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The accused have themselves proved by their defence that the lad had a share in the slaying. So, as just and god-fearing men, you cannot acquit him. If we, who have lost our life through the defendants' error, were found guilty of having taken it ourselves, it would be an act not of righteousness but of wickedness on your part: and if those responsible for our death were not prohibited from setting foot where they should not, [it would be an outrage against heaven:]1 you would have acquitted persons stained with guilt.

As the whole of the defilement, upon whomsoever it rests, is extended to you, you must take the greatest care. If you find him guilty and prohibit him from setting foot where the law forbids him to set foot, you will be free of the charges brought today; but if you acquit him, you become liable to them.

1 The passive of εὐσεβεῖν, while exceedingly rare (it occurs otherwise only at [Plato,] Axiochus 4, as far as I know), might be supported here by the parallel use of the passive of ἀσεβεῖν in the phrase τοὺς ἄνω θεοὺς ἀσεβεῖσθαι, Lys. 2.7. But εὐσεβοῖντ᾽ ἄν could only mean “would be reverenced”; and that clearly gives an impossible sense to the passage, which requires something like “would be rendered εὐσεβεῖς,” or “would be treated as εὐσέβεια requires,” if it is to be intelligible. Conceivably there is a lacuna before εὐσεβοῖντ᾽ ἄν, which might be filled by τὰ ἄξια ἂν φέροιντο τῆς αὑτῶν ἁμαρτίας: οὐδὲ αὖ αὐτοὶ οἱ θεοὶ or something similar, giving εὐσεβοῖντ᾽ ἄν the subject it requires. But this would destroy the balance of the two halves of the sentence as they stand in the manuscripts; and it is more probable that the words εὐσεβοῖντ᾽ ἄν are themselves corrupt.

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