Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10882
Thucydides, The History Of The Peloponnesian War, 3.45.7


ἁπλῶς τε ἀδύνατον καὶ πολλῆς εὐηθείας,ὅστις οἴεται τῆς ἀνθρωπείας φύσεως ὁρμωμένης προθύμως τι πρᾶξαι ἀποτροπήν τινα ἔχειν ἢ νόμων ἰσχύι ἢ ἄλλῳ τῳ δεινῷ.In fine, it is impossible to prevent, and only great simplicity can hope to prevent, human nature doing what it has once set its mind upon, by force of law or by any other deterrent force whatsoever.


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

2 results
1. Euripides, Hippolytus, 349, 394, 40, 438-439, 474-475, 477, 965-967, 269 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.71.4, 1.76.1-1.76.3, 1.140.1, 2.64.1-2.64.3, 3.36.2, 3.38.1, 3.39.5, 3.44.1, 3.44.4, 3.45.3-3.45.6, 3.46-3.47, 3.46.1, 3.82.2, 4.60.1, 5.14.1, 5.103.1, 5.105.2, 6.6.1-6.6.2, 6.8.4, 6.9.3, 6.13.1, 6.15.2, 6.17.2-6.17.6, 6.18.3, 6.18.6, 6.19.2, 6.24.1-6.24.3, 8.1.1, 8.2.4 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.71.4. Here, at least, let your procrastination end. For the present, assist your allies and Potidaea in particular, as you promised, by a speedy invasion of Attica, and do not sacrifice friends and kindred to their bitterest enemies, and drive the rest of us in despair to some other alliance. 1.76.1. You, at all events, Lacedaemonians, have used your supremacy to settle the states in Peloponnese as is agreeable to you. And if at the period of which we were speaking you had persevered to the end of the matter, and had incurred hatred in your command, we are sure that you would have made yourselves just as galling to the allies, and would have been forced to choose between a strong government and danger to yourselves. 1.76.2. It follows that it was not a very wonderful action, or contrary to the common practice of mankind, if we did accept an empire that was offered to us, and refused to give it up under the pressure of three of the strongest motives, fear, honor, and interest. And it was not we who set the example, for it has always been the law that the weaker should be subject to the stronger. Besides, we believed ourselves to be worthy of our position, and so you thought us till now, when calculations of interest have made you take up the cry of justice—a consideration which no one ever yet brought forward to hinder his ambition when he had a chance of gaining anything by might. 1.76.3. And praise is due to all who, if not so superior to human nature as to refuse dominion, yet respect justice more than their position compels them to do. 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. 2.64.1. But you must not be seduced by citizens like these nor be angry with me,—who, if I voted for war, only did as you did yourselves,—in spite of the enemy having invaded your country and done what you could be certain that he would do, if you refused to comply with his demands; and although besides what we counted for, the plague has come upon us—the only point indeed at which our calculation has been at fault. It is this, I know, that has had a large share in making me more unpopular than I should otherwise have been,—quite undeservedly, unless you are also prepared to give me the credit of any success with which chance may present you. 2.64.2. Besides, the hand of Heaven must be borne with resignation, that of the enemy with fortitude; this was the old way at Athens, and do not you prevent it being so still. 2.64.3. Remember, too, that if your country has the greatest name in all the world, it is because she never bent before disaster; because she has expended more life and effort in war than any other city, and has won for herself a power greater than any hitherto known, the memory of which will descend to the latest posterity; even if now, in obedience to the general law of decay, we should ever be forced to yield, still it will be remembered that we held rule over more Hellenes than any other Hellenic state, that we sustained the greatest wars against their united or separate powers, and inhabited a city unrivalled by any other in resources or magnitude. 3.36.2. and after deliberating as to what they should do with the former, in the fury of the moment determined to put to death not only the prisoners at Athens, but the whole adult male population of Mitylene, and to make slaves of the women and children. It was remarked that Mitylene had revolted without being, like the rest, subjected to the empire; and what above all swelled the wrath of the Athenians was the fact of the Peloponnesian fleet having ventured over to Ionia to her support, a fact which was held to argue a long-meditated rebellion. 3.38.1. For myself, I adhere to my former opinion, and wonder at those who have proposed to reopen the case of the Mitylenians, and who are thus causing a delay which is all in favour of the guilty, by making the sufferer proceed against the offender with the edge of his anger blunted; although where vengeance follows most closely upon the wrong, it best equals it and most amply requites it. I wonder also who will be the man who will maintain the contrary, and will pretend to show that the crimes of the Mitylenians are of service to us, and our misfortunes injurious to the allies. 3.39.5. Our mistake has been to distinguish the Mitylenians as we have done: had they been long ago treated like the rest, they never would have so far forgotten themselves, human nature being as surely made arrogant by consideration, as it is awed by firmness. 3.44.1. However, I have not come forward either to oppose or to accuse in the matter of Mitylene ; indeed, the question before us as sensible men is not their guilt, but our interests. 3.44.4. And I require you not to reject my useful considerations for his specious ones: his speech may have the attraction of seeming the more just in your present temper against Mitylene ; but we are not in a court of justice, but in a political assembly; and the question is not justice, but how to make the Mitylenians useful to Athens . 