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Thucydides: Narrative and Explanation
 0198152566, 9780198152569

Table of contents :
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
CONTENTS
ABBREVIATIONS
PART I - Interpreting Thucydides
PART II - Time, Perceptions, Knowledge
PART III - Explaining Defeat
PART IV - Explaining War
PART V - Continuity and Closure
APPENDIX - Focalization and its (Dis)contents
REFERENCES
INDEX OF PASSAGES CITED
GENERAL INDEX

Citation preview

The aim of the Oxford Classical Monographs series (which replaces the Oxford Classical and Philosophical Monographs) is to publish books based on the best theses on Greek and Latin literature, ancient history, and ancient philosophy examined by the Faculty Board of Literae Humaniores.

Thucydides Narrative and Explanation

TIM

CLARENDON

ROOD

PRESS 1998

· OXFORD

Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford oxz 6DP Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bogota Buenos Aires Calcutta Cape Town Chennai Dares Salaam Delhi Florence Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi Paris Silo Paulo Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto Warsaw and associated companies in Berlin Ibadan Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York

© Tim Rood I998 The moral rights of the author have been asserted All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press. Within the UK, exceptions are allowed in respect of any fair dealing for the purpose of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, I988, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of the licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms and in other countries should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Rood, Tim. Thucydides: narrative and explanation/ Tim Rood. p. cm. - (Oxford classical monograph) Includes bibliographical references and index. I. Thucydides-Criticism and interpretation. 2. Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War-Criticism, Textual. 3. GreeceHistory-Peloponnesian War, 43I-404 B.C. I. Title. II. Series. DF229. T6R64 I998 938'.05'092-dc2I 98-7982 ISBN o-I9--8I5256-6

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Typeset by Joshua Associates Ltd., Oxford Printed in Great Britain on acid-free paper by Bookcraft (Bath) Ltd., Midsomer Norton

For my parents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TH Is book is a much-revised version of a thesis completed in 1995, and written with the help of a grant from the British Academy and a Graduate Scholarship from Oriel College. A Junior Research Fellowship at The Queen's College enabled me to make the transition from thesis to book in ideal conditions: I am extremely grateful to the Provost and Fellows for electing me to this position. I must also thank those who have contributed, directly and indirectly, to the content of this book. As an undergraduate at Oriel College, I learnt from the teaching and example of Simon Hornblower and Robert Parker; I am particularly grateful to Simon Hornblower for suggesting Thucydides' narrative technique as a topic for research, and for all his advice and encouragement. Chris Pelling supervised my thesis with great attention to small points of detail and to their relation to broader issues; he suggested to me, as to so many others, fresh ways of reading the ancient historians. Robin Osborne oversaw the transition from thesis to book: that so much was involved in that transition is a tribute both to his sharpness and to his generosity. I am also grateful to Don Fowler, who supervised me for a term and made very helpful criticisms of my methodological section; to the examiners of my thesis, Michael Comber and John Moles, for their useful remarks; and to others who read or discussed my work on Thucydides, especially Philip Stadter (who made particularly helpful criticisms of what is now Chapter 7), John Ma, and Lynette Mitchell. Beyond this, I must thank, for their support and scepticism, Angus MacDougall, Jon Higgins, and especially Kristina Stove; for her limitless enthusiasm, Binkie Biggs; and above all my parents, to whom this is a small, but I hope not too obscure, return. T.C.B.R.

The Queen's College, Oxford May I997

CONTENTS

Abbreviations

x PART I

1.

Introduction:

INTERPRETING

THUCYDIDES

History and Literature

3

2. The Analysis of Narrative: Pylos PART II

3. Perceptions:

PERCEPTIONS,

KNOWLEDGE

Towards Peace

4. Misreadings: 5. Temporal

TIME,

24

61

Book V

83

Manipulation PART III

109 EXPLAINING

DEFEAT

6. Selectivity and Omission: Athenian Politics

1 33

7. Athens and Sicily

159

8. Nikias and Athens

183

PART IV

EXPLAINING

WAR

9. Selectivity and Omission: Book I 10. · The Pentekontaetia PART V 1 I.

Continuity:

205 225

CONTINUITY

AND CLOSURE

Book VIII

251

12. Conclusion: The Ends of History

285

Appendix: Focalization and its (Dis)contents

294

References

297

Index of Passages Cited

313

General Index

330

Abbreviations

ABBREVIATIONS OCD'

