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concern at the wrongs which they knew I had suffered, that, in spite of the frantic efforts of the defendant and a few supporters, they were deaf to their arguments, shut their eyes to their wealth and their promises, and condemned him by an unanimous show of hands, thereupon, gentlemen of the jury, many citizens, including some of you who are here in court, came to me and demanded and even implored that I should take the further step of bringing Meidias under your jurisdiction; and they did so, I think, for two reasons, men of Athens, because, so help me heaven! they thought that my own wrongs were serious, and they also wished to punish Meidias for conduct which they had witnessed on other occasions, as a scoundrel and a ruffian who could no longer be tolerated.
This being so, I have in your interests taken all due precautions, and now that the case is before the court, I am here, as you see, to accuse him, having refused large sums of money, men of Athens, which I might have accepted on condition of dropping the prosecution, and having had to steel myself against many appeals and favorable offers-yes, and even menaces.
Now if, men of Athens, I were going to accuse Meidias of unconstitutional proposals or of misconduct on an embassy or of any offence of that sort, I should not feel justified in appealing for your sympathy, for I consider that in such cases the plaintiff ought to confine himself to proving his case, though the defendant may have recourse to prayers. But since Meidias bribed the umpires and so robbed my tribe unfairly of the prize,
His subsequent conduct, which I am now going to describe, passes all limits; and indeed I should never have ventured to arraign him today, had I not previously secured his immediate conviction in the Assembly. The sacred apparel—for all apparel provided for use at a festival I regard as being sacred until after it has been used—and the golden crowns,which I ordered for the decoration of the chorus, he plotted to destroy,men of Athens, by a nocturnal raid on the premises of my goldsmith. And he did destroy them, though not completely, for that was beyond his power. And no one can say that he ever yet heard of anyone daring or perpetrating such an outrage in this city.
But not content with this, men of Athens, he actually corrupted the trainer of my chorus; and if Telephanes, the flute-player, had not proved the staunchest friend to me, if he had not seen through the fellow's game and sent him about his business, if he had not felt it his duty to train the chorus and weld them into shape himself, we could not have taken part in the competition, Athenians; the chorus would have come in untrained and we should have been covered with ignominy. Nor did his insolence stop even there. It was so unrestrained that he bribed the crowned Archon himself; he banded the choristers against me; he bawled and threatened, standing beside the umpires as they took the oath he blocked the gangways from the wings,Rooms projecting R. and L. from the back-scene, and giving
These were the crimes and brutalities which Meidias committed in connection with the festival against my fellow-tribesmen and myself. It was for these, men of Athens, that I lodged my public plaint; and there are many besides, of which I will describe to you immediately as many as I can. But I have to tell of many other acts of unmitigated rascality and insolence, directed against many of yourselves, and many daring crimes of this blackguard.
Now I have much to say also, men of Athens, about the wrongs which he inflicted on others, as I told you at the beginning of my speech, and I have made a collection of his outrageous and insulting acts, which you shall hear in a moment. The collection was indeed an easy matter, for the victims themselves applied to me.There is obviously some dislocation here. The evidence of the goldsmith, which concerns the outrages specified in the probolh/, should have come, with the other depositions, after Dem. 21.18. Dem. 21.23, in its present place, with its reference to the beginning of the speech, is nonsense. It is a repetition of Dem. 21.19 and Dem. 21.20, being an introduction to a description of outrages committed
I have been told that Meidias goes about inquiring and collecting examples of people who have at any time been assaulted, and that these people are going to give evidence and describe their experiences to you; for instance, men of Athens, the Chairman for the day who is said to have been struck by Polyzelus in your court, the judge who was lately struck when trying to rescue the flute-girl, and similar cases. He imagines that if he can point to many other victims of serious assault, you will be less indignant at the assault committed upon me!
Indeed he went to such extreme lengths that even if a slave was assaulted, he granted him the same right of bringing a public action. He thought that he ought to look, not at the rank of the sufferer, but at the nature of the act, and when he found the act unjustifiable, he would not give it his sanction either in regard to a slave or in any other case. For nothing, men of Athens, nothing in the world is more intolerable than a personal outrage, nor is there anything that more deserves your resentment. Read me the actual law with regard to it. There is nothing like hearing the law's own words.
“There are in Greece men so mild and humane in disposition that though they have often been wronged by you, and though they have inherited a natural hostility towards you, yet they permit no insult to be offered even to the men whom they have bought for a price and keep as their slaves. Nay, they have publicly established this law forbidding such insult, and they have already punished many of the transgressors with death.
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