https://tidsskrift.dk/classicaetmediaevalia/issue/feed Classica et Mediaevalia 2021-08-09T11:26:41+02:00 Thomas Heine Nielsen heine@hum.ku.dk Open Journal Systems <p><em>&nbsp;</em></p> https://tidsskrift.dk/classicaetmediaevalia/article/view/128156 A Note on the Theiasmos of Nicias in Thucydides 2021-08-06T11:12:01+02:00 Nanno Marinatos nannom@uic.edu <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Thucydides criticises Nicias for being too partial to divination (7.50.4). It is suggested here through the examination of the linguistic nuances of θειασμός and the verb προσκείμενος, that Thucydides assessed him negatively primarily because he took the side of the army-seers. Yet, this criticism ought not to be blown out of proportion. Thucydides’ portrait differs significantly from Plutarch’s who describes Nicias as a diffident man easily gripped by fear and addicted to prophecies. Consequently, Thucydides’ criticism is a small parenthesis in his overall presentation of the Athenian general’s career whose decisions were based on skill, rational criteria and experience (5.16.1).</p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-08-09T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Nanno Marinatos https://tidsskrift.dk/classicaetmediaevalia/article/view/128157 Foreseeing the Past: Probability and Ancient Greek Decision-Making 2021-08-09T11:18:06+02:00 Paul Vădan vadan@hum.ku.dk <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The article explores the concept of probability in ancient Greece from a non-scientific perspective and shows how ancient decision-makers used historical data to make calculated decisions and speculate about the future. First, the paper considers how quantitative data was used by ancient Greek communities to make economic projections. It then shows how ancient Greek generals used the same conceptual tools to determine their odds of victory by tallying up and comparing the number and composition of armies and resources available to them and their enemy. In the third section, the paper examines how qualitative probability was articulated through the language of hope and likelihood to formulate chances of success in moments of crisis. Finally, the paper shows that ancient decision-makers implemented “power laws” to adapt to changing circumstances and the flow of new information, as they sought to improve their odds of success relative to their rivals.</p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-08-09T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Paul Vădan