|Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Din.].
|Din. 1 (Greek)
1.1This popular leader of yours, Athenians, who has imposed on himself a sentence of death should he be proved to have taken even the smallest sum from Harpalus, has been clearly convicted of taking bribes from those very men whom he formerly professed to oppose. Much has already been said by Stratocles note and most of the charges have now been made; as regards the report itself the Areopagus has expressed opinions which are both just and true, while with events succeeding this Stratocles has already dealt and read the decrees relating to them. 1.2It remains for us, Athenians, especially when contesting a case never paralleled in the experience of the city, to make a general exhortation to you all. May we ask you first to pardon those of us who have still to speak if there are certain points which we raise again; our aim is not to weary you by alluding twice to the same matters but to arouse your anger all the more. Secondly, may we ask you not to surrender the rights enjoyed by the whole city or to barter away our common security in exchange for the arguments of the defendant. 1.3You are aware, Athenians, that whereas this man Demosthenes is here for judgement before you, you are on trial before your fellows. For they are waiting to see what kind of conclusion you will reach about your country's interests: are you going to welcome into your midst the private venality and corruption of these people, or will you make it universally known that you hate men who accept bribes against their city and that, in ordering the Areopagus to make its inquiry, your intention was not to acquit the culprits but rather, when the councillors had made their report, to exact punishment in a manner appropriate to the crimes? This decision then rests with you now. 1.4For when the people passed a lawful decree and every citizen wished to discover which of the politicians had dared to accept money from Harpalus to the discredit and danger of the city; when, moreover, you, Demosthenes, and many others had proposed in a decree that the Areopagus, according to its traditional right, should hold an inquiry to discover if any of them had received gold from Harpalus, the Areopagus began its investigation. 1.5In reaching a just decision it paid no heed to your challenges, Demosthenes, nor did it wish to pervert the truth or destroy its own reputation on your account. On the contrary, gentlemen, although, as the Areopagites themselves said, the council realized beforehand the strength of these men and their influence as orators and statesmen, it did not consider that if incrimination or danger was threatening its country it ought to be influenced by any misrepresentation likely to be published about itself. 1.6Though this investigation has been conducted, in the people's opinion, both fairly and profitably, accusations, challenges, and calumnies are proceeding from Demosthenes, since he has been listed as the holder of twenty talents of gold. Will that council then which, in cases of willful] murder, is trustworthy enough to arrive at truth and justice and is empowered to pass judgement in matters of life and death on each of the citizens, to take up the cause of those who have met a violent end and banish or execute any in the city who have broken the law, note be powerless now to administer justice over the money credited to Demosthenes?
1.7It will; for the council has told lies against Demosthenes. This is the crowning argument in his case. It has told lies, has it, against you and Demades: men against whom it is evidently not even safe to speak the truth; though you previously instructed the Areopagus to investigate many public matters and expressed approval of it for the inquiries which it had held? Are the indictments which the council has made against these men false when the whole city cannot compel them to do right? Great Heavens! 1.8Then why, Demosthenes, did you agree in the Assembly to a penalty of death for yourself, if the report of the council should turn out against you? And why have you yourself ruined many others by insisting on the findings of the council? To what authority should the people now refer, or to whom should it entrust the inquiry in the event of mysterious or momentous crimes, if it is to discover the truth? 1.9For the council which formerly commanded confidence is being discredited by you, who claim to be the people's man, though it is a body to which the people gave in trust the protection of their lives, to whose charge they have often committed their constitution and democracy, a council which, destined though you were to malign it, has safeguarded your life, according to your own account so often threatened, and which keeps the mystic deposits note whereby the safety of the city is preserved.
1.10Now in one respect—for I shall speak my mind—the Areopagus fully deserves this treatment. It was faced with two alternatives. One would have been, in accordance with the people's instructions