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[8] Another method is to appeal to a verdict already given, as Euripides did in the case about the exchange of property;1 when Hygiaenon accused him of impiety as having advised perjury in the verse, “ My tongue hath sworn, but my mind is unsworn,2

” Euripides replied that his accuser did wrong in transferring the decisions of the court of Dionysus to the law courts; for he had already rendered an account of what he had said there,3 or was still ready to do so, if his adversary desired to accuse him.

1 When a citizen was called upon to perform a “liturgy” or public service (e.g. the equipment of a chorus), if he thought that one richer than himself had been passed over he could summon him and compel him to exchange properties.

2 Eur. Hipp. 612. This well-known verse is three times parodied in Aristophanes (Aristoph. Thes. 275; Aristoph. Frogs 101, Aristoph. Frogs1471). In the first passage, the sense is reversed: Euripides has dressed up a certain Mnesilochus as a woman in order that he may attend the Thesmophorian assembly. Mnesilochus first requires Euripides to take an oath that he will help him out of any trouble that may arise. Euripides takes an oath by all the gods, whereupon Mnesilochus says to Euripides: “Remember that it was your mind that swore, but not your tongue.” When Euripides was engaged in a lawsuit, his adversary quoted the line, implying that even on oath Euripides could not be believed; Euripides replied that his adversary had no right to bring before the law courts a matter which had already been settled by the theatrical judges.

3 In the great Dionysiac theater.

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