A Commentary on HerodotusMachine readable text

A Commentary on Herodotus
By W. W. How

Perseus Documents Collection Table of Contents










Funded by The Annenberg CPB/Project


Ch. 203

diech=kan. The story of the escapes of Cyrene is full of suspicious elements, the λόγιον, the presence of the admiral ( 2), the panic ( 3); nor is it consistent ( 2) with H.'s view that the Persian expedition aimed at general conquest (c. 145 n.), or with the attack on Euesperides (c. 204). Probably it is a version made up after the fall of the Battiads by Cyrenaean vanity. Menecles (F. H. G. iv. 449, fr. 2) represents Pheretime as having at once established her grandson Battus IV on the throne, and then as subduing a Cyrenaean rebellion with a Persian army.

Ch. 204

a)naspa/stous. For transplantation of conquered peoples cf. iii. 93. 2 and vi. 3 nn.

*baktri/hs. That H. had ever been in Bactria is now believed by no one. It is interesting to contrast the precise details of vi. 119 as to the similar deportation of the Eretrians to Ardericca (near Susa), with the bare ἐς ἐμέ here (cf. for H.'s travels Introd. pp. 16-20).

Ch. 205

eu)le/wn e)ce/zese. Sulla (Plut. c. 36) and Herod Agrippa (Acts xii. 23) died by the same loathsome disease; the reflection of H. is most characteristic.

th=s *ba/ttou. Pheretime was the wife of Battus III (the lame); but the words would naturally mean daughter of Battus. In this case she would be the daughter of Battus II, who came to the throne about 575 B. C., probably as a youngish man; his father only reigned sixteen years (159. 1). H. expressly tells us that kindred marriages were practised by the royal house (164. 4); that Battus III should marry his aunt would be another trace of the native strain in the blood of the Battiadae. The fact that Pheretime herself is of the royal house suits well the prominent part which she plays in the story (165. 1).

Book 5 [p. 1]


Ch. 1-16

The Persians under Megabazus conquer Thrace. Digressions on the customs and deities of the Thracians (3-8), the lands beyond the Danube (9, 10), on Darius and the Paeonians (11-13), and on the dwellings on Lake Prasias (16). The account of primitive customs makes this section, like the more detailed ones on Scythia and Libya, of the greatest interest to anthropologists.

Ch. 1 [sect. 1]

After the excursus on Cyrene and Libya (iv. 145 f.) H. takes up again the narrative of Persian conquest in Europe from iv. 144.

*(ellhsponti/wn: in the wide sense; cf. iv. 38 n.