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VI. 5 On Wounding with Intent, Or. IV

5. On Wounding with Intent. [Or. IV.]—The first part of this speech has been lost1, and with it the original title. It is a defence before the Areiopagos on a charge of wounding with murderous intent in a quarrel for the possession of a slave girl. The defendant asserted that the slave was the joint property of himself and the accuser; the latter claimed sole ownership (§ 10). The penalty threatening the accused was banishment and confiscation of property (§ 18).

The speech, as now extant, begins at the point where the

defendant is answering the assertion that a personal enmity of long standing accounts for the murderous character of the assault. It is not true, the defendant says, that they were at this time enemies; they had been reconciled. He had been called upon to perform a costly leiturgia, and had challenged his present accuser either to undertake it himself or to exchange properties (ἀντίδοσις); and this had been cited by the accuser in proof of the alleged hostility. But it has been shown that this exchange was never actually made; friends mediated, and the defendant took the leiturgia. The accuser had, indeed, already received some property of his, with a view to the exchange; but had returned it when the reconciliation took place. Another proof is given that they were on good terms. The accuser had been nominated by the defendant as judge of the prizes at the Dionysia. Unfortunately, when lots were drawn, he was not among the judges elected. If he had been, his goodwill to the defendant would have been publicly shown; for he was prepared to give the prize to the defendant's tribe, and left a written memorandum of that resolve2 (§§ 1—4).

Assuming, however, that this personal enmity did exist, yet the very circumstances of the assault exclude the idea of premeditation. The accuser had made the utmost of a black eye (ὑπώπια § 9), and had pretended illness. At the same time he has refused to allow the slave, who was the cause and the eyewitness of the quarrel, to be put to the question (§§ 5—11). After dwelling further on the refusal of this challenge (πρόκλησις) as presumptive evidence in his own favour (§§ 12—17), the defendant ends by contrasting the gravity of his danger with the worthlessness of its cause, and begs the court not to award so disproportionate a penalty to him, and so excessive a triumph to his unjust accuser (§§ 18—20).

Special points illustrated by the Speech.

This fragment has at least some antiquarian interest. It is curious to find from § 2 that the fact of having offered a man the antidosis could be quoted in court as presumptive evidence of ill-will towards him. The difficult passage in § 3 regarding the appointment of judges at the Dionysia has already been noticed. Section 4 illustrates a point in the peculiar procedure of the Areiopagos—that no witness could be examined who did not swear either to or against the guilt of the accused in regard to the particular facts before the court.

Taylor's doubt of its genuineness.

Taylor's suspicion that in this piece a sophistic writer has imitated the Defence against Simon seems gratuitous3. If the fragment which has been preserved is neither clear in arrangement nor strong in argument, it has at least the vigorous simplicity by which Lysias knew how to make the appeal of a commonplace man effective without making it rhetorical.

1 The loss must have taken place before the Palatine MS. was written. Sauppe (O. A. p. 73), regarding the speech as complete in its present shape, thinks that it was the last or at least the second (‘epilogus vel deuterologia’) made for the defence. In that case, as Blass says (Att. Ber. p. 590), the preceding speech or speeches can have contained little more than the narrative; since our speech deals with the proof. Francken (Comment. Lys. p. 37) and Scheibe (Blass l.c.) agree in thinking the speech imperfect.

2 § 3 ἐβουλόμην δ᾽ ἂν μὴ ἀπολαχεῖν αὐτὸν κριτὴν Διονυσίοις, ἵν᾽ ὑμῖν φανερὸς ἐγένετο ἐμοὶ διηλλαγμένος, κρίνας τὴν ἐμὴν φυλὴν νικᾶν: νῦν δὲ ἔγραψε μὲν ταῦτα εἰς τὸ γραμματεῖον, ἀπέλαχε δέ:—‘I could have wished that he had not missed the lot to be judge at the Dionysia, as then he would have proved to you that he was reconciled to me, by adjudging the victory to my tribe. As it was, he made a note of it in his tablets, but failed to draw the lot.’The reference is apparently to a private compact between the defendant and the accuser. The judges of the prizes at the Dionysia were nominated by the Senate; the names of all the nominees were put into an urn, and lots woro then drawn (Isokr. Trapez. § 33). The defendant—being at the time a senator—had so nominated the accuser, under a compact that he should award the prize to the chorus furnished by the defendant's tribe. The accuser had registered this compact; but, in the end, his name was not drawn. This is Francken's explanation (Comment. Lys. p. 38); and no better has been offered. The shock which the candour of the defendant must have given to the Areiopagos is perhaps not a decisive objection.

3 ‘Multis modis mihi videtur hace declamatiuncula in umbra Scholae μελετᾶσθαι, ad imaginem superioris orationis elaborata, eni deinde ob argumenti affinitatem in scriptis codd., ut fieri solet, perpetuo adhaesit.’ Taylor ap. Reiske Or. Att. v. p. 164. Blass (p. 594) answers some objections raised by Falk to the arrangement of the speech; by Scheibc, to the weakness of the πίστεις and to some points of expression.

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