previous next
[13] Witnesses are of two kinds, ancient and recent; of the latter some share the risk of the trial, others are outside it. By ancient I mean the poets and men of repute whose judgements are known to all; for instance, the Athenians, in the matter of Salamis, appealed to Homer1 as a witness, and recently the inhabitants of Tenedos to Periander of Corinth2 against the Sigeans. Cleophon also made use of the elegiacs of Solon against Critias, to prove that his family had long been notorious for licentiousness, otherwise Solon would never have written: “ Bid me the fair-haired Critias listen to his father.3

1 Αἴας δ᾽ ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος ἄγεν δυοκαίδεκα νῆας, στῆσε δ᾽ ἄγων ἵν᾽ Α᾿θηναίων ἵσταντο φάλαγγες, Hom. Il. 2.557-558. The Lacedaemonians, acting as arbitrators between Athens and Megara, who were fighting for the possession of Salamis, decided in favor of Athens on the strength of the two lines in the Iliad, which were taken to show that Salamis belonged to Athens. It was reported that the second line was the invention of Solon.

2 It is not known to what this refers.

3 (Frag. 22, P.L.G. 2, where the line runs, εἰπέμεναι Κριτίᾳ ξανθότριχι πατρὸς ἀκούειν). The Critias attacked by Cleophon is the well-known oligarch and grandson of the first. Cleophon argued from the phrase “bid him listen to his father” that his ancestor was a disobedient son and a degenerate. In reality, Solon had a high opinion of the family, and probably meant to praise the father.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (E. M. Cope, 1877)
load focus Greek (W. D. Ross, 1959)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Athens (Greece) (3)
Tenedos (1)
Corinth (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: