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οἱ ἄπωθεν] i.e., according to the Greek usage, those who give their evidence, not at a distance (as we say) but from a distance, measuring the distance from the object to the subject. See note on I 11. 16, p. 213. πιστότατοι οἱ παλαιοί] Living witnesses may be corrupted, bribed to give false evidence: the ancient witnesses or authorities, appealed to in confirmation of statements or opinions, are inaccessible to corruption, and therefore most to be relied on. πίστωμα, which seems to occur only in Aeschylus (Pers. 171 γηράλεα πιστώματα, abstr. pro concr., for πιστοὶ γέροντες, and Choeph. 977, Eumen. 214, in the sense of ‘pledge, guarantee, assurance’) and in Empedocles and Clearchus and one or two late authors, is here no doubt connected with the rhetorical πίστεις, and means the assurances that are produced in the minds of the audience by the rhetorical proofs alleged. It can hardly be identifiable with the πίστεις themselves, though ‘proofs’ of some kind is the meaning required. ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἐξαπατῆσαι—ψευδομαρτυριῶν] Compare Hermogenes, περὶ στάσεων (Speng. Rhet. Gr. II p. 144), ὁ δὲ κατηγορῶν ἀποφανεῖ τὸν διὰ τῶν πραγμάτων ἔλεγχον ἀξιοπιστότερον τοῦ διὰ τῶν μαρτύρων: οὔτε γὰρ πεπεισμένα τὰ πράγματα οὔτε χαριζόμενά τῳ λέξει ὥσπερ οἱ μάρτυρες πολλάκις, ἀλλ᾽ οἷά ἐστι φύσει, τοιαῦτα καὶ ἐξεταζόμενα φαίνεται. Cic. pro Caelio, c. 9 (quoted by Victorius), Equidem vos abducam a testibus: neque huius iudicii veritatem, quae mutari nullo modo potest, in voluntate testium collocari sinam; quae facillime effingi, nullo negotio flecti ac detorqueri potest. Argumentis agemus; signis omni luce clarioribus crimina refellemus; res cum re, causa cum causa, ratio cum ratione pugnabit. ‘Probabilities can't be bribed to cheat (the judges), as witnesses can’. οὐχ ὑπόδικα τὰ εἰκότα] ‘probabilities are not responsible (liable to trial and penalty) like witnesses, and therefore less to be trusted’. ὑπόδικος, formed upon the analogy of ὑπεύθυνος, ὑπαίτιος, ὑπόσκιος, ὑπόσπονδος, ὕποσμος (Ar. de Anima, II 9. 5), ὑπαίθριος, ὑπόστεγος, ὑπόφορος; and following that of ἐπαίτιος, ἐπιζήμιος, ἐπικαίρος or -καίριος, ἐπίνοσος, κ.τ.λ. (liable or exposed to so and so); from ὑπό sub, ‘under’, ‘subject to’, either literally as ὑπόσκιος, or metaphorically as ὑπεύθυνος, ὑπόδικος. It occurs in the Orators, frequently in Plat. Leges, Aesch. Eumen. 250, ὑπόδικος θέλει γενέσθαι χερῶν, and Rhet. ad Alex. 4 (5). 6.
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