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By Marcellinus, from the scholia on Thucydides,
on the life of Thucydides and the forms of the speeches
(1) For those who have come to be initiates in the divine
speeches and disputations of Demosthenes, and introduced to his understandings
of the deliberative and judicial kind of speaking, it now remains
also to be initiated into the mysteries of Thucydides. For this man was furnished
at once with art, and the beauty of speeches, and an exact knowledge
of deeds, and the knowledge of leading an army, and he excelled at the deliberative
and panegyric kind of speaking. But it is necessary first to disclose the
lineage and life of the man: for those who judge of things nobly, these ought
to be scrutinized first, before they approach the speeches.
(2) Thucydides, then, that composer,2 was born from the
father Olorus, who was named after Olorus the king of Thrace, and the
mother Hegesipyle. He was descended, I say, from those most well reputed
generals, Miltiades and Cimon.3 For in the remote past he had been joined
by kinship with Miltiades the general;4 and through Miltiades, with Ajax, the
son of Zeus. Thus this composer boasts his birth from these high ancestors.
(3) And Didymus5 attests to these things; he asserts that in the first book of
the Histories Pherecydes6 speaks thus: “In Athens Philaeas the kin of Ajax
dwelt; from him was born Daiclus, from him Epicycus, from him Acestor,
from him Agenor, from him Olius, from him Lyces, from him Typhon, from
him Laius, from him Agamestor, from him Tisander,7 from him Miltiades,
1 The words in angle brackets are emendations suggested by the editors of the Oxford Classical Texts
edition (Thucydides [1942] 1974). The words in square brackets I have added for the sake of clarifying
in English what is clear in Greek. Line numbers appear in parentheses.
2 Here and throughout, I translate suggrapheus as “composer,” and suggraphe as “composition.”
While these terms are a bit clumsy, there is no satisfactory English equivalent for the Greek. Suggrapheus
is usually translated as “historian,” but this English word also translates historikos, and
Marcellinus distinguishes historikos and suggrepheus at lines 38 and 48. In this he appears, moreover,
to follow Thucydides, who refers to his writing not as istoria but as suggraphe (1.1.1, 4.104.4, 5.26.1).
3 Miltiades the Younger (550–489 B.C.) was the general who led the Athenians to victory at Marathon.
Cimon (510–450 B.C.), his son, was a general who distinguished himself in the battle of Salamis
(479 B.C.) and in the destruction of the Persian fleet and army at the Eurymedon River (466 B.C.).
4 Miltiades the Elder, son of Cypselus (d. 524 B.C.), and uncle of the Younger.
5 Didymus Chalcenterus (63 B.C.–10 A.D.), a prolific Hellenistic scholar and grammarian.
6 Pherecydes of Leros (c. 450 B.C.), author of a ten-volume work of genealogies.
7 After “Tisander,” the manuscripts have “who when he was archon of Athens.” The phrase appears
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from him Hippoclides (by whom, when he was archon of Athens, the Panathenea
was instituted), from him Miltiades, who settled the Chersonese.” (4)
Even Hellanicus8 attests the same in that writing ascribed to Aesop.
Nor indeed may someone say, but what has he [Miltiades]
to do with Thucydides? For he is kinsman to him as follows. The Thracians
and the Dolonci waged war with the neighboring people of Apsinthius. (5)
But having been afflicted by this war, and having suffered all sorts of evils,
since they were always inferior to their enemy, they fled to the oracle of the
god, since they knew that only a god could discover the way out of the most
difficult things, as also according to Aeschylus, “the strength of the gods is
greatest: for oft it has freed from grievous woe a city lacking means, and has
turned an immanent cloud from the eyes into the right [orthos].” (6) Nor
did their hope fail them. For the oracle they held to, that they would have as
leader him who would invite these very wanderers to a house for strangers. At
that time Croesus held Lydia; the Pisistratids held a tyranny at Athens. While
they were returning from the oracle, they chanced upon Miltiades seated
before the border of Attica, distressed on account of the tyranny, and seeking
a just departure from Attica. For these things the prophecy had managed for
them. (7) Now when he saw them assembled in the equipment of wanderers,
since he knew what wandering is capable of, he invited the men to the house
for strangers, becoming the unknowing servant of the prophecy. They were
delighted, for [according to the oracle] they were to receive the leader from
the house for strangers, and when they had recounted everything to him,
they elected him their general.
Now some say that, asking the god, he left, others that he
made the departure not without the tyrant’s knowledge, but that after [Miltiades’]
recounting to the ruler the calling forth by the Thracians, he [the
Pisistratid tyrant] sent him away conceding power, delighted that a very
powerful man should leave Athens. (8) This one, then, having been made the
leader [of the Thracians] fulfilled the prophecy, and after bringing forth the
victory, he became also the colonizer of the Chersonese. (9) When he died
without9 children, Stesagoras, his half brother by the same mother, received
also in the next clause, makes no sense here, and so is deleted, following the suggestion of Rutgers, as a
scribe’s error.
8 Hellanicus of Mytilene (490–405 B.C.), a logographer. He and his Attic Writings are mentioned by
Thucydides at 1.97.
9 I here follow Casaubon’s suggested emendation, apaidos. The manuscripts read tou paidos. See
Herodotus 6.38, which appears to be Marcellinus’ source.
Marcellinus’ Life of Thucydides 1 5
the rule of the Chersonese. (10) But when this one also died, Miltiades
received the rule, having the same name as the first colonizer, and being the
