previous next


ἐν τοῖς ὕστερον] The subject of ‘general probability and improbability’ shall be considered hereafter, that is, in II 19, where the δυνατόν and ἀδύνατον (one of the four κοινοὶ τόποι) are analysed. This is expressed by the κοινὰ γὰρ ταῦτα πάντων τῶν λόγων of the parenthesis: ‘because they are common to all kinds of speeches’, (viz. the three kinds of Rhetoric, which is here taken as the basis of their κοινότης, elsewhere it is their opposition to the εἴδη, see Introd. on τόποι, p. 128), ‘therefore they shall be considered hereafter’, viz. with the rest in II 19. We now proceed to the subject of the special or moral probability, which affects would-be wrongdoers themselves (αὐτοὶ δ᾽ οἴονται δυνατοὶ εἶναι...), and under the circumstances of any particular case.

The first class of persons that rely on this kind of possibility, in the sense of a possible exemption from punishment if they do wrong, are able speakers and men of action—the one capable of defending themselves against attack with their tongues by plausible argument, the other of carrying through the business or transaction in the best and completest way, so as to secure all possible advantage; and men already practised in many forensic contests—and so with acquired experience of the resources available for defence against an accuser in a court of justice; and men with many friends, having an extensive or influential connexion, or well befriended,—these will be well helped; and the wealthy—who can buy off an accuser or antagonist, and corrupt the judges.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: