Lysias: Forensic Speeches in Public Causes
Principle of distinction between ‘public’ and ‘private’ law-speeches.
In classifying forensic speeches the first thing to be done is to fix the principle of distinction between the public and the private. One method is to consider solely the form of procedure, and to distinguish ‘public’ and ‘private’ as they were technically distinguished by Greek law. Another method is to consider rather the substance than the form of each cause, and to arrange the causes according as their practical interest was more directly for the State or for the individual. Blass adopts the latter plan1
The speech On the Murder of Eratosthenes [Or. I.], for instance, is referred by Blass to the private class, since the cause, though formally public (as being a γραφὴ φόνου
), was of no properly political interest. The obvious objection to such a mode of classification is its uncertainty. The definite technical distinction once abandoned, it becomes hard to say what is or is not a ‘public’ cause. Thus the speeches Against Eratosthenes [Or. XII.] and Against Agoratos [Or. XIII.] are placed by Blass in a rank by themselves, intermediate between the properly public and the properly private, because in each case, though an individual is mainly concerned, the issue is of high moment to the State. Such differences have a real literary
importance, and have already been recognised (p. 166) as corresponding to different shades of style. But they appear too indefinite to form a good basis for scientific classification. The necessity of drawing a doubtful or arbitrary line is avoided by taking the classification supplied by Greek law itself. Classified as public and private (δημόσιοι
) in the Greek sense, the speeches of Lysias will stand thus:—
A. Speeches in public causes.
- I. Causes relating to Offences directly against the State (γραφαὶ δημοσίων ἀδικημάτων); such as treason, malversation in office, embezzlement of public moneys.
- 1. For Polystratos [Or. XX.].
- 2. Defence on a Charge of Taking Bribes [Or. XXI.].
- 3. Against Ergokles [Or. XXVIII.].
- 4. Against Epikrates [Or. XXVII.].
- 5. Against Nikomachos [Or. XXX.].
- 6. Against the Corndealers [Or. XXII.].
- II. Cause relating to Unconstitutional Procedure (γραφὴ παρανόμων).
- On the Property of the Brother of Nikias [Or. XVIII.].
- III. Causes relating to Claims for Money withheld from the State (ἀπογραφαί.)
- 1. For the Soldier [Or. IX.].
- 2. On the Property of Aristophanes [Or. XIX.].
- 3. Against Philokrates [Or. XXIX.].
- IV. Causes relating to a Scrutiny (δοκιμασία), especially the Scrutiny by the Senate of Officials designate.
- 1. Against Evandros [Or. XXVI.].
- 2. For Mantitheos [Or. XVI.].
- 3. Against Philon [Or. XXXI.].
- 4. Defence on a Charge of seeking to abolish the Democracy [Or. XXV.].
- 5. For the Invalid [Or. XXIV.].
- V. Causes relating to Military Offences (γραφαί λειποταξίου, ἀστρατείας, κ. τ. λ.).
- 1. Against Alkibiades, I. [Or. XIV.].
- 2. Against Alkibiades, II. [Or. XV.].
- VI. Causes relating to Murder or Intent to murder (γραφαὶ φόνου, τραύματος ἐκ προνοίας).
- 1. Against Eratosthenes [Or. XII.].
- 2. Against Agoratos [Or. XIII.].
- 3. On the Murder of Eratosthenes [Or. I.].
- 4. Against Simon [Or. III.].
- 5. On Wounding with Intent [Or. IV.].
- VII. Causes relating to Impiety (γραφαὶ ἀσεβείας).
- 1. Against Andokides [Or. VI.].
- 2. For Kallias [Or. V.].
- 3. On the Sacred Olive [VII.].
B. Speeches in private causes.
- I. Action for libel (δίκη κακηγορίας).
- Against Theomnêstos2 [Or. X.].
- II. Action by a Ward against a Guardian (δίκη ἐπιτροπῆς).
- Against Diogeiton [Or. XXXII.].
- III. Trial of a Claim to Property (διαδικασία).
- On the Property of Eraton3 [Or. XVII.].
- IV. Answer to a Special Plea (πρὸς παραγραφήν).
- Against Pankleon [Or. XXIII.].
I. Causes relating to offences directly against the state (γραφαὶ δημοσίων ἀδικημάτων).
I. 1. For Polystratos, Or. XX
1. For Polystratos.
[Or. XX.]—Harpokration describes this as a ‘Defence for Polystratos on a charge of seeking to abolish the Democracy.’4
But from the speech itself the precise nature of the charge cannot be gathered. All that can be safely inferred is that the offence alleged was of a political nature, and was connected with the oligarchical revolution of 411 B. C. Polystratos had held several offices under the oligarchy (§ 5), and had been elected to a vacancy in the Council of the Four Hundred just eight days before the defeat of the Athenian fleet by the Spartans at Eretria, immediately after which the government fell (§ 14). His most important employment had been that of enrolling the 5000 persons to whom the Council conceded the franchise; and he takes credit for having placed, in his capacity of registrar, 9000 instead of 5000 on the roll. It was only in their last peril that the Oligarchy took steps for giving a real existence to the nominal body of 5000; and this agrees with the account of Polystratos, who dates his registrarship from his entry into the Council only eight days before its overthrow (§ 14). When the democracy was re-established, Polystratos was prosecuted and heavily fined; probably on the ground of malversation in some office which he had held under the Oligarchy.
In the present case malversation in his registrarship
Probable nature of the charge.
may have been the special charge against him. The penalty threatened was pecuniary; but he says that, as he has no money with which to meet it, the result for him, if condemned, will be disfranchisement as a state-debtor.
The date must lie between 411 and 405. The war in the Hellespont is noticed (§ 29); but there is no reference to Arginusae or subsequent events; and the early part of 407 is therefore the latest date which appears probable.
Polystratos, who was a man past sixty (§ 10), is represented by the eldest of his three sons (§ 24).
The first part of the speech sets forth that Polystratos was one of the least prominent and least culpable of the oligarchs; that he had already suffered severely, and is now accused maliciously; and that the general tenor of his past life proves his patriotism (§§ 1—23). The speaker then relates his own services in Sicily after the disaster of 413, and reads a patriotic letter written to him by his father at that time. He recounts also the services of his brothers, the second and third sons of Polystratos; of whom the former had been active at the Hellespont, and the latter at home (§§ 24—29). In return for all that the father and his three sons have done for the city, they ask only to be spared a verdict which would rob them of citizenship (§§ 30—36).
The speech probably spurious.
The only ancient notice of this speech is by Harpokration, who once refers to it; then, indeed, without suspicion5
. But the general opinion of recent critics6
pronounces it spurious. In one respect alone
it has at first sight a resemblance to the style of Lysias. It is thoroughly natural. Yet the naturalness is not that of Lysias. It is the absence, not the concealment, of art; the simplicity, not of a master, but of a composer wholly untrained. A want of logical method renders the statements in the first part (§§ 1—23) confused, and the language throughout clumsy, sometimes obscure. Instead of the compact sentences of Lysias there are long strings of clauses loosely joined;—see especially § 14. Were the speech genuine, it would be the only known forensic speech of Lysias earlier than the fall of the Thirty Tyrants. But it seems hardly doubtful that it must be rejected.
I. 2. Defence on a Charge of Taking Bribes, Or. XXI
2. Defence on a Charge of Taking Bribes.
[Or. XXI.]—The first part of this speech, in which the accused met the specific charges against him, has been lost; the part which remains contains only his appeal to his previous character generally. The precise nature of the charge is therefore doubtful. In § 21 the speaker asks that he may not be adjudged guilty of taking bribes; hence the title given to the fragment. The accused had probably held some office, and was charged, when he gave account of it, with corrupt practices.
A clue to the date is given by the fact that the
speaker became of full age (i.e. eighteen) in the archonship of Theopompos (§ 1), 411 B. C.; and had performed leiturgies yearly to the archonship of Eukleides (§ 4), 403 B. C. No reason appears why his
public services should have ceased abruptly in that year. On the other hand, if he had performed leiturgies later than 403 B.C., he would probably have mentioned them. The year of the speech may therefore be conjectured to be 402, and the age of the speaker 267
Having already answered the accusers in detail, he goes on, in the extant fragment, to enumerate his public services. As choregus and trierarch he has spent upwards of ten talents in eight years—more than four times the amount which would have satisfied legal requirements (§§ 1—5). His trireme, when he was trierarch, was so good that Alkibiades, as admiral, had done him the unwelcome honour of sailing in it (§ 7); and it was one of the twelve which made good their escape from Aegospotami (§ 10).
He might fairly claim some substantial recognition of these costly services; but he asks only not to be deprived of his own property (§§ 11—19). In conclusion he reminds the judges that one who had risked his life and whole fortune for the State was not likely to have taken bribes to defraud it (§§ 21, 22). Beggary had often enough hung over his wife and children when he was fighting for Athens; it would be hard if it should at last actually befall them by the sentence of an Athenian court (§§ 24—52).
Lysias shows here strikingly his power of adapting language to character; the êthos is the merit of the speech. It expresses the strong, honest feeling of a man who has made sacrifices for his country, who is conscious of his desert, and who claims, rather than begs, acquittal. ‘I think, judges, that it would be much fairer for you to be indicted by the revenueofficers for keeping my property, than for me to be
now in peril on a charge of keeping the property of the Treasury...I am not proud of what is left to me, but of what I have spent upon you. My fortune came to me from others—the credit for its use is my own.’ (§§ 16, 17.)
I 3 Against Ergokles, Or. XXVIII
3. Against Ergokles.
[Or. XXVIII.]—In 390 B.C. a fleet of forty triremes was sent to the coast of Asia Minor under the command of Thrasybulos. After many successes in the Hellespont and a victory over the Lacedaemonians at Lesbos, Thrasybulos was slain at Aspendos in Pamphylia by a party of natives who surprised his camp by night (Xen. Hellen. IV. viii. 25—30
). Meanwhile anger had been excited at Athens by reports that the commanders of the expedition had embezzled moneys levied on the towns in Asia, and had been treacherous to the cause of the city. A decree was passed demanding an account of all funds so raised, and recalling the commanders. Thrasybulos died before he could obey the summons; his colleagues, of whom Ergokles was one, were
brought to trial in 389 B.C. The procedure was apparently by impeachment. Ergokles was condemned to death and his property was confiscated8
The short speech of Lysias was spoken by one of the Public Prosecutors; who, as others had already gone fully into the charges, does little more than recapitulate them.
Ergokles is charged with having betrayed Greek towns
in Asia, with having injured citizens and friends of Athens, and with having enriched himself at the public cost. All this time the fleet was allowed to go to ruin, with the connivance of Thrasybulos—who would never have been given the command, had it been foreseen that only his ‘flatterers’ (§ 4) were to benefit by it (§§ 1—7). Thrasybulos had done well to die; the partners of his guilt are now seeking to buy their lives by wholesale bribery; but this must not be suffered (§§ 8—11). Ergokles pleads his patriotism at the restoration of the democracy; but he has since shown himself worse than the Tyrants (§§ 12—14). His condemnation and that of his associates is necessary as an example to Greece, and is due to the cities, such as Halikarnassos9
, which they betrayed (§§ 15—17).
Decision and vigorous brevity are the chief characteristics of this speech, as of that Against Epikrates (XXVII.) and that Against Philokrates (XXIX.); both of which, like this, were spoken by Public Prosecutors. An address by an official afforded less scope for artistic individual colouring than a speech which had to be fitted to the character and circumstances of a private speaker.
I 4. Against Epikrates, Or. XXVII
4. Against Epikrates.
[Or. XXVII.]—The title, ‘Against Epikrates and his Fellow-Envoys,’ which one Theodôros10
affixed to this speech, is clearly wrong. In the first place each of the ‘FellowEnvoys’ would have been the subject of a separate
accusation; in the next place, there is absolutely no reference to an embassy except in the opening words11
, which have probably been interpolated to match the title. The grammarian, it can hardly be doubted, was thinking of the Epikrates mentioned by Demosthenes as having been condemned, with his colleagues in an embassy, by a decree of the people12
. Whether this Epikrates is the same person or not, cannot be decided. But, in the present case, the charge against him is of having embezzled public moneys while he held the office of comptroller of the treasury (§ 3). The charge must have been made either at his audit (εὐθῦναι
) or by a special impeachment (εἰσαγγελία
.) The only clue to the date is the fact that a war had now lasted some time (§ 10). The latter part of the
Corinthian War—about the year 389—is probably indicated.