brother of Stesagoras by the same mother and father.
(11) This one, then, although he had children by an Attic
wife, nevertheless, desiring lordship, took Hegesipyle, daughter of Olorus
king of the Thracians, as wife, from whom a son was born to him. (12) But the
Persian coming into Greece, he dispatched his packed-up things and most
of his clan to Athens. But the ship was captured, in which also were his own
children, yet not those from the Thracian wife; these were let loose by the
King, at least if Herodotus should not lie.10 Miltiades, fleeing from Thrace,
made his way safely into Attica. (13) But he did not sneak away from the
calumny of his enemies: for they attacked his own crimes, relating in full
his tyranny. But he both escaped from this charge and in the war against the
barbarians became a general. (14) From this [Miltiades], then, he [i.e., Didymus]
says that the stock of Thucydides derives. And the greatest evidence of
this they believe to be the extraordinary wealth and the possessions he had
in Thrace, and those goldmines in Scapte Hyle. He seems to certain people,
then, to have been the grandson of Miltiades or a grandson from a daughter
of Miltiades. (15) Besides, he himself furnishes the occasion of inquiry, since
he himself makes no mention of his stock.
(16) In truth, lest we be senseless, the name of the father was
Olorus, [not Orolus].11 The first syllable of this name, but not Olorus, has a
rho, the second a lambda—which writing, as it also seems to Didymus, is
corrupt. For that it is Olorus is openly attested by the monument-column,
where these words are inscribed: Thucydides Olori Halimusius.12 (17) For at
the Melitisi gates, in Coile,13 there are monuments called Cimonia, where the
tomb of Herodotus and Thucydides is exhibited. Hence one clearly discov-
10 See Herodotus 6.38–41. Herodotus’ account mentions the capture of Miltiades’ oldest son Metiochus,
not born of the daughter of Olorus, and chronicles Darius’ generous treatment of Metiochus,
but it says nothing of any other children of Miltiades. It does confirm that Olorus was the name of the
father-in-law of Miltiades.
11 With Powell, I follow the addition of Grauert. Marcellinus appears here to be referring to Thucydides’
text at 4.104.4, where Thucydides states his patronymic; it must have appeared in some mss.
as Orolus, though none of the critical apparatuses that I have consulted gives any indication of this.
William Smith ([1753] 1855, xvi) in his “On the Life of Thucydides,” states that “Orolus” appears in
Thucydides’ text.
12 With Powell, I follow the correction of Grauert. The manuscript has the lambda and rho transposed:
Thukydides Oroli Halimusios. In the second reference to the monument-column, at line 55,
below, the manuscript reads “Thukydides Halimusios.” Casaubon adds “Olorou.”
13 “Koile,” or “The Hollow” was one of the demes of Attica, belonging to the tribe Hippothoontis.
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ers that he came from the stock of Miltiades. For no stranger [to that stock]
is buried there. Polemon attests to the same thing in “On the Acropolis,”
where he narrates besides that Timotheus came into being from him.14 (18)
And Hermippus pulls him from the stock of the Pisistratid tyrants; this also,
he says, is the reason why, in his writings on Harmodius and Aristogeiton
[Thucydides] speaks invidiously and denies that they became tyrant-slayers.15
For they killed not the tyrant but the tyrant’s brother, Hipparchus.
(19) But Thucydides took a most wealthy wife from the city
of Scapte Hyle, Thrace, and possessed goldmines in Thrace.16 (20) Having
obtained this wealth, however, he did not spend it in luxurious delights, but
when before the Peloponnesian war he perceived the motion to come, and
because he intended to write about it, he paid many Athenian and Lacedaemonian
soldiers and many others, so that they might report to him, he
wishing to compose what came to be in that time and things spoken in that
war. (21) But it must be inquired: why did he give some to both the Lacedaemonians
and the others, when he could have given it to Athenians alone and
have learned from them? We answer, that not aimlessly was money given
to the others: for the aim he proposed to himself was to compose the truth
of the deeds. And it was likely that the Athenians, serving their own utility
in their reports, would lie, and would say “we have been victorious over an
enemy,” when they had not been victorious. For this reason he gave [money]
to everyone, so that from the agreement of many he could hunt down and
seize the truth: for by the harmony and agreement of many what is obscure
becomes openly demonstrated.
(22) The teachers he had were, in philosophy, Anaxagoras—
whence, as Antyllus attests, he was held in his day to be atheist, from the
fact that he took his fill of his theoria;17 and the rhetorician Antiphon, a man
terribly clever in the art of rhetoric, of whom he makes mention in the eighth
book, and says that he was the cause that the democracy was abrogated and
the rule of the Five Thousand constituted.18 The fact, however, that after his
14 Polemon of Athens (second century B.C.), nicknamed Polemon Stelokopas (Polemon the Columnist),
was a Stoic who collected inscriptions on votive offerings and columns around Greece. The work
to which Marcellinus refers, “On the Acropolis,” is not extant.
15 See Thucydides 1.20 and 6.53–60.
16 Cf. Plutarch, Life of Cimon, 4. Thucydides (4.105) says only that he had the concession to work the
gold mines.
17 With Powell, I here follow the transposition of clauses suggested by Casaubon.
18 See Thucydides 8.68.1–3 and 8.90.1.
Marcellinus’ Life of Thucydides 1 7
death the Athenians hurled Antiphon’s body outside the city as vengeance,
this Thucydides, in gratitude to his teacher, passed over in silence. (For some
say that his body was thrown out by the Athenians because he was the cause
of the change from democracy.) (23) He did not take part in political life—the
one who became the composer—when he came into the prime of life, nor
did he approach the podium. But he received the generalship as the original
source of his troubles, for on account of this very thing he was exiled. For
when he was sent to Amphipolis, and Brasidas arrived beforehand and took
that city, he took the blame; and yet his efforts were not altogether useless to
the Athenians, since, while he failed [to capture Amphipolis], he seized Eion,
which is situated by the river Strymon. Nonetheless, in spite of this the Athenians,
attributing the first misfortune to his fault, sentenced him into exile.19
(24) But having been exiled, when he came into the Aegean
after his flight, being wealthy, he invested the majority of his money in usury.
(25) Yet from there too he departed, and passing time in Scapte Hyle, he
wrote under a plane tree. By no means let us be persuaded by Timaeus, who
says that Thucydides, having been sentenced to exile, passed his life in Italy.20
(26) Nevertheless he did not write as one remembering the evils done to him
by the Athenians, but was a lover of truth and measured in morals—at least
neither Cleon nor Brasidas, who had been the cause of his calamity, suffers
any abuse, as they would from an angry composer. (27) The many accustom
histories to their private passions, the truth being to them not at all a concern.
For Herodotus, despised by the Corinthians, said that they escaped by stealth
the naval battle at Salamis;21 Timaeus praised the Tauromenitan Timoleontas
beyond measure, because his father Andromachus was not despoiled by him
of the monarchy; Philistus attacked the younger Dionysius like an enemy in
his speeches; Xenophon reviled Meno, the friend of Plato, because he himself
was in zealous emulation22 of Plato. But [Thucydides was] a measured and
fair servant of the truth.
19 See Thucydides 4.104–8 and 5.26.
20 Timaeus (ca. 345–ca. 250 B.C.), nicknamed “Timaios Epitimaios” (Timaeus the Fault-Finder), was
born in Sicily, forced during the rule of Agathocles to migrate to Athens, studied under Isocrates, and
returned to Sicily under the rule of Hiero II. He wrote a 40-volume history of Greece, Italy, and Sicily,
of which only fragments survive.
21 See Herodotus 8.72–94.
22 Or “zealous rivalry” (zelos). The term is often distinguished from low-minded phthonos (envy), but
it can mean jealousy. It is used below (lines 35–37) with respect to Thucydides’ imitation of Homer,
Pindar, Prodicus, and Gorgias of Leontini.
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(28) Also, lest we be ignorant of this, there were many Thucydideses.
For there was this one, a son of Olorus, and secondly the demagogue,
the son of Milesius, who opposed Pericles concerning the political regime; a
third, in truth, descended from Pharsalius, of whom Polemon makes mention
in the book about the Acropolis, saying that Meno was his father. There was
in fact another Thucydides, a fourth, a poet from the deme of Archerdousius,
of whom Androtion, making mention in his history of Attic things, says that
his son was Ariston. (29) He lived, however, as is attested to by Phraxiphanes
in a book about history,23 at the same time as Plato the comic poet, Agathon
the tragedian, Niceratus the epic poet, and Koirilus, and Melanippides. (30)
Besides, having lived as long as Archelaus, for the most part [Thucydides]
was still obscure, as Praxiphanes himself indicates. Afterwards indeed he was
marveled at as divine [daimonic].
(31) Some say he died there, where he was spending time in
exile, and they present as evidence that his body was not buried in Attica.
For a tablet was placed on his tomb, but this, from established Attic custom
and law, is the mark of an empty tomb, [a custom employed] when someone
used by this kind of fortune dies, and indicates that he was not buried at
Athens. (32) But Didymus <says that> Thucydides, having returned from
exile, <died> a violent death at Athens. And this he says is inquired into24 by
Zopyrus. For the Athenians offered return to all exiles except the Pisistratids
after the defeat in Sicily. Having returned, however, [Thucydides] underwent
a violent death and was buried among the Cimonian monuments. But
[Didymus] charges with simplicity those who believe him to have met his end
abroad and yet to be buried in the Attic earth.25 For then [they would hold
Thucydides’ body] either not to have been put in the family monument, or
to have been secretly put into it, and would chance to have neither a column
nor an inscription. Yet the monument on the tomb indicates the name of the
composer [Thucydides]. But it is clear that return was granted to the exiles,
as Philochorus attests, as does Demetrius in the book about the Archons. (33)
I myself believe Zopyrus is being silly when he says that he met his end in
23 Praxiphanes, a native of Mytilene, studied at the Lyceum under Aristotle’s successor Theophrastus
in 322 B.C., then opened his own school, where Epicurus is said to have been his pupil.
24 Or “recorded.” The verb is historein. The opinion does not seem to have been held by Zopyrus himself
(see below, 33), unless Marcellinus means to refer here only to the opinion that Thucydides died a
violent death.
25 That he died abroad (in Thrace, in Scapte Hyle), and that his remains were then brought to Attica, is
asserted by Plutarch, Life of Cimon, 4.
Marcellinus’ Life of Thucydides 1 9
Thrace, even if Cratippus holds him to have spoken truly.26 But what Timaeus
and others say—that he was buried in Italy—is exceedingly ridiculous. (34)
It is said that he had this form: the face thoughtful, the head with hair grown
short, and the rest a manner naturally suited to the composer. [He is said]
to have died with his life brought toward its fiftieth year, with the planned
composition not brought to its completion.
(35) Thucydides was the zealous emulator of Homer in artistic
arrangement,27 of Pindar in the grand [lit. ‘great-natured’] and lofty character,
but a man designedly obscure in speech, lest it be accessible to all, and lest it
should appear cheap, if easily understood by everyone. He wished rather to
meet the test of the exceedingly wise, and to be marveled at by them. For whoever
is commended by the best and obtains a reputation by their decision, is
inscribed thereafter and the honor he acquires runs no risk of being wiped out
by another judgment. (36) He zealously imitated a few, as Antyllus28 says: the
even balancing and antithesis of words of Gorgias of Leontini, which was well
regarded at that time by the Greeks, and Prodicus of Ceos indeed he imitated,
in the precise selection of words.29 (37) Most of all, as I said before, he zealously
imitated Homer, both in choice of words and in precise combination of them,
and in strength of explanation, and in beauty and swiftness. (38) But while the
composers and historians who came before him brought forward the composition
as if soulless and furnished only a bare narrative in everything, nor
inserted direct speeches, nor made demagoric speeches—though Herodotus
made the attempt, but was not quite able (for he made speeches expressed in
few words, more as personification than demagoric speech)—this composer
[i.e., Thucydides] alone both discovered demagoric speeches and made them
perfect and according to chief points and divisions, and arranged as a demagoric
speech, which is the form of a perfect speech.
(39) Since there are however three characters of speaking—
high, simple, and middle—omitting the others, he zealously emulated the
26 Cratippus was, according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus (De Thucydidis charactere, ch. xvi), a
contemporary of Thucydides. Plutarch also mentions him (De gloria Atheniensium, ch. 1) between
Thucydides and Xenophon, in a list of Athenian historians that is apparently chronological.
27 Oikonomia. A distinction developed among teachers of rhetoric between taxis, or natural order, and
oikonomia, which we might also translate as “household management” or—with a view to its usage by
the rhetors—as “interior design.”
28 Antyllus is otherwise unknown. A discussion of him can be found in Piccirilli 1985, 96–97.
29 See Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Thucydides 25. An extract of a work known as “The Funeral
Oration of Gorgias” (fr. DK 82 B6) is given in a late scholium from a work of Dionysius of Halicarnassus,
in which one sees the antithetical style to which Marcellinus here refers.
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high, since it was suitable to his own nature and befitting the magnitude of
so great a war.30 For of those things of which the deeds are great, it is befitting
that the speech about such things match the deeds. (40) But so that you31 may
not be ignorant also of the other characters of speeches, know that Herodotus
furnishes the middle kind, which is neither high nor simple, while Xenophon
furnishes the simple. (41) Thucydides therefore, so that he might achieve
the high type, often furnished both poetical diction and certain metaphors.
Concerning this whole kind of composition, some have dared to proclaim
that that form of composition does not pertain to the rhetorician but to the
poet. But that it is not poetical is clear, since it is subject to no meter. But
if someone should answer that not all speech without meter belongs to a
rhetorician, such as the writings of Plato or of surgeons, we answer that the
composition certainly belongs to the rhetoricians that is divided into chief
points and taken up in the rhetorical form. (42) In fact, all composition is
commonly ascribed to the deliberative. (Some nevertheless also ascribe it to
the panegyric, since, they say, it praises those who are the best in battles.) In a
special way Thucydides’ [writing] falls into each one of these three forms. For
certainly all the demagoric speeches fall into the deliberative, except for that
of the Plataeans and the Thebans in the third book.32 The funeral oration falls
into the panegyric. Into the judicial falls the deliberation of the Plataeans and
the Thebans, which we separated out above. For the Lacedaemonian judges
were present, and the Plataeans are interrogated in a court of justice, and they
respond to the interrogation with a longer speech, and against this speech the
Thebans speak, so that they may inflame the anger of the Lacedaemonians.
In sum, the arrangement of the speech, the method, and the schema, make
manifest that the form is the judicial.
(43) Some say that the eighth book of history is adulterated
or is not by Thucydides. And some say that it is by his daughter, others by
Xenophon. To these we reply, first: that it is not his daughter’s is clear. For
it is not of the womanly nature nor art to imitate such virtue. Furthermore,
if such a one should exist, she would be anxious not to be unknown, nor
would she have written only that eighth book, but would have left behind
many others, bringing to light her nature. Next, that it could no more be
30 The classification into three types or styles of speaking to which Marcellinus refers was probably
developed by Theophrastus. The first extant mention of them occurs in Rhetorica ad Herrenium (c. 90
B.C.), 4, 8. Helpful elaborations upon the three styles and their relation to the ends of rhetoric can be
found in Cicero’s Orator and De Oratore.
31 Here the second person singular pronoun is used.
32 See Thucydides 2.52–68.
Marcellinus’ Life of Thucydides 2 1
Xenophon’s, its character alone cries out: by much indeed differs the simple
character from the high. But neither is it Theopompus’ work, by exactly the
same assessment. (44) To some—and these the more refined—it seems to be
of Thucydides indeed, but not yet beautified—models jotted down, with much
