. The fifth book contains the tenth year, followed by the interval of the "insecure peace." The Sicilian expedition fills the sixth and seventh books. The eighth book opens that last chapter of the struggle which is known as the " Deeelean " or "Ionian" War, and breaks off abruptly - in the middle of a sentence, indeed - in the year 411. The words in which Grote bids farewell, at that point, to Thucydides well express what every careful student must feel. "To pass from Thucydides to the Hellenica of Xenophon is a descent truly mournful ; and yet, when we look at Grecian history as a whole, we have great reason to rejoice that even so inferior a work as the latter has reached us. The historical purposes and conceptions of Thucydides, as set forth by himself in his preface, are exalted and philosophical to a degree altogether wonderful, when we consider that he had no pre-existing models before him from which to derive them. And the eight books of his work (in spite of the unfinished condition of the last) are not unworthy of these large promises, either in spirit or in execution."
Origin The principal reason against believing that the division into of that eight books was made by Thucydides himself is the fact that a division. different division, into thirteen books, was also current in antiquity, as appears from Marcellinus (§ 58). It is very improbable - indeed hardly conceivable - that this should have been the case if the eight-book division had come down from the hand of the author. We may infer, then, that the division of the work into eight books was introduced at Alexandria, - perhaps in the 3d or 2d century B.C. That division was already familiar to the grammarians of the Augustan age. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who recognizes it, has also another mode of indicating portions of the work, viz., by stichometria, or the number of lines which they contained. Thus, in the MS. which he used, the first 87 chapters of book i. contained about 2000 lines (equivalent to about 1700 lines in Bekker's stereotyped 8vo text).
Order Ullrich has maintained with much acuteness that Thucydides ground is the existence in i.–iv. of passages which seem to imply ignorance of later events. Classen has fully examined the evidence, and, as a result, has arrived at the following conclusion. It is possible that a first rough draft of the History, down to 413, may have been sketched by Thucydides before 405. But the whole History, from the first book onwards, was worked up into its present form only after 404. This view is confirmed by some passages, found even in the earliest books, which imply that the writer already knew the latest incidents, or the final issue, of the war. We have seen that, after 404, Thucydides may have enjoyed some six or seven years of leisure. Several peculiarities of expression or statement in book viii. suggest that it had not yet received the author's final revision at the time when death broke off the work. The absence of speeches from the eighth book has also been remarked. But it should be observed that much of the eighth book is occupied with negotiations, either clandestine or indecisive, or both. Its narrative hardly presents any moment which required such dramatic emphasis as the speeches usually impart. The mere misrepresentations by which Alcibiades and Chalcideus prevailed on the Chians to revolt certainly did not claim such treatment.
The division of the war by summers and winters (accra Olpos Kai Mode of xeli.awa) - the end of the winter being considered as the end of the reckoning year - is perhaps the only one which Thucydides himself used, for time. there is no indication that he made any division of the History into books. His "summer" includes spring and autumn, and extends, generally speaking, from March or the beginning of April to the end of October. His " winter " - November to February inclusive - means practically the period during which military operations, by laud and sea, are wholly or partly suspended. When he speaks of " summer " and " winter " as answering respectively to "half" the year (v. 20. 3), the phrase is not to be pressed : it means merely that he divides his year into these two parts. The mode of reckoning is essentially a rough one, and is not to be viewed as if the commencement of summer or of winter could be precisely fixed to constant dates. For chronology, besides the festivals, he uses the Athenian list of archons; the Spartan list of ephors, and the Argive list of priestesses of Hera.
There is no reference to the History of Thucydides in the extant Greek writers of the 4th century B.C. ; but Lucian has preserved a tradition of the enthusiasm with which it was studied by Demosthenes. The great orator is said to have copied it out eight times, or even to have learnt it by heart. It is at least beyond doubt that the study of Thucydides contributed a very powerful influence to the style of Demosthenes, though that influence rather passed into the spirit of his oratory than showed itself in any marked resemblances of form. The Alexandrian critics acknowledged Thucydides as a great master of Attic. Sallust, Cornelius Nepos, Cicero, and Quintilian are among the Roman writers whose admiration for him can be traced in their work, or has been expressly recorded. The most elaborate ancient criticism on the diction and composition of Thucydides is contained in three essays by Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
Among the best MSS. of Thucydides, the Codex Vaticanus 126 (11th cent.) re. MSS., SZ0, presents a recension made In the Alexandrian or Roman age. In the first six books the number of passages in which the Vaticanus alone has preserved a true reading is comparatively small; In book vii. It is somewhat larger ; in book viii. It is so large that here the Vaticanus, as compared with the other MSS., acquires the character of a revised text. Other important MSS. are the Palatinua 252 (11th cent.); the Casseianus (1252 A.D.); the A ugustanus Monacensis 430 (1301 A.D.). A collation, in books i. it., of two Cambridge MSS. of the 15th century (Mr. 3. 18, Ka. 5. 19) has been published by Shilleto. Several Parisian MSS. (H. C. A. F.), and a Venetian MSS. (V.) collated by Arnold, also deserve mention. The Aldine edition was published In 1502. It was formerly supposed that there had been two Juntine editions. Shilleto, in the "Notice" prefixed to book i., first pointed out that the only Juntine edition was that of 1526, and that the belief in an earlier Jnntine, of 1506, arose merely from the accidental omission of the word vicesimo In the Latin version of the imprint.
Of recent editions, the most generally nseful is Classen's, in the Weidmann series (Berlin, 1862-78); each book can be obtained separately. Arnold's edition (1848-51) contains much that is still valuable. For books 1. and ii. Shilicto's edition (1872-70 furnishes a commentary which, though not full, deals admirably with many difficult points. Among other important editions, it is enough to name those of Duker, Bekker, Goeller, Poppo, and Kruger. Bfitant's lexicon to Thucydides (2 vols., Geneva, 1843) is well executed. Jowett's translation (Oxford, 1883) Is supplemented by a volume of notes. Dale's version (Bohn) also deserves mention for Its fidelity, as Crawley's (London, 1876) for its vigour. Nellessica (London, 1880) contains an essay on "The Speeches of Thucydides," pp. 266-323, which has been translated into German. The best clue to Thucydidean bibliography is in Engelmann's Script ores Grad, pp. 74S sq., 8th ed., 1880. (It. C. J.)