Like the speech against Ergokles, this was preceded by others for the prosecution, and gives therefore only a general view of the case.
Corrupt officers of the treasury, like Ergokles, often tell
the judges, in asking for a verdict against some one whom they have wrongfully accused, that if it is not given, the city will soon lack funds to pay its public servants. And now this lack of funds is caused by the corrupt officials themselves. The State must punish heavily those guardians of the revenue
who so often procure the confiscation of private property while they enrich themselves out of the property of the public (§§ 1—7). If such men were condemned without the forms of a trial, it would be no breach of justice; their guilt is notorious. This is war-time; yet these men can not only pay heavy taxes, but at the same time live in the best houses—men who, in quieter times, had not bread to eat (§§ 8—10). No appeal to mercy should be admitted from such a quarter. The courts have lately been too lenient. Epikrates and his like must be made to suffer loss, since they are insensible to shame (§§ 11—16).
I. 5. Against Nikomachos, Or. XXX
5. Against Nikomachos.
[Or. XXX.].—Soon after the fall of the First Oligarchy in 411 B.C., a decree of the ekklesia (probably in 410) appointed a board of special Commissioners (Nomothetae13
) for the revision of the laws; especially for the recension of those old laws of Solon, written on the sides of the wooden prisms called Kurbeis or Axones, which now needed to be freed from corruptions and interpolations. Nikomachos14
was a member of the
Commission. Four months were assigned for the work15
; but Nikomachos contrived to extend his share of it over six years—i.e. until the overthrow of the democracy in 404—without rendering an account.
After the fall of the Second Oligarchy in 403, a second Revising Commission was appointed by the Senate. These special Nomothetae were to report within one month
to the Senate and the 500 ordinary Nomothetae selected by the demes16
. Nikomachos was again employed; his special duty on this occasion being to revise the laws which concerned the public sacrifices17
. Again he failed to discharge his task within the prescribed term. At the date of this speech he had held office for four years. The speech probably belongs, therefore, to 399 B. C. Nikomachos is accused before the Board of Auditors (the ten Logistae) of having failed to render an account of his office (ἀλογίου δίκη
The speaker is one of several accusers (§ 34), probably not the principal; the penalty demanded is death (§§ 23, 27.)
The first part of the speech sets forth the antecedents of Nikomachos. His father was a public slave; he himself, after late enrolment in a phratria, became an under-scribe to a magistrate. His present offence was not the first of the kind which he had committed. After the First Oligarchy, as after the Second, commissioners for the revision of the laws were appointed. Nikomachos had been one of these also; and had retained the appointment for six years (§ 2)— (that is, till 404 B.C.)—（§§ 1—6).
He will perhaps try to cast upon his accuser the suspicion of oligarchical sympathies. It ought not to be forgotten that it was he himself who, by a forged law, enabled the oligarchs to destroy Kleophon19
in 405. His sufferings under the Thirty were involuntary, and cannot be set against an action which was deliberate (§§ 7—16). The speaker will be taunted by Nikomachos with impiety because he complained in the ekklesia of the number of public sacrifices which this self-authorised legislator had ordered. But the truth is that, by ordering a number of new sacrifices, Nikomachos has caused those prescribed by the laws of Solon (τὰ ἐκ τῶν κύρβεων
, § 17) to be neglected; and has in two years spent twelve talents more than was necessary (§ 21). Hence the city, from want of funds, has been driven to confiscations (§ 22). Nikomachos ought to suffer the extreme penalty, as a warning to the corrupt officials who, confident in their powers of speech, are reckless of public or private misery (§§ 17—25).
Neither service in war, nor liberality at home, nor the merit of ancestors, nor the hope of his own gratitude, can
be pleaded as a reason for acquitting him. The people themselves might well be denounced for entrusting to such as he the powers once held by a Solon, a Themistokles, a Perikles (§ 28). Nikomachos has sought in vain to bribe his accusers; let his judges do their duty as firmly (§§ 26—35).
Unsparing and rather coarse sarcasm is the strength of this attach. Throughout, Nikomachos is treated, not as the recorder of laws, but as the son of the public slave, as the ex-under-scribe. ‘Are we to acquit him for his ancestors?’ asks the accuser. ‘Nay, for his own sake he deserves death; and for theirs—the slave-market’ (§ 27).
Against the Corndealers, Or. XXII
6. Against the Corndealers.
[Or. XXII.].—The Guild of Corndealers (σιτοπῶλαι
) was composed of aliens (§ 5) resident in the Peiraeus, who bought corn as it came into port and sold it in small quantities to the citizens. The trade was a good one, and was watched with jealousy both by citizens and by wholesale importers (ἔμποροι
, § 27). Stringent laws, administered by a board of Corn-Inspectors (σιτοφύλακες
, § 8), were framed to limit the gains of the retaildealers. One of these laws forbade them to charge more than one obol a bushel over cost-price (§ 8); another, in order to check monopoly, provided that no one should buy more than 50 phormoi (about 50 bushels) of corn at one time (§ 6).
It is this second law which is here alleged to have been broken by the guild or by some of its members. The case is tried before an ordinary court under the presidency of the Thesmothetae: the penalty is death.
The date of the speech cannot be fixed. All that
can be said is that it was certainly later than the beginning of the Corinthian War in 394 B. C.; possibly later than the Peace of Antalkidas in 387 B. C.20
The speaker begins by deprecating the notion that the charge preferred by him is vexatious or spiteful. On the contrary, he says, he was at the beginning of the business suspected of unduly favouring the Guild. An impeachment was first laid before the Senate, who were inclined to deliver the Corndealers then and there to the Eleven. It was he who then counselled moderation and the observance of the usual legal course. Accordingly the case was heard before the Senate (which was itself the preliminary court in cases of impeachment). No one came forward as accuser; and the speaker then made the accusation himself. The case was sent by the Senate for trial by an ordinary court (§§ 1—4).
One of the Corndealers is then questioned, and admits having bought more than fifty bushels at once, but says that he did so by the recommendation of the Corn-Inspectors. The speaker shows, first, that this is no defence; next, that the statement is false (§§ 5—10). The dealers plead that their object in buying large quantities was to be able to sell cheap; but their claim to public spirit can be refuted (§§ 11—16). They have acknowledged their combination against the wholesale importers. Their death is the satisfaction due to these and to the officials who have so often been punished for inability to check such frauds (§§ 17—22).
Compact and clear, without any attempt at ornament, this short speech is at least good of its kind,—a specimen of the strictly business-like style of Lysias.
II. Indictment for proposing an unconstitutional measure (γραφὴ παρανόμων).
II. 1 On the Confiscation of the Property of the Brother of Nikias, Or. XVIII
On the Confiscation of the Property of the Brother of Nikias.
[Or. XVIII.]—Eukrates, brother of the General Nikias, was put to death by the Thirty Tyrants in 404 B. C. Several years afterwards a certain Poliochos21
proposed and carried in the ekklesia a decree for confiscating the estate left by Eukrates. In this speech the elder of the two sons of Eukrates pleads against the execution of the decree.
The legal form of the cause is doubtful. Two
views are possible. (1) The sons of Eukrates may have indicated Poliochos under the Graphê Paranomôn for proposing an unconstitutional measure. In this case the speech is an Accusation. (2) Poliochos may have indicted the sons of Eukrates for withholding property due to the State under the decree; the action being in form an apographê, or claim for moneys withheld from the Treasury. In this case the speech is a Defence22
One point is in favour of the latter view. The speaker appeals in his peroration, first, to the judges
generally, then to the Syndici (§ 26). Now these fiscal officers would have had the presidency of the court in a cause affecting the treasury. But it is not clear why they should have had jurisdiction in a trial under the Graphê Paranomôn.
On the other hand, a passage in § 14 supports the first view. ‘All men will know’ [i. e. if Poliochos gains the cause] ‘that on the former occasion you fined23
in 1000 drachmas the man who wished to confiscate our land, whereas on this occasion he has carried his proposal; and that, therefore, in these two cases Athenian judges gave two opposite verdicts, the same man being on his trial for a breach of the Constitution.
The last words—παρανόμων φεύγοντος τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀνδρός
—may possibly be corrupt24
. But if they are right, then they prove that this trial, like the former, was a Graphê Paranomôn against Poliochos. And this is confirmed by the fact that ‘Against Poliochos’ is the title under which the speech is cited by Galen25
. On the whole, the probabilities appear to lean to this side. But the evidence does not suffice to decide the question.
The date may be inferred from two circumstances. (1) The speaker and his brothers were children in
404 (§ 10), but are now adults, holding the office of trierarchs (§ 21). (2) On the other hand, Athens and Sparta are at peace (§ 15). The Corinthian War (394—387 B. C.), therefore, either has not begun or is over. And as the son of Nikêratos (§ 10), the first cousin of the speaker, is not mentioned as having yet taken any part in public affairs, the earlier date is more likely—396 or 395 B. C., approximately.
The following stemma shows the relationship of the persons with whom the speech is concerned:—
Stemma of the family of Nikias
Diognêtosreturned from exile in 403, but is now dead, § 9
Eukratesdied 404 (§ 5 of speech)
Nikiasthe General, died 413
Eldest son, the speaker
Second son, § 21
NikêratosXenoph. Sympos. 1.2, etc.
The speaker begins by dwelling on the public services
of his uncles Nikias and Diognêtos and his father Eukrates (§§ 1—12). He next argues that a confiscation is never in any true sense a gain to the State. First, it endangers the most precious of all the city's treasures—concord among citizens. In the next place, property thus confiscated is always sold below its true value, and part even of the sum which it fetches is made away with by the proposer of the measure. Left in the hands of patriotic owners—like the speaker, his brother, and his cousin, who, all three, are trierarchs—it is far more profitable to the State (§§ 13—23).
They can produce no relatives to weep and pray for them; they are the last of their house; they can only appeal to the judges to protect the kinsmen of those who suffered for the democracy. Let the judges remember the time when, in exile and poverty, they prayed to the gods for a day when they might be able to show their gratitude to the children of their champions. This gratitude is claimed now. The
danger which threatens the accused is nothing less than utter ruin (§§ 24—27).
This fragment is interesting as giving a sequel, in the history of his family, to the personal fortunes
Distinctive quality of the Speech.
of Nikias; it is interesting, too, as being distinguished by a quality somewhat rare in the works of Lysias. Few of his speeches have so much pathos. The address is emphatically an appeal to pity; and excites it less by direct appeals than by its simplicity and a tone of manly self-restraint. One passage is especially striking—the description of Diognêtos bringing the orphan children of his brothers to Pausanias, and imploring the Spartan king to remember all that their fathers had suffered (§ 10).
III. Claims for moneys withheld from the state.
III. 1. For the Soldier, Or. IX
1. For the Soldier.
[Or. IX.]—The accused, Polyaenos, is prosecuted under a writ (ἀπογραφή
, §§ 3, 21) for the recovery of a fine alleged to be due from him to the Treasury. He states that, two years before, he had returned to Athens from a campaign, but had not been two months at home before he was again placed upon the list for active service. Hereupon he appealed to the General of his tribe (τῷ στρατηγῷ
, § 4); but obtained no redress. He spoke indignantly on the subject in conversation at one of the banker's tables in the marketplace; and, this having been reported to the authorities, he was fined under the law against reviling magistrates. The Generals did not, however, take any steps to
levy the fine; but at the expiration of their year of office, left a note of it with the Stewards of the Treasury (τοῖς ταμίαις
, § 6). These, after inquiry, were satisfied that the fine had been inflicted maliciously (§ 7), and cancelled it. The accusers, ignoring this decision, now prosecute the soldier, at an interval of more than a year, as a state-debtor. In case of conviction the penalty would be the payment of twice the original fine; but not the loss of civic rights. (§ 21.) From § 4 the speech may be referred to the time of the Corinthian War, 394— 387 B. C.
