previous next
[77] I want you to hear the oath. Read, clerk.“Oath

I will not bring dishonor an my sacred arms nor will I abandon my comrade wherever I shall be stationed. I will defend the rights of gods and men and will not leave my country smaller, when I die, but greater and better, so far as I am able by myself and with the help of all. I will respect the rulers of the time duly and the existing ordinances duly and all others which may be established in the future. And if anyone seeks to destroy the ordinances I will oppose him so far as I am able by myself and with the help of all. I will honor the cults of my fathers. Witnesses to this shall be the gods Agraulus, Hestia, Enyo, Enyalius, Ares, Athena the Warrior, Zeus, Thallo, Auxo, Hegemone, Heracles, and the boundaries of my native land, wheat, barley, vines, olive-trees, fig-trees. . . .1

It is a fine and solemn oath, gentlemen; an oath which Leocrates has broken in all that he has done. How could a man be more impious or a greater traitor to his country? How could he disgrace his arms more than by refusing to take them up and resist the enemy? Is there any doubt that a man has deserted the soldier at his side and left his post, if he did not even offer his person for enlistment?

1 The inscription from which the text of this oath is taken, found in 1932 ar Acharnae, contains also a variant version of the next oath which Lycurgus quotes (Lyc. 1.81). For the full text and notes on it see M.N. Tod, Greek Historical Inscriptions, ii. 204. Agraulus (more commonly called Aglaurus) had a temple on the north side of the Acropolis, in which the Ephebate oath was taken. For Enyo the goddess of war compare Hom. Il. 5.333. Enyalius, though his name was often applied to Ares, was regarded by some as a separate God. Thallo (Growth) was one of the Horae, Auxo and Hegemone (Increase and Guidance) two of the Graces. The concluding words of the list are lost.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1962)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1932 AD (1)
hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.333
    • Lycurgus, Against Leocrates, 81
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: