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[4] He further dared to assert that he who struck the first blow, even though he did not slay, is more truly the murderer than he who killed; for it is to the aggressor's wilful act that the death was due, he says. But I maintain the very opposite. If our hands carry out the intentions of each of us, he who struck without killing was the wilful author of the blow alone: the willfull author of the death was he who struck and killed: for it was as the result of an intentional act on the part of the defendant that the man was killed.

Again, while the victim suffered the ill-effect of the mischance, it is the striker who suffered the mischance itself; for the one met his death as the result of the other's act, so that it was not through his own mistake, but through the mistake of the man who struck him, that he was killed; whereas the other did more than he meant to do, and he had only himself to blame for the mischance whereby he killed a man whom he did not mean to slay.1

1 A reply to the arguments of the defense in Antiph. 4.2.6. The terms ἀτυχία, ἁμαρτία, and συμφορά represent the logically distinguishable elements which constitute an “unfortunate accident.” Owing to ἀτυχία the agent commits an error (ἁμαρτία), i.e. performs an act which he either had no intention of performing at all or intended to perform differently, and the result is a συμφορά, which may fall either upon the agent himself or upon some second person. In the present paragraph it is assumed for the moment, as it had been assumed by the defense in Antiph. 4.2.6, that death was purely accidental. Blood-guilt will still rest upon one of the two parties: but it will rest on the party guilty of ἁμαρτία (cf. Antiph. 3, Tetralogy II). Now the defense had argued in Antiph. 4.2.6 that X, the aggressor, had been responsible for the ἁμαρτία; it had consisted in his taking the offensive: and he was ἀτυχής in doing so. The resultant συμφορά had fallen upon himself. The prosecution here replies that while the συμφορά indeed fell on X, the ἀτυχία and the ἁμαρτία lay with Y, because Y had given a harder blow than he intended.

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