IV. 1. Against Evandros, Or. XXVI
1. Against Evandros.
[Or. XXVI.]—In the second year of the 99th Olympiad (381/2 B. C.) Leôdamas1
drew the lot to be First Archon for the following year; and Evandros was at the same time designated First Archon in reserve2
. Leôdamas, before entering upon the archonship, had to pass a scrutiny (δοκιμασία
) before the Senate. On this occasion he was accused by Thrasybulos of Collytos; the Senate rejected him; and the office thus came to Evandros. But Evandros also had to pass a scrutiny; and the present speech is made to the Senate in order to prove that he is ineligible.
The case is heard on the last day but one of Ol. 99. 2, i.e. at about midsummer of our year 382 B. C.3
. The last day of the Attic year was a public holiday, on which no law-court could sit, and on which a sacrifice to Zeus Sôtêr was celebrated by the First
Archon. If, therefore, the Senate rejected Evandros, no time remained for an appeal to an ordinary court; and the State would be left without its chief magistrate at one of its great solemnities (§ 6).
The election of Evandros was, in fact, ratified; for
Evandros actually Archon in 382 B.C.
he appears in the lists as Archon for the following year, Ol. 99. 3. This date is confirmed by allusions in the speech.
Thrasybulos the Collytean is charged in § 23 with having estranged Boeotia from Athens and with having lost Athenian ships. The first accusation refers to the establishment of oligarchies in the Boeotian cities, through Spartan influence, after the Peace of Antalkidas; and is curiously illustrated by the reference of Aeschines to Thrasybulos of Collytos as a man of great influence at Thebes4
. The second accusation refers to an incident of the war on the Hellespont five years before. In 387 B. C. eight triremes under the command of this Thrasybulos were captured by Antalkidas near Abydos5
All the first part of the speech has been lost in those eight pages of the Palatine MS. which contained the conclusion of the Twenty-fifth Speech and the whole of that Against Nikides6
. The special charges made by the accuser, and the depositions to which he alludes (§ 8), were in this part. What remains is chiefly his answer to certain pleas which he conceives that Evandros may urge.
It is hard—the speaker says—that, not content with impunity for his offences against the people, Evandros should ask for office. Evandros relies on the recent sobriety (ἡσυχιότης
, § 5) of his life—which has been compulsory: and on his father's liberality—who used the influence thus gained to overthrow the democracy (§§ 1—5). He has contrived to delay his scrutiny until the last day but one of the year, when there is no time to appoint another First Archon. But the sacrifices of the morrow will surely be more pleasing to the gods, though offered only by the King Archon and his colleagues, than if the celebrant were a man whose hands are stained with the blood shed in the days of the Thirty Tyrants (§§ 6—8). One of the principal objects of the law of Scrutinies (ὁ περὶ τῶν δοκιμασιῶν νόμος
, § 9) is to exclude from office in a democracy those who have abused power under an oligarchy. The mere fact of having been an ordinary knight or senator under the Thirty disqualifies a man for a place in the Council of Five Hundred. Evandros was more than this; he was guilty of special crimes against the people; and shall he be First Archon? He will thus become a member of the Areiopagos for life, and murderers will be tried by a murderer. And this through the influence of Thrasybulos, a traitor to Athens. It must not be supposed that the speaker opposes Evandros for the sake of Leôdamas. Leôdamas would be well pleased that the Senate should prove itself oligarchical by confirming so unpopular an appointment (§§ 10—15).
Evandros appeals to the Amnesty [of 403 B. C.]; but that Amnesty did not mean that the honours, as well as the toleration, of the State should be accorded to its recent enemies (§§ 16—20). Let the Senate compare the accuser with the advocate of Evandros. The accuser is pure of all connection with oligarchies; his ancestors fought against the Peisistratidae; his family have exhausted a large fortune upon the State. Thrasybulos has alienated the Boeotians from Athens; has lost her ships, and brought her to despair. If the Court reflects which of these two men ought rather to prevail, it will decide rightly upon the claims of Evandros (§§ 21—24).
Unwillingness to mar a great annual festival may have influenced the Senate when they confirmed the election; but there is no proof that the grounds upon which it was opposed were good. The accuser must have felt that his case was well-nigh hopeless. This,
and the feeling of Lysias himself towards all who had been concerned in the violence of the Anarchy, will partly account for the extreme bitterness and unfairness of this speech. In two places the tone is especially marked. First, where the accuser admits that since the restoration of the democracy Evandros has been a thoroughly good citizen, and then argues that he deserves no credit for it (§§ 3—5); again, where he maintains that the dokimasia was instituted for the express purpose of keeping oligarchs out of office (§ 9). The outburst against Thrasybulos at the end is of a piece with this (§ 23). A certain boldness of expression, hardly congenial to Lysias, corresponds with the excited tone of the speech7
, which has the air of having been written in haste, to support a cause already desperate.