3.45.3. All, states and individuals, are alike prone to err, and there is no law that will prevent them; or why should men have exhausted the list of punishments in search of enactments to protect them from evil-doers? It is probable that in early times the penalties for the greatest offences were less severe, and that, as these were disregarded, the penalty of death has been by degrees in most cases arrived at, which is itself disregarded in like manner. 3.45.4. Either then some means of terror more terrible than this must be discovered, or it must be owned that this restraint is useless; and that as long as poverty gives men the courage of necessity, or plenty fills them with the ambition which belongs to insolence and pride, and the other conditions of life remain each under the thraldom of some fatal and master passion, so long will the impulse never be wanting to drive men into danger. 3.45.5. Hope also and cupidity, the one leading and the other following, the one conceiving the attempt, the other suggesting the facility of succeeding, cause the widest ruin, and, although invisible agents, are far stronger than the dangers that are seen. 3.45.6. Fortune, too, powerfully helps the delusion, and by the unexpected aid that she sometimes lends, tempts men to venture with inferior means; and this is especially the case with communities, because the stakes played for are the highest, freedom or empire, and, when all are acting together, each man irrationally magnifies his own capacity. 3.46.1. We must not, therefore, commit ourselves to a false policy through a belief in the efficacy of the punishment of death, or exclude rebels from the hope of repentance and an early atonement of their error. 3.82.2. The sufferings which revolution entailed upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, as long as the nature of mankind remains the same; though in a severer or milder form, and varying in their symptoms, according to the variety of the particular cases. In peace and prosperity states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes. 4.60.1. And yet, as men of sense, we ought to see that our separate interests are not alone at stake in the present congress: there is also the question whether we have still time to save Sicily, the whole of which in my opinion is menaced by Athenian ambition; and we ought to find in the name of that people more imperious arguments for peace than any which I can advance, when we see the first power in Hellas watching our mistakes with the few ships that she has at present in our waters, and under the fair name of alliance speciously seeking to turn to account the natural hostility that exists between us. 5.14.1. Indeed it so happened that directly after the battle of Amphipolis and the retreat of Ramphias from Thessaly, both sides ceased to prosecute the war and turned their attention to peace. Athens had suffered severely at Delium, and again shortly afterwards at Amphipolis, and had no longer that confidence in her strength which had made her before refuse to treat, in the belief of ultimate victory which her success at the moment had inspired; 5.103.1. ‘Hope, danger's comforter, may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources, if not without loss at all events without ruin; but its nature is to be extravagant, and those who go so far as to put their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only when they are ruined; but so long as the discovery would enable them to guard against it, it is never found wanting. 5.105.2. of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to exist for ever after us; all we do is to make use of it, knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, would do the same as we do. 6.6.1. Such is the list of the peoples, Hellenic and barbarian, inhabiting Sicily, and such the magnitude of the island which the Athenians were now bent upon invading; being ambitious in real truth of conquering the whole, although they had also the specious design of succouring their kindred and other allies in the island. 6.6.2. But they were especially incited by envoys from Egesta, who had come to Athens and invoked their aid more urgently than ever. The Egestaeans had gone to war with their neighbours the Selinuntines upon questions of marriage and disputed territory, and the Selinuntines had procured the alliance of the Syracusans, and pressed Egesta hard by land and sea. The Egestaeans now reminded the Athenians of the alliance made in the time of Laches, during the former Leontine war, and begged them to send a fleet to their aid, and among a number of other considerations urged as a capital argument, that if the Syracusans were allowed to go unpunished for their depopulation of Leontini, to ruin the allies still left to Athens in Sicily, and to get the whole power of the island into their hands, there would be a danger of their one day coming with a large force, as Dorians, to the aid of their Dorian brethren, and as colonists, to the aid of the Peloponnesians who had sent them out, and joining these in pulling down the Athenian empire. The Athenians would, therefore, do well to unite with the allies still left to them, and to make a stand against the Syracusans; especially as they, the Egestaeans, were prepared to furnish money sufficient for the war. 6.8.4. and Nicias, who had been chosen to the command against his will, and who thought that the state was not well advised, but upon a slight and specious pretext was aspiring to the conquest of the whole of Sicily, a great matter to achieve, came forward in the hope of diverting the Athenians from the enterprise, and gave them the following counsel:— 6.9.3. Against your character any words of mine would be weak enough; if I were to advise your keeping what you have got and not risking what is actually yours for advantages which are dubious in themselves, and which you may or may not attain. I will, therefore, content myself with showing that your ardour is out of season, and your ambition not easy of accomplishment. 