From the preface to the first edition.

MY earliest interest in the Private Orations may be said to date from the time when it was my privilege as an undergraduate to attend, in the year 1865, a course of lectures by my friend Mr Moss, then Fellow and Lecturer of St John's College, and now Head-Master of Shrewsbury School. His selections included two of the six speeches edited in the present volume, the Nicostratus and the Conon; but, as the notes taken down from his lectures were too scanty to form even the basis of any attempt at constructing a complete edition, my commentary on those speeches has been mainly the result of independent reading and research, though I gladly acknowledge the help that is due to his soundness of judgment on several points on which I have consulted him while revising my notes on the Conon. In the case of the Nicostratus, when my own commentary was nearly ready for the press, I had the further advantage of attending in the spring of 1874 some of Dr Kennedy's professorial lectures on the Private Orations. From the excellent translation of his brother Mr Charles Rann Kennedy I have here and there quoted a few extracts; and if I have now and then drawn attention to an apparently erroneous interpretation, I have done so with the consciousness that in each case it is only a trifling blemish in what is nearly perfect of its kind. Similarly, several questionable explanations, retained even in the sixth edition of Liddell and Scott's Lexicon, have been duly pointed out in the course of my commentary, as it is only thus that a labourer in a limited field can offer any acknowledgement of his large indebtedness to their labours1. The lexicography of Demosthenes cannot indeed be said to be at present in a completely satisfactory condition, as general lexicons have still to rely in a great measure on Reiske's Index Graecitatis, which, with the portion of his opus magnum including his notes on the speeches in this volume, was posthumously published exactly a century ago.2

The volume opens with a speech on behalf of Phormion, in bar of a claim on the part of Apollodorus for the recovery of capital alleged to have been transferred to Phormion by Pasion, the father of Apollodorus. This is followed by two on behalf of Phormion's opponent Apollodorus, charging with false witness one of the deponents called on Phormion's side in the previous trial. These three speeches, though not actually delivered in the same lawsuit, virtually represent the arguments of the two opposite sides, and a comparison of their conflicting statements has an interest similar in kind, though different in degree, to that derived from reading the longer and more important orations of Demosthenes, On the Embassy and On the Crown, in contrast with those of his great rival Aeschines. The orations of Antiphon, the earliest of the Attic Orators, include indeed four sets of ingenious speeches written for the prosecution and the defence in cases of homicide, but his cases are merely imaginary, and the orations are intended as rhetorical exercises alone. The first three selections in this volume supply us with the only instance in all the remains of Attic oratory, where the legal issues raised on both sides in a suit of purely private interest lie before us as they were actually presented to an Athenian tribunal. Whether Demosthenes actually wrote for both sides is a vexed question, briefly discussed in the course of the Introduction; it is a question that has provoked a large number of dissertations, the titles of which I have recorded on a page devoted to a conspectus of the literature of the subject up to the present date. But the volume now published, while it happens to be the first English commentary on any of the selections included in it, is also the first attempt either in England or elsewhere to put together an edition of all these three speeches in their connexion with one another3. As compared with the work demanded by the second half of this volume, where I have been conscious of moving more freely over ground familiarised by more frequent reading of that portion with private pupils between 1867 and 1870, and for public lectures at a later date, the task of writing the first half has proved a somewhat tedious one, owing partly to the necessity of constantly keeping in view all the nine speeches in which Phormion's opponent, Apollodorus, is more or less directly concerned, and of forming an opinion on the numerous points of literary criticism and chronological detail involved in the controversy on the authorship of those orations.

Those who, after finishing the pro Phormione, do not care to study minutely the whole of the two speeches against Stephanus, ought, at the very least, to examine the vigorous attack on Phormion which extends from § 71 to § 82 of the first of those two speeches. They should also endeavour to obtain a connected view of the argument by reading consecutively the italicised abstracts inserted at suitable intervals in the course of the commentary. With the help of these abstracts the general reader, the barrister, for instance, who has not remembered all the Greek of his younger days, may perhaps, if tempted to dip into these pages, form some opinion of his own on the forensic oratory of Athens; but my more immediate object in this part of my work has been to obviate any occasion for unduly burdening the notes with those literal renderings which are always welcome to students of the less industrious sort, by supplying instead either a free paraphrase or a condensed summary, as the occasion requires.

The latter half of the volume includes the Nicostratus, which was delivered by the same speaker as the two orations against Stephanus, namely by Apollodorus, and also the Conon, which is certainly one of the most celebrated of the minor speeches of Demosthenes. To these selections, both of which throw much light on the social life of Athens, I have added the Callicles, which, though less well known than the others, will be found one of the pleasantest, while it happens to be the shortest, of all the Private Orations.

The first volume of the Select Private Orations includes the speeches contra Phormionem (Or. 34), Lacritum (35), Pantaenetum (37), Boeotum de nomine (39), Boeotum de dote (40), and Dionysodorum (56). In the preface to that volume it has been already explained that the two volumes are a joint edition on the part of Mr Paley and myself, and I may here repeat that while Mr Paley is mainly responsible for the first volume, I am similarly responsible for the whole of the Introduction and for nearly all the notes of the second, though I have had the advantage of receiving from him a careful revision of all the proof-sheets of my commentary, and a large number of supplementary annotations, many of which have been incorporated with my own, and duly acknowledged by being placed in square brackets and followed by his initial.

J. E. S.

October, 1875.

1 Some of these have since been corrected in the seventh edition.

2 Some of these have since been corrected in the seventh edition.

3 Since the above was written the Index Demosthenicus of S. Preuss has been published by Teubner, 1895.

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