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[54] For as things now are, who among intelligent men can fail to be chagrined at what goes on, when we see many of our fellow-citizens drawing lots in front of the law-courts to determine whether they themselves shall have the necessaries of life,1 yet thinking it proper to support at their expense any of the Hellenes who will deign to row their ships;2 appearing in the public choruses in garments spangled with gold, yet living through the winter in clothing which I refuse to describe and showing other contradictions of the same kind in their conduct of affairs, which bring great shame upon the city?

1 Six thousand citizens were selected by lot each year to constitute the “Heliastic” Court. These were divided into ten sections of five hundred each, one thousand being held in reserve as substitutes. The number of jurymen required varied from day to day, and each morning the required number was picked by lot. Service on the jury was at first without pay, but now (and since Pericles) the pay was three obols a day—a paltry sum, but fought for by the populace, to many of whom this meant “bread and butter.” Cf. Isoc. 8.130; Isoc. 15.152.

2 At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, Athenian triremes (ships of war) were commanded by citizens, but the crews (rowers) were made up of hirelings recruited from everywhere—the scum of the earth, according to Isoc. 8.79. At that time the soldiers were Athenian citizens. Later the reverse was true: the fleet was manned by citizens, while the land troops were mercenaries. See Isoc. 8.48.

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