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[11] And if anyone comes forward with the plea that he has twice before been convicted for illegal proposals and that therefore you should acquit him,1 please do just the opposite, and that for two reasons. In the first place it is a piece of good fortune, when a man is known to have proposed illegal measures, that you should catch him coming up for trial a third time. He is not a good man and need not be spared as such. Indeed you should rid yourselves of him as quickly as you can, since he has twice already proved his character to you.

1 The penalties for illegal proposals and for giving false witness seem to have been the same, although the exact rules governing them in the 4th century B.C. are not quite clear. In the 5th century a man three times convicted of false witness was automatically disfranchised (See Andoc. 1.74), and the present passage suggests that in the 4th century too a third conviction led to partial ἀτιμία. (Cf. Dem. 51.12 and Plat. Laws. 937 c, evidently inspired by current Athenian practice.) The actual penalty seems to have been a fine; but if this was not paid the prosecutor had the right to enforce the judgement by a suit of ejection(δίκη ἐξούλης) and thus partially disfranchise the culprit. (See Isoc. 16. 47.) When orators speak as if ἀτιμία were inevitable after any conviction they are probably exaggerating.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (4):
    • Andocides, On the Mysteries, 74
    • Demosthenes, On the Trierarchic Crown, 12
    • Isocrates, On the team of horses, 47
    • Plato, Laws, 937
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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