6.13.1. When I see such persons now sitting here at the side of that same individual and summoned by him, alarm seizes me; and I, in my turn, summon any of the older men that may have such a person sitting next him, not to let himself be shamed down, for fear of being thought a coward if he do not vote for war, but, remembering how rarely success is got by wishing and how often by forecast, to leave to them the mad dream of conquest, and as a true lover of his country, now threatened by the greatest danger in its history, to hold up his hand on the other side; to vote that the Siceliots be left in the limits now existing between us, limits of which no one can complain (the Ionian sea for the coasting voyage, and the Sicilian across the open main), to enjoy their own possessions and to settle their own quarrels; 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. 6.17.2. Neither rescind your resolution to sail to Sicily, on the ground that you would be going to attack a great power. The cities in Sicily are peopled by motley rabbles, and easily change their institutions and adopt new ones in their stead; 6.17.3. and consequently the inhabitants, being without any feeling of patriotism, are not provided with arms for their persons, and have not regularly established themselves on the land; every man thinks that either by fair words or by party strife he can obtain something at the public expense, and then in the event of a catastrophe settle in some other country, and makes his preparations accordingly. 6.17.4. From a mob like this you need not look for either uimity in counsel or concert in action; but they will probably one by one come in as they get a fair offer, especially if they are torn by civil strife as we are told. 6.17.5. Moreover, the Siceliots have not so many heavy infantry as they boast; just as the Hellenes generally did not prove so numerous as each state reckoned itself, but Hellas greatly over-estimated their numbers, and has hardly had an adequate force of heavy infantry throughout this war. 6.17.6. The states in Sicily, therefore, from all that I can hear, will be found as I say, and I have not pointed out all our advantages, for we shall have the help of many barbarians, who from their hatred of the Syracusans will join us in attacking them; nor will the powers at home prove any hindrance, if you judge rightly. 6.18.3. And we cannot fix the exact point at which our empire shall stop; we have reached a position in which we must not be content with retaining but must scheme to extend it, for, if we cease to rule others, we are in danger of being ruled ourselves. Nor can you look at inaction from the same point of view as others, unless you are prepared to change your habits and make them like theirs. 6.18.6. And do not let the do-nothing policy which Nicias advocates, or his setting of the young against the old, turn you from your purpose, but in the good old fashion by which our fathers, old and young together, by their united counsels brought our affairs to their present height, do you endeavour still to advance them; understanding that neither youth nor old age can do anything the one without the other, but that levity, sobriety, and deliberate judgment are strongest when united, and that, by sinking into inaction, the city, like everything else, will wear itself out, and its skill in everything decay; while each fresh struggle will give it fresh experience, and make it more used to defend itself not in word but in deed. 6.19.2. Nicias, perceiving that it would be now useless to try to deter them by the old line of argument, but thinking that he might perhaps alter their resolution by the extravagance of his estimates, came forward a second time and spoke as follows:— 6.24.1. With this Nicias concluded, thinking that he should either disgust the Athenians by the magnitude of the undertaking, or, if obliged to sail on the expedition, would thus do so in the safest way possible. 6.24.2. The Athenians, however, far from having their taste for the voyage taken away by the burdensomeness of the preparations, became more eager for it than ever; and just the contrary took place of what Nicias had thought, as it was held that he had given good advice, and that the expedition would be the safest in the world. 6.24.3. All alike fell in love with the enterprise. The older men thought that they would either subdue the places against which they were to sail, or at all events, with so large a force, meet with no disaster; those in the prime of life felt a longing for foreign sights and spectacles, and had no doubt that they should come safe home again; while the idea of the common people and the soldiery was to earn wages at the moment, and make conquests that would supply a never-ending fund of pay for the future. 8.1.1. Such were the events in Sicily . When the news was brought to Athens, for a long while they disbelieved even the most respectable of the soldiers who had themselves escaped from the scene of action and clearly reported the matter, a destruction so complete not being thought credible. When the conviction was forced upon them, they were angry with the orators who had joined in promoting the expedition, just as if they had not themselves voted it, and were enraged also with the reciters of oracles and soothsayers, and all other omenmongers of the time who had encouraged them to hope that they should conquer Sicily . 8.2.4. With these reasons for confidence in every quarter, the Lacedaemonians now resolved to throw themselves without reserve into the war considering that, once it was happily terminated, they would be finally delivered from such dangers as that which would have threatened them from Athens, if she had become mistress of Sicily, and that the overthrow of the Athenians would leave them in quiet enjoyment of the supremacy over all Hellas .


