On the Estate of Pyrrhos. [Or. III.]
mother of Pyrrhos
maternal grandfather of Pyrrhos
sister of Pyrrhos
mother of Phile
Phileillegitimate daughter of Pyrrhos, wife of Xenokles
Endiosadopted son of Pyrrhos, deceased
Scheibe, in his stemma (p. xix.), makes Lysimenes, Chaeron and Pylades paternal uncles of Pyrrhos. Blass points out that §§ 71, 30 and 32 show them to have been mateinal uncles (Att. B. II. 502).
Pyrrhos had bequeathed his estate to his adopted son Endios, the elder of his sister's two sons. Endios enjoyed the inheritance for more than twenty years. At his death it reverted, according to law, to his mother, as sister of Pyrrhos1
. But her claim was disputed by Xenokles on behalf of his wife Phile. Phile, as this speech asserts, was the illegitimate daughter of Pyrrhos; but Xenokles made an affidavit (διεμαρτύρησε
) of her legitimacy. The brother of Endios, acting as legal representative (κύριος
) of his mother, then brought against Xenokles an action for perjury (δίκη ψευδομαρτυριῶν
, § 4); and gained it. He now brings a like action against Nikodemos— brother of Phile's mother—who had, in the former cause, been a witness for Xenokles. The date is
uncertain; but the speech cannot, at least, be one of the earliest. Diophantos of Sphêttos (§ 22) was a witness for Demosthenes against Aeschines in 343 B.C.2
: and Dorotheos of Eleusis (ib.
) seems to have been living in 349 B. C.3
The plaintiff states the facts; argues that the proved
perjury of Xenokles establishes the perjury of Nikodemos; and cites three documents:—(1) διαμαρτυρία
—the affidavit made by Xenokles in the former action: (2) ἀντωμοσία
— his own counter-affidavit in that action: (3) μαρτυρία
—the evidence then given by Nikodemos (§§ 1—7).
Nikodemos says that his sister was the lawful wife of Pyrrhos. I would ask him these questions:—1. What dowry did he give with his sister to Pyrrhos, the possessor of a property of three talents (τριταλαντος οἶκος
)? 2. Did she leave Pyrrhos before his death? 3. At the death of Pyrrhos, did Nikodemos recover her dowry; or, failing to recover it, bring an action for it, or for the maintenance of the widow (δίκην σίτου
, § 9), against Endios? 4. The sister of Nikodemos had other lovers. Was she ever lawfully betrothed—ἐγγυητή
—to any other of them (§§ 8—10)? Evidence to show that she was an ἑταίρα
Her antecedents do not, indeed, prove that Pyrrhos did not marry her. But the story of the betrothal is improbable. According to Nikodemos, it took place in presence of a single witness, Pyretides; whose deposition, taken out of court (ἐκμαρτυρία
, § 18), is adduced. But this deposition is disowned by Pyretides himself; and it is strange that Xenokles should have taken it before two persons only (§§ 16—26). The three maternal uncles of Pyrrhos—Lysimenes, Chaeron, and Pylades—are said to have been present at the betrothal: but this is improbable (§§ 26, 27); and, moreover, they
say that the daughter of Pyrrhos was named Kleitarete, not Phile (§§ 30—34)4
. It is strange, too, if Nikodemos gave no dowry, since a dowry would have bound Pyrrhos more firmly to his sister (§§ 28, 29); or that, if he gave any, he did not record the amount; since no dowry given without specification of value (ἀτίμητος
) can afterwards be recovered5
If Phile was legitimate, there were at least three earlier moments at which her legitimacy ought to have been asserted:—1. When, at the death of Pyrrhos, Endios claimed the estate (ἐπεδικάζετο
). 2. When Endios gave Phile in
marriage to Xenokles. Nikodemos, by an information laid before the archon (εἰσαγγελία
), might then have vindicated the rights of the heiress. 3. When, in the first instance, Pyrrhos adopted Endios with a view to making him his heir6
Xenokles and Nikodemos seem to ignore the adoption of Endios by Pyrrhos. Phile ought to have brought an action against Endios within five years of her father's death (§ 58); or, at the death of Endios, have claimed the property as her brother's. On any supposition, the course of procedure has been irregular. A legitimate child does not claim
, § 59) a parent's property, but simply enters upon it (βαδίζει εἰς τὰ πατρῷα
, § 62). This is what Phile should have done. A rival claimant would have opposed her at his peril (§§ 57—62).
Pyrrhos, if he had had a true-born daughter, would have had no motive for adopting Endios. It can be shown that, at the time of his alleged marriage, he neither gave a wedding-feast to his clansmen (γαμηλίαν εἰσήνεγκε
, § 76), nor provided the women of his deme with the means of celebrating the Thesmophoria.—Witnesses: brief recapitulation (§§ 72—80).
If Phile had been legitimate, Endios, as merely the adoptive
son of Pyrrhos, must have married her before he could legally take the inheritance (§ 69). And, if Endios and his brother had declined to marry her, the maternal uncles of Pyrrhos at least could not have suffered Phile to marry Xenokles, a stranger in blood: one of them must have married her himself (§§ 63—71).