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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10882
Thucydides, The History Of The Peloponnesian War, 2.40.3


διαφερόντως γὰρ δὴ καὶ τόδε ἔχομεν ὥστε τολμᾶν τε οἱ αὐτοὶ μάλιστα καὶ περὶ ὧν ἐπιχειρήσομεν ἐκλογίζεσθαι: ὃ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἀμαθία μὲν θράσος, λογισμὸς δὲ ὄκνον φέρει. κράτιστοι δ’ ἂν τὴν ψυχὴν δικαίως κριθεῖεν οἱ τά τε δεινὰ καὶ ἡδέα σαφέστατα γιγνώσκοντες καὶ διὰ ταῦτα μὴ ἀποτρεπόμενοι ἐκ τῶν κινδύνων.Again, in our enterprises we present the singular spectacle of daring and deliberation, each carried to its highest point, and both united in the same persons; although usually decision is the fruit of ignorance, hesitation of reflection. But the palm of courage will surely be adjudged most justly to those, who best know the difference between hardship and pleasure and yet are never tempted to shrink from danger.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

2 results
1. Herodotus, Histories, 1.32.8, 9.16.4-9.16.5 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.32.8. It is impossible for one who is only human to obtain all these things at the same time, just as no land is self-sufficient in what it produces. Each country has one thing but lacks another; whichever has the most is the best. Just so no human being is self-sufficient; each person has one thing but lacks another. 9.16.4. Marvelling at these words, Thersander answered: “Must you not then tell this to Mardonius and those honorable Persians who are with him?” “Sir,” said the Persian, “that which a god wills to send no man can turn aside, for even truth sometimes finds no one to believe it. 9.16.5. What I have said is known to many of us Persians, but we follow, in the bonds of necessity. It is the most hateful thing for a person to have much knowledge and no power.” This tale I heard from Thersander of Orchomenus who told me in addition that he had straightway told this to others before the battle of Plataea.
2. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.84.4, 1.140.1, 2.40.2, 2.43.1, 2.47-2.53, 2.51.3, 2.62.5, 3.37-3.48, 3.37.3-3.37.5, 3.82, 3.82.1, 3.82.3-3.82.8, 3.84, 6.15.2, 6.24 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.84.4. In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school. 1.140.1. ‘There is one principle, Athenians, which I hold to through everything, and that is the principle of no concession to the Peloponnesians. I know that the spirit which inspires men while they are being persuaded to make war, is not always retained in action; that as circumstances change, resolutions change. Yet I see that now as before the same, almost literally the same, counsel is demanded of me; and I put it to those of you, who are allowing yourselves to be persuaded, to support the national resolves even in the case of reverses, or to forfeit all credit for their wisdom in the event of success. For sometimes the course of things is as arbitrary as the plans of man; indeed this is why we usually blame chance for whatever does not happen as we expected. 2.40.2. Our public men have, besides politics, their private affairs to attend to, and our ordinary citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still fair judges of public matters; for, unlike any other nation, regarding him who takes no part in these duties not as unambitious but as useless, we Athenians are able to judge at all events if we cannot originate, and instead of looking on discussion as a stumbling-block in the way of action, we think it an indispensable preliminary to any wise action at all. 2.43.1. So died these men as became Athenians. You, their survivors, must determine to have as unaltering a resolution in the field, though you may pray that it may have a happier issue. And not contented with ideas derived only from words of the advantages which are bound up with the defence of your country, though these would furnish a valuable text to a speaker even before an audience so alive to them as the present, you must yourselves realize the power of Athens, and feed your eyes upon her from day to day, till love of her fills your hearts; and then when all her greatness shall break upon you, you must reflect that it was by courage, sense of duty, and a keen feeling of honor in action that men were enabled to win all this, and that no personal failure in an enterprise could make them consent to deprive their country of their valor, but they laid it at her feet as the most glorious contribution that they could offer. 2.62.5. And where the chances are the same, knowledge fortifies courage by the contempt which is its consequence, its trust being placed, not in hope, which is the prop of the desperate, but in a judgment grounded upon existing resources, whose anticipations are more to be depended upon. 3.37.3. The most alarming feature in the case is the constant change of measures with which we appear to be threatened, and our seeming ignorance of the fact that bad laws which are never changed are better for a city than good ones that have no authority; that unlearned loyalty is more serviceable than quick-witted insubordination; and that ordinary men usually manage public affairs better than their more gifted fellows. 3.37.4. The latter are always wanting to appear wiser than the laws, and to overrule every proposition brought forward, thinking that they cannot show their wit in more important matters, and by such behavior too often ruin their country; while those who mistrust their own cleverness are content to be less learned than the laws, and less able to pick holes in the speech of a good speaker; and being fair judges rather than rival athletes, generally conduct affairs successfully. 3.37.5. These we ought to imitate, instead of being led on by cleverness and intellectual rivalry to advise your people against our real opinions. 3.82.1. So bloody was the march of the revolution, and the impression which it made was the greater as it was one of the first to occur. Later on, one may say, the whole Hellenic world was convulsed; struggles being everywhere made by the popular chiefs to bring in the Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the Lacedaemonians. In peace there would have been neither the pretext nor the wish to make such an invitation; but in war, with an alliance always at the command of either faction for the hurt of their adversaries and their own corresponding advantage, opportunities for bringing in the foreigner were never wanting to the revolutionary parties. 