After complaining that his adversaries have wandered
from the special issue into general attaks upon his character the speaker sketches the facts of the case (§§ 1—7). He then argues, first, that the fine was originally illegal, since the offence contemplated by the law was that of speaking against a magistrate in court (ἐν συνεδρίῳ
, § 6), which he had not done; secondly, that in any case the reversal of the sentence by the stewards had absolved him (§§ 8—12).
The malice of his enemies had been provoked, he says, by the favour which he had formerly enjoyed with Sôstratos, an influential citizen. They are resolved to ruin him. The matter at issue is nominally a fine, but really his citizenship; for, if the court also takes part against him, he will be driven to fly from a city in which justice is not to be had (§§ 13—22).
Harpokration doubted the authenticity of this
; some recent critics have decisively rejected it27
. There are several traces of mutilation in the extant version. Thus the direct question with which
the speech opens is oddly abrupt; in § 5 a conversation is referred to (τὰ προειρημένα
) as if it had been given in terms; and in § 9 the speaker alludes to witnesses whom he has called, but of whom there is no other trace. It would be easier to vindicate the authorship of Lysias if the speech, as it stands, could be assumed to be a mere extract or epitome, like the so-called Second Speech Against Theomnêstos. But the epitomic character, distinct there, is absent here; there, proem and epilogue have been compressed; here their redundancies of expression are left untouched.
Francken thinks that the language is in some points doubtful Attic28
; and that the law is questionable29
. He argues further that, if the text is right in § 6, ‘Ktesikles the archon,’ there mentioned, must be the archon of Ol. CXI. 3, 334 B. C.; and notices that, in that year, an armament was prepared, but not despatched, by Athens30
—which agrees with the fact that Polyaenos, when enrolled the second time, was not called upon to serve. These arguments seem to point to different conclusions. If the diction and the law are not classically Attic, then the speech is a late work, probably a rhetorical exercise. If
Ktesikles is the Ktesikles of 334, then the speech was probably written for a real cause of about that date31
Far stronger than these special objections is
The general style proves the Speech spurious.
the general objection arising from the style. This, indeed, appears conclusive. The passage in §§ 15— 18, where the speaker attacks his adversaries, could hardly have come from Lysias. It is overwrought in tone, overloaded with antitheses, and too epideictic for its place. The whole defence is meagre, yet not concise—a reversal of the manner of Lysias. It was probably written by a bad imitator of his style; but for a real cause rather than as an exercise32
III. 2. On the Property of Aristophanes, Or. XIX
2. On the Property of Aristophanes.
[Or. XIX.]—Nikophêmos, father of Aristophanes, was the friend of Konon, and his comrade in the naval campaigns of 394—390 B. C. When Konon visited the Persian Court in 394, he left Nikophêmos and Hierônymos in joint command of the Persian fleet33
; and when he took Kythêra in 393 Nikophêmos was appointed harmost (Xen. Hellen. IV. viii. 8
). While Konon and Nikophêmos had their home at Cyprus (§ 36), their sons, Timotheos and Aristophanes, lived at Athens; the latter poor, until
the battle of Knidos in 394 and the campaigns of the following years brought some wealth to his father and himself (§ 28). On two important occasions Aristophanes was engaged in the service of the State. He went on an embassy to Sicily (in what year is doubtful) with proposals from Evagoras, king of Cyprus, to Dionysios; and succeeded in dissuading the latter from affording his promised aid to Sparta (§§ 19, 20). Again in 389 B. C. he sailed with an Athenian expedition to the aid of Evagoras (§§ 21— 23). From this expedition he never returned. He and his father Nikophêmos were suddenly put to death at Cyprus without trial (§ 7); doubtless on a suspicion of treachery or of embezzlement similar to that which raised a storm of indignation against Thrasybulos and his colleagues in 390 B. C.
After the death of Aristophanes, one Aeschines proposed the confiscation of his property. The proposal, like that of Poliochos in the case of the property of Eukrates, was resisted on the ground of illegality, and a speech was written by Lysias against it34
. It was, however, carried into effect, and so stringently that not even the debts left by Aristophanes were discharged, nor was the dowry of his widow repaid to her family (§ 32). But the amount of property which was found disappointed the general belief in the wealth of Nikophêmos (§§ 11, 53). It was
thought that something must have been withheld; and suspicion fell upon the father-in-law of Aristophanes. A writ was therefore issued against him for the recovery of moneys due to the treasury (§ 11). Before the trial came on, he died, at the age of more than seventy (§ 60); and his only son, a man of thirty (§ 55), was left to defend the action. The Fiscal Board of Syndici were the presidents of the court.
The date is indicated by § 50. It is there
said that Diotimos had lately (ἔναγχος
) been accused of having forty talents unaccounted for in his possession; but had, on returning to Athens, disproved the charge. Diotimos had held a command in the Hellespont in 388 and 38735
B. C.; 387 is therefore probably the year of the speech.
The defence is approached with timidity, as if under
the consciousness that a strong prejudice has to be met. The speaker represents the gravity of the task which has devolved upon him; his father's good fame, his own, and all his fortunes are at stake. He sets forth the restless malice of his accusers, and reminds the court that experience has proved how little such accusations are to be trusted36
. The cruel fate of Nikophêmos and Aristophanes;—the destitution of his brother-in-law's children, and the persecutions to which his own family have been exposed in addition to the burden thus thrown upon them;—the current delusions, lastly, about the wealth of Nikophêmos, delusions so dangerous in the present impoverished state of the Treasury—all these are urged as claims to the sympathetic attention of the court. (§§ 1—11.)
The next division of the speech is devoted to showing that Aristophanes was not originally a rich man, and was at all times lavish. He was not chosen by the speaker's father as a son-in-law on account of his wealth: indeed, his last act before sailing for Cyprus was to come to their house and borrow seven minae; and it could be proved that shortly afterwards he was in want of a very small sum of ready money. Then follows a formal inventory of the property left by the deceased (§§ 12—27).
But why, it may be asked, was this property so small? Aristophanes had scarcely any fortune until four years before his death; and within these four years he was twice choregus, besides buying a house and lands. The defendant had taken precautions for the due transference to the Government of every article left in the house of Aristophanes: a watch had even been set to see that the doors were not torn off, as sometimes happened to confiscated houses. He is ready to take the most solemn oath before the Syndici that nothing remains in his hands; nay, that his sisters' dowry and the debt of seven minae still remain unpaid. Supposing that the property of Timotheos, son of Konon, were confiscated and only four talents realized, would his
relatives be thought to deserve ruin? Yet the father of Timotheos was at least ten times as rich as the father of Aristophanes (§§ 28—41). There are many instances in which the popular estimate of a man's fortune has been proved, at his death or on inquiry during his lifetime, to have been enormously exaggerated. The recent case of Diotimos (§ 50) and the case of the great Alkibiades (§ 52) are among those in point. (§§ 42—54.)
The good character borne by himself and by his father ought to be remembered. If their property were confiscated now, the State would not get two talents. At this moment he is a trierarch: his father spent his fortune on the State and for its honour; he kept good horses, had athletes in his pay, and won victories at the Isthmos and at Nemea (§ 63). On all these grounds the defendant claims the protection of the court against a malignant attach (§§ 55—64).
This very clever speech gives a formidable idea
Light thrown by the speech on a danger of public service abroad.
of the dangers to which an Athenian of the time was exposed if he or any member of his family was supposed to have made a fortune on foreign service. The city was poor37
; it was full of informers, ready to prefer any accusation on the chance of sharing the spoil; and by a vague charge of treachery or embezzlement abroad it was easy to inflame the ekklesia38
. There is nothing to show why Aristophanes or his father were put to death without trial. The point which is most strikingly brought out by this defence is the strength of the popular feeling which it had to combat. It is remarkable in how diffident a tone the speaker begins, how careful he is to put in the front of his case everything that can excite compassion, how he avoids directly praising or even defending Aristophanes. He gradually insinuates that Aristophanes was a worthy man—poor, but generous and patriotic. The speech is nearly half over before it comes directly to the real issue (§ 28), and argues that Aristophanes cannot, in fact, have left more property than appeared. Perhaps the modesty of the speaker is a little overwrought; but there is consummate art in the sketch of his father, the quiet citizen of the
old school, and of Aristophanes, the adventurous patriot of the new. On the whole, this is one of the masterpieces of Lysias, in which all the resources of his tact were brought into play by a subject difficult enough to be worthy of them.
III. 3. Against Philokrates, Or. XXIX
3. Against Philokrates.
[Or. XXIX.]—This case may be regarded as a sequel to that of Ergokles [Or. XXVIII]39
. Philokrates had sailed, as steward or purser (ταμίας
§ 3), under command of Ergokles as trierarch. Ergokles had now been put to death and his property had been confiscated. But a sum of thirty talents, which he was said to have gained by corrupt practices, had not been found (§ 2). A writ was therefore issued against Philokrates on the supposition that, since he had been in the confidence of Ergokles, he must know what had become of the money.
The speaker is one of several Public Prosecutors (συνήγοροι
) and, as in the case of Ergokles, merely follows others with a summary of the leading points. The case Against Philokrates has been stated, and the evidence cited, by former speakers; this is the concluding speech for the prosecution; hence the title of epilogue or peroration40
given in the
MSS. to this as well as to the speech Against Ergokles. The date is probably the year of the trial
of Ergokles—389 B. C.
Many persons, says the speaker, who had promised to
appear against Philokrates have failed; an additional proof that he has the money, and has been able to buy off numerous accusers. The thirty talents have not been discovered: who can have them but the most intimate friend of Ergokles, his subaltern and his steward? It rests with Philokrates to show either that Ergokles was wrongly condemned, or that some one else now has the missing sum (§§ 1—5). Three talents, it is well known, had been promised to public speakers if they could save Ergokles. Philokrates has got this money back, and has possessed himself of the rest of his late chief's property; yet now he has the effrontery to pretend that he was his enemy. Is it likely that in that case he would have volunteered to sail with him as trierarch? (§§ 6, 7.)
The Athenians ought to defend their own interests, and compel Philokrates to give up their property. It is hard if those who cannot pay taxes incur the public anger, while the embezzlers of State-property escape. Indeed, the accomplices of Ergokles deserve not only a pecuniary penalty, but the same punishment which he suffered—death. While his trial was pending, his friends went about boasting that they had bribed upwards of 2000 men (§ 12). Let it be proved to them that no amount of bribery can save evil-doers. If the citizens are wise, they will reclaim what is their own (§§ 8—14).
Like the speeches Against Ergokles and Against Epikrates, this is the address of an official prosecutor, and of one who had but a subordinate part to perform. It has the characteristic excellences of the other two, compactness and vigour; but it is necessarily inferior to the speech Against Ergokles, in which the greater importance of the cause calls forth more oratorical vigour.
IV. Causes relating to a scrutiny (δοκιμασία) before the senate; especially of officials designate.
IV. 1. Against Evandros, Or. XXVI
1. Against Evandros.
[Or. XXVI.]—In the second year of the 99th Olympiad (381/2 B. C.) Leôdamas41
drew the lot to be First Archon for the following year; and Evandros was at the same time designated First Archon in reserve42
. Leôdamas, before entering upon the archonship, had to pass a scrutiny (δοκιμασία
) before the Senate. On this occasion he was accused by Thrasybulos of Collytos; the Senate rejected him; and the office thus came to Evandros. But Evandros also had to pass a scrutiny; and the present speech is made to the Senate in order to prove that he is ineligible.
The case is heard on the last day but one of Ol. 99. 2, i.e. at about midsummer of our year 382 B. C.43
. The last day of the Attic year was a public holiday, on which no law-court could sit, and on which a sacrifice to Zeus Sôtêr was celebrated by the First
Archon. If, therefore, the Senate rejected Evandros, no time remained for an appeal to an ordinary court; and the State would be left without its chief magistrate at one of its great solemnities (§ 6).
The election of Evandros was, in fact, ratified; for
Evandros actually Archon in 382 B.C.
he appears in the lists as Archon for the following year, Ol. 99. 3. This date is confirmed by allusions in the speech.