Andrewes ATL

Betant CAHv

2

Classen/Steup Crawley

DK Dover FGH Finley Gomme HCT

Hornblower, (Comm.) JG LSJ

ML

see HCT below B. D. Meritt, H. T. Wade-Gery, and M. F. McGregor, The Athenian Tribute Lists, 4 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1939-53) E. A. Betant, Lexicon Thucydideum (Geneva, 1843-7; repr. Hildesheim, 1969) D. M. Lewis, J. Boardman, J. K. Davies, and M. Ostwald (eds.), The Cambridge Ancient History, 2 v (Bambridge, 1992) , Thukydides, comm. J. Classen, rev. by J. Steup, 3rd to 5th edns. (Berlin, 1900-22) Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War, tr. Richard Crawley (orig. pub. 1874; repr. Everyman's Library, 1993; The Free Press, 1996; Wordsworth Classics, 1997) H. Diels, rev. W. Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Zurich, 1951-2) see HCT below F. Jacoby, Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, 15 vols. (Berlin and Leiden, 1923--:58) see Warner (Penguin) see HCT below A. W. Gomme, A. Andrewes, and K. J. Dover, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, 5 vols. (Oxford, 1945-81) S. Hornblower, A Commentary on Thucydides, i:, Books I-Ill (Oxford, 1991), ii: Books IV-V. 24 (Oxford, 1996) I nscriptiones Graecae (Berlin, 1873- ) H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, 9th edn., rev. by H. Stuart Jones (Oxford, 1940) R. Meiggs and D. M. Lewis, A Selection of Greek

OCT Poppo/Stahl Rhodes

de Romilly (Bude) Rusten SIG' Smith (Loeb) Warner (Penguin) Weil (Bude)

Xl

Historical Inscriptions to the End of the Fifth 2 Century BC (Oxford, 1988) S. Hornblower and A. J. Spawforth (eds.), The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd edn. (Oxford, 1996) Oxford Classical Text E. F. Poppo and J. M. Stahl, Thucydidis de bello peloponnesiaco libri octo (Leipzig, 187 5-83) P. J. Rhodes (ed. and tr.), Thucydides: History II (Warminster, 1988); Thucydides: History III (Warminster, 1994) J. de Romilly (ed. and tr.), Thucydide: Livre I (Paris, 1953); Thucydide: Livres IV-V (Paris, 1967) J. S. Rusten (ed.), Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War, Book II (Cambridge, 1989) W. Dittenberger (ed.), Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum' (Leipzig, 1915-24) C. F. Smith (tr.), Thucydides, 4 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1919-23) Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War, tr. Rex Warner, introd. and notes by M. I. Finley (Harmondsworth, 1972) R. Weil (ed. and tr.), Thucydide: Livre III (Paris, 1967); Thucydide: Livre VIII (Paris, 1972)

Note: Unless otherwise stated, I cite Thucydides by the Oxford Classical Text of H. Stuart Jones and J.E. Powell. Abbreviations of ancient authors and their works are mainly those used in LSJ and OCD. My translations of Thucydides are often adapted from the version of Crawley; I have also used the other versions cited above. All dates are BC.

PART

Interpreting

I

Thucydides

I

Introduction:

I.

I

THUCYDIDES,

History and Literature

PLUTARCH,

AND

US

The best historian is the one who, by a vivid representation of emotions and characters, makes his narrative like a painting. Thucydides is always striving in his writing for this vividness, since it is his desire to make the reader a spectator, as it were, and to instil in readers the emotions of amazement and consternation felt by viewers. For Demosthenes drawing up the Athenians at the very edge of the breakwater at Pylos; and Brasidas urging on his pilot to beach the ship, advancing to the gangway, receiving wounds, fainting, and falling on to the bow; and the Spartans fighting a land battle from sea, the Athenians a sea battle from land; and again in the Sicilian narrative 'the two armies on shore, with victory hanging in the balance, a prey to the most agonizing and conflicting emotions' ... and 'as the strife is protracted without decision, reflecting in their swaying bodies the agitation of their minds'-all this has the mark of pictorial vividness in its composition and portrayal of events as they happen. (Plut., De glor. Ath. 347 a-c; trans. adapted from F. C. Babbitt, Loeb edn. (1936))

Plutarch's Thucydides, vivid and emotionally compelling, has, in recent treatments, displaced the dispassionate thinker on the realities of power. 1 But this vivid Thucydides can sometimes be represented as a compromised historian. Plutarch himself claimed at at the start of his Nikias that he could surpass Thucydides-not the literary level ('Thucydides is at his most emotive, vivid, and varied in this part of the narrative'), but by collecting new material relevant to Nikias' character. 2 Modern historians have found Thucydides' omissions an obstacle, not an incentive; and they increasingly object to the story Thucydides constructs from the events he does include. 1 The pictorial comparison is echoed by Brunt (1993), 403: 'Thucydides was of all ancient historians the most vivid and exciting teller of a story-each phrase can be like a camera shot.' Connor (1977) offers a useful overview of the shift towards a view of Th. as 'a writer of intense and complex emotions' (291). 2 Nik. 1. 1, 1. 5: Pelling (i992: 10-II) notes how this is at odds with our traditional image of Th. as supreme at the factual l~vel.

Interpreting Thucydides

Introduction: History and Literature

The distinction between Thucydides as literature and Thucydides as history 3 would have meant nothing to Thucydides himself, whose criteria for assessing narratives are metre and (i. 21. r), and it hinders our underdegree of embellishment standing of his work. It is always possible to analyse in isolation the techniques which create vividness or persuade the reader that the story is true;4 to grasp what is distinctive about Thucydides, we must see the historical implications of those literary techniques. Thucydides claims merely to tell a story of what people did and said, yet his aims are ambitious: 'it will be enough if my work is judged useful by those who want to have a clear picture of the past and of the similar things which will happen again at some time, the human condition being what it is' (i. 22. 4). Was this utility meant to be practical or cognitive? Was it directed towards preventing br towards understanding similar events in the future? In the narrative there is scarcely any overt guidance on the factors controlling the course of the war, let alone on the constituents of human nature. Where Thucydides does intervene most conspicuously, he offers not statistical or synchronic overviews, as might modern historians, but condensed, ethically charged, glimpses of the future. But we can understand his claim that he was trying through a story about one war to tell a broader story about human nature if we are sensitive to the way he constructed his narrative, to the links he drew between events, and between word and deed. There have been many earlier studies of Thucydides' narrative and analysis, but his sophistication has not yet been adequately appreciated. My aim is to uncover Thucydides' various interpretative techniques and to increase our understanding of the story Thucydides told; my tools are in part derived from the insights of recent narrative theory, which shed light on areas neglected, or at least not systematically covered, in previous research. 5

To confront 'literary' aspects is also to confront Thucydides' text as history. Plutarch's new material in the Nikias is an implied comment on gaps in Thucydides' narrative; and even where he does follow Thucydides, his divergences are 'searchlights, suddenly turned on the most individual features of Thucydides' History'. 6 Pelling, indeed, has shown that Plutarch relies on his reader's familiarity with Thucydides to offer an intelligent refinement of his political analysis. 7 Modern rewritings of the Peloponnesian War also offer a commentary on how Thucydides wrote; the difference is that Plutarch's commentary tends to be implicit and ethical, and that modern historians often have to rely on assumptions about how Thucydides wrote in their constructions of events Thucydides omitted. When what Thucydides made of the war seems deficient, scholars often defend him by invoking the text's incompleteness. But to see Thucydides' History as a fragmented and precise (or imprecise) assembly of facts is to ignore its interpretative function, its striving to explain what happened, and what might happen: history never offers a neutral, value-free, account of what happened. To clarify my point, and show how reading Thucydides in this way draws out, rather than diminishes, history's complexity and subtlety, I will turn immediately to two passages which present problems if the status of history as 'text' is not acknowledged.

4

3 Reflected in Plutarch's different use of Th. in the Moralia and the Lives: see Titchener (1996). 4 Connor (1985: 15) connects the two: 'like a pointilliste painting [the narrative] draws us in, involves our minds in the process of creation, and wins our assent'. 5 I will use some of the concepts developed by Gerard Genette: I discuss them, and their application to historical texts, in §1.3 below. I have also found less formalist strains of narratology very useful: in particular Kermode ( 1 967, esp. eh. 2) and Brooks ( 1984), both of whom illuminate the relation between literary 'fictions' and the stories we tell about ourselves. Ricoeur (1984) applies similar insights to historical narrative, and helpfully discusses earlier theorists; of these, Veyne ( 1984) has been most stimulating.