3.82.3. Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. 3.82.4. Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence, became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence. 3.82.5. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In fine, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was wanting, was equally commended 3.82.6. until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations had not in view the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition for their overthrow; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime. 3.82.7. The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the stronger of the two, and not with a generous confidence. Revenge also was held of more account than self-preservation. Oaths of reconciliation, being only proffered on either side to meet an immediate difficulty, only held good so long as no other weapon was at hand; but when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one, since, considerations of safety apart, success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence. Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are as ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first. 3.82.8. The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. The leaders in the cities, each provided with the fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for ascendancy, engaged in the direct excesses; in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour. Thus religion was in honor with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation. Meanwhile the moderate part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to escape. 6.15.2. By far the warmest advocate of the expedition was, however, Alcibiades, son of Clinias, who wished to thwart Nicias both as his political opponent and also because of the attack he had made upon him in his speech, and who was, besides, exceedingly ambitious of a command by which he hoped to reduce Sicily and Carthage, and personally to gain in wealth and reputation by means of his successes.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
cleon Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
corinthian gulf Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 150
deception, and deliberation Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
deception, and democratic constitution Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
democracy, athenian, and noble lies Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
demosthenes, on democracy and oligarchy Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
demosthenes, on logocentricity Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
demosthenes Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
greece/greeks Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
herodotus, nature of time and language Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
herodotus Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 197
irrational impulses, athenians beset by Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 301
language, human Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
mardonius Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
noble lie Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
pericles, and balance Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 286
pericles, and strongest Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 288
pericles, antitheses involving γνώμη in speeches of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 283, 286, 288
pericles, on deceit, on deliberation Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
pericles, prevailing over irrationality Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 288
persian wars Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
phormio Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 150
plague' Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 197
plataea, battle of Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
plutarch, on the malice of herodotus Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
present things / circumstances (τὰ παρόντα, τὰ ὑπάρχοντα, τὰ πράγματα etc.) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 286, 288
sicilian expedition Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 197
solon Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 197
thucydides, funeral speech Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
thucydides, on mytilenean debate Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
time Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 137
topoi, and interplay with creative strategy Hesk, Deception and Democracy in Classical Athens (2000) 167
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), and antithesis Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 283, 286, 288
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), championed by pericles Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 283
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), equivocalness of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 301
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), meaning of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 283
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), struggling with contrary impulses Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 286, 288
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), vs. external circumstances Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 283, 286, 288
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), vs. passion Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 283, 286, 288
τύχη (chance, fortune), and pericles Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 286
ἐλπίς (hope or expectation) and ἐλπίζω and εὔελπις, in pericles speeches Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 286
ἔργον, vs. λόγος Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 286
ὀργή and ὀργίζομαι Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 301