III. 1. For the Soldier, Or. IX
1. For the Soldier.
[Or. IX.]—The accused, Polyaenos, is prosecuted under a writ (ἀπογραφή
, §§ 3, 21) for the recovery of a fine alleged to be due from him to the Treasury. He states that, two years before, he had returned to Athens from a campaign, but had not been two months at home before he was again placed upon the list for active service. Hereupon he appealed to the General of his tribe (τῷ στρατηγῷ
, § 4); but obtained no redress. He spoke indignantly on the subject in conversation at one of the banker's tables in the marketplace; and, this having been reported to the authorities, he was fined under the law against reviling magistrates. The Generals did not, however, take any steps to
levy the fine; but at the expiration of their year of office, left a note of it with the Stewards of the Treasury (τοῖς ταμίαις
, § 6). These, after inquiry, were satisfied that the fine had been inflicted maliciously (§ 7), and cancelled it. The accusers, ignoring this decision, now prosecute the soldier, at an interval of more than a year, as a state-debtor. In case of conviction the penalty would be the payment of twice the original fine; but not the loss of civic rights. (§ 21.) From § 4 the speech may be referred to the time of the Corinthian War, 394— 387 B. C.
After complaining that his adversaries have wandered
from the special issue into general attaks upon his character the speaker sketches the facts of the case (§§ 1—7). He then argues, first, that the fine was originally illegal, since the offence contemplated by the law was that of speaking against a magistrate in court (ἐν συνεδρίῳ
, § 6), which he had not done; secondly, that in any case the reversal of the sentence by the stewards had absolved him (§§ 8—12).
The malice of his enemies had been provoked, he says, by the favour which he had formerly enjoyed with Sôstratos, an influential citizen. They are resolved to ruin him. The matter at issue is nominally a fine, but really his citizenship; for, if the court also takes part against him, he will be driven to fly from a city in which justice is not to be had (§§ 13—22).
Harpokration doubted the authenticity of this
; some recent critics have decisively rejected it2
. There are several traces of mutilation in the extant version. Thus the direct question with which
the speech opens is oddly abrupt; in § 5 a conversation is referred to (τὰ προειρημένα
) as if it had been given in terms; and in § 9 the speaker alludes to witnesses whom he has called, but of whom there is no other trace. It would be easier to vindicate the authorship of Lysias if the speech, as it stands, could be assumed to be a mere extract or epitome, like the so-called Second Speech Against Theomnêstos. But the epitomic character, distinct there, is absent here; there, proem and epilogue have been compressed; here their redundancies of expression are left untouched.
Francken thinks that the language is in some points doubtful Attic3
; and that the law is questionable4
. He argues further that, if the text is right in § 6, ‘Ktesikles the archon,’ there mentioned, must be the archon of Ol. CXI. 3, 334 B. C.; and notices that, in that year, an armament was prepared, but not despatched, by Athens5
—which agrees with the fact that Polyaenos, when enrolled the second time, was not called upon to serve. These arguments seem to point to different conclusions. If the diction and the law are not classically Attic, then the speech is a late work, probably a rhetorical exercise. If
Ktesikles is the Ktesikles of 334, then the speech was probably written for a real cause of about that date6
Far stronger than these special objections is
The general style proves the Speech spurious.
the general objection arising from the style. This, indeed, appears conclusive. The passage in §§ 15— 18, where the speaker attacks his adversaries, could hardly have come from Lysias. It is overwrought in tone, overloaded with antitheses, and too epideictic for its place. The whole defence is meagre, yet not concise—a reversal of the manner of Lysias. It was probably written by a bad imitator of his style; but for a real cause rather than as an exercise7