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With these thoughts in their minds, and holding that the fortunes of war are shared by all men in common, they faced a numerous enemy, but had justice as their ally, and they fought and conquered. And they did not allow themselves to be so elated by their fortune as to seek a heavier punishment of the Cadmeans, but in contrast to their impiety showed forth their own virtue, and obtaining for themselves the price for which they had come—the corpses of the Argives—they buried them in their own land of Eleusis. Such, then, is the character that they have evinced in regard to those of the Seven against Thebes who were slain.According to the usual story all the seven were sla
Batrachus, for instance, the most wicked, next to this man, of them all, having turned informer in the time of the Thirty,404-403 B.C. and being covered by agreements and oaths along with the party at Eleusis, was yet so afraid of those of you whom he had wronged that he made his abode in another city. But Andocides, who has wronged the very gods themselves, made less account of them by entering their temples than Batrachus did of mankind. He therefore who is both more wicked and more obtuse than Batrachus ought to be only too glad to have his life spared by you.
But I will tell you how, in thinking to do me an outrage, you made yourselves ridiculous. You asserted that it was an intrusion when I associated and talked with you; that despite all your efforts you did not know how to get rid of me; and finally, that it was against your will that you went with me on a mission to Eleusis. In making these statements you think you are defaming me, but you only reveal yourselves as utter dunderheads; for you were covertly abusing the same man whom at the same moment you were openly treating as a friend!
For if their quarrel had been in the cause of those who had suffered wrong, at what moment could a ruler have more gloriously displayed his own loyalty than on the seizure of Phyle by Thrasybulus?In the autumn of 404 B.C. Phyle commanded the road from Thebes to Athens, about twelve miles from the latter. But, instead of offering or bringing some aid to the men at Phyle, he went with his partners in power to Salamis and Eleusis, and haled to prison three hundred of the citizens, and by a single resolutionAn illegality like that of the condemnation of the generals after Arginusae. The law required that each accused person should be voted on separately. condemned them all to death.
Nor must you feel more gratitude to them for what they say that they mean to do than anger for what they have done; nor, while taking your measures against the Thirty in their absence,At Eleusis. acquit them in their presence; nor in your own rescue be more lax than fortune who has delivered these men into the hands of the city.
It gives me pain, indeed, to recall the calamities that have befallen the city, but it is a necessity, gentlemen of the jury, at the present moment, so that you may know how richly Agoratus deserves your pity! For you know the character and number of the citizens who were brought away from Salamis,Cf. Lys. 12.52. and the way in which they were destroyed by the Thirty. You know what a great number of the people of Eleusis shared that calamity.
Lysias, Defence against a Charge of subverting the Democracy, section 9 (search)
For consider, gentlemen of the jury, how many times the leaders of both governmentsThe oligarchy of the Four Hundred and the despotism of the Thirty. changed sides. Did not Phrynichus, Peisander and their fellow demagogues, when they had committed many offences against you, proceed, in fear of the requital that they deserved, to establish the first oligarchy? And did not many of the Four Hundred, again, join in the return of the Peiraeus party, while some, on the other hand, who had helped in the expulsion of the Four Hundred, actually appeared among the Thirty? Some, too, of those who had enlisted for Eleusis marched out with you to besiege their own comrades!