I .2

HISTORY

AS

5

TEXT

It is the sixth year of the war, and the Athenians have sent twenty ships to Sicily to help their allies (who have ten ships themselves) against Syracuse: The Athenians in Sicily returned to Rhegion and found the Athenian general, Pythodoros son of Isolochos, come to take over the fleet Laches had commanded. For the allies in Sicily had sailed and persuaded the Athenians to help them with more ships; for the Syracusans were in control of their land, but since they were being kept off the sea by a few a fleet of their own, resolved ships (o,\{yais vavatv), they were preparing not to tolerate this. (iii. 115. 3)

The narrative shifts back in time as it advances. We can, if we want, reconstruct 'what happened'; Thucydides' ordering serves 6

·

de Romilly (1988), 28.

Interpreting Thucydides

Introduction: History and Literature

instead to explain and accentuate what is most important for his story (the Athenians' increased commitment). More problematic 8 are those 'few ships'. 'Few' is relative: who regarded thirty ships as few? If the Syracusans, it is revealing of their perception of the naval war (we learn at iv. r. 1 that they have twenty ships; by iv. 25. 1 they have just over thirty). But the second explanatory clause ('for the Syracusans .. .') can be read as the arguments of the allies at Athens: 9 'few' would then be how they wanted the Athenians to believe that the Syracusans perceived thirty ships. Thirty ships were indeed few compared with the larger Athenian fleets sent later to Sicily; 'few' might reflect the narrator's retrospection. The distinction between 'a few' and 'more' Athenian ships in Sicily recurs at iv. 24. 3 ('the Syracusans seeing th,at the Athenians had few ships present, and learning that the island was being blockaded by the larger fleet that was meant to be coming .. .') and 60. 1-2 (Hermokrates contrasts the 'few ships' then present with the larger fleet the Athenians might send in the future); the latter passage, where the 'few ships' are now sixty, has been thought by many an intrusive anachronism. 10 No easy formulation satisfies; phrases such as 'a few ships' are inherently open to interpretation. What is important here is the range of issues which hinge on one word: we can tell a story about the rhetoric of Athens' allies and the assembly's response; or about the psychology of the Syracusans, frustrated in their drive for Sicilian hegemony; or about Thucydides and the influence the great Sicilian expedition of 415-413 had on his shaping of his earlier narrative (a point itself of historical interest, whether or not we view it as deliberate 11 ). Indeed,

critics 12 who think that Thucydides underestimated the part played by the Athenians' western ambitions, both in the runup to the war and in their strategy during it, could see here a reflection of that broader neglect. This first passage suggests not only that recovering· 'what happened' may be surprisingly hard, but also that the historian cannot avoid working back from the future. In my second passage from the narrative of 425, one of those singled out by Plutarch as vivid, the prospective allure of the Sicilian expedition is again clear. The Athenian fleet has caught the Spartans in the harbour at Pylos off-guard, and with men still stationed on the island of Sphakteria:

6

8 Dover (HCT v. 412) says the number 'cannot exceed 20'; he forgets the allied contribution. 9 Crawley, as often, picks up a problem; but his translation 'pointing out that i:he Syracusans ... ' too strongly favours one solution. The indicatives .µa ('daring'), normally their own reserve, to the Peloponnesians at 73. 4, a difficult passage. Maurer (1995: 126-8) defends the MSS tradition, offering as a translation: 'as regards the enemy, that this or that (mere) part of his overall force, and of his forces now present, should be at risk-(this) he would reasonably be willing to dare.' 14 The verb ~auxa(ELv ('remain quiet'), a sign of Spartan weakness at 56. 1 and 57. 2, is used of the Megarians at 71. 1, the Spartans at 73. 1, and the Athenians at 73. 4. 15 Babut (1981: 427) sees iv. 66-74 as 'la transition entre l'd1rpay{a et la KaK01rpay{a des Atheniens . . . la charniere structurale du recit, entre Jes deux poles de Pylos et d'Amphipolis'; cf. Stahl (1966), 155. The contextual significance of the prolepsis is easier to grasp, and more important, than its date of composition: we can merely call it a 'late passage' (Dover, HCTv.411), since Th. does not reveal its scope-'unfortunately' (Gomme ad Joe.); but such precision would be beside the point. Hornblower (Comm. ii. 120) warns that it may be 'little more than a rhetorical flourish, a characteristic Thucydidean closure' (on the closural force of unqualified assertions, see Herrnstein Smith (1968), 183). On closural prolepses, see further Ch. 5 n. 13; this one is telling.

