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[30] This had, I think, the following purpose. Of the effects in the house he made himself master by the will, on the ground that they had been given as a dowry with my mother, as you have just heard; but the money in the bank, about which everybody knew, and which could not be hidden, he got into his hands by representing that our father owed it, so that whatever sums he might be proved to have in his possession he might claim to have received in payment. You have perhaps imagined, because he solecizes1 in his speech, that he is a barbarian and a man readily to be despised. The fellow is indeed a barbarian in that he hates those whom he ought to honor; but in villainy and in bringing matters to ruin2 he is second to none.

1σόλοικος is a word of narrower meaning than βάρβαρος, and is applied mainly to faults of pronunciation or mistakes in grammar, especially syntax, due to foreign origin” (Sandys). It would, however, be quite futile to look for a specific error in the, very probably spurious, lease inserted in the oration.

2 The metaphor is from house-breaking.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 2, 2.80
    • F. A. Paley, Select Private Orations of Demosthenes, 9
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