1.36

τοιαύτη μὲν ἡ χώρα ἐστίν· ὑμᾶς δὲ χρὴ ὁρᾶν ὅπως δυνησόμεθα τοσούτοις ἔθνεσι μάχεσθαι καὶ ὅπως βιοτεύσομεν.» «Πόσοι δέ,» ἔφην ἐγώ, «πάντες οὗτοί εἰσιν;» «Πλείους,» ἔφη, «τῶν χιλίων.» «Ὅπλα δὲ τίνα ἐστὶν αὐτοῖς;» «Οὐδέν,» ἔφη, «πλὴν τὰ ὀστᾶ τῶν ἰχθύων.» «Οὐκοῦν,» ἔφην ἐγώ, «ἄριστα ἂν ἔχοι διὰ μάχης ἐλθεῖν αὐτοῖς, ἅτε οὖσιν ἀνόπλοις αὐτούς γε ὡπλισμένους· εἰ γὰρ κρατήσομεν αὐτῶν, ἀδεῶς τὸν λοιπὸν βίον οἰκήσομεν.»

      Ἔδοξε ταῦτα, καὶ ἀπελθόντες ἐπὶ ναῦν παρεσκευαζόμεθα. αἰτία δὲ τοῦ πολέμου ἔμελλεν ἔσεσθαι τοῦ φόρου ἡ οὐκ ἀπόδοσις, ἤδη τῆς προθεσμίας ἐνεστώσης. καὶ δὴ οἱ μὲν ἔπεμπον ἀπαιτοῦντες τὸν δασμόν· ὁ δὲ ὑπεροπτικῶς ἀποκρινάμενος ἀπεδίωξε τοὺς ἀγγέλους. πρῶτοι οὖν οἱ Ψηττόποδες καὶ οἱ Παγουρίδαι χαλεπαίνοντες τῷ Σκινθάρῳ - τοῦτο γὰρ ἐκαλεῖτο - μετὰ πολλοῦ θορύβου ἐπῄεσαν.

They decide to join forces and revolt from the masters who demand tribute.  They defeat the enemy and dwell in the whale, living a life of ease.

ὅπως δυνησόμεθα...βιοτεύσομεν: fut. indicatives in object clause after ὁρᾶν "to see how we will be able..." (S. 2210; G. 638a).

οὐκοῦν: anticipating agreement to the proposal (S. 2952).

ἄριστα ἂν ἔχοι: "it would be best," (S. 1824; for ἔχω + adv., see S. 1438).

ἐλθεῖν αὐτοῖς...αὐτούς γε ὡπλισμένους: "that we who have been equipped with arms go against them," (αὐτοῖς is used as a third person personal pronoun while αὐτούς is emphatic and agrees with the implied subject (ἡμᾶς) of the infinitive ἐλθεῖν). On the basic uses of αὐτός, see S. 1204 (and for variations, see S. 1205-1217).

ἅτε οὖσιν: "inasmuch as they are unarmed," ἅτε + part., indicating the ground for the proposal (S. 2085). 

εἰ κρατήσομεν...: emotional future condition, a variation on the future more vivid conditional using εἰ + the future in the protasis to express a strong feeling (S. 2328). It is difficult to render this nuance in translation in contemporary English (Smyth recommends the use of "shall"). 

ἔδοξε ταῦτα: "these things seemed agreeable."

τὸν λοιπὸν βίον: "for the rest of our lives" (S. 1582).

ἀπελθόντες: aor. part. of ἀπέρχομαι, "departing."

αἰτία δὲ τοῦ πολέμου ἔμελλεν ἔσεσθαι: "...was to be the cause for the war," predicate noun appears without an article (S. 1150).

ἡ οὐκ ἀπόδοσις: "the non-payment" (see Jerram ad loc.).

ἤδη τῆς προθεσμίας (sc. ἡμέρας) ἐνεστώσης: "since the appointed day had already arrived," (S. 2058 and 2070; G. 589 and 590).

ἐνεστώσης: perf. act. part. of ἐνίστημι.

καὶ δὴ: introducing a climax, "finally..." (S. 2847).

οἱ μὲν ἔπεμπον ἀπαιτοῦντες τὸν δασμόν: "they sent (sc. men) in order to demand the tribute," while the future part. is more common, the present part. is here used to denote purpose (S. 2065).

ἀπεδίωξε: aor. of ἀποδιώκω, "he drove off."

ἐπῄεσαν: impf. of ἐπέρχομαι, “they attacked," εἶμι is commonly used for the imperfect of ἔρχομαι (S. 774).

VERB LIST

βιοτεύω: live

πόσος, -η, -ον: how many

χίλιοι, -αι, -α: a thousand

ὀστοῦν (ὀστέον), τό: bone

ἰχθῦς, -ύος, ὁ: a fish

ἄνοπλος, -ον: without weapons, unarmed

ὁπλίζω: arm, equip with arms

ἀδεῶς: without fear, confidently

ἀπέρχομαι: go away, depart from

φόρος, ὁ: that which is brought in, tribute

ἀπόδοσις, -εως, ἡ: a payment

προθεσμία, (sc. ἡμέρα), ἡ: an appointed day, a day set in advance

ἐνίστημι: put, set, place in; in perf. be at hand, arise, arrive

ἀπαιτέω: demand back, demand

δασμός, ὁ: tribute

ὑπεροπτικῶς: contemptuously, disdainfully

ἀποδιώκω: chase away

ἄγγελος, ὁ: a messenger, envoy

Ψηττόποδες, οἱ: the Flat-fish-footed ones (cf. ψῆττα, ἡ, flat-fish)

Παγουρίδαι, οἱ: the Crabsters (cf. πάγουρος, ὁ, crab)

χαλεπαίνω: be angry at (+ dat.)

θόρυβος, ὁ: a noise, uproar, clamor

ἐπέρχομαι: attack

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Suggested Citation

Eric Casey, Stephen Nimis, and Evan Hayes, Lucian: True History, Book 1. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-05-4. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/index.php/lucian-true/book-1/1-36