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I. 4.
On the Estate of Kiron
[Or. VIII.]

Kiron's aunt Kiron's mother first wife of Kiron Kiron Kiron's brother wife of Nausimenes and of a second husband who is father of the children the speaker one brother, § 37 second wife of Kiron, sister of Diokles two sons, both deceased claimant against the speaker Kiron's grandfather

Kiron married his first-cousin, by whom he had one daughter. This daughter was married, first, to Nausimenes; secondly, to another husband by whom she had two sons, of whom the eldest is the speaker.

After the death of his first wife, Kiron married the sister of one Diokles, and had by her two sons, both of whom died young.

At the death of Kiron, his estate was claimed by his daughter's eldest son. But the son of Kiron's brother, instigated by Diokles1, set up a counterclaim on two distinct grounds: 1. That Kiron's grandson is illegitimate: 2. That, supposing him legitimate, a brother's son has a better claim than a daughter's son2. This speech is the defendant's answer.

The only indication of the date is that the

speaker and his brother were born after the archonship of Eukleides3, Ol. 94. 2, 403 B.C. (§ 43). The speech cannot, then, be put before 383 B.C. On the other hand, the speaker's plea of ‘utter inexperience’ (§ 5) implies youthfulness. Now, if he was a young man, the date cannot be much below 3834, since otherwise it would have been superfluous for him to tell the judges that he was born after 403. The date is probably about 375 B.C.

The speaker denounces the impudence of this attempt

to defraud himself and his brother,—an attempt which has been organised by Diokles; but expresses his confidence of being able to defeat it (§§ 1—5).

I. First, he will show that his mother was the legitimate daughter of Kiron (§ 6). He states the facts as to Kiron's second marriage (§§ 7—9); and proves, in support of them, that he had challenged the other side to give up Kiron's slaves for torture, which challenge had been refused (§§ 9—14). He and his brother were always treated by Kiron as his nearest kinsmen (§§ 15—17). His mother was treated as Kiron's daughter both by her husband and by the women of Kiron's deme: he and his brother were formally enrolled by Kiron in his phratria (§§ 18—20). Lastly, Diokles himself allowed the speaker and his brother to assist at the funeral of Kiron—thus recognising the relationship (§§ 21—29).

II. Secondly, he will show that, as son of Kiron's daughter, he has a better claim than the son of Kiron's brother. Descent (γένος) is a nearer tie than collateral kinship (συγγένεια): descendants (ἔκγονοι) inherit before collateral relations (συγγενεῖς). This is illustrated by the law on the maltreatment of parents ( περὶ κακώσεως νόμος, § 32). According to that law, the obligation to maintain relatives descends lineally. The corresponding right to inherit from relatives must descend lineally too (§§ 30—34).

An account of the property of Kiron and of the intrigues of Diokles (§§ 35—39) is followed by a personal attack on Diokles (§§ 40—42). This attack is resumed in the epilogue; and the speech concludes with the calling of evidence to show that Diokles had been guilty of adultery (§§ 43—46).

1 This Diokles of Phlya is the same against whom Isaeos wrote the lost speeches, κατὰ Διοκλέους ὕβρεως (possibly in the γραφή mentioned at § 41 of our speech), and πρὸς Διοκλέα περὶ χωρίου: fragments VIII. and IX. in Sauppe O.A. II. p. 230 ff. Diokles was ‘surnamed Orestes’ (§ 3, cf. § 44)—a nickname for any violent character, borrowed from the robber mentioned by Aristophanes—not without an Euripidean allusion. See Acharn. 1166,εἶτα κατάξειέ τις αὐτοῦ μεθύων τῆς κεφαλῆς Ὀρέστης μαινόμενος”.

2 ‘According’—says the author of the Greek Argument—‘to the well-known law (κατὰ τὸν νόμον ἐκεῖνον) which prescribes that descendants in the male line shall be preferred to descendants in the female line.’ The writer was evidently thinking of Or. VII. § 20. But (1) the reference there is to ἀνεψιαδοῖ: (2) the question here is between lineal and collateral kinship. The nephew's claim on this second ground was baseless.

3 Observe the argument which, in § 43, is founded upon this fact. Diokles, says the speaker, imperils not only our fortune but our citizenship. If our mother was not a citizen, neither are we citizens: ‘for we were born after the archonship of Eukleides.’ This alludes to the law carried in 403 by Aristophon the Azenian,—that the son of a citizen shall be illegitimate, if his mother (as well as father) was not a citizen: ὃς ἂν μὴ ἐξ ἀστῆς γένηται, νόθον εἶναι (Athen. XIII. 577 B).

4 On account of the avoidance of hiatus, Benseler would put Or. VIII (with I, VII, and XI) below 360 B C.: De hiatu 192. But, as Blass points out (II. 523), the large use of this oration made by Demosthenes in the two Speeches Against Aphobos would of itself forbid us to go below 363.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Selections from the Attic Orators, §§ 1 — 19.
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Selections from the Attic Orators, 8.3
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