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[87] In a trial for murder,1 even if judgement is wrongly given against the defendant, justice and the facts cannot prevail against that decision. Once you condemn me, I must perforce obey your verdict and the law, even if I am not the murderer or concerned in the crime. No one would venture either to disregard the sentence passed upon him because he was sure that he had had no part in the crime, or to disobey the law if he knew in his heart that he was guilty of such a deed. He has to submit to the verdict in defiance of the facts, or submit to the facts themselves, as the case may be, above all if his victim has none to avenge him.2

1 Antiph. 5.87-89 appear, with slight modifications, in Antiph. 6.3-6. It is clear that we have here one of those loci communes which were part of the stock in trade of every λογόγραφος and could easily be adapted to different contexts (cf. Antiph. 5.14 ff. and Antiph. 5.38 ff., Antiph. 6.2, Antiph. 6.27, Antiph. 1.12 ff., and Andoc. 1.1, 6, 7, 9). The present passage stresses the gravity and the finality of a δίκη φόνου, a theme which was likely to find a place in most φονικοὶ λόγοι. Here, however, it is introduced a little awkwardly. The words δίκη φόνου (87 init .) refer, not to the present trial, which is an ἔνδειξις, but to the trial before the Areopagus which Euxitheus hopes will follow; and the word ὑμεῖς in the third line of 87 is used in the same general sense as in 90 (cf. Antiph. 5.90 note 1).

2 The speaker is here thinking of the master who has killed his slave; the slave has no family to institute proceedings on his behalf (cf. Antiph. 6.4 f.). The argument of 87 as a whole sounds odd to modern ears; but it should be remembered that at Athens the defendant in a δίκη φόνου always had the option of going into voluntary exile before the court passed sentence. Hence it was possible to speak of “disregarding the sentence imposed.”

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hide References (17 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.1
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (10):
    • Andocides, On the Mysteries, 1
    • Antiphon, On the Choreutes, 2
    • Antiphon, On the Choreutes, 27
    • Antiphon, On the Choreutes, 3
    • Antiphon, On the Choreutes, 4
    • Antiphon, Against the Stepmother for Poisoning, 12
    • Antiphon, On the murder of Herodes, 14
    • Antiphon, On the murder of Herodes, 38
    • Antiphon, On the murder of Herodes, 87
    • Antiphon, On the murder of Herodes, 90
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (4):
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