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Περὶ τοῦ σηκοῦ

. [Or. VII.] — ‘On the Sacred Olive’. The man for whom this defence was written — a rich Athenian citizen (§§ 21, 31) — had originally been charged with destroying a moria, or sacred olive, on a farm which belonged to him. As to do this was a fraud upon the Treasury, the form of the original accusation had been an apographè (ἀπεγράφην, § 2). But the charge was not supported by the persons who had rented from the State the produce of the moriae on this farm (οἱ ἐωνημένοι τοὺς καρποὺς τῶν μοριῶν, § 2). The accusers had therefore changed their ground. They now charge the defendant merely with uprooting the fenced-in stump (σηκός) of a moria; and they lay against him an indictment for impiety. The chief accuser is one Nicomachus.

Throughout Attica, besides the olives which were private property (ἴδιαι ἐλαῖαι, § 10), there were others which, whether growing on public or on private lands, were considered as the property of the State. These were called moriae (μορίαι) — the legend being that they had been propagated (μεμορημέναι) from the original olive which Athene herself had caused to spring up on the Acropolis. This theory was convenient for their conservation as State property, since, by giving them a sacred character, it placed them directly under the care of the Areiopagus, which caused them to be visited once a month by Inspectors (ἐπιμεληταί, § 29), and once a year by special Commissioners (γνώμονες, § 25). To uproot a moria was an offence punishable by banishment and confiscation of goods (§ 41).

The case is tried by the Areiopagus under the presidency of the Archon Basileus. The offence was alleged to have been committed in the archonship of Suniades (§ 11), Ol. 95. 4, 397 B.C. To judge from § 42 (τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ ὕστερον) the trial took place not earlier than 395 B.C.; probably later. — Attic Orators, I. 289.

§§ 17 — 25.

ἔτι τοίνυν The speaker has been arguing that he could not have destroyed the olive without the knowledge of his slaves. He now adds that the deed would have been liable to detection by (1) former tenants of the farm, § 17: (2) passers-by, (3) neighbours, § 18.

εἰ παρέστη μοι ‘if it had occurred to me’: i.e. ‘if I had been so ill-advised’ as to pay no heed to my slaves. Cp. the trans. 1st aor. Paus. IX. 14. 6, τοῦτο Ἐπαμεινώνδᾳ παρέστησεν... ἀπαγαγεῖν, ‘this suggested to E. that he should lead them back’.

τοσούτων μεμ ‘when so many persons had rented the farm’; the speaker having let it to four different tenants in succession, before he took it into his own hands (§§ 9, 10). μισθοῦν of landlord, μισθοῦσθαι of tenant: § 10, Ἀλκίᾳ... ἐμίσθωσα,...κᾆτα...Πρωτέας ἐμισθώσατο. — συνειδότων: ‘in the secret’ (that a moria had existed on the land).

προθεσμίας ‘when there was no statutable limit to my liability’: i.e. a γραφή might be laid at any length of time after the alleged offence. In some cases (e.g. the γραφὴ παρανόμων) the προθεσμία was a year.

τοῖς εἰργασμένοις ‘while it was the common interest [προσῆκον, acc. absol.] of all who had worked the farm that the olive should be safe, so that, if any of them were inculpated, they could have laid the blame on him to whom they gave up the land’: (i.e. each would shift the blame on to his own immediate successor: hence ὅτῳ, not .) For προσῆκον in this sense, cp. In Agor. § 15, p. 80, οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς τούτων πλεῖον ὑμῶν ἑκάστῳ προσῆκεν.

εἶναι σῷον τὸν σηκόν i.e., it would be the interest of each man who had rented the farm to prove that, at the time when he gave it up, the olive was still safe. Tenant A would be prepared to show that he had transmitted the olive to B, B to C, and so on. A series of vigilant witnesses would thus fix the responsibility on the latest tenant, — the speaker.

ἵνα...εἶχον the secondary tenses of the indic. in final clauses with ἵνα (or ὡς, ὅπως) ‘denote that the end or object is dependent upon some unfulfilled condition, and therefore is not or was not attained: Goodwin § 44. 3. — ἀνενεγκεῖν ὅτῳ=τούτῳ ὅτῳ: cp. In Eratosth. § 81, κατηγόρηται δὴ Ἐρατοσθένους καὶ τούτου φίλων, οἷς τὰς ἀπολογίας ἀνοίσει, i.e. ‘on whose shoulders he will lay the blame of his acts’: but in § 64, τὰς ἀπολογίας εἰς ἐκεῖνον ἀναφερομένας.

παρεσκευασάμην ‘Now, supposing that I had arranged matters in these quarters also’ [as well as with my οἰκέται], i.e. had bribed the former tenants of the farm to be silent: so In Agor. § 12 (p. 79), δικαστήριον παρασκευάσαντες: ib. § 22 (p. 82) ἐκ παρασκευῆς. — πεῖσαι=to bribe, as § 21.

ἀλλήλων, κ.τ.λ. ‘know not only such of each other's concerns as are plain for all to see’: ἀλλ. with ταῦτα, a constr. like σοῦ τοῦτο θαυμάζω: cp. Lys. or. XXXIV. § 2 (above, p. 52). — καὶ περὶ ἐκ. πυνθάν., ‘inform themselves about these also’.

διάφοροι περὶ τῶν ἐμῶν ‘at feud with me about my own’: τῶν ἐμῶν emphatic, things which are really mine, but which they claim as theirs: alluding to boundary disputes or the like.

