Τετραλογία2 speech 2

The Tetralogies have this special interest, that they represent rhetoric in its transition from the technical to the practical stage, from the schools to the lawcourts and the ecclesia. Antiphon stood between the sophists who preceded and the orators who followed him as the first Athenian who was at once a theorist of rhetoric and a master of practical eloquence. The Tetralogies hold a corresponding place between merely ornamental exercises and real orations. Each of them forms a set of four speeches, supposed to be spoken in a trial for homicide. The accuser states his charge, and the defendant replies; the accuser then speaks again, and the defendant follows with a second reply. The imaginary case is in each instance sketched as lightly as possible; details are dispensed with; only the essential frame-work for discussion is supplied. Hence, in these skeleton-speeches, the structure and anatomy of the argument stand forth in naked clearness, stripped of everything accidental, and showing in bold relief the organic lines of a rhetorical pleader's thought. — Attic Orators, I. 45 f. The Tetralogies are distinguished by their practical character from the ‘displays’ of the sophists as well as from the ‘declamations’ of the Augustan age.

The subject of the Second Tetralogy is the death of a boy accidentally struck by a javelin while watching a youth practising at the gymnasium. The boy's father accuses the youth — whose father defends him — of accidental homicide; and the case comes before the court of the Palladion. In order to understand the issues raised, it is necessary to keep in mind the Greek view of accidental homicide. This view was mainly a religious one. The death was a pollution. Some person, or thing, must be answerable for that pollution, and must be banished from the State, which would else remain defiled. In a case like the supposed one, three hypotheses were possible: — that the cause of the impurity had been the thrower, the person struck, or the missile. There was a special court — that held at the Prutaneion — for the trial of inanimate things which had caused death. Here, however, the question is only of living agents. The judges have nothing whatever to do with the question as to how far either was morally to blame. The question is simply which of them is to be considered as, in fact, the author or cause of the death.

The accuser's first speech consists only of a few sentences, in which he says that the facts admit of no doubt. A homicide has been committed, though an involuntary one. The penalty demanded is the banishment of the accused, in order that Athens may not be polluted by his presence (μὴ περιορᾶν ἅπασαν τὴν πόλιν ὑπὸ τούτου μιαινομένην § 2). It is expressed by the phrase εἴργειν ὧν νόμος εἴργει ib. and γ. § 11. The condemned person remained in exile until the relatives of the deceased gave their consent to his return (ἕως ἂν αἰδέσηταί τις τῶν ἐν γένει τοῦ πεπονθότος: cp. Dem. or. XXXVII. Adv. Pantaen. § 59, or. XLIII. Adv. Macart. § 57): the usual statement that the term was limited to a year (ἀπενιαυτισμός) needs confirmation, at least for Athens. See K. F. Hermann, Antiq. I. § 104. 11.

ἀπράγμονας ἀπράγμων, the man ‘of quiet life’, who keeps out of law-suits and politics: ἡσύχιος, the man ‘of peaceful disposition’. In regard to law-suits, the Athenian ἀπράγμων stood in favourable contrast with the συκοφάντης, but in politics he was despised: Thuc. II. 40, τὸν μηδὲν τῶνδε (τῶν πολιτικῶν) μετέχοντα οὐκ ἀπράγμονα ἀλλὰ ἀχρεῖον νομίζομεν.

τολμᾶν τά τε ἄλλα=τά τε ἄλλα τολμᾶν. For τε misplaced, cp. Thuc. IV. 10, ἢν ἐθέλωμέν τε μεῖναι καὶ μὴ καταπροδοῦναι.

τὴν ἀκρίβειαν ‘the exact truth’. Thuc. I. 22, χαλεπὸν ἦν διαμνημονεῦσαι τὴν ἀκρίβειαν αὐτὴν τῶν λεχθέντων, ‘the exact form’.

καὶ αὐτός ‘myself also’: — alluding to the accuser's previous appeal (α. § 2), ὑμᾶς δὲ ἀξιῶ ἐλεοῦντας, κ.τ.λ.

ἀκριβέστερον ‘with more subtlety’ — referring especially to the distinction which he proceeds to draw between πράκτορες τῶν ἀκουσίων and τῶν παθημάτων αἴτιοι (§ 6). The accuser, in his second speech (γ. § 3), says, μὴ ἔργα φανερὰ ὑπὸ πονηρᾶς λόγων ἀκριβείας (‘a quibbling subtlety’) πεισθέντες ψευδῆ τὴν ἀλήθειαν τῶν πραχθέντων ἡγήσησθε.