Thrasybulos the Collytean is charged in § 23 with having estranged Boeotia from Athens and with having lost Athenian ships. The first accusation refers to the establishment of oligarchies in the Boeotian cities, through Spartan influence, after the Peace of Antalkidas; and is curiously illustrated by the reference of Aeschines to Thrasybulos of Collytos as a man of great influence at Thebes44
. The second accusation refers to an incident of the war on the Hellespont five years before. In 387 B. C. eight triremes under the command of this Thrasybulos were captured by Antalkidas near Abydos45
All the first part of the speech has been lost in those eight pages of the Palatine MS. which contained the conclusion of the Twenty-fifth Speech and the whole of that Against Nikides46
. The special charges made by the accuser, and the depositions to which he alludes (§ 8), were in this part. What remains is chiefly his answer to certain pleas which he conceives that Evandros may urge.
It is hard—the speaker says—that, not content with impunity for his offences against the people, Evandros should ask for office. Evandros relies on the recent sobriety (ἡσυχιότης
, § 5) of his life—which has been compulsory: and on his father's liberality—who used the influence thus gained to overthrow the democracy (§§ 1—5). He has contrived to delay his scrutiny until the last day but one of the year, when there is no time to appoint another First Archon. But the sacrifices of the morrow will surely be more pleasing to the gods, though offered only by the King Archon and his colleagues, than if the celebrant were a man whose hands are stained with the blood shed in the days of the Thirty Tyrants (§§ 6—8). One of the principal objects of the law of Scrutinies (ὁ περὶ τῶν δοκιμασιῶν νόμος
, § 9) is to exclude from office in a democracy those who have abused power under an oligarchy. The mere fact of having been an ordinary knight or senator under the Thirty disqualifies a man for a place in the Council of Five Hundred. Evandros was more than this; he was guilty of special crimes against the people; and shall he be First Archon? He will thus become a member of the Areiopagos for life, and murderers will be tried by a murderer. And this through the influence of Thrasybulos, a traitor to Athens. It must not be supposed that the speaker opposes Evandros for the sake of Leôdamas. Leôdamas would be well pleased that the Senate should prove itself oligarchical by confirming so unpopular an appointment (§§ 10—15).
Evandros appeals to the Amnesty [of 403 B. C.]; but that Amnesty did not mean that the honours, as well as the toleration, of the State should be accorded to its recent enemies (§§ 16—20). Let the Senate compare the accuser with the advocate of Evandros. The accuser is pure of all connection with oligarchies; his ancestors fought against the Peisistratidae; his family have exhausted a large fortune upon the State. Thrasybulos has alienated the Boeotians from Athens; has lost her ships, and brought her to despair. If the Court reflects which of these two men ought rather to prevail, it will decide rightly upon the claims of Evandros (§§ 21—24).
Unwillingness to mar a great annual festival may have influenced the Senate when they confirmed the election; but there is no proof that the grounds upon which it was opposed were good. The accuser must have felt that his case was well-nigh hopeless. This,
and the feeling of Lysias himself towards all who had been concerned in the violence of the Anarchy, will partly account for the extreme bitterness and unfairness of this speech. In two places the tone is especially marked. First, where the accuser admits that since the restoration of the democracy Evandros has been a thoroughly good citizen, and then argues that he deserves no credit for it (§§ 3—5); again, where he maintains that the dokimasia was instituted for the express purpose of keeping oligarchs out of office (§ 9). The outburst against Thrasybulos at the end is of a piece with this (§ 23). A certain boldness of expression, hardly congenial to Lysias, corresponds with the excited tone of the speech47
, which has the air of having been written in haste, to support a cause already desperate.
IV. 2. For Mantitheos, Or. XVI
2. For Mantitheos.
[Or. XVI.]—The name occurs only in the title, which, contrary to the general rule, is perhaps of the same age as the speech—‘A Defence for Mantitheos on his Scrutiny before the Senate.’ What the office was to which this scrutiny related, can only be guessed; perhaps it was that of an ordinary senator, since in § 8 the speaker cites instances of persons who had really done what he is charged with doing, and had yet been admitted to the Senate. The complaint against him was that his
name appeared on the list (σανίς
, cf. § 6) of those who had served as Knights in the time of the Thirty. As the speech Against Evandros shows (§ 10), the fact of such service under the Tyrants became, after the restoration of the democracy, a disqualification for the office of senator. Mantitheos must, then, have been at least eighteen years of age in 405 B. C., and so must have been born before 422. He refers to his share in campaigns subsequent to that of 394 B.C. (§§ 15—18). On the other hand, the tone of the joke in § 15 rather suggests that Thrasybulos, its object, was still alive;—that is, that the speech is earlier
than 389 B. C.48
. The date may have been about 392 B. C. The speaker, who was taunted with youthful presumption (§ 20), cannot have been much more than thirty.
The first disproves the charge against him of having served as a Knight under the Thirty Tyrants. Before the disaster on the Hellespont [405 B.C.], his father had sent him and his brother to the Euxine, to Satyros [king of the Kimmerian Bosporos]; and they did not return to Athens till five days before the democratic exiles captured the Peiraeus [404 B.C.] (§ 4). The appearance of his name upon the list of Knights at that time proves nothing; the list has many false entries and many omissions. Here is a better proof on the other side:—when the democracy was restored, the phylarch (captain of cavalry) of each tribe was directed to recover from each Knight who had served under the Tyrants the sum paid to him by the State for his equipment
when he was first enrolled (κατάστασις
, § 6). Now Mantitheos was never called upon to refund, nor brought before the Fiscal Board (σὑνδικοι
, § 7)—（§§ 1—8).
Having disproved the charge against him, he goes on to urge his positive merits. His private life has been blameless. After his father's death, he portioned his two sisters and helped his brother. Men who are fond of dice and wine have a marked aversion to him (§ 11). Then his public services have been constant. He volunteered on the expedition for the relief of Haliartos [395 B.C.] (§ 13). In the next year he fought in the disastrous battle of Corinth, and retreated later than ‘the majestic Steirian [Thrasybulos], who has taunted all the world with cowardice’ (§ 15). In the autumn of the same year [394 B. C.] he and his company volunteered for service against Agesilaos in Boeotia. Since then, he has constantly served in the field or in garrison (§ 18).—（§§ 9—19).
Some have taunted him with forwardness because, though so young, he has spoken in the ekklesia. His own affairs, however, compelled him to do so at first. Perhaps, indeed, he has been too ambitious. But he could not help thinking of his forefathers, who had always been in public life and served the State, and he saw that Athenians, to tell the truth, respected none but those who could act and speak for the city. ‘And why should you be annoyed with such men? You yourselves and none else are their judges’ (§§ 20, 21).
Perhaps hardly anything in Greek literature has
The character of Mantitheos.
a fresher or brighter charm than this short speech— the natural, wonderfully vivid expression of an attractive character. Mantitheos is the brilliant, ambitious young Athenian, burning to fulfil the Homeric ideal by distinguishing himself in council as in war; an Alkibiades made harmless by the sentiment of chivalry. The general tone of simple self-reliance, and possibly the gibe at Thrasybulos, may have been found refreshing by elderly senators. Mantitheos had really done good service in the field; and his statement of this is followed by an ingenuous apology
for over-eagerness to shine in the ekklesia. The last passage is masterly. The virtue of ‘minding one's own affairs’ (ἀπραγμοσύνη
) was often praised at Athens; but Mantitheos goes to the centre of Athenian instincts when he tells the judges that ‘to say the truth’ they respect no men who do not take part in public life49
IV. 3. Against Philon, Or. XXXI
3. Against Philon.
[Or. XXXI.]—This speech may be considered as a companion-piece to the last; being an Accusation, as the other is probably a Defence, at a dokimasia for the Senate. Philon—a man otherwise unknown—had been chosen by lot a member of the Senate of Five Hundred; and had appeared before that body, with others designated to places in it, in order to pass the scrutiny. The speaker, himself a senator, comes forward to oppose the admission of Philon. The date cannot be fixed. Philon is accused of having gone about Attica, plundering ‘the oldest of the citizens,’ who had stayed quietly in their
demes (§ 18); and some of these citizens were still alive: some time between 404 and 395 B. C. may therefore be assumed.
The speaker begins by protesting that no private enmity, but only regard to his oath as senator, induces him to appear against Philon. What is the definition of a worthy senator? One who both is, and desires to be, a citizen (§ 5). Now when the troubles came on Athens [405 B. C.], Philon proved how little he valued his citizenship. He neither stayed with the oligarchs in the town, nor joined the exiles at Phylê,
but went to Orôpus—paid the resident-alien's tax, and lived under the protection of a patron. This shall be proved by witnesses (§§ 1—14). If he says that he was unfit for fighting, it can be shown that his name does not appear among those of the citizens who, instead of personal service, paid money or armed their demesmen (§§ 15, 16). Nor was he merely passive: he did positive wrong to aged citizens of Athens whom he met with in the country (§§ 17—19). This corresponds with his treatment of his own mother, who transferred the keeping of her money from her son to a stranger (§§ 20—23). Why should such as he be a senator? The betrayer of a garrison, a fleet, or a camp is punished; but Philon has betrayed the State itself (§§ 24—26).
‘He has broken no law,’ he says. No: for an offence so enormous was never expressly contemplated by any legislator (§§ 27, 28). If the aliens who helped Athens in her need were honoured, surely the citizens who abandoned her should be disgraced. The advocates who claim honour for Philon now would have done better had they advised him to deserve it then (§§ 29—33). Let each senator ask himself why he
was admitted to that dignity, and he will see why Philon ought to be shut out from it (§ 34).
The tone of this address is in contrast with that
The attack strong, but temperate.
of the protest against the election of Evandros: it is severe and decided, but not bitter or unfair. A character which seems to have been really contemptible is drawn without passion, each statement being supported by evidence; and the assertion of the speaker, that only a sense of duty prompted him to accuse, is at least not contradicted by his method. The style is rhetorical, and rather more openly artificial than is usual with Lysias (see esp. §§ 11, 32); but it has all his compactness and force—of which the short appeal at the end is a good example. One point of
Allusion to the crime of Neutrality.
historical interest comes out. Philon is accused of
having taken part, in 405 B. C., neither with oligarchs nor with democrats. He pleads:—‘Had it been an offence not to be present at such a time, a law would have been made expressly on that subject.’ The answer is, that, owing to the inconceivable enormity of the offence, no law has been enacted on the subject (§ 27). So completely had Solon's enactment against neutrality—to which the speaker could have appealed with so much rhetorical effect—passed out of the remembrance of that generation50
IV. 4. Defence on a Charge of seeking to abolish the Democracy, Or. XXV
4. Defence on a Charge of seeking to abolish the Democracy.
[Or. XXV.]—This title, given to the speech in the MSS., is clearly wrong. The speaker is, indeed, chiefly concerned to prove that he is guiltless of any share in the crimes of the Thirty Tyrants; but it is clear that he was not upon his trial for high treason. There is no reference to any penalties which threatened him. The question is whether he shall, or shall not, be admitted to certain privileges. Thus in § 3 he insists on his claim to participation in the advantages of citizenship; in § 4 he speaks of rights which citizens who have done no evil ought to share with positive benefactors of the State; in § 14 he says to the judges:—‘If, when I might have had
office, I declined it, I have a right to receive honour from you now.
’ Clearly this speech was delivered on
The Speech really connected with a Dokimasia.
the occasion of a dokimasia for some office to which the speaker had been designated, but his admission to which was opposed. The cause is heard by an ordinary court—probably under the presidency of the Thesmothetae51
—and on appeal from a decision for the speaker already given by the Senate. The date
must be placed between 402 and 400 B. C.; probably nearer to the lower limit52
. The accusers were Epigenes, Diophanes and Kleisthenes (§ 25). The defendant is not named.
