Thucydidean Dating in Book II

In Book II of his Peloponnesian War, Thucydides gives us the date and time for when the Thebians invaded the town of Plataea. The way he goes about it, however, is interesting. He uses typical Hellenic ways of dating (the Priestess at Argos, the Ephor at Sparta, the Archon at Athens). But he works his way down from the year, the month, all the way down to the very hour at which the Thebans entered Plataea. Here’s a little outline of how he dates it:

1 He tells us his history is written in order according to the winters and summers
-γέγραπται δὲ ἑξῆς ὡς ἕκαστα ἐγίγνετο κατὰ θέρος καὶ χειμῶνα.

Now onto the event. It happened:
2. After the fourteen years of the Thirty Year treaty had gone by
-τέσσαρα μὲν γὰρ καὶ δέκα ἔτη ἐνέμειναν αἱ τριακοντούτεις σπονδαὶ.

3. Which was made after the capture of Euboea
-αἵ ἐγένοντο μετ’ Εὐβοίας ἅλωσιν

4. Thus in the fifteenth year
-τῷ δὲ πέμπτῳ καὶ δεκάτῳ ἔτει

5. In the forty-eighth year of Chrysis being Priestess in Argos
-ἐπὶ Χρυσίδος ἐν Ἄργει τότε πεντήκοντα δυοῖν δέοντα ἔτη ἱερωμένης

6. When Ainesias was the Ephor in Sparta
-καὶ Αἰνησίου ἐφόρου ἐν Σπάρτῃ

7. In the second-to-last month of the Archonship of Pythodorus in Athens:
-καὶ Πυθοδώρου ἔτι δύο μῆνας ἄρχοντος Ἀθηναίοις

8. Six months after the battle at Potidaea
-μετὰ τὴν ἐν Ποτειδαίᾳ μάχην μηνὶ ἕκτῳ

9. At the very beginning of spring
-ἅμα ἦρι ἀρχομένῳ

10. The Theban men entered the city at the first watch of the night
-Θηβαίων ἄνδρες…ἐσῆλθον περὶ πρῶτον ὕπνον


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