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abstract nominal phrases in thucydides, and events and circumstances presented as quasi-agents Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
abstract nominal phrases in thucydides, and passive phrases / shades of meaning Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
abstract nominal phrases in thucydides, and perfect forms with static implications Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
abstract nominal phrases in thucydides, and personification Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121
abstract nominal phrases in thucydides, as subjects Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
abstract nominal phrases in thucydides, circumstances / conditions / states of affairs stressed by Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
abstract nominal phrases in thucydides, vs. active / personal phrasing Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232, 314
alcibiades, and athenian decision in favour of sicilian expedition Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198, 200
alcibiades, and desire Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198, 200
alcibiades, vs. nicias Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 200
anelpiston Kazantzidis and Spatharas, Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art (2018) 141
athenians at sparta (speech of), and greatest things (fear, honour, and advantage) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 230
athens and athenians, and mytilenean revolt Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 230, 232
burckhardt, jacob Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
choice (primarily in thucydides), and freedom Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
choice (primarily in thucydides), impairment / erasure of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
choice (primarily in thucydides), scope for Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 230, 232
cleon, irrationality championed by Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
cleon Kazantzidis and Spatharas, Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art (2018) 141
desire, athenian…(mostly for sicily) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198
desire, for more (πλεονεξία) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 125
despair Kazantzidis and Spatharas, Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art (2018) 141
diodotus, and euripidean tragedy Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
diodotus, and greatest things (freedom or dominion over others) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 230
diodotus, as gift of zeus Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
diodotus, on human nature Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121, 125
diodotus, rhetorical strategy of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 230
diodotus Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198, 199, 200; Kazantzidis and Spatharas, Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art (2018) 141
euripides, parallels between…and thucydides Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
expectation (negative and positive) Kazantzidis and Spatharas, Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art (2018) 141
greek pessimism Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
hermocrates, on athenian concern with sicily Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198
inner vs. outer, distinction of…collapsed Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 125
invisible things (τὰ ἀφανῆ) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198, 199
irrational impulses, and choice Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
irrational impulses, and human nature Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121, 125, 199, 200, 230
irrational impulses, athenians beset by Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135, 198, 199, 200
mytilene, secession of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121, 200, 230
nature (φύσις), and drives Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121
nature (φύσις), as agent Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121
nature (φύσις), pessimistic view of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121
necessity (in thucydides), and circumstances / material conditions / states of affairs Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 125
nicias, and athenian decision for sicilian expedition Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135, 198, 199, 200
nietzsche, friedrich Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
pericles, and balance Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
pericles, and pessimism Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
pericles, antitheses involving γνώμη in speeches of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
plague, usefulness of thucydides description of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 78
politics, hope in greek and roman Kazantzidis and Spatharas, Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art (2018) 141
quest for power, and self-preservation Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 230
sicilian expedition, decision for, and diodotus Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198, 199, 200
sicilian expedition, decision for, and euripides on ἔρως Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 200
sicilian expedition, decision for, and transpersonal forces Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 200
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), and antithesis Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
γνώμη (and γιγνώσκω), championed by pericles Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 314
κρείσσων (stronger), as label for daemons Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
κρείσσων (stronger), necessity captured by Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
πάσχω Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
φύομαι, perfect forms of Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121
χράομαι (in sense experience, suffer, be subject to) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
ἀνάγκη, in euripides Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
ἀνήκεστος Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
ἐλπίς (hope or expectation) and ἐλπίζω and εὔελπις, and alcibiades Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198
ἐλπίς (hope or expectation) and ἐλπίζω and εὔελπις, and melian dialogue Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
ἐλπίς (hope or expectation) and ἐλπίζω and εὔελπις, and sicilian expedition Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135, 198, 199, 200
ἐλπίς (hope or expectation) and ἐλπίζω and εὔελπις, diodotus on Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121, 125, 135, 198, 199
ἔρως, and sicilian expedition Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 198, 200
ἔρως, diodotus on Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 121, 125, 198, 199
ἔρως, in euripides (compared with thucydides) Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 135
ὀργή and ὀργίζομαι' Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 232
ὀργή and ὀργίζομαι Joho, Style and Necessity in Thucydides (2022) 125