It would not be strange, he says, if the speeches made
against him had excited the indignation of the judges against all, without distinction, who had remained at Athens under the Thirty. Much more might, indeed, have been said about the crimes of the Tyrants. But it is unmeaning to charge those crimes upon men who had no share in them. If he
can prove that he is innocent, he may surely claim at least the ordinary privileges of citizenship in common with men of more distinguished services (§§ 1—6). No man is born an oligarch or a democrat. He becomes one or the other according to his private interest (τῶν ἰδίᾳ συμφερόντων
, § 10). This is proved by history. Phrynichos and Peisandros were demagogues before they became oligarchs. Men who helped to overthrow the Four Hundred were afterwards numbered with the Thirty: many of the Four Hundred themselves were with the democrats at the Peiraeus; some of those who had expelled the Four Hundred were afterwards among the Thirty; and some of the men who gave in their names for the march against Eleusis, after going forth with the people, were besieged along with the Tyrants53
The explanation is simply that their interests varied at different times. Now, the interest of the speaker lay wholly with the democracy. He had been five times trierarch and had been in four sea-fights (§ 12). The establishment of the Thirty destroyed his chance of reward for these services. Neither under the First Oligarchy nor under the Second did he hold office (§§ 7—14). If he did no wrong in the Anarchy, much more will he be a good citizen under the restored Democracy. The victims of the Tyrants must not be confounded with their agents. It was the error of the Thirty that they visited the sins of a few corrupt demagogues on
all the citizens: let not the people so err now (§§ 15—20). Dissensions among the Thirty gave the exiles their first hopes of success; let not disunion in the democracy now give occasion to the enemies of Athens, but let the oaths of amnesty be kept towards all (§§ 21—24). After the fall of the Four Hundred, the rigours which bad advisers caused to be adopted against their political opponents brought the city to ruin. And now sycophants, counselling a revengeful policy, oppose themselves to the views of those who were really active in restoring the democracy. Such men show what they would have been had they shared the power of the Thirty. The friends of the city advise differently. Let the Amnesty hold good for all. When those who are really answerable for the past troubles are brought to account, severity is excusable; but innocent men must not be mixed up with them (§§ 25—35).
The speaker had evidently been closely connected with the party of the Tyrants; for though he states his services to the democracy before 405 B. C., of his political character since that time he has nothing better to say than that it has been harmless; indeed, he implies a contrast between himself and those who had been true to the democracy at its need (§ 4). It is hard to understand the high praise which
has been given to this speech by some critics of Lysias54
; it is barely conceivable that one of the ablest of them should count it his best work55
. The speaker's interpretation of the Amnesty is, indeed, larger and truer than the opposite view taken by the accuser of Evandros56
; and his elaborate exposition of the doctrine that political creed is purely an affair of self
interest may claim the praise of candour. The style has vigour, but neither brilliancy nor dignity; and the êthos of the speaker, as a moderately intelligent and thoroughly practical man, can scarcely be accounted persuasive57
IV. 5. For the Invalid, Or. XXIV
5. For the Invalid.
[Or. XXIV.]—This speech may conveniently be classed with the four preceding, since it was written for a dokimasia, although the scrutiny in this case was of a different kind. At
Public Charity at Athens.
Athens a certain allowance was made by the State to the ἀδύνατοι58
: that is, to persons who were unable, through bodily ailment, to earn a livelihood, and who had less than three minae of private property. Once a year, or perhaps oftener, the list of applicants for such relief was scrutinised by the Senate59
and then passed by the ekklesia (§ 22). It is on the occasion of such a scrutiny that the present speech is made. The speaker had for years (§ 8) been in receipt of an obol daily (§ 26) from the State; but lately it had been attempted to show that he was not entitled to public relief. This objection is termed in the title to the speech (not in the speech itself) an eisangelia; but had, of course, nothing in common with eisangeliae technically so called except that it was an
accusation laid immediately before the Senate. The
date appears from § 25 to have been later than 403 B. C.
Having premised that jealousy is the only conceivable
motive for this attack upon him, the speaker comes to the two objections which have been made to his receiving the public alms:—that he is not really a cripple; and that he has a trade (§§ 1—4). He answers the second objection first (§§ 5—9); and then refutes the other with a good deal of grim humour (§§ 10—14). Lastly, he defends his general character (§§ 15—20), and concludes with an entreaty not to be deprived of his obol a day (§§ 21—27).
to have doubted the genuineness
No ground for doubting the genuineness.
of this speech; possibly on the ground taken by Boeckh61
—that Lysias would not have written, nor the Senate endured, so elaborate an address on such a subject. This seems a most unsafe argument against a composition excellent of its kind, and excellent in a way suggestive of Lysias. The humour, broad, but stopping short of burlesque, exactly suits the condition of the speaker; and there is true art in the ironical pathos of the invalid, when, using an Attic illustration, he remarks that his infirmity is disputed with him by his adversary as eagerly as if it were an heiress (§ 14).
V. Causes relating to military offences (λιποταξίου—ἀστρατείας), Or. XIV and XV
1. Against Alkibiades, on a Charge of Desertion
2. Against Alkibiades, on a Charge of Failure to Serve
The two Speeches concern the same fact.
These speeches do not refer to two distinct accusations, but are merely two different ways of stating the same accusation. Alkibiades, son of the famous Alkibiades, had taken part in the expedition sent from Athens to the relief of Haliartos when Boeotia was invaded by Lysander in 395 B. C. But, instead of serving with the heavy-armed infantry, he had chosen to serve with the cavalry, although he had not passed the scrutiny (dokimasia) required before enrolment among the Knights. His accusers might have indicted him under a special law which attached the penalty of disfranchisement to such a fraud (Or. XIV. § 8). They preferred, however, to bring against him a more invidious charge—desertion of military duty.
Law about Military Offences.
The principal military offences were dealt with at Athens by one law. Under this law a citizen was liable to indictment and if convicted to disfranchisement for 1. Failure to join the army—ἀστρατείας
: 2. Cowardice in battle—δειλίας
: 3. Desertion of his post—λιποταξίου
. This third term properly denoted an offence distinct from the other two. But it was sometimes so extended as to include either of the other two62
. Now Alkibiades had served, indeed,
but had not served with the hoplites. His offence, then, might be looked at from two points of view. He might be considered as a man who, on service, had been found out of his place, and who was liable to an indictment for Desertion of his Post—γραφὴ λιποταξίου
. Or he might be considered as a man who had never been present in his place, and who was liable to an indictment for Failure to Serve—γραφὴ ἀστρατείας
. The First Speech takes the former point of view; the Second takes the latter.
The date and occasion of the speeches are not
directly indicated, but can be determined almost certainly. This was the first military trial since ‘the peace’ (XIV. § 4);—a campaign had just taken place, but no battle had been fought (§ 5), though the generals had given satisfaction to the State (XV. § 1). All this corresponds with the campaign of the year 395. It was the first since the peace, or rather truce, with Sparta in the spring of 404. No battle had been fought, because, before the
Athenian force arrived at Haliartos, the Lacedaemonians had already been defeated, and Lysandros slain. The Athenian Generals had only to assist at the arrangement of the humiliating truce under which Pausanias led his army out of Boeotia (Xen. Hellen. III. v. 16
). In 395 B. C. the younger Alkibiades must have been about twenty years of age63
The Court was composed of soldiers (στρατιώτας δικάζειν
, Or. XIV. § 5), the Generals presiding (τῶν στρατηγῶν δέομαι
, XV. 1). Archestratides, the chief accuser, had opened the cause and produced the evidence; these two speakers are his friends and supporters. (Or. XIV. 3; XV. 12.)
The accuser explains his appearance in that capacity. An explanation is, indeed, hardly necessary, considering the character of Alkibiades; but in his own case a feud inherited from his father supplies a special motive. (§§ 1—3.) He then addresses himself to a technical point. The law against Desertion is so worded (it has been argued) that it does not apply where there has been no battle. He answers that one of the two offences which that law contemplates—namely Failure to Serve—is manifestly proved against Alkibiades, who did not take his place among the hoplites. Of the other offence—Desertion of his Post through cowardice—he is virtually guilty, since his reason for preferring to serve with the cavalry was that there he would run less risk. Others, who were really knights, waived their privilege in this instance64
, and served as hoplites. Alkibiades seized a privilege to which he had no claim (§ 10). Such audacity
must be punished for public example. Let the soldiers who sit in judgment remember how much each of them sacrificed to his duty, and then decide what punishment is merited by such contempt of duty (§§ 4—15). The advocates of Alkibiades will plead his youth and his parentage. Neither his own nor his father's character deserves sympathy. If relatives plead for him, it is they who ought to have restrained him; if officials, they must show that he is legally innocent. (§§ 16—22.)
Then follows a bitter attack upon the defendant and his father. Alkibiades the younger is described as vicious from his youth, and as a traitor to his own father65
; all the treasons of the elder Alkibiades are recounted at length. He prompted the Spartan occupation of Dekeleia—he incited Chios to revolt—he preferred a home even in Thrace to Athens. He betrayed the Athenian fleet to Lysandros: both his greatgrandfathers, Megakles and Alkibiades, were ostracised.
(§§ 23—40.) An attack on the family in their private relations, as stained with every impurity and impiety, leads to the conclusion. Much, the accuser says, has been omitted: the judges must imagine it. He then causes to be read the laws on which he relies; the judicial oath; and the indictment. (§§ 41—47.)
The Generals, the presidents of the Court, say that they
allowed Alkibiades as a special favour to serve with the cavalry. Why, in that case, was he rejected by the phylarch of his own tribe, and not struck off the list of hoplites by the taxiarch? Why, when he took the field, was he treated with scorn by all the knights, and driven to place himself among the mounted bowmen? It is strange if the Generals can enrol a man among the knights at their
pleasure, when they cannot so enrol him among the hoplites. If, however, the Generals have exceeded their real powers, then the Court cannot recognise their arbitrary act. (§§ 1—8.) The law is, indeed, severe; but the judges must administer it as unflinchingly as if they were marching against the enemy (§§ 9—12).
Feeling towards the elder Alkibiades.
The first especially, of these two speeches should be compared with the Defence written shortly before by Isokrates—probably in 397 or 396 B.C.—for the same man. Both bear striking witness to the hatred felt for the memory of the elder Alkibiades in the early years of the restored democracy. Here, denunciations of the father fill about one-half of the speech against the son; there, the son devotes more than three-fourths of his address to a defence of his father. The speech Against Alkibiades ascribed to Andokides, but probably the work of a late sophist, indirectly illustrates the same feeling; being, in fact, an epitome of the scandalous stories about Alkibiades current at the same period.
Doubt of the genuineness—not well founded.
Harpokration refers to Oration XIV. with a doubt of its authenticity66
; Oration XV. is cited by no ancient author. The genuineness of each has been called in question by modern critics67
; chiefly on grounds of internal evidence. It has been noticed that the composition varies in some points from the usual Lysian character; and that the special marks
of his power are absent68
. The two speeches must stand or fall together. If not the work of Lysias, they are certainly the work of a contemporary writer for the law-courts. But the evidence, external or internal, against their genuineness appears too slight to warrant even a strong suspicion.
VI. 1. Against Eratosthenes, Or. XII
1. Against Eratosthenes.
[Or. XII.]—Polemarchos, brother of Lysias, had been put to death by the Thirty Tyrants. Eratosthenes, one of their number, was the man who had arrested him and taken him to prison. In this speech Lysias, himself the speaker, charges Eratosthenes with the murder of Polemarchos, and, generally, with his share in the Tyranny.
A question has to be considered in regard to the
form of the accusation. Was Eratosthenes prosecuted under an ordinary indictment for murder? Or was he accused on the occasion of his coming forward to render account of his office as one of the Thirty?
