With gross outrage I have met, men of the jury, at the hands of the defendant, Conon, and have suffered such bodily injury that for a very long time neither my relatives nor any of the attending physicians thought that I should survive. Contrary to expectation, however, I did recover and regain my strength, and I then brought against him this action for the assault. All my friends and relatives, whose advice I asked, declared that for what he had done the defendant was liable to summary seizure as a highwayman, or to public indictments for criminal outrage1; but they urged and advised me not to take upon myself matters which I should not be able to carry, or to appear to be bringing suit for the maltreatment I had received in a manner too ambitious for one so young. I took this course, therefore, and, in deference to their advice, have instituted a private suit, although I should have been very glad, men of Athens, to prosecute the defendant on a capital charge.

1 As guilty of highway robbery the defendant had made himself liable to summary arrest (ἀπαγωγή), and the gravity of his assault would have justified a public indictment for criminal outrage (ὕβρεως γραφή), for either of which crimes he would, if convicted, have suffered a heavy penalty. The private suit for assault and battery (αἰκείας δίκη) entailed merely a fine to be paid to the plaintiff.

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  • Commentary references to this page (5):
    • C.E. Graves, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 4, CHAPTER LXXXVI
    • J. E. Sandys, Select Private Orations of Demosthenes, 3
    • J. E. Sandys, Select Private Orations of Demosthenes, 3
    • J. E. Sandys, Select Private Orations of Demosthenes, 81
    • J. E. Sandys, Select Private Orations of Demosthenes, 9
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