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§§ 1—5. Statement of the reasons why the present action is unavoidable. I know I shall be blamed for going to law about a name; but the consequences of two persons bearing the same name are grave and serious. The defendant on a former occasion got up a plot with some disreputable persons, pretending to have suffered a wrong, and so he contrived, by an ingenious fraud, to induce my father to recognise him and his brother as his own sons by another woman. He had hoped she would not swear to his being hers by him; but she did swear it, and they were accordingly enrolled in the phratry as his. And now, my father being dead, he has gone and entered himself in the city register by an altered name, which is the name that I had previously received. οὐδεμιᾷ κ.τ.λ. ‘It was not from any fondness for lawsuits, I protest by all the gods, gentlemen of the jury, that I brought this action against Boeotus, nor could I be ignorant that to many it will seem strange conduct in me to bring an action at all, just because another chooses to have the same name as myself; yet it was necessary, from the consequences that are sure to ensue if I do not get this matter set right, to stand a trial before you.’ The proeme is unusually brief, but it sets forth the case in a very clear and businesslike way. δίκην λαγχάνειν is the familiar term for ‘bringing an action.’ derived from the obtaining leave (originally by drawing lots) to bring on the suit on a certain day. Bringing the action actually into court is technically δίκην εἰσελθεῖν or εἰσιέναι. ἐν ὑμῖν ‘In your court,’ 28 § 22 δίκης ἐν ὑμῖν μὴ τυχεῖν, 29 §§ 3, 21; 36 § 25.] For κριθῆναι we might rather have expected διαδικάσασθαι: κριθῆναι, however, is virtually middle. [Cf. 56 §§ 15, 16, where persons are the subject. κριθῆναι has a non-personal subject in 14 § 14 and 44 § 36, and Mr F. H. Baynes would so take it here:—‘that a final decision should be taken.’ Kennedy's rendering is ‘to have the case tried before you.’ S.]
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