Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

LCL 108: 114-115

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παρ᾿ ὑμῶν ἀξίως προαπαντῆσαι, καὶ νῦν τοὺς Ἀθηναίους οὐχ ἑκάς, ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνον, ἀλλ᾿ ἐγγὺς ὄντας περιορᾶτε, καὶ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἐπελθεῖν αὐτοὶ ἀμύνεσθαι βούλεσθε μᾶλλον ἐπιόντας καὶ ἐς τύχας πρὸς πολλῷ δυνατωτέρους ἀγωνιζόμενοι καταστῆναι, ἐπιστάμενοι καὶ τὸν βάρβαρον αὐτὸν περὶ αὑτῷ τὰ πλείω σφαλέντα καὶ πρὸς αὐτοὺς τοὺς Ἀθηναίους πολλὰ ἡμᾶς ἤδη τοῖς ἁμαρτήμασιν αὐτῶν μᾶλλον ἢ τῇ ἀφ᾿ ὑμῶν τιμωρίᾳ περιγεγενημένους· ἐπεὶ αἵ γε ὑμέτεραι ἐλπίδες ἤδη τινάς που καὶ ἀπαρασκεύους διὰ τὸ πιστεῦσαι 6ἔφθειραν. καὶ μηδεὶς ὑμῶν ἐπ᾿ ἔχθρᾳ τὸ πλέον ἢ αἰτίᾳ νομίσῃ τάδε λέγεσθαι· αἰτία μὲν γὰρ φίλων ἀνδρῶν ἐστιν ἁμαρτανόντων, κατηγορία δὲ ἐχθρῶν ἀδικησάντων.

LXX. “Καὶ ἅμα, εἴπερ τινὲς καὶ ἄλλοι, νομίζομεν ἄξιοι εἶναι τοῖς πέλας ψόγον ἐπενεγκεῖν, ἄλλως τε καὶ μεγάλων τῶν διαφερόντων καθεστώτων, περὶ ὧν οὐκ αἰσθάνεσθαι ἡμῖν γε δοκεῖτε οὐδ᾿ ἐκλογίσασθαι πώποτε πρὸς οἵους ὑμῖν Ἀθηναίους ὄντας καὶ ὅσον ὑμῶν καὶ ὡς πᾶν διαφέροντας ὁ 2ἀγὼν ἔσται. οἱ μέν γε νεωτεροποιοὶ καὶ ἐπινοῆσαι ὀξεῖς καὶ ἐπιτελέσαι ἔργῳ ἃ ἂν γνῶσιν, ὑμεῖς δὲ τὰ ὑπάρχοντά τε σῴζειν καὶ ἐπιγνῶναι μηδὲν καὶ ἔργῳ οὐδὲ τἀναγκαῖα ἐξικέσθαι.


Book I

forth to withstand him in a manner worthy of your power; and now you regard with indifference the Athenians who are not afar off, as the Persian was, but near at hand, and instead of attacking them yourselves, you prefer to ward them off when they attack, and incur hazard by joining in a struggle with opponents who have become far more powerful. Yet you know that the Barbarian failed mostly by his own fault, and that in our struggles with the Athenians themselves we have so far often owed our successes rather to their own errors than to any aid received from you; indeed, it is the hopes they have placed in you that have already ruined more than one state1 that was unprepared just because of trust in you. And let no one of you think that these things are said more out of hostile feeling than by way of complaint; for complaint is against friends that err, but accusation against enemies that have inflicted an injury.

LXX. “And besides, we have the right, we think, if any men have, to find fault with our neighbours, especially since the interests at stake for us are important. To these interests it seems to us at least that you are insensible, and that you have never even fully considered what sort of men the Athenians are with whom you will have to fight, and how very, how utterly, different they are from you. For they are given to innovation and quick to form plans and to put their decisions into execution, whereas you are disposed merely to keep what you have, to devise nothing new, and, when you do take action, not to carry to completion even what is indispensable.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.thucydides-history_peloponnesian_war.1919