On the former supposition it is hard to say before what court the trial took place. Clearly it was not the Areiopagos. If it was the Delphinion, then Eratosthenes must have pleaded some justification of the homicide; but he admits its guilt, and lays the blame on his colleagues (§ 24). If it was an
ordinary heliastic court under the presidency of the Eleven, then there must have been an arrest (ἀπαγωγή
) by the Eleven; but this does not seem to have taken place69
The other supposition offers less difficulty. A special clause in the Amnesty of 403 B. C. excluded the Thirty Tyrants, the Ten who had succeeded them, and the Eleven who had served them. But any one even of these might enjoy the Amnesty if he chose to stand a public inquiry, and was acquitted70
. When the oligarchy was finally overthrown, Pheidon and Eratosthenes were the only members71
of it who stayed at Athens. As they dared to do this, they must have availed themselves of the permission to give account of their office. And Lysias could have had no better opportunity for preferring his accusation than that which would be given by the public inquiry into the conduct of Eratosthenes. Two things in the speech itself tend to show that it was spoken on this occasion. First, its general
scope. It has a wider range, and deals more generally with the history of the Anarchy, than would be natural if it was concerned exclusively with an ordinary indictment for murder. Only the first third of the speech relates to Polemarchos; thenceforth to the end his name is not mentioned, even in the peroration; the political offences of Eratosthenes are exclusively dwelt upon. It may be noticed, too, that at the commencement Lysias speaks in the plural of ‘the defendants’ and their hostility to Athens, as if Eratosthenes was only in the same predicament with several other persons. Secondly, an expression in § 37 should be noticed. The speaker there says that he has done enough in having shown that the guilt of the accused reaches the point at which death is deserved. He would not have said this if death had been the necessary penalty in case of conviction. But he might well say it if his charge was preferred, among many others, when Eratosthenes was giving his account, and when the question was what degree of punishment, if any, he was to suffer72
The date must be 403 B. C., the year of Eukleides. After their flight from Athens the Thirty maintained themselves for a short time at Eleusis. Soon after the restoration of the democracy, an expedition was made against Eleusis; the generals of the Thirty, who came out to ask for a parley, were seized and put to death; and the Tyrants, with their chief adherents, fled from Attica (Xen. Hellen. II. iv. 43
). But it is clear from § 80 of the speech that this expedition had not yet taken place.
Again, in §§ 92 f. Lysias addresses successively two distinct parties—the ‘men of the city’ who remained in Athens under the Thirty, and the ‘men of the Peiraeus.’ The line of demarcation could have been drawn so sharply only while the war of parties was quite recent; not two or three years later, when exiles and oligarchs had long been fused once more into one civic body. It was, no doubt, remembered for years who had been on one side and who on the other. But in a speech made (say) in 400 B. C., we should not find the ‘men of the city’ and the ‘men of Peiraeus’ addressed separately as if they still formed two distinct camps.
The speech falls into two divisions. The first and shorter (§§ 1—36) deals with the special charge against Eratosthenes; the second, with his political character and with the crimes of the Tyrants generally.
I. §§ 1—36.
The difficulty here is not how to begin, but where to stop. Ordinarily the accuser is expected to show that he has some motive for hostility to the accused. Here it would be more
natural to ask the accused what motive he and his fellows have had for their hostility to Athens (§§ 1—3).
Lysias then enters on his narrative of the facts. His father had been invited by Perikles to settle at Athens as a resident-alien, and had lived there peaceably for thirty years. His family had never been involved in any troubles until the time of the Thirty Tyrants. Theognis and Peison, members of that body, suggested the policy of plundering the residentaliens. These two men first paid a visit to the shield-manufactory of Lysias and his brother, and took an inventory of the slaves. They next came to the dwelling-house of Lysias, and got all his ready money, about three talents. He managed to slip away from them, and took refuge with a friend in the Peiraeus; then, hearing that his brother Polemarchos had been met in the street by Eratosthenes and taken to prison, he escaped by night to Megara. Polemarchos received the usual mandate of the Thirty—to drink the hemlock; and had a beggar's burial. Though he and Lysias had yielded such rich plunder, the very earrings were taken from the ears of his wife (§ 19). Now the murderer of Polemarchos was Eratosthenes (§§ 4—23). Here he is briefly cross-examined:—
‘Did you arrest Polemarchos or not?’ ‘Terrified by the orders of the authorities—I proceeded to do so.’ ‘And were you in the council chamber when we were being talked about?’ ‘I was.’ ‘Did you support, or oppose, those who advised our execution?’ ‘Opposed them.’ ‘Opposed our being put to death?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Considering such treatment of us to be unjust—or just?’ ‘Unjust.’
Lysias comments indignantly on these answers. If Eratosthenes had really protested against the sentence, he would not have been selected to make the arrest. He was one of the Thirty themselves and had nothing to fear. All the circumstances disprove his pretence of good-will; instead of contenting himself with a visit to the house of Polemarchos, he seized him in the street; he gave him no friendly hint beforehand. If it is true that he opposed the sentence, he must at least prove that he did not make the arrest, or did not make it in a harsh manner. The judges are then
reminded of the importance which their decision will have as an example for both citizens and foreigners. The fate of the generals who conquered at Arginusae is contrasted with the deserts of those who profited by the defeat at Aegospotami. If those suffered death, what is due to these? (§§ 24—36.)
II. §§ 37—100.
To say more is superfluous: the guilt of Eratosthenes has already been shown to be capital. But lest he should appeal to his past life, this must be exposed. In the first oligarchy [411 B. C.] he had to fly from the Hellespont after an unsuccessful attempt to corrupt the democratic crews of Athenian vessels there. After the defeat of Athens [405 B. C.] he and Kritias were first among the Five Ephori and afterwards among the Thirty Tyrants. Perhaps he will say that he obeyed the Thirty through fear. No, in the cause of Theramenes he dared to oppose them. But this opposition was not patriotic; all the quarrels among the Thirty were selfish. The so-called moderate party to which Theramenes belonged was represented by the later Board of Ten. And the Ten, instead of promoting peace, waged war with the exiles more bitterly than the Thirty (§§ 37—61).
Theramenes is the man whom Eratosthenes takes credit for having defended. It can be fancied how eagerly he would have claimed friendship with Themistokles, who built the walls of Athens, if he is proud of friendship with Theramenes —who pulled them down. Theramenes, when a member of the first oligarchy, betrayed his own closest friends, Antiphon and Archeptolemos; after Aegospotami, he undertook to make peace without loss of honour, and yet it was he who proposed at Sparta that Athens should lose her walls and her fleet; it was he who advocated the proposal of Drakontides for the establishment of the Thirty; and it is this man— twice the enslaver of Athens—whom Eratosthenes glories in having defended! (§§ 62—78.)
This is no season for mercy. The man who condemned, untried, the fathers, sons, brothers of those who now judge him, does not deserve even a trial. His advocates can urge
no merits either of his or of their own. His witnesses are mistaken if they think that they can shield from peril of death the men who made it dangerous to attend a burial. They will say that Eratosthenes was the least criminal of the Thirty. Is he to escape because there are twenty-nine greater villains in Greece? (§§ 79—91.)
Lysias now addresses himself, first, to those who remained in Athens during the Anarchy, then to the exiles who returned from the Peiraeus—speaking as if he had before him two definite bodies of men. He reminds each party of their peculiar reasons for hating the Thirty. The ‘men of the city’ should hate that despotism; for it shared with them nothing but its shame, and forced upon them an unholy strife. The ‘men of Peiraeus’ should hate it: it proscribed them, persecuted them, severed them from country and kinsfolk. Had it triumphed, no sanctuary would have protected them, nothing could have saved their children from outrage at home or slavery abroad. But it is needless to speak of what might have been: what has been is too great for words. It can only be felt
—felt, with boundless resentment for the shrines which these men desecrated, for the city which they humbled, —for the dead, who are listening now to mark if the judges will avenge them.
‘I will cease to accuse. You have heard, seen, suffered:— you have them:—judge.’ (§§ 92—100.)
The result is unknown. But as the accused had
evidently strong support, and as Lysias complains of the difficulty which he had experienced in finding witnesses to some of the principal facts, it is probable that the penalty of death, at least, was not inflicted73
The Speech Against Eratosthenes must take the
first place among the extant orations of Lysias. In
the two parts into which it naturally falls the speech presents, in perhaps unique combination, two distinct styles of eloquence,—first, the plain earnestness of a private demand for redress—then the lofty vehemence of a political impeachment. The compass of the power shown may best be measured by the two passages which mark its limits —on the one hand, the account of the arrest of Polemarchos, which has almost the flow of Herodotean narrative;—on the other hand, the passionate appeal to the two classes of men who had suffered from the Thirty—worked up with all the resources of a finished rhetoric. As regards the first, what may be called the private, division of the speech, it is very noticeable how little attempt Lysias makes to excite compassion; he contents himself with a bare recital of facts. He relies less on the atrocity of the wrong itself than on its significance as part of that system of organised crime which he sees personified in Eratosthenes. He therefore throws his whole weight upon the second, the public, division of his subject; and here he gives us, first, two political biographies, the lives of Eratosthenes and Theramenes—then, a retrospect of the government to which they belonged. In one sense this speech of Lysias may be compared with that of Demosthenes On the Crown. The question at issue involves a whole chapter of Athenian history, in which both the parties to the case were actors. But there is a difference. Demosthenes, the statesman, reviews the train of events with which he deals from the level of one who has helped to determine
their course. Lysias stands on the lower ground of a private person; he sees the events of the Anarchy as they were seen by the masses who suffered, but were powerless to control; he does not discuss two rival lines of policy, but recalls, as a common man, experiences familiar to thousands. It is just because he speaks from among the crowd that he is so successful in denouncing Eratosthenes, and leaves the impression that in his attack upon the worst of close oligarchies he was the spokesman of an entire people74
VI. 2. Against Agoratos, Or. XIII
2. Against Agoratos.
[Or. XIII.]—Agoratos, son of a slave, had gained the Athenian citizenship by pretending to have had a hand in the assassination of Phrynichos in 411; a merit to which, according to his accuser, he had no claim. (§ 76.) For six years afterwards he had lived at Athens, exercising the trade of informer, and laying ‘all conceivable indictments’ (τὰς ἐξ ἀνθρώπων γραφάς
§ 73) before the law-courts. He is now charged with having slandered away the lives of several distinguished citizens just before the establishment of the Thirty.
It was in the spring of 404 that Theramenes came back from Sparta with the hard conditions of peace.
Athens had been suffering for months the extreme of famine and misery; the mass of citizens were thankful for relief on any terms. But there were still a few men, influential by their position and service, who stood out against the bargain which the oligarchical party were about to strike with Sparta. The oligarchs, impatient to get rid of their opponents, had recourse to the aid of Agoratos. It was arranged that he should himself be charged with plotting to defeat the peace, and should then denounce a certain number of other persons as his accomplices. One Theokritos accused him before the Senate. A party of senators went to the Peiraeus to arrest him. Agoratos, feigning alarm, took sanctuary at the altar in the temple of Artemis at Munychia. Certain citizens who suspected him to be the victim, or the agent, of a plot, gave bail for him, and offered to take him out of Attica to await quieter times. He declined this proposal, and appeared before the Senate to give information. He denounced, first, the men who had bailed him; then several of the Generals and taxiarchs (§ 13), among whom were the General Strombichides, Dionysiodôros (kinsman of the accuser in this case), and probably Eukrates75
the brother of Nikias; also a number of other citizens. These, with Agoratos himself, were imprisoned; and it was decreed that they should be tried both by the Senate and by a special court of Two Thousand. Immediately afterwards the peace with Sparta was ratified76
The government of the Thirty having been established, the prisoners were tried; but not by the Two Thousand; only by a new oligarchical Senate. They were all condemned to death, except Agoratos, who was banished. In 404 he joined the democratic exiles at Phylê, and afterwards returned to Athens
with them; but appears to have been ill received (§ 77). He is now accused of murder by Dionysios, cousin and brother-in-law to Dionysiodôros.
The procedure was not by an indictment before the Areiopagos or the Delphinion, but by an information (endeixis) laid before the archon, followed by a summary arrest (apagogê）—precisely as in the case of the Mitylenean charged with the murder of Herodes, for whom Antiphon wrote a defence; the case was therefore heard by an ordinary court under the presidency of the Eleven. There had, however, been a slight informality. Strictly speaking, endeixis and apagogê were applicable only in cases where the accused had been taken in the act; though, as appears from this and from the Herodes case, the limitation was not always observed. Here the accuser had left out the words ἐπ᾽ αὐτοφώρῳ
in drawing up the indictment; but had been compelled to add them by the Eleven, although in this instance they had no real meaning (§§ 84, 86).