16

For the phrase, cf. Davidson (1991), 14. Wick (1979), 11; also Lewis, CAH v2 • 387-8. 18 ii. 3 r. 3: 'There happened each year later in the war other invasions of the Megarid by the Athenians, sometimes with cavalry only, sometimes with the whole army, until Nisaia was taken by Athenians.' 19 CAH v 2 • 388. 20 The Athenians had captured the Long Walls and Nisaia, but not the city itself (thus Classen/Steup). 21 Hornblower compares the use of the indicative at vii. 42. 3 ('Demosthenes thinking that it was impossible to suffer what Nikias had suffered (for Nikias had .. .), considering this .. .', cf. Donini (1964) and Dover ad Joe.), while admitting that this is 'not ... on all fours with the present passage'. The difference is all-important. vii. 17

68

Time, Perceptions, Knowledge

Perceptions: Towards Peace

On any view, Thucydides is presenting us with the generals' story about the past. Nor is their story absurd: earlier their 'success in most things' gave them the confidence that 'nothing would oppose them' (Jvavnova8ai 65. 4); now, though there had been an 'obstacle' (JvavT{wµ,a n 69. 1 22 ) which had prevented their taking Megara, they had continued the run of success by gaining 'most of their objects'. 23 They were not then to know that the story others told about the one goal they had not attained would override their own story about their continued run of success. Their limited perspective points up the constraints of success which are imposed by the need to satisfy the expectations of others. The Athenians at home, as far as we know, accepted the generals' story, even though they had just punished three other generals for failing to achieve a goal which was not part of their mandate (65. 3). Content with the capture of Nisaia, they did not again invade the Megarid. If their earlier invasions were designed to soften up Megara for betrayal, the oligarchic coup was a great setback; but perhaps Thucydides is not so misleading about their strategy with regard to Megara. 24 The decision not to fight was, at any rate, a lesser blunder than what followed: an elaborate plan to gain control of Boiotia by betrayal which resulted in defeat at Delion. The Athenians might

have learnt from their experience at Megara that plans requiring betrayal can themselves be betrayed, by just one man. 25 The interweaving of the Boiotian campaign with Brasidas' expedition suggests that the Athenians should have tried to halt him; 26 had they done so, the decision at Megara would have been even less important. Thucydides shows an awareness of strategic matters even when dealing with morale: the position of the Athenian bases at Pylos and Kythera, as well as the unexpectedness of defeat, explains Sparta's loss of heart. 27 None the less, we have seen perceptions functioning in themselves not as an isolated device, but as a convincing part of the cognitive lesson of history. The same depth of analysis is found in the account of the expedition to the north, which Brasidas had been preparing when he came to the help of Megara.

42. 3 is a parenthesis, explaining what was only summarized in the report of Demosthenes' thinking. Our passage is a subordinate clause within reported thought: an indicative could only be taken as narratorial if it were within a defining relative clause, viz. one which in Latin would be in the indicative rather than the subjunctive mood. So the J,re,81-clause could only reflect Thucydides' judgement if it were tied to the word 'considering'; word order and the run of sense make this impossible. (In similar passages such as iii. 33. 3, v. 22. 2, 29. 1, the factual content of E1re.v1r«at 89. 2, where LSJ have 'annoy by a diversion'_. 31 Pace Brunt (1993), 107. The phrasing 'it was possible for the Spartans 1f they wanted to make peace (as they actually did) to offer places for exchange' says nothing about their aims in 424 (cf. Lewis (1977), 69 n. 121); the parenthesis 01r

.ws at 2. 4); aywv,a,.,,a ('achievement') at 12. 2 and 17. 2. aywv,aµ,a occurs at vii. 56. 2, 59. 2, 86. 2, in each case with KaAov. Cf. Finley (1967), 137.