to be filled in in the chief parts and the deeds to be beautified and capable of
being extended. Whence we almost say that it indicates he was infirm—it
appears to be put together in the manner of the weakened. For when the body
is infirm, the reasoning [logismos] is wont to slacken somewhat. For there is a
slight sympathy to one another of the reasoning and the body.
(45) He died after the Peloponnesian war, in Thrace, writing
the deeds of this to the twenty-first year; seven and twenty years in fact this
war lasted. The deeds of the remaining six years Theopompus and Xenophon
supplement, who attached to these a history of the Greeks.
(46) One must see that Thucydides was sent as a general
to Amphipolis, expecting Brasidas to arrive there, but with the seizure of
it beforehand by Brasidas, he was exiled by the Athenians, through the calumnies
of Cleon. (Because Cleon was filled with hatred, he is introduced
everywhere raging and empty.) Having been exiled, he went, as they say, to
Thrace, where he put together that beautiful composition. (47) For he had
indeed noted down already from the start of the war all the speeches and
the deeds: he was not, however, concerned about beauty from the beginning,
but only that he should preserve by his notation the things done. Afterwards
indeed living the life of an exile,33 in Scapte Hyle, a place in Thrace, he
composed with beauty those things that from the beginning he had only in
notation for the sake of memory.
(48) To the mythical, however, he was opposed, on account
of his delight in the truth. For he did not pursue what other composers and
the historians—who themselves mix myths into histories—did, seeking after
the pleasant more than the truth. But while they proceeded in this way, this
composer did not care to write for the delight of those who listen, but for the
precise understanding of those who learn. For he calls this composition of
his a contest [agonisma].34 For he avoided much that was toward pleasure,
33 Some (lesser) manuscripts read “of an historian” (historian).
34 There appears to be a lacuna here in the text. The whole section is a gloss on Thucydides’ text at 1.22.
At 1.22.4, immediately after discussing the absence of the mythical from his work, Thucydides says
that his work is not written as an agonisma, but as a possession for all time. Hence editors of Marcellinus’
text have suggested additions that would have this sentence read as follows: “For he calls this
composition of his not a contest, but a possession for all time.”
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and he turned aside from digressions that the many are accustomed to make.
(49) At some places, at any rate, they are made even by Herodotus—with
the dolphin who is a lover of hearing and Arion steering [the dolphin to
shore] to the music.35 Indeed [Herodotus’] whole second book of histories
falsifies the purpose. Conversely, if this composer [i.e., Thucydides] recounts
something wondrous, it is because it is necessary to speak, and only that they
may learn what has come to be known by hearsay. For even his account of
Tereus indicates only the suffering of the women;36 and [he tells] the history
of the Cyclops to recall the charm of the places;37 and of Alcmeon whom he
mentions to be moderate, where that which has to do with his moderation
[i.e., the flux over time of land and water] makes the islands.38 The rest he
does not investigate closely. (50) But certainly about such myths, the rest are
described, in a terribly clever manner, and certainly are clear in their parts.
But in the arrangement sometimes, on account of the stretching out of the
interpretation, he seems not to be clear.
His speech has an exceedingly grave and grand character.
The ordering is harsh, full, and heavy in hyperbaton [transposition of words],
sometimes indeed obscure, wondrous in brevity, and his diction very thoughtful.
(51) In the pronouncing of judgments, he excelled. In the narratives, he
is indeed exceedingly powerful, when he sets out in full for us the sea battles,
the sieges of the cities, the plagues, and the seditions. Of many kinds in his
figures, the most imitating Gorgias of Leontini—swift in his signs, short in
his severity, and of character representation the best writer. You will see at
any rate, beside the elevated thought in Pericles, in Cleon—I know not what
35 See Herodotus 2.24.
36 See Thucydides 2.29.3. For a late version of the myth, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.422–674.
Thucydides speaks of the deed of the women against Itys (cooking him and serving him up for dinner
to Tereus) rather than of the women’s suffering (which had preceded that deed). He does mention,
however, that many poets call the nightingale the bird of Daulia, i.e., of the land where the “Thracian”
Tereus had dwelt. He thereby draws some attention to the poets’ account of Tereus’ cutting out of
Philomela’s tongue (lest men or gods hear Philomela’s tale of his rape of her) and of Philomela’s transformation
by the gods, in the end, into a nightingale.
37 See Thucydides 6.2.1.
38 See Thucydides 2.102.5–6. With Powell, I here follow the manuscript rather than the emendations
suggested by some editors, which would eliminate the clause “where that which has to do with his
moderation makes the islands” and substitute “where he makes him mindful.” Thucydides makes no
mention of moderation (sophrosune) in his account. He does, however, mention an oracle’s intimation
that the matricide Alcmeon would have no “release from terrors” until he found a land that had not
been seen by the sun when he killed his mother. And as he indicates, Alcmeon managed to achieve
this very release by the recognition of what we might call the flux of nature in the formation of land
where there had been sea. This release from terrors appears to be what Marcellinus has in mind by
Alcmeon’s achieving “moderation.”
Marcellinus’ Life of Thucydides 2 3
to say of him; in Alcibiades, youthfulness; in Themistocles, all; in Nicias,
kindness, fear of the gods, and good fortune—until Sicily. And countless
others which severally in their turns we will make an attempt to behold.
(52) In his [work] there is much use of the ancient Attic [language],
in which zeta substitutes for sigma, as whenever he says zunegraphes
and zummaxian. And the diphthong ai he wrote instead of a, and said aiei.
And he was the inventor of wholly new words; for some are older than his own
time, such as autoboei, and polemeseiontes, and magchalepon, and hamartada,
and hules phakelous. Others are cared for by the poets, such as epilugsai and
ephlutai and anakos and others. And some are peculiar to him, such as aposimosis,
and kolume, and apoteichisis, and any number of others, which are not
read in works by others but that he puts in his work. (53) An object of his care
also was the weight of words, and terrible cleverness of enthymemes—outstripping39
as we say—in composition, brief. For often many deeds are brought
to light by a single statement. Often indeed also he substitutes passion and
deeds for the man, as in that antipalon deos.40 He has indeed something of the
panegyric, as in the funeral oration. And he introduced variously irony and
questioning and making a philosophic form of the demagoric speech: for in
those which answer one to the other, he philosophizes. To be sure, the many
blame the form of composition of these same speeches. Such a one is Dionysius
of Halicarnassus: for he reproaches him as unrestrained and not having
the power to use civic oratory,41 not knowing that in all these [Thucydides] was
of extraordinary power and of advantageous habit.
(54) He seems to have come to be in the time of Herodotus,
if indeed Herodotus makes mention of the attack of the Thebans into Plataea,
concerning which history Thucydides narrates in the second book.42 And so
it is said, that once when Herodotus was making a display of his own history,
Thucydides was present at the recital and, hearing it, wept. Thereupon, they
39 That is, with the thoughts outstripping the words.
40 The Mytilenaeans are made to use this formulation in their speech to the Spartans at 3.11.1. It
means fear or awe that is as equally balanced as the strength of two wrestlers.
41 See Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Thucydides, chs. 36–43.
42 Marcellinus is referring to Herodotus 7.233, where we are told that Eurymachus, the son of the
Medizing Theban general Leontiades, would “in later times” be killed as the general leading the attack
of Thebans against Plataea. Thucydides presents that Theban attack on Plataea as the start of the Peloponnesian
War (2.2–7); in fact, Eurymachus son of Leontiades is the only person whom he mentions
by name in his account, both as the Thebans’ leader in the negotiations with the Theban fifth column
in Plataea and as having been among the slain Thebans (2.2.3 and 2.5.7).
2 4 I n t e r p r e t a t i o n Volume 38 / Issue 1
say, Herodotus noticing, said to Olorus the father of Thucydides, “O Olorus,
truly the nature of your son is violently bent toward learning.”
(55) He died in Thrace, and they say that there he was buried.
But others claim that his bones were secretly carried to Athens, and in like
manner buried; nor indeed was it allowed openly to bury at Athens one who
had been exiled on the charge of treason. His tomb, however, is near the gates,
in the place of Attica called Coela, just as Antyllus affirms, a most trustworthy
man to bear witness, and a discerning historian, and for instruction terribly
clever. And the column, he says, stood in Coela bearing the inscription
“Thucydides <Olorou> Halimousios.” They have in truth added the [inscription]
“Here He Lies.” We say that, to those who perceive and understand, it is
thus [i.e., added], and that this was not put in the [original] inscription.
(56) The form and character [of his writing] is magnificent,
and indeed one should certainly stay away, in this magnificent form, from
appeals to pity. The elocution is grave, the thought obscure, because he delights
in hyperbaton, and he indicates many things with few words. And he certainly
has variety in his figures of speech, but on the other hand, the thought is without
figures. For neither ironies, nor reproaches, nor oblique speech, nor any
other such knavery against the listener did he use, when nevertheless Demosthenes
in these especially displayed the terrible cleverness of his eloquence.
(57) I think however that not from ignorance of any figure but by design did
Thucydides leave such things out, putting together the speeches suitable to
and harmonizing with the given person. For it was not suitable to Pericles,
and Archidamus, and Nicias, and Brasidas—human beings high-minded, and
well born, and holding heroic reputations—to bestow upon them speeches of
irony and knavery, as if these did not possess the frankness openly to accuse or
to censure without disguise, or that they wished not to speak so. For this reason
therefore I think he made a practice of the sincere and un-characterized
[form of speeches], preserving in these the fitting and the skill. For it belongs
to the skilled man to keep watch over the reputation bestowed on the persons,
and to apply to the deeds the corresponding embellishment.
(58) But one must see that some men cut his work up into
thirteen histories, others otherwise. Nonetheless, by most and by common rule
the work has been divided up to the eight; this Asclepius43 also determined.
43 Because of the use of katetemon (“they cut up”) in the preceding sentence, I here follow the manuscripts,
which read Asklepios, by whom doctors swore, in the Hippocratic oath, not to take the knife to
anyone. Powell follows Poppo’s suggested Asklepiades, which would make the sentence refer to one of
five possible known writers by that name between the fourth century B.C. and the fourth century A.D.