The trial took place ‘long after’ the events to which it referred (§ 83); and the condemnation of Menestratos, who himself suffered on the same account ‘long after’ his offence (§ 56), is mentioned as if it was not very recent. At least five or six years, then, must have elapsed since 404 B. C. The speech cannot be placed earlier than 400; probably it may be placed as late as 39877
The speaker begins by explaining that both on private and on public grounds he is entitled to be the accuser of
Agoratos. On private grounds, since Dionysiodôros was his cousin and brother-in-law; on public, because the crime of Agoratos affects the whole State (§§ 1—4).
The narrative of the facts (§§ 5—48) falls into four parts. (i) From the defeat at Aegospotami in 405 to the moment when Agoratos made his accusations, in the spring of 404: §§ 5—34. (ii) The trial and condemnation of the accused: §§ 35—38. (iii) Their last injunctions to their relatives: §§ 39—42. (iv) The sequel of their deaths—the reign of terror, which they had foreseen and endeavoured to avert: §§ 43—48.
The pleas which Agoratos may set up in his defence are next considered. He may deny the fact of having informed; but the decrees of the Senate and of the ekklesia will confute him. He may pretend that he informed in the interest of the State: but the events disprove that. He may say that he was forced to inform; but the circumstances of his arrest show that he did so willingly. He may throw the blame on Menestratos, who also informed. Nay, Menestratos was afterwards a victim of Agoratos, whose turn it is now to suffer himself. Compare the conduct of Agoratos with that of Aristophanes, who died rather than turn accuser (§§ 49—61).
The eminent men whom Agoratos destroyed may be contrasted with himself and with his family. His three brothers have all suffered death for base crimes; he himself obtained the citizenship by pretending to have assassinated Phrynichos. It is a dilemma; let him suffer for the murder or for the fraud (§§ 62—76).
He will perhaps claim sympathy as having joined the exiles at Phylê and returned with them. The fact was that, when he appeared at Phylê, they would have put him to death, had not the general Anytos interfered; and when, at the entry into Athens, he presumed to bear arms in the procession, Aesimos, its leader, came and snatched away his shield (§§ 77—82).
Or he will raise technical objections. He will say that the time which has elapsed ought to exempt him from penalties; but there is no statute of limitations (προθεσμία
, § 83)
here. Or he will say that the words ἐπ᾽ αὐτοφώρῳ
were omitted in the indictment; which is much the same thing as arguing that he is guilty, indeed, but was not caught in guilt. Or he will plead the Amnesty. This is in itself a confession. Moreover, the Amnesty was a covenant between the oligarchs in the city (§§ 83—90) and the democrats of the Peiraeus: it has no force as between two democrats.
The judges, the whole people, are bound by the solemn injunctions of the dead. To acquit Agoratos would be to confirm the sentence by which they perished. A democratic court must not be in unison with the courts of the Tyrants. By condemning Agoratos, the judges will mark the difference between them; will avenge their friends; and will have done right in the sight of all men (§§ 91—97).
In historical interest the speech Against Agoratos stands next, perhaps, to the speech Against Eratosthenes; but it is conceived in a totally different
Character of the Speech as compared with Or. XII.
spirit. No transition from a private to a public character, like that which is so marked in the other case, occurs here. From beginning to end the accuser of Agoratos confines himself to his special task, that of demanding vengeance for the death of his kinsman. Much of the general history of the time is necessarily introduced, and the speaker of course avails himself of the great advantage which he possesses in being able to represent the slander of Agoratos as treason to the State. But there is no such large view of a whole period as is given in the speech Against Eratosthenes. The historical references are scattered, not concentrated, and, instead of forming pictures, are only picturesque; individual interests are in the foreground throughout. Lysias accusing Eratosthenes hardly attempts to excite a personal
sympathy; he relies rather on the hatefulness of that system of crime to which this particular crime belonged; Dionysios accusing Agoratos describes the wives, mothers, sisters of the condemned visiting them in prison, and receiving their last messages of vengeance—a passage which strikingly resembles in conception and tone the prison-scene in the speech of Andokides On the Mysteries. The arrangement of the topics here, as usually with Lysias when he takes pains, is clear and good; though perhaps the speaker tries to make too many distinct points towards the end, and thereby rather impairs the breadth and strength of his argument. This is particularly the case in §§ 70—90; where the sophism about the Amnesty—that it was not meant to hold good between two men of the same party—is a curious exception to the usual tact of Lysias in argument.
VI 3. On the Death of Eratosthenes, Or. I
3. On the Death of Eratosthenes.
[Or. I.]— Euphilêtos, an Athenian citizen of the humbler sort, had slain one Eratosthenes of Oea (“Οἴηθεν,
” § 16
), whom he had taken in adultery with his wife. He is now prosecuted for murder by the relatives of Eratosthenes; and pleads in his defence the law which allowed the husband, in such cases, to kill the adulterer78
(§§ 30, 31
). As the law was clearly against them, the accusers were driven to allege that Euphilêtos had himself decoyed Eratosthenes into his house (§ 30); and that the real motive of the homicide was fear, enmity, or cupidity. This line of argument may have had some plausibility if Athenian
husbands were in the habit of compromising such cases79
. But the assertion of the accusers would be hard to prove; and Euphilêtos speaks throughout like a man confident of a verdict.
The cause would be tried, probably by heliastic judges80
, at the Delphinion, the court for cases in which an admitted homicide was defended as justifiable. There is nothing to indicate the date.
The accused asks the judges to imagine themselves in his place: all Greece, he says, would recognise the justice of his act. He had no motive for it but the dishonour done to his wife, his children and himself (§§ 1—4
). Then comes the narrative (§§ 5—28
), followed by the citation of witnesses and laws (§§ 29—36
). He meets the suggestions of the defendants; as (i) that Eratosthenes was decoyed into the house, §§ 37—42
; (ii) that the homicide was prompted by a former enmity, or by cupidity, §§ 43—46
. In any of these cases, he would not have slain him before witnesses. The decision of the judges will have a good effect if it accords with the laws; if it does not, then these laws should be annulled, since citizens are only entrapped (ἐνεδρεύονται
) by them. His life and property are at risk because he trusted to the laws of the city (§§ 47—50
The first part
Social interest of the Speech.
of this speech (§§ 5—28
) is curious as a vivid picture—vivid with almost Aristophanic life—of a small Athenian household81
; especially as
illustrating the position of a married woman of the lower class. The husband says that, at first, his wife gave him entire satisfaction as a housekeeper; on his part, he ‘watched her as far as possible, and gave all reasonable attention to the subject;’ at length, however, at her mother's funeral, she for once left the house; and hence the intrigue. Lysias has been clever in making the defence homely and at the same time dignified; Euphilêtos, the plain citizen, feels strong in the law of the city.
VI. 4. Defence Against Simon, Or. III
4. Defence Against Simon.
[Or. III.]—The accused, an elderly Athenian of good family and fortune (§§ 4, 47), is accused by one Simon of having wounded him in a quarrel about one Theodotos, a young Plataean. The indictment was for Wounding with Intent (τραύματος ἐκ προνοίας
), a charge which, in this case, seems to have been made merely in the sense of ‘wounding deliberately82
.’ But, as the accused justly says, the ‘intent’ to which the law referred was not merely intent to wound, but intent to kill (§§ 40—43). It was for this reason that the Areiopagos had jurisdiction in such cases, as well as in those of actual murder83
. The present trial took place before that
court (§§ 1, 3); the penalty was banishment (§ 47), and further (as appears from Or. IV. § 18) confiscation
of property. The battles of Corinth and of Koroneia had already been fought (§ 45); the speech is therefore later than 394 B. C.
After observing that Simon ought to be defendant rather than prosecutor, and requesting the indulgence of the court for the weakness which had involved him in so unpleasant a dispute (§§ 1—4), the accused gives his own account of the quarrel between himself and the prosecutor (§§ 5—20). He then refutes the account given by Simon (§§ 21—39). The formula, ‘wounding with intent,’ does not, he says, apply to this case (§§ 41—43). He wishes that he was at liberty to give illustrations of Simon's character [the Areiopagos not allowing the introduction of irrelevant matter]. As it is, he will mention only one fact—that Simon was dismissed from the Athenian army at Corinth (§§ 44, 45). Simon, he concludes, is one of those informers ‘who force their way into our houses, who persecute us, who snatch us by force out of the street.’ He appeals to the services of his ancestors, and to his own; and says that compassion is due to him, not only in the event of being condemned, but for the very fact of having been brought to trial (§§ 46—48).
VI. 5 On Wounding with Intent, Or. IV
5. On Wounding with Intent.
[Or. IV.]—The first part of this speech has been lost84
, and with it the original title. It is a defence before the
Areiopagos on a charge of wounding with murderous intent in a quarrel for the possession of a slave girl. The defendant asserted that the slave was the joint property of himself and the accuser; the latter claimed sole ownership (§ 10). The penalty threatening the accused was banishment and confiscation of property (§ 18).
The speech, as now extant, begins at the point where the
defendant is answering the assertion that a personal enmity of long standing accounts for the murderous character of the assault. It is not true, the defendant says, that they were at this time enemies; they had been reconciled. He had been called upon to perform a costly leiturgia, and had challenged his present accuser either to undertake it himself or to exchange properties (ἀντίδοσις
); and this had been cited by the accuser in proof of the alleged hostility. But it has been shown that this exchange was never actually made; friends mediated, and the defendant took the leiturgia. The accuser had, indeed, already received some property of his, with a view to the exchange; but had returned it when the reconciliation took place. Another proof is given that they were on good terms. The accuser had been nominated by the defendant as judge of the prizes at the Dionysia. Unfortunately, when lots were drawn, he was not among the judges elected. If he had been, his goodwill to the defendant would have been publicly shown; for he was prepared to give the prize to the defendant's tribe, and left a written memorandum of that resolve85
Assuming, however, that this personal enmity did exist, yet the very circumstances of the assault exclude the idea of premeditation. The accuser had made the utmost of a black eye (ὑπώπια
§ 9), and had pretended illness. At the same time he has refused to allow the slave, who was the cause and the eyewitness of the quarrel, to be put to the question (§§ 5—11). After dwelling further on the refusal of this challenge (πρόκλησις
) as presumptive evidence in his own favour (§§ 12—17), the defendant ends by contrasting the gravity of his danger with the worthlessness of its cause, and begs the court not to award so disproportionate a penalty to him, and so excessive a triumph to his unjust accuser (§§ 18—20).
Special points illustrated by the Speech.
This fragment has at least some antiquarian interest. It is curious to find from § 2 that the fact of having offered a man the antidosis could be quoted in court as presumptive evidence of ill-will towards him. The difficult passage in § 3 regarding the appointment of judges at the Dionysia has already been noticed. Section 4 illustrates a point in the peculiar procedure of the Areiopagos—that no witness could be examined who did not swear either to or against the guilt of the accused in regard to the particular facts before the court.
Taylor's doubt of its genuineness.
Taylor's suspicion that in this piece a sophistic writer has imitated the Defence against Simon seems gratuitous86
. If the fragment which has been
preserved is neither clear in arrangement nor strong in argument, it has at least the vigorous simplicity by which Lysias knew how to make the appeal of a commonplace man effective without making it rhetorical.
VII 1 Against Andokides, Or. VI
1. Against Andokides.
[Or. VI.]—This is certainly not the work of Lysias; but in any survey of his works its claim to be ranked with them must at least be examined. It is probable that it was really spoken against Andokides at his trial in 399 B. C. The occasion and the circumstances of that trial have already been discussed87
. Of his three accusers—Kephisios, Epichares and Melêtos—one, Kephisios, is mentioned by the speaker (§ 42): it is possible that the speaker himself may have been one of the other two88
. Two lost pages of the Palatine MS. contained probably the latter part of the speech Against Kallias, and the first part of this speech Against Andokides. But it is not likely that the part thus lost was so large as to include, besides the proem, a connected statement of the whole case. It remains to suppose that such a statement had been made by a previous speaker and is only supplemented
here. This is what might have been expected; Kephisios, the chief accuser, would properly have made the leading speech.
