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[11] Secondly, as of course you all know, every court judges cases of murder in the open air, and for good reasons: first, that the jurors may avoid entering the same building as those whose hands are unclean: and secondly, that he who is conducting the prosecution for murder may avoid being under the same roof as the murderer. No one but yourself has ever dreamed of evading this law. And not only that you should, as a preliminary, have taken the most solemn and binding oath known,1 swearing, under pain of causing yourself, your kin, and your house to perish from the earth, that you would accuse me only in connection with the murder itself, to the effect that I committed it; whereby, however numerous my crimes, I could have been condemned only on the charge before the court, and however numerous my good deeds, none of those good deeds could have gained me an acquittal.

1 The διωμοσία, or preliminary oath, taken by the prosecutor, the defendant, and the witnesses of each, was peculiar to the δίκη φόνου; the equivalent elsewhere was the ἀντωμοσία taken by both plaintiff and defendant at the ἀνάκρισις before the Archon. From this witnesses were exempt.

load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1888)
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