Краткое анонимное Жизнеописание Фукидида (ошибочно названное переводчиком Жизнеописанием Фукидида под авторством Марцеллина):


by Marcellinus
Translated by
W.B. Allen
Thucydides, an Athenian, was the child of Olorus, 1
and his own family was Thracian because Olorus, his father,
also had a name from Thrace. He was descended from the
family of Miltiades. For on the spot where Miltiades is
entombed near Koilei, there also has Thucydides been
entombed. Militiades married Hegeisipulas, the daughter of
the king of Thrace.
Thucydides became a pupil of Antiphon of 2
Rhamnus because he was clever and circumspect at
speaking in the law courts. On account of these things, they
did not hold him back from speaking, but he even took it in
hand to write speeches and surrendered to the requirements
of practice. Thucydides himself testified to it that he was his
pupil and that [Antiphon] might have been a counsellor to
him, [when he said] that [Antiphon] was best at getting one
acquitted in the courts. But Antiphon seemed to be a base
man. For around the end of the Peloponnesian War he was
judged to be a traitor, when he was caught advising the best
things to the Lacedaemonians, during an embassy to them,
and the most unprofitable things to the Athenians. Along
with him, they destroyed Archeptolomus and Onomachles,
whose homes also were razed, and whose families were
destroyed and dishonored.
Thucydides was a man of the general’scharacter. 3
In addition, it was believed that he was wealthy and had
great power because of his mines around Thasos. During the
Peloponnesian War, he gave cause for a conviction of
treason against him from his slowness and petty neglect [in
executing his duties]. For it chanced that Brasidas seized the
Athenian cities of Thrace, which were revolting from the
Athenians and being added to the Lacedaemonians’
[empire]. It was necessary for him to sail there quickly and
to save Eion, which was situated nearby, in order to recover
Amphipolis, “a great possession” for the Athenians. He was
able to save Eion by hastening there; but he utterly lost
Amphipolis. Cleon, in fact, brought help to the cities in
Thrace and sailed over to Amphipolis. Nevertheless, when a
battle was fought, Brasidas, the Lacedaemonian, defeated
him, while Cleon died after being struck by a Myrkinian
peltast. Brasidas was not in fact aware of the victory because
he died [shortly after the battle]. Amphipolis revolted from
the Athenians and became [part] of the Lacedaemonians’
[empire]. The Amphipolitans tore down the buildings
[dedicated to] Hagnon and re-named them the Brasidaean
[Buildings] because they hated being an Attic colony. Then
they laconized and transferred the honor to [Brasidas] and to
After he became a fugitive, Thucydides had leisure
4 for the writing of The Peloponnesian War. Because of this,
it seems that in many things he favored the Lacedaemonians,
while he denounced the tyranny and greed of Athens. For
from [his exile] he had the opportunity to denounce the
Athenians, rather than to accuse the Corinthians or reproach
the Lacedaemonians or blame the Mytileneans; but most of
the charges flowed against Attica. He exalted the victories of
the Laconians in speech, while he magnified the disasters of
the Atticans, such as those in Sicily.
He has stopped the writing during the naval battle 5
near Cynossema, which is near the Hellespont. The
Athenians also seem to have conquered there. After these
things, he left it behind for others to write – to Xenophon
and to Theopompus. And there are several battles in a row
after it. For [he does] not [record] the second naval battle
near Cynossema, of which Theopompus spoke; nor the one
near Cyzicus, in which Thrasybulus, Theramenes, and
Alcibiades were victorious; nor the naval-battle at
Arginusae, where the Athenians were victorious over the
Lacedaemonians; nor the one that was the chief [cause] of
Attica’s evils – the naval battles on the rivers in Aigos –
where the Athenians utterly lost their ships and their hopes
successively. For [after it] also their walls were demolished;
the tyranny of The Thirty was established; and the city fell
into many disasters, which Theopompus accurately recorded.
Thucydides was one of those who was altogether 6
reputable on the basis of noble birth among the Athenians.
He seemed to be clever at speaking before he set down the
actions in his writing. He first made a demonstration of his
cleverness at speaking in the following way. Pyrilampes,
because he was jealous of someone, slew some male friend
among the citizens for being in love with a private man.
When this was judged in a trial at the Aeropagus,
[Thucydides] displayed many examples of private wisdom
by making a defense for Pyrilampes and triumphing over
Pericles, who prosecuted it. From this he was elected
general and was put forward to be archon of his
deme. But he became ambitious1 in his affairs. To the 7
extent that he became a lover of money, he also did not
permit himself much time to put first [the affairs] of his
deme. First, under the influence of Xenocritus, he was away
from his deme. Then, when he returned to Athens, he
created confusion in the law courts and was captured while
attempting to flee. Later, he was ostracized for ten years. He
spent his exile in Aegina. It also is said [by some] that he
composed the histories there. At that time his love of silver
was most evident, for he made many Aeginateans upset by
lending money with interest.
It was after the history, they say, that the 8
proemium (“The Archaeology,” I.1-23) was composed. For
he is recalling [therein] the things that had occurred during
the war, such as the purification of Delos, which, they say,
occurred around the seventh year of the archonship of
Euthynus. He recalls in it even the end of the war by saying,
“at the end of this war” (I.13.3). Also, he says in the
beginning, “for this motion surely was the greatest for the
Greeks and for some part of the barbarians, and, so to speak,
for most human beings” (I.1.2).
After completing the eighth book, he died from a 9
disease. For this reason those who say that the eighth book is
not by Thucydides, but by another writer, are in error.
Coming to his final resting place in Athens, he 10
was entombed among the gates of Miltiades nearby, a place
in Attica which is called by the name, “Koilei.” He himself
either returned to Athens from his exile, after he had
completed the designated time [of his sentence], and came to
his final resting place in his private fatherland, or his bones
were transported from Thrace after he gave up his life there.
For it is spoken of in both ways. Thus, someone set up a
marker in Koilei bearing this epigram: “Thucydides, son of
Olorus, a Halimousian [lies here].”
1 Megalophrones, also translated above as “great-minded.” See,
e.g., line 57 above.