The fragment begins in the middle of a story told to show how surely the goddesses of Eleusis resent an insult. A certain man cheated them of an offering; and there came upon him this doom, that he starved amid plenty; for though good food was set before him, the goddesses made it seem loathsome to him. Let the judges beware, then, of showing mercy to Andokides, whose punishment is claimed by these same deities (§§ 1—3). If he should be acquitted, and, as Archon Basileus, should some day conduct the festival of the Mysteries, what a scandal for comers from all parts of Greece! For he is known to them, not only by his deeds at Athens, but by his conduct during his exile in Sicily, in Italy, in the Peloponnesus, at the Hellespont, in Ionia, at Cyprus (§§ 4—8).
He will say that the decree banishing him from the agora and the temples has been cancelled. Let the advice of Perikles be remembered, that impious men should be liable not only to written laws, but to the unwritten laws of the Eumolpidae. Andokides has aggravated his offence against the gods by presuming to make himself their champion. Before he had been ten days at Athens, he accused Archippos of having defaced a Hermes, and withdrew the charge only on receiving money (§§ 9—12). He will say that it is hard if the informer is to suffer when the denounced have been pardoned. The court is not responsible for that pardon; besides, these men denied their guilt; he confesses it. A man is banished for injuring his fellow; shall he not be banished for injuring the gods? Diagoras of Melos mocked the religion of a strange land; Andokides outraged the religion of his own. It is a further proof of atheism that, not dreading his own crimes, he committed himself to the dangers of the sea. [A notable petitio principii.] But the gods were reserving him for a late reckoning. Let the judges consider what his life has been since his first great crime. Imprisoned, and escaping only by betraying kinsmen and friends;
disfranchised and banished; rejected by oligarchy and by democracy at home, ill-treated by tyrants abroad; and now, in this same year, twice brought to trial! Men ought not to lose faith in the gods because they see Andokides surmount so many dangers: the life of pain thus spared to him is no life (§§ 13—32).
But he is not content to have escaped punishment; he dares to meddle in public affairs, even in the concerns of religion (§§ 33, 34). And now he will be ready with various pleas. That his informations relieved Athens from distress: —but who had first caused it? That the Amnesty shields him: but it was only political. That Kephisios is as bad as he is: perhaps so, but that is irrelevant. That no one will inform in future, if he suffers: nay, he has had his reward— he saved his life. He is now in danger because he has forced himself upon Athens—more shameless than Batrachos, the informer of the Thirty, who at least hid his infamy abroad (§§ 35—45).
Why should Andokides be acquitted? Not for his services in war, for he has never made a campaign. Not for services rendered by his boasted wealth; for at the citizens' sorest need he did not so much as buy them corn (§§ 46—49). [Here, after the ἀνταποδούς
, follows a lacuna: see above, p. 201.]
The profanation of the Mysteries is an old story now, and men's horror of it is faded: but let them for a moment imagine Andokides mocking the awful rites of the Initiated, and then remember the priests standing with their faces to the west, and waving the crimson banners as they cursed him! The city must be purged and the gods appeased by his expulsion. Once, when it was proposed that a Megarian guilty of impiety should be put to death without trial, Diokles said that he ought to be tried indeed, but that every judge must come into court resolved to condemn. And now, let not the judges be moved by entreaty. Compassion is not for murderers but for their victims (§§ 50—55).
The doubt with which Harpokration twice 89
this speech is the only clue to the opinion of the ancients. Modern critics are all but unanimous in rejecting it.
The speech not by Lysias.
The diction shows many words and phrases which Lysias could hardly have used90
; but it is not by the diction nor by the composition91
that his authorship is disproved. The question is decided by broader characteristics. In arrangement Lysias was not faultless; but he would not have tolerated the chaotic disorder which is found here. Again, in several of those passages which dwell on the crimes of Andokides and on the vengeance of the gods there is a certain hollow pathos, a certain falseness and affected elevation, which are utterly remote from the style of Lysias. Further the whole speech has what may be called (in the Greek sense) a sycophantic
tone; it is rancorous, palpably unfair and prodigal of unproved assertion. Lastly it is singularly deficient in the foremost general quality of Lysias—in tact; it is preeminently a blundering speech. The accuser makes at least four mistakes. First, he recites at length the sufferings which Andokides has been enduring without respite for the last sixteen years; intending thereby to prove the displeasure of the gods, but forgetting that he was more likely
to move the compassion of men. Secondly, he observes that, strange to say, Andokides has always come safely through his perils; but that it would be wrong to suppose the gods capable of protecting him;—an awkward allusion to the natural inference, and almost a prophecy of acquittal. Thirdly, in noticing the charges brought by Andokides against Kephisios, he allows that there is something in them, and objects to them only as irrelevant; thus needlessly throwing over his own colleague, the leader of the prosecution. Fourthly, he ends by begging the court to remember a saying of his own grandfather—that, in certain cases, it was the duty of the judges to be prejudiced against the accused. Any one of these faults would have been striking: taken together, they make the authorship of Lysias inconceivable.
It is a further question whether this Accusation
Was the author a contemporary of Lysias or a later sophist?
was written by a contemporary of Lysias and was actually delivered in the Mysteries-trial, or is merely a rhetorical exercise of later date. Those who take the latter view, lay stress upon the discrepancies between this speech and the speech of Andokides On the Mysteries. Two of these discrepancies are important. (1) Andokides complains of having been specially charged with denouncing his own father (De Myst.
§ 19): here, he is only accused generally of denouncing his kinsfolk (§ 23). Again (2) he speaks of having been charged with placing a suppliant's bough in the temple at Eleusis (De Myst.
§ 110); here nothing of the kind is mentioned. But in regard to such differences, it should be
remembered that this speech, itself mutilated, was not the only one for the prosecution; and that, where the subjects of accusation were so large and covered so many years, it would have been strange if every point had been touched by every accuser. On the other hand a rhetorician who had prepared himself by studying the Speech On the Mysteries would have aimed at a more exact correspondence with it. He would probably have taken the charges against Andokides in the order set by his model, and have given paragraph for paragraph, or at least topic for topic. He must have been a subtle artist indeed, if with a general agreement he combined so many intentional differences of detail. It may be noticed that in § 46. Andokides is said to be ‘upwards of forty years old.’ This statement has been used as an argument for the late origin of the speech by those who identify the orator Andokides with the general named by Thucydides (I. 51) as holding a command in 435 B.C. But if, as is most probable, the general was the grandfather of the orator, and the age of the latter in 399 B.C. was really about forty, then the statement in § 46 is one reason the more for ascribing the speech to a contemporary of Andokides92
. As regards the faults of expression, of method or of general tone, these help to disprove the authorship of Lysias; but they are not of a kind which help to prove that the
author was a late sophist. Bad taste is of no age; and the fact of being contemporary with Lysias need not have given a good style to Epichares or Melêtos.
VII. 2. For Kallias, Or. V
2. For Kallias.
[Or. V.]—The shortness of this speech does not necessarily prove it to be a fragment. It opens with an express statement that the case for the defence had already been fully argued by others; and it ends with a completed idea. Since, however, two pages of the Palatine MS. have been lost just at this place, comprising the first part of the speech Against Andokides, that For Kallias has probably suffered also93
. As it now stands, it gives no direct clue to the special nature of the case. The traditional title, ‘Defence on a Charge of Sacrilege,’ must therefore have been taken from the part now lost. The accused is a resident alien (§ 2), an elderly man (§ 3), against whom his own slaves, in hope of being rewarded with liberty, have informed.
In the view of sacrilege taken by Attic law, its
Sacrilege —how viewed by Attic law.
aspect as a robbery seems to have been more prominent than its aspect as an impiety. Thus it is mentioned in the same category with ordinary theft, housebreaking, kidnapping and like offences94
this instance it appears from the address, ἄνδρες δικασταί
(§ 1), that the trial was not before the Areiopagos. The cause must have been heard by an ordinary heliastic court, under the presidency either of the Thesmothetae or of the Eleven95
The speaker says that, were it not a case of life or death, he would have forborne to come forward, considering the defence to be already complete; as it is, he desires to give a public proof of friendship for Kallias (§§ 1, 2). He then refers very briefly, first, to the high character of the accused; secondly, to the worthless nature of the informations. It is the hope of winning freedom which has prompted the calumny of the slaves. If they are believed, servants who desire liberty will henceforth think, not how they are to oblige their masters, but what lie they can tell against them (§§ 3—5).
Conjecture suggested by § 4.
The phrase used by the speaker in reference to Kallias—‘those who bring themselves into danger by lending their services to the Treasury’ (τῷ δημοσίῳ βοηθοῦντες
§ 4)—is noticeable. It suggests that the ‘sacrilege’ of which the title speaks may have been connected with the sacred treasury on the Acropolis. Kallias may have had some employment under the Stewards of the sacred fund (ταμίαι τῆς θεοῦ, τῶν ἱερῶν χρημάτων
) which gave him access to the inner
) of the Parthenon; and may have been accused of profiting by that opportunity to commit a theft.
VII. 3. On the Sacred Olive, Or. VII
3. On the Sacred Olive.
[Or. VII.]—The man (VII. 2) 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 public Treasury, the form of the original accusation had been an apographê (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
) of a moria; and they lay against him an indictment for impiety. The chief accuser is one Nikomachos96
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
）—the legend being that they had been propagated (μεμορημέναι
) from the original olive which Athene herself had caused to spring up on the Acropolis97
. 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 Areiopagos, 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)98
The technical terms used in this speech need definition: see especially §§ 20, 24. Ἐλαία
was the generic term. Common olive-trees were called, either ἐλαῖαι
simply, or ἴδιαι ἐλαῖαι
; sacred, either μορίαι ἐλαῖαι
, or μορίαι
properly meant the enclosure or fence intended to guard the stump (στέλεχος
) of a moria which had been cut down or burnt down (πυρκαιΐα
, § 24)—as often happened in the raids of the enemy during the Peloponnesian War99
(§ 6). Then σηκός
came to denote the fence with the stump itself; and this is the sense which it bears in this speech: see § 11, σηκὸν ἐκκεκόφθαι100
. In §§ 2, 5 ἐλαία as opposed to σηκός
means a full-grown moria.
The case is tried by the Areiopagos 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; probably later.
A quiet life, the defendant had thought, was its own
protection; but he has been taught that hired informers have a power which the unborn might dread (§§ 1—3). He will have done enough if he can show that there has been neither moria nor stump of moria on the farm since it came into his possession. This he proves by the evidence of tenants who had rented it from him (§§ 4—11).
After commenting on the unlikelihood of his having done a deed which could hardly have escaped detection (§§ 12— 18), he observes that the accuser has failed to bring any witnesses (§§ 19—23). The defendant has several other farms, on which olive-trees abound; but, notwithstanding the strict watch kept by the Areiopagos, he has never been accused of any such offence as this. And here the risk would have been peculiarly great. It is strange if Nikomachos has discovered what escaped the regular Inspectors (§§ 24—29).
He then speaks of his own public services; of the accuser's refusal to give up his slaves for torture, and of the absence of witnesses for the prosecution. He describes the malice of his enemies who had bribed Nikomachos to bring this charge; and refers to the cruel sentence which hangs over him (§§ 30—41). He then concludes with a short review of the whole case. It depends upon an unproved assertion, which the accuser has refused to bring to the test (§§ 42, 43).
One attraction, which elsewhere seldom fails Lysias, is wanting in this speech;—there is no narrative, for there is no story to tell, except the former history of the farm. In this, one rather curious point may be noticed. The farm had belonged, it seems, to Peisandros; had been confiscated; and had then been given as a public gift to Apollodôros of Megara. Now Apollodôros, as is known from the speech Against Agoratos (§ 71), was
one of the two men who planned the assassination of Phrynichos; and so it appears that he had been rewarded for destroying one leader of the Four Hundred by receiving the property of another. As
regards the character of the defendant, Lysias has described with a few touches the quiet citizen who shrinks from publicity (§ 1), but with whom, at the same time, it is a point of honour to discharge his public duties in the best way (§ 34); a man who, in Greek phrase, is at once ἀπράγμων
. Photios says that some critics doubted the authenticity of this speech: and that the rhetorician Paulos of Mysia, in particular, absolutely denied its genuineness, for the unconvincing reason that he
could not understand a word of it101