Athenian political oratory: 16 key speeches by David Phillips

By David Phillips

This booklet is designed essentially to supply scholars of Greek heritage with a set oftranslated speeches illustrating political advancements among the tip of thePeloponnesian conflict (404 B.C.) and the loss of life of Alexander the nice (323 B.C.). Thespeeches during this assortment have been brought in Athens: a few within the meeting, others incourts of legislation. All yet one have been written through citizens of Athens; the only real exception, a letterpenned by way of Philip II of Macedon, was once learn out to the Athenian meeting via anambassador. those speeches, hence, are resources of first significance for Atheniandomestic and overseas politics.

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As it happened, however, they brought them to trial before the Council sitting under the Thirty. The kind of trial that followed, you yourselves know. 23 Two tables were set up in front of the Thirty. The councillors had to cast their votes not into urns,24 but in the open, onto the tables: votes to convict went on the farther table, votes to acquit on the nearer, so how could any of the defendants possibly be acquitted? [38] To put it briefly, all those who went into the Council House to be tried were condemned to death, and not a single person was acquitted except this man Agoratus: they let him off as a benefactor.

Cross-Exam ination [31] They wanted him, men of the jury, to list the names of even more men: the Council was so utterly eager to work some evil that they decided Agoratus had not yet told the whole truth in his accusations. Now, all these men he denounced voluntarily, under no duress. [32] And when the Assembly met in the theater on Munychia,21 some people were so strongly concerned that a denunciation of the generals and taxiarchs take place in the Assembly as well (for the others the denunciation in the Council alone was deemed sufficient) that they brought Agoratus there before the Assembly too.

I wish they were telling the truth, for I would have a considerable share of the benefits. [23] But in reality this is not their situation either in regard to the city or to me: for, as I said before, Eratosthenes killed my brother—not because he was personally wronged by him, not because he witnessed him committing a crime against the city, but because he was eagerly serving his own criminal nature. [24] I want to bring him up here and question him, men of the jury. For this is my way of thinking: I consider it impious even to discuss the defendant with someone else for his benefit, but for his harm I consider it righteous and pious even to address the man himself.

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