Continuity and Closure

256

I I .2 11.2.1

THE

WAR

AT

SEA

Chios

The Chians no longer came out to fight, and the Athenians devastated their country, which was beautifully stocked and had remained uninjured to that time since the Persian Wars. For after the Spartans the Chians are the only people I have known who have been at the same time both prosperous and prudent, and they ordered their city the more securely the greater it grew. They did not, moreover, venture on this revolt (should they seem to have acted in disregard of safety) until they were going to share the danger with many brave allies and perceived that the Athenians after the Sicilian disaster were not even themselves denying that their affairs were altogether bad. And if in the unexpected turns of human life they were tripped up, it was along with many who shared their belief in the swift collapse of Athenian fortunes that they found themselves mistaken. (24- 3-5) Chios stands out in the fluctuating narrative of book viii both through this emotive lifting of Thucydides' usual reticence, 25 and through the way the progression of its fortunes is articulated by the dichotomy of land and sea: when first the Athenians defeat them on land, the Chians are 'shut off from the sea and ravaged by land'; the Athenians are 'in control by both land and sea' when they begin their wall; the Chians' appeal to the Spartan admiral Astyochos is then 'not to overlook the greatest of the allied cities in lonia being shut off from the sea and ravaged by forays on land'; and after Pedaritos' death 'the Chians were besieged even more closely than before from land and sea'. Finally, after a detachment of the Athenian fleet is forced to leave for the north, 'the Chians became more in control by sea'. 26 Chios' emergence from the path to doom ends one strand in a carefully structured narrative which itself provides the framework that makes the course of the war comprehensible: by means of its frequent shifts, it brings out both sides' gradual accumulation of 25 Proctor (1980: 5) bizarrely calls this 'a heartless little passage'. Contrast Syme (1962), 51: 'almost in sorrow' {he could have spared the 'almost'); Rawlings (1981), 184-5. 26 24. 6: Elpyoµ.Evo,s ... aUTofs 7'TJS 0aAaaa71s Kai KaTa yiJv 1TOp0ovµ.Evo,s;38. 2:

KpaTo'Vv-resKai yfjs Kai 0aA&.uo"qs; 40. I: EKTE 8aA&.aa7Js Elpyoµ,€v7Jv Kai Ka-rdyfjv Ar,a-rf.lats 1Top8ovµ.•V7Jv; 56. 1: EK TE yf/sKai 0aAaaa71s en µ.aAAov~ 1Tp61"Epov e1ToAwpKoiJvTo; 63. 1: 0aAaaaoKpo.Topesµ.aAAov. This form of articulation resembles that used for the siege of Mytilene (iii. 6. 2, 18. 3, 18. 5).

Continuity: Book VIII

257

strength; by contrasting intention and behaviour, it offsets the wishes of the various parties against the steps by which these are thwarted or realized; and by exploiting prior conceptions about the characters of the two sides it explains how the various fears and hopes raised by events in Sicily are not at once fulfilled. Alrea~y when he reports the Spartan decision to help Chios, Thucyd1des alerts the reader to conflicts of interest which adumbrate the conflicts that arise in the military campaign: Agis was preparing the crossing for his troops [to Euboia]; but in the meanwhile envoys arrived from Lesbos, themselves also wanting revolt ... This was being done without the authority of the Spartan state. (5. 1-3) Agis was acting for the Lesbians; but the Chians and Erythraians, themselves also ready to revolt, turned not to Agis but to Sparta. (5. 4) The Chians and Tissaphernes were together acting for the same end, but [envoys] arrived at the same time at Sparta from Pharnabazos, to bring the ships to the Hellespont, so that, if he could, he might himself achieve what Tissaphernes was eager to do: make the cities in his province revolt from Athens on account of the tribute, and by his own efforts make the Spartans allies of the king. (6. 1) Verbal echoes suggest that the yearning of the allies for revolt is widely shared-but threatened by the demands of their specific interests, and by the polarization of Tissaphernes and Pharnaba27 The conflicts those specific interests entail are further zos. highlighted by negatives setting the Spartan king Agis against the Spartan authorities at home, and by transitions which leave plans suspended as the narrative turns to the events which upset those plans. 28 I I

.2.2 Character

'The Spartans found the proposals of Chios and Tissaphernes far more acceptable; ... None the less the Spartans first sent off a scout to Chios ... to see if the city's strength matched its (6. 3-4): often the signifier of Athens' resilience in reputation' 27

Allied desire for revolt: Kai avToi &.1roaTiJva,5. 2 - &.1roaTf/va,Kai avTo{ 5. 4. And 6. 1 (Pharnabazos' aims) echoes 5. 5 (Tissaphernes'). .. . 2s N ega t·1ves: 5. 3, 5. 4. T rans1t10ns: note the use of echoing verbs in the imperfect (1rapeaKeva~e, 'was preparing', 5. 1, 5. 2, highlighting how Agis' plan to send Alk~m~nes-'who was to have. sailed to Euboia'-to Lesbos replaces his plan for Eubo1a; mpaaae 5. 4- ifopaaaov 6. 1, 'was/were acting'); and the use of µ.•v . .• /5,! (5 • 2, 5: ~, 6. 1 ), also the more emphatic ev TOVT