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§§ 26—29. At the arbitration my opponents, by wasting time and introducing irrelevant matters, protracted the proceedings beyond midnight, to the disgust of all the bystanders, and at last even of themselves. Then, with an evasive object, they put in a challenge, offering to surrender certain slaves to be examined by torture as to the assault, and they will make much of this challenge. But had it been a bona fide offer, it would have been made not at the last moment, but long before.

δίαιτα Civil actions at Athens, before being brought into court, were almost invariably referred to arbitration. The Arbitrators (διαιτηταί) were either public and appointed by lot (κληρωτοί) or private and chosen (αἱρετοί) by the parties to the impending suit. All public arbitrators were in the 60th year of their age. In cases brought before a public arbitrator the parties might appeal to a higher Court; whereas the decision of a private arbitrator was final. See esp. Or. 21 (Mid.) § 94 τὸν τῶν διαιτῶν νόμον, and Aristotle, Const. of Athens, 53 §§ 2, 3. The δίαιτα here described was of the former kind. (See further Dict. Antiq. s. v. δίαιτα and Excursus to Kennedy's Demosth. Leptines &c. pp. 395—403, or Hermann-Thumser Staatsalt. p. 592—4, or Cambridge Companion to Greek Studies, § 403. Cf. Wayte on Androt. § 27.)

ἐποίησανὥραν ‘They prolonged the time beyond midnight.’ For the plural νύκτες in the sense nocturna tempora cf. Plato Phileb. 50 D νῦν οὖν λέγε πότερα ἀφίης με μέσας ποιήσεις νύκτας, Protag. 310 C and Symp. 217 D πόρρω τῶν νυκτῶν. Ar. Nub. 1 τὸ χρῆμα τῶν νυκτῶν ὅσον.

οὔτεδιδόναι ‘by refusing to read aloud the depositions or to put in copies of the same.’ The depositions were indispensable, and the defendants' refusal would obviously protract the proceedings, and lead to lengthy debates between the Arbitrator and the parties to the suit.— τῶν παρόντων sc. μαρτύρων.— καθ᾽ ἕνα = ἕκαστον, ‘one by one,’ singillatim. Or. 9 § 22 καθ᾽ ἕν᾽ οὑτωσὶ περικόπτειν καὶ λωποδυτεῖν τῶν Ἑλλήνων (index to Buttmann's Midias s. v. κατἀ).

οὑτωσὶ ‘merely,’ sic temere, Homer's αὔτως, or μὰψ οὔτως, ‘just bringing our witnesses up to the altar and putting them on their oath and nothing more,’ without allowing them to proceed with their depositions.

λίθον The MSS have βωμὸν, which is retained by the Zurich editors, but altered into λίθον by others on the authority of Harpocration: λίθος: Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷκατὰ Κόνωνοςτῶν τε παρόντων καθ᾽ ἕνα ἡμῖν οὑτωσὶ καὶ πρὸς τὸν λίθον ἄγοντες καὶ ἐξορκοῦντες (sic).’ ἐοίκασι δ᾽ Ἀθηναῖοι πρός τινι λίθῳ τοὺς ὅρκους ποιεῖσθαι ὡς Α᾿ριστοτἐλης ἐν τῇ Ἀθηναίων πολιτείᾳ (7 § 1, 55 § 5) καὶ Φιλόχορος ἐν τῷ γ́ ὑποσημαίνουσιν. So Hesychius, λίθος: βῶλος, βωμὸς καὶβάσις. τὸ ἐν ττ̣̂ Ἀθηναίων ἐκκλησίᾳ βῆμα. Plutarch, Solon 25 ὤμνυεν ὅρκον...ἕκαστος τῶν θεσμοθετῶν ἐν ἀγορᾷ πρὸς τῷ λίθῳ. Similarly what Theophrastus (ap. Zenob. proverb. iv 36) calls the ὔβρεως καὶ ἀναιδείας βωμούς on the Areopagus, Pausanias describes as λίθους (1 28 § 5).

The word βωμόν was perhaps originally an interlinear or marginal explanation of λίθον, and subsequently thrust the right word from the text.

The διαιτηταὶ swore to their awards on ‘the stone’ in the Agora (Arist. Const. Ath. 55 § 5). They might also hold their arbitration in any temples, halls or courts available, e.g. in the Heliaea (Or. 47 § 12), the Stoa Poecile (45 § 17), at the Delphinium (Isaeus 12 § 9), or in the temple of Hephaestus, as in Isocr. Trapez. § 15 ἑλόμενοι δὲ βασανιστὰς ἀπηντήσαμεν εἰς τὸ Ἡφαιστεῖον (Dem. 33 § 18). So in Or. 36 § 16 we have seen the temple of Athene on the Acropolis mentioned as the scene of an arbitration. In any case an altar for the administration of oaths would be readily at hand, and it is unnecessary to suppose that in the present passage any special public altar is intended. Indeed, βωμός, with its synonym λίθος, does not always mean an altar, as it may also be used of a small platform or step of stone. Cf. Favorinus (quoted by Hager in Joura. of Philol. VI 21) βωμός: οὐ μόνον ἐφ᾽ ὧν ἔθυον ἀλλὰ καὶ κτίσμα τι ἁπλῶς καὶ ἀνάστημα, ἐφ᾽ οὗ ἐστι βῆναί τι καὶ τεθῆναι. βωμοῖς: βαθμοῖς.

ἐξορκοῦντες] ἐξορκίζειν is used in Aeschin. Fals. Leg. § 85 ἐξώρκιζον τοὺς συμμάχους, in the same sense as the more common ἐξορκοῦν (for which see Or. 45 § 58).

οὐδὲν πρὸς τὸ πρᾶγμα sc. οὔσας, ‘utterly irrelevant.’— τοῦτο, sc. Ctesias. They brought all sorts of irrelevant depositions, one of which was that Conon's son was illegitimate [and therefore Conon was not legally responsible for his actions; further that he, Ctesias, had undergone certain ill treatment which justified the outrage he committed on Ariston. P.]

The antecedent is not τὰ καὶ τά, but the general sense of the whole of the preceding clauses; ‘a course of conduct which, &c.’

τελευτῶντεςἑαυτούς sc. ἐπετίμων καὶ ἐμίσουν, ‘at last they were indignant at and disgusted with themselves.’ The speaker feeling that, by implying that his opponents had had the sense to desist, he has made too much of a concession to them, hurries over his admission, and in the next sentence cuts the matter short by the opening words ἐπειδὴ δ᾽ οὖν, i.e. ‘whether this was the real reason or no, at any rate when at last they did desist, &c.’

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Demosthenes, Philippic 3, 22
    • Demosthenes, For Phormio, 16
    • Demosthenes, Against Stephanus 1, 58
    • Demosthenes, Against Evergus and Mnesibulus, 12
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