καὶ μὴ μόνον οὕτω ‘instead of making audacious charges in this off-hand way (οὕτω) on his bare word (μόνον)’: cp. Plat. Gorg. 494 E, ὃς ἂν φῇ ἀνέδην οὕτω (in this reckless fashion) τοὺς χαίροντας, ὅπως ἂν χαίρωσιν, εὐδαίμονας εἶναι.

τὰ πρέμνα ‘that my servants cut the olive-stump out by the roots, and the waggoner carted the wood and drove off with it’. πρέμνα=τὸ στέλεχος, the roots or stump of the μορία: in § 11 we have even σηκὸν ἐκκεκόφθαι, — σηκός, properly the fence round the stump of a sacred olive, coming to mean the fence with the stump.

καίτοι...τότε ‘Now it was your further (καί) duty at the time (τότε, when the alleged act was happening) to call the passers-by as witnesses, and to make the fact known’.

ἐν τούτῳ τ. τρ.] Cp. In Agor. § 12 (p. 79), ἐν τῇ προφάσει ταύτῃ.

οὕτως ἐξελέγξας ‘after thus proving your case, you could not longer have been suspected of calumny’: — οὐκ ἂν ἐδόκεις, you would not have continued to seem: implying ὥσπερ ἐδόκεις. The words might mean, ‘you would not now seem’, implying ὥσπερ δοκεῖς: but the context (ἂν ὑπέλιπες, ἂν ἔλαβες) shows that the imperf. refers to the past.

*φήσας μ᾽ ἰδεῖν ‘if, when you alleged that you had seen me destroying the sacred olive, you had invoked the presence of the Archons, or other representatives of the Areiopagus’. φήσας (Xen. Cyr. IV. 1. 22) a rare form, Reiske's emend. of φῂς μὴ δεῖν. The conject. φήνας μ᾽ ἰδών=‘having informed against me [by a φάσις laid before the magistrates] as having been seen by you’. — ἐπήγαγες: referring to the procedure called ἐφήγησις, which consisted in bringing the proper officer to the spot where the criminal was to be arrested: here that officer would be the ἄρχων βασιλεύς, or one of the ἐπιμεληταί (§§ 25, 29) charged by the Areiopagus with the care of the sacred olives.

δεινότατα οὖν πάσχω, ὃς...ἂν ἠξίου ‘My case, then, is a very hard one, seeing that he would have claimed’, etc. The antecedent to ὅς, if expressed, would have been ὑπὸ τούτου, ‘at his hands’, after πάσχω. As the antecedent is not expressed, the relative ὅς is virtually equivalent to ἐπειδὴ οὗτος. For this causal use of the relative, cp. my note on Soph. O. C. 263. — The conjecture ὅσῳ (to replace ὅς) is neither needful nor tenable. When ὅσῳ=‘inasmuch’, it always stands with a double comparative or a double superlative (e.g. μάλιστα πλουτοῦσιν, ὅσῳ καὶ πλεῖστα πονοῦσιν).

ἐμοὶ καὶ ταύτην ‘he thinks that this, too, [the fact of his having no witnesses] must be turned to my prejudice’ [by the insinuation that I have bribed them to be silent]. ταύτην (sc. τὴν ζ.), virtually=τοῦτο, as Andoc. De Pace § 37, ταύτην λαβόντες ἀφορμήν.

καὶ τούτου, κ. τ. λ.] ‘Nor do I wonder at him: of course, when he is bringing a vexatious charge, he will take care that, if he has no witnesses, at least he shall have such assertions at command’: τοιούτων λόγων, allegations of bribery on the part of the accused. — τούτου: either τοῦτο or a clause with εἰ or ὅτι would usually follow θαυμάζω: but here the sentence οὐ γάρ κ.τ.λ. takes its place. Cp. p. 240, note on Lys. or. XXXIV. § 2.

πυρκαϊάς μορίαι which had been burnt down, as often happened in the raids during the Peloponnesian War. On the vitality of the olive cp. Her. VIII. 55: Soph. O. C. 698 (φύτευμ᾽ ἀχείρωτον αὐτοποιόν, ‘a growth unconquered, selfrenewing’): Verg. Geo. II. 30, 181.

ἐπεργάσασθαι ‘cultivate its former site’: ἐπεργ. of sacrilegiously cultivating sacred soil, Aeschin. In Ctes. § 113, (the Amphissaeans) ἐπειργάσαντο τὸ πεδίον (of Crisa). So ἐπεργασία τῆς γῆς τῆς ἱερᾶς, Thuc. I. 139.

ὥσπερ καὶ τὴν ἄλλην οὐσίαν ‘as much as any part of my own property’. The μορίαι were not part of his οὐσία, but belonged to the State, so that τὴν ἄλλ. οὐς. strictly=‘all my property besides: Plat. Phaed. 110 E, καὶ λίθοις καὶ γῇ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ζῴοις τε καὶ φυτοῖς.

ἡγούμ. περὶ ἀμφ.] ‘deeming that I have interests at stake in both of them’ — both in the μορίαι and in my own property: i.e. he regards himself as bound by public duty and by religion to protect the μορίαι. Cp. or. XXXIV. § 9 (p. 55), κίνδυνος οὗτος, the interests staked on the maintenance of the Constitution.

ἐπιμελουμένους Cp. § 28, ὃς οὔτε γεωργῶν ἐγγὺς τυγχάνει οὔτ᾽ ἐπιμελητὴς (‘Inspector’) ᾑρημένος. — The γνώμονες were higher officials, ‘Commissioners’, who made a general survey once a year.

ἐργαζ., κ.τ.λ. ‘cultivating the soil around the sacred olives’ (to the endangering of the σηκοί): not so much as ἐπεργάς. in § 24, which means to cultivate the spot on which a σηκός (now destroyed) had stood.

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