VI. 4. Defence Against Simon, Or. III
4. Defence Against Simon.
[Or. III.]—The accused, an elderly Athenian of good family and fortune (§§ 4, 47), is accused by one Simon of having wounded him in a quarrel about one Theodotos, a young Plataean. The indictment was for Wounding with Intent (τραύματος ἐκ προνοίας
), a charge which, in this case, seems to have been made merely in the sense of ‘wounding deliberately1
.’ But, as the accused justly says, the ‘intent’ to which the law referred was not merely intent to wound, but intent to kill (§§ 40—43). It was for this reason that the Areiopagos had jurisdiction in such cases, as well as in those of actual murder2
. The present trial took place before that
court (§§ 1, 3); the penalty was banishment (§ 47), and further (as appears from Or. IV. § 18) confiscation
of property. The battles of Corinth and of Koroneia had already been fought (§ 45); the speech is therefore later than 394 B. C.
After observing that Simon ought to be defendant rather than prosecutor, and requesting the indulgence of the court for the weakness which had involved him in so unpleasant a dispute (§§ 1—4), the accused gives his own account of the quarrel between himself and the prosecutor (§§ 5—20). He then refutes the account given by Simon (§§ 21—39). The formula, ‘wounding with intent,’ does not, he says, apply to this case (§§ 41—43). He wishes that he was at liberty to give illustrations of Simon's character [the Areiopagos not allowing the introduction of irrelevant matter]. As it is, he will mention only one fact—that Simon was dismissed from the Athenian army at Corinth (§§ 44, 45). Simon, he concludes, is one of those informers ‘who force their way into our houses, who persecute us, who snatch us by force out of the street.’ He appeals to the services of his ancestors, and to his own; and says that compassion is due to him, not only in the event of being condemned, but for the very fact of having been brought to trial (§§ 46—48).