Фотография andy4675 andy4675 04.11 2013

Словарь Су(и)да:

Фукидид, сын Олора, сына имел Тимофея. По отцу происходил из рода Мильтиада, а по матери - от Олора, царя фракийцев; ученик Антифонта. Его акме пала на 87-ю 1 Олимпиаду, и он описал войну пелопоннесцев с афинянами. В Олимпии, будучи ещё ребёнком, он услышал читавшего свои Истории Геродота, и так прочуствовал услышанное, что его слова наполнились слезами. Поняв природу мальчика, Геродот сказал отцу его, Олору: "Называю тебя благословенным за такое прекрасное потомство, Олор! Потому что душа твоего сына влечётся к к учению". И он не ошибся в своих словах. 2

Этот Фукидид имел много талантов - в красивой речи, в точности при изложении фактов, в стратегии, в советовательной и панегирической риторике. Сей автор постоянно переходит слов женского рода к словам среднего рода. Например: "они обернулись к Македонии, которую они прежде [...]." 3
Также: фукидидово письмо.


Θουκυδίδης, Ὀλώρου, Ἀθηναῖος, παῖδα δὲ ἔσχε Τιμόθεον. ἦν δὲ ἀπὸ μὲν πατρὸς Μιλτιάδου τοῦ στρατηγοῦ τὸ γένος ἕλκων, ἀπὸ δὲ μητρὸς Ὀλώρου τοῦ Θρᾳκῶν βασιλέως: μαθητὴς Ἀντιφῶντος. ἤκμαζε κατὰ τὴν πζ# Ὀλυμπιάδα: ἔγραψε δὲ τὸν πόλεμον τῶν Πελοποννησίων καὶ Ἀθηναίων. οὗτος ἤκουσεν ἔτι παῖς τυγχάνων Ἡροδότου ἐπὶ τῆς Ὀλυμπίας τὰς ἱστορίας διερχομένου, ἃς συνεγράψατο, καὶ κινηθεὶς ὑπό τινος ἐνθουσιασμοῦ πλήρης δακρύων ἐγένετο. καὶ ὁ Ἡρόδοτος κατανοήσας τὴν αὐτοῦ φύσιν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα Θουκυδίδου Ὄλωρον ἔφη: μακαρίζω σε τῆς εὐτεκνίας, Ὄλωρε: ὁ γὰρ σὸς υἱὸς ὀργῶσαν ἔχει τὴν ψυχὴν πρὸς τὰ μαθήματα. καὶ οὐκ ἐψεύσθη γε τῆς ἀποφάσεως. οὗτος ὁ Θουκυδίδης ἀνὴρ ἦν πολὺς ταῖς τέχναις, κάλλει λόγων καὶ ἀκριβείᾳ πραγμάτων καὶ στρατηγίαις καὶ συμβουλίαις καὶ πανηγυρικαῖς ὑποθέσεσιν. ὁ συγγραφεὺς οὗτος μεταβαίνει ἀπὸ τῶν θηλυκῶν εἰς οὐδέτερον: οἷον, τρέπονται εἰς Μακεδονίαν, ἐφ' ὅπερ καὶ πρότερον. καὶ Θουκυδίδειος γραφή.



Material drawn from the principal ancient biographies of Thucydides (Marcellinus, Hesychius, Photius).
See generally OCD(3) s.v.

[1] 432-429.
[2] This anecdote reappears, in brief, at omicron 502.
[3] Thuc. 1.59.2. The point (made also in a scholion to 1.122.3) is that the word "Macedonia" is grammatically feminine, while the relative pronoun referring to it, "which," (ὅπερ ) is neuter.





Фотография andy4675 andy4675 31.03 2014

Марцеллин, Жизнеописание Фукидида (полный перевод на английский):



Фотография Стефан Стефан 29.03 2016

Фукидид. История

Изд. подг. Г.А. Стратановский, А.А. Нейхард, Я.М. Боровский. – Л.: Наука, 1981. – 544 с. – (Литературные памятники).



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От переводчика

Г.А. Стратановский. Фукидид и его «История»

Примечания (составил Г.А. Стратановский)

Словарь древнегреческих терминов, встречающихся у Фукидида

Афинский календарь, античные меры длины и веса

Список сокращений

Указатель имён и географических названий, упоминаемых Фукидидом