ὑβρισθεὶςταυτηνί The opening sentence is best rendered by treating ὑβρισθεὶς and παθὼν as principal verbs, and beginning a fresh sentence with the word ὑγιάνας, e.g. ‘I was the victim of wanton outrage, and I suffered such maltreatment at the hands of Conon the defendant, that, for a very long time indeed, neither my friends nor any of my medical attendants expected my recovery. Contrary to expectation, I was restored to health and strength; and I thereupon brought against him the present action for the assault in question.’

This exordium is quoted by the rhetorician Hermogenes as an example of perspicuity and directness of expression ( καθαρότης, Spengel, Rhetores Graeci II 276). Here, as in Or. 45, the keynote of the whole speech is struck by the opening word, ὑβρισθείς. Cf. also Or. 21 (Mid.) § 1 τὴν μὲν ἀσέλγειαν, ἄνδρες δικασταί, καὶ τὴν ὕβριν κ.τλ.

πολὺν χρόνον πάνυ For this position of πάνυ, placed after πολὺν, and even separated from it, cf. Plato, Hipp. Maj. 282 E ἐν ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ πάνυ, Or. 30 § 2 ὑβριστικῶς ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ πάνυ ἐξεβλήθην, and (Dem.) Prooem. 18 βραχύ τί μοι πεισθῆτε πάνυ.

ἔλαχον . δίκην lit. ‘obtained this suit by lot,’ ‘had it allotted to me,’ i.e. ‘obtained leave (from the Archon) to bring this action.’ Where several lawsuits were instituted at the same time, the Archon decided by lot the order in which they were to be heard (κληροῦν τὰς δίκας); hence the applicant for leave to bring an action is commonly said λαγχάνειν δίκην. See Meier and Schomann, p. 791 Lips.

τῆς αἰκείας ‘the assault in question.’ Ariston, ashe further explains in the next sentence, is bringing against Conon a private suit for assault (αἰκείας δίκη), instead of a public indictment for wanton outrage (ὕβρεως γραφή). The penalty in the former was light, namely, a pecuniary fine paid to the plaintiff; in the latter, it was either a fine paid to the state, or, in extreme cases, death. The former implied that the complainant had been simply assaulted and struck, the latter that he had been subjected to malicious and brutal indignities.

Harpocration s.v. αἰκίας: εῖδος δίκης ἰδιωτικῆς ἐπὶ πληγαῖς λαγχανομένης, ἧς .. μὲν κατήγορος τίμημα ἐπιγράφεται, ὁπόσου δοκεῖ ἄξιον εἶναι τὸ ἀδίκημα, οἱ δὲ δικασταὶ ἐπικρίνουσι (Isocr. 20 Loch. § 16). See Meier and Scbomann, p. 646 Lips.

Lexica Segueriana p. 355 α ἰκία διαφέρει ὕβρεως, ὅτι αἰκία μὲν διὰ πληγῶν, ὕβρις δὲ καὶ ἄνευ πληγῶν μετὰ προπηλακισμοῦ καὶ ἐπιβουλῆς: διὸ καὶ εὐθῦναι ἐλάττονες τῆς αἰκίας. See also Or. 37 § 33.

συνεβουλευόμην...συμβουλευόντων ‘consulted’ .‘counselled.’ The active and middle senses of this verb are also found side by side in Xen. Anab. II 1 § 17ξυμβουλευομένοις ξυνεβούλευσε τάδε.

τῇ τῶν λωποδυτῶν ἀπαγωγῇ ‘the summary process directed against foot-pads,’ i.e. ‘summary arrest and imprisonment for highway robbery.’ The plaintiff's friends meant that Conon might have been captured flagrante delicto, and carried off to prison as a λωποδύτης (lit. ‘a clothes-stealer’). According to the plaintiff's subsequent statement, this would be actually true, as Conon and his friends had stripped him of his cloak and carried it off (§ 8 ἐξέδυσαν, and § 10 ἀπεκομίσθην γυμνὸς, οὗτοι δὲ ᾤχοντο θοἰμάτιον λαβόντες μου). Cf. Isocr. antid. § 90 τοῦτον ἀπαγαγὼν ἀνδραποδιστὴν καὶ κλέπτην καὶ λωποδύτην, Dem. Or. 22 § 26, Aeschin. Timarch. § 91, Lysias Or. 10 § 10, and 13 § 68 ἐνθάδε λωποδύτην ἀπήγαγε, καὶ ὑμεῖς κρίναντες αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ δικαστηρίῳ καὶ καταγνόντες αὐτοῦ θάνατον ἀποτυμπανίσαι παρέδοτε. HermannThalheim, Rechtsalt. p. 41; Meier and Schomann p. 275 n. 208 Lips.