μὴ...τὴν κρίσιν ποιήσασθαι With the vulg., μὴ διὰ τὰς προειρημένας τύχας ἀποδεξαμένους, κ.τ.λ., we can only render: ‘I ask you to entertain my defence, and not to give your judgment — under the influence of those mischances to which I have referred — on grounds of opinion rather than of fact’. But the position of ἀποδεξαμένους...ἀπολογίαν, inserted between μή and ποιήσασθαι, is then intolerable. Blass conjectures ἴσα ταῖς προειρημέναις τύχαις: i.e. ‘I beg you not to receive my defence in the spirit — not to view them in the light — of the mischances’, etc. The objections are (1) the phrase ἴσα ταῖς... τύχαις, which surely will not yield such a sense: (2) the necessarily favourable sense of ἀποδεξαμένους. I propose, retaining διὰ...τὰς τύχας, to insert ἧττόν τι before ἀποδεξαμένους: ‘I beg you not to entertain my defence the less favourably on account of the mischances to which I have referred’. See p. 55, § 8, for another instance in which ἧττον seems to have dropped out. — An alternative remedy would be to change ἀποδεξαμένους for some partic. of opposite meaning (‘having rejected’); but neither ἀποδοκιμάσαντας nor ἀπωσαμένους is palaeographically probable.

πρὸς τῶν λέγειν δυν ‘is on the side of’, ‘favours’, those who can speak. Eur. Alc. 57, πρὸς τῶν ἐχόντων, Φοῖβε, τὸν νόμον τίθης, ‘for the rich’ — in their interest.

παρὰ γνώμην τούτων ‘The result has completely disappointed these expectations’:=παρὰ ταῦτα ἤλπιζον, the genitive τούτων depending on the idea of contrariety implied in παρὰ γνώμην, as if he had written συμβέβηκέ μοι ἐναντία τούτων.

μειράκιον usu. denotes the age from about 14 to 18: παῖς is younger. Xen. Symp. IV. 17, ὥσπερ γε παῖς γίγνεται καλός, οὕτω καὶ μειράκιον καὶ ἀνὴρ καὶ πρεσβύτης.

οὐχ ὕβρει οὐδὲ ἀκολασίᾳ ‘insolence or wantonness’. The essence of ὕβρις is that it indulges the sense of power by humiliating another: ἀκολασία does what it likes at the moment, without thinking of others. Aristotle distinguishes three εἴδη of ὀλιγωρία (slight esteem), — viz. καταφρόνησις (contempt), ἐπηρεασμός (active spite), ὕβρις, outrage (Rhet. II. 2), — the point of ἐπηρεασμός being that it vexes the other, and of ὕβρις that it dishonours him. Arist. makes ἀκολασία the ὑπερβολὴ περὶ ἡδονὰς καὶ λύπας, — the μεσότης being σωφροσύνη. The accuser, in his reply, attributes ἀκολασία to the youth (γ. § 6).

ἐν τῷ γυμνασίῳ The παλαίστρα, the school of wrestling and boxing, is often mentioned in connection with the διδασκαλεῖον as a place of training for boys: cp. Theophr. Char. VII. The γυμνάσιον was a more general resort, including grounds for running and archery, baths, and (as here) a range for javelin practice. Plato recommends that a boy should begin at six years of age to learn riding, and the us of the bow, javelin and sling: ‘letters’ he postpones to the age of ten (Legg. VII. 794 C).

ἀκουσίους αἰτίας ‘charges arising from an involuntary act’. A harsh phrase: but the conj. ἀνοσίους seems weak.

μὴ φονεῦσιν εἶναι Notice the simple μή, where μὴ οὐ would be regular. Cp. Soph. Phil. 349, οὐ πολὺν | χρόνον μ᾽ ἐπέσχον μή με ναυστολεῖν ταχύ. So Trach. 226. This is more frequent with τὸ μή, e.g. O. T. 1387: Xen. Cyr. v. 1. 25, τίς σοῦ ἀπελείφθη τὸ μή σοι ἀκολουθεῖν; Her. I. 209, οὐκ ὦν ἔστι μηχανὴ...οὐδεμία τὸ μὴ κεῖνον ἐπιβουλεύειν ἐμοί.

< μὲν ἐκωλύθη>] Cp. § 7, ἔπαθε...διακωλυθεὶς τοῦ σκοποῦ τυχεῖν.

εἴπερ...ἀποθανών ‘As to the boy, if it has been proved to you that he was not struck while he stood still (ἑστώς), it is still more manifest that, since he came of his own accord into the course of the javelin, he was killed through his own error’. μή and not οὐ before βληθείς because it depends on εἴπερ: but οὐ would have been admissible here, owing to the emphasis on the negative fact. Cp. on De Caed. Her. § 14. — ὑπελθὼν...δηλοῦται...ἀποθανών. Since, or because, he came,... it is clear that he died: =τὸ ὑπελθεῖν αὐτὸν δηλοῖ ὅτι...ἀπέθανε. So we might have, ἀμελήσας δῆλός ἐστιν ἁμαρτών, ‘it is clear that he erred by carelessness’. The argument is: ‘If he voluntarily left a safe place, he alone is answerable for the consequences’. In ἔτι σαφεστέρως the comparative is merely rhetorical: — It must be, if possible, more obvious still, etc. Note the alternative forms σαφεστέρως, σαφέστερον (§ 6): cp. Isocr. Panegyr. § 193.

ὧν ἂν ἐπινοήσωσί τι δρᾶσαι The proper construction would have been simply ἁμαρτάνοντες ὧν (=τούτων ) ἂν ἐπινοήσωσι, failing in the designs which they may have formed. But to this τι δρᾶσαι is added, as if, instead of ἁμαρτάνοντες, such a word as κωλυθέντες had preceded: failing to execute some part of their designs. The redundancy was suggested by the antithesis between planning and doing: cp. Thuc. v. 13, οὐκ ἀξιόχρεων αὐτῶν ὄντων δρᾶν τι ὧν κἀκεῖνος ἐπενόει.

ἀπειρημένον...προστεταγμένον Accus. absol.: προστεταγμένον also in Plat. Legg. X. 902 D. So δέονἐξόνπαρέχονπαρασχόνπροσῆκονεἰρημένονδεδογμένονγεγραμμένονπροσταχθέν, κ.τ.λ. Goodwin § 110. 2.

ἐξεμελέτα ‘was carefully practising’. Plat. Hipp. mai. 286 D, ἀκούσας καὶ μαθὼν καὶ ἐκμελετήσας (having perfected my skill) πάλιν ἰέναι ἐπὶ τὸν ἐρωτήσαντα.

ἐν γυμναζομένοις i.e. not among those who were practising athletic exercises (where the risk of an ccident would have been greater), but ‘in the rank’ (τάξις) of the javelin-throwers, who had a special part of the gymnasium reserved for them.

τετιμωρημένος ἑαυτόν Cp. De Caed. Her. § 21, τὸν πλοῦν πεποιημένος. So Thuc. III. 67, τετιμωρημένοι, ‘having taken vengeance’: but in Thuc. VII. 77 it is passive, ἀποχρώντως ἤδη τετιμωρήμεθα, ‘we have been punished’: and so VI. 60, ἐτετιμώρηντο. So e.g. μεμιμημένος, ἐντεθυμημένος, ἐσκεμμένος, ᾐτιαμένος, κεκτημένος, can be either midd. or pass.

οὐ συνηδομένων οὐδὲ συνεθ The use of συν- in the first pair of compounds is incorrect: the meaning is, οὐκ ἐπιχαιρόντων οὐδ᾽ ἐθελόντων: but the form of the first clause is assimilated to that of the second. Cp. Thuc. I. 142 § 2, ἐπιτείχισις...ἡμῶν ἀντεπιτετειχισμένων, ‘when our city (Athens) is a counter-fortress to theirs’, as Shilleto takes it: the ἐπί in ἀντεπιτ. losing its proper force (‘on hostile soil’), and being merely in rhetorical symmetry with ἐπιτείχισις. — ἡμῶν] = τοῦδε μὲν τοῦ νηπίου, ἐμοῦ δὲ τοῦ γηραιοῦ, § 11. More boldly below, § 9, ὡς φονέα με διώκει.

μηδὲ ἀκουσίως ‘not even involuntarily’: i.e. the boy himself was αἴτιος τοῦ παθήματος, § 6.

ἀπολυόμενος δέ...ἐσμέν The anacolouthon is caused by the speaker's thought passing, as the sentence goes on, from the charge of which the son is really innocent to the consequences for both father and son, if he is condemned.

τῶν ἐπιτηδευμάτων ‘our aims in life’. Cp. § 3, ταῦτα παιδεύων τὸν υἱὸν ἐξ ὧν μάλιστα τὸ κοινὸν ὠφελεῖται. — ἐπιτήδευμα, a practice founded on a principle, Thuc. I. 32, 37.

οὗτός τε γάρ [I say "we,"] for both he, etc.

ἐπί τε γάρ] ἐπί before διαφθορᾷ might mean ‘after’: but it is better to take it, both with διαφθορᾷ and with ἀπαιδίᾳ, as denoting the condition. ‘If he is to perish’...‘if I am to be left childless’.

ζῶν...κατορυχθήσομαι The accuser, in his second speech, appropriates the metaphor (γ. § 12), ζῶντες κατορωρύγμεθα ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ. This is characteristic of the Tetralogies (cp. β. § 2 and γ. § 3, εἰς τὸν ὑμέτερον ἔλεον καταπεφευγώς), which are repertories of points and topics, not examples of finished form.

γηραιοῦ A poetical word, used by Herod.; also once by Thuc. VI. 54, Πεισιστράτου...γηραιοῦ τελευτήσαντος: but not in later Attic prose.

συμφέρειν Xen. Cyr. IV. 3 § 13, ἐκεῖνο δὲ οὐχὶ εὐπετές, τὸ τι ἂν δέῃ ὅπλον φέρειν, τὸν ἵππον τοῦτο συμφέρειν; (help to carry it.)

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