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[40] Surely Conon, a man of that sort, is not to be believed on oath; far from it indeed. No; the man who would not swear by any object which your custom does not recognize even an oath which he intended to observe, and would not even think of doing so by the lives of his children, but would suffer anything rather than that; and who, if forced to swear, will take only a customary oath, imprecating destruction upon himself, his race, and his house, is more to be believed than one who swears by his children or is ready to pass through fire.1 I, then, who on every account am more worthy to be believed than you, Conon, offered to take the oath here cited,2 not that through readiness to do anything whatsoever I might avoid paying the penalty for crimes which I had committed, as is the case with you, but in the interest of truth, and in order that I might not be subjected to further outrage, and as one who will not allow his case to be lost through your perjury.

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1 The speaker is plainly contrasting his own caution in taking an oath with the recklessness shown by the defendant, but the difficulty of the passage is only partially removed by the transposition mentioned in the critical note. As to the concluding phrase, it is doubtful if an ordeal by fire is alluded to, although suggestive parallels are found in Soph. Ant. 264 and Aristoph. Lys.133

2 Cited, that is, in the following challenge.

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 265
    • J. E. Sandys, Select Private Orations of Demosthenes, 18
    • J. E. Sandys, Select Private Orations of Demosthenes, 35
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 264
    • Aristophanes, Lysistrata, 133
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (4):
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