ὕβρεως γραφαῖς here contrasted with αἰκείας δίκη.—Harpocr. γραφή: δημοσίου τινὸς ἐγκλήματος ὄνομα. δίκη: ἰδίως λέγεται ἐπὶ ἰδιωτικῶν ἐγκλημἀτων, ὡς σαφὲς ποιεῖ Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷ κατὰ Κόνωνος.

[The plural γραφαὶ shows that more than one public indictment could have been framed. See also Or. 21 (Mid.) § 28 καὶ δίκας ἰδίας δίδωσιν νόμος μοι καὶ γραφὴν ὕβρεως. P.]

ἐπάγεσθαι ‘to take upon my shoulders a greater burden than I should be able to bear.’ —πράγματα, in taking legal action. P.]

ὑπὲρ τὴν ἡλικίανφαίνεσθαι ‘to incur the imputation of going beyond my years in undertaking to prosecute for the maltreatment I had received.’ Or. 58 § 1 (of a youthful citizen appearing as a prosecutor) μήθ᾽ ἡλικίαν μήτ᾽ ἄλλο μηδὲν ὑπολογισάμενος, 29 § 1. The task of instituting and carrying to its issue a γραφὴ ὔβρεως would be more laborious and would require greater skill and experience than was involved in a δίκη αἰκείας. A young man like Ariston would find himself in an awkward and invidious position, as prosecutor in so ambitious a case as a γραφὴ ὕβρεως, not to mention his being unequally matched against an unscrupulous opponent who was older than himself and had numerous connexions to support him. He would also be deterred (though he does not here confess it) by the rule requiring the prosecutor to pay a fine of a thousand drachmae in the event of his not obtaining at least one-fifth part of the votes (Or. 21 § 47).

The construction is, ἐγκαλοῦντα τούτων ἐπεπόνθειν. For the gen. cf. Or. 36 § 9 πῶς ἔνεστ᾽ ἐγκαλεῖν αὐτῷ μισθώσεως.

[ὑπὲρ τὴν ἡλικίαν may mean, ‘beyond the resentment suited to my years,’ implying that a young man ought to put up with a little affront, and not make a serious matter of it. P.]

ἰδίαν ἀντὶ τοῦ ἰδιωτικὴν Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷ κατὰ Κόνωνος. ἐλέγετο δὲ τὸ ἴδιον καὶ ἰδιωτικὸν ὡς αὐτὸς ῥήτωρ ἐν τῷ κατὰ Ζηνόθεμιν (§ 32 πρᾶγμα ἴδιον), Harpocration.

ἥδιστ᾽ ἃντοῦτον Cf. Or. 53 § 18 οὐχ ἵνα μὴ ἀποθάνῃ κ.τ.λ. ‘Ce cri de haine a quelque chose de naif et de sauvage; le plaignant semble le laisser échapper malgré lui, sous l'impression trop vive encore des injures, qu'il a reçues. Cet involontaire et rapide oubli de la modération qu'il s'est commandée donne à son langage un accent de sincérité plusmarqué; il lui sert aussi pour amener le récit des faits de la cause’ (Perrot, Revue des deux mondes, 1873, 3, p. 946).

θανάτου The penalty of death was inflicted in cases of λωποδυτῶν ἀπαγωγή, and even in special cases of ὕβρεως γραφή. For the former, cf. Xen. Mem. I 2 § 62ἐάν τις φανερὸς γένηται λωποδυτῶν βαλαντιοτομῶν τοιχωρυχῶν, τούτοις θανατός ἐστιν ζημία” . For the latter, cf. Lysias, fragm. 44 καίτοι τις οὐκ οἶδεν ὑμῶν ὅτι τὴν μὲν αἰκίαν χρημάτων ἔστι μόνον τιμῆσαι, τοὺς δὲ ὑβρίζειν δόξαντας ἔξεστιν ὑμῖν θανάτῳ ζημιοῦν, Dem. Or. 21 § 49, inf. § 23.—‘θάνατος articulo carere solet, si supplicium significat et cum vocabulo iudiciali coniungitur’ Zink (quoting Procksch in Philologus xxxvii 306).

κρίνας ἠ̔διστ᾽ ἃν κρίνας, for καίτοι ἥδιστ᾽ ἂν ἔκρινα, well illustrates the fondness of the Greeks for participial construction. The sense is, ‘though I would most gladly have brought him to trial on the capital charge.’ P.]

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hide References (11 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (11):
    • Demosthenes, Philippic 4, 10
    • Demosthenes, Against Midias, 47
    • Demosthenes, Against Midias, 49
    • Demosthenes, Against Androtion, 26
    • Demosthenes, Against Onetor, 2
    • Demosthenes, For Phormio, 9
    • Demosthenes, Against Pantaenetus, 33
    • Demosthenes, Against Theocrines, 1
    • Demosthenes, Against Nicostratus, 18
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 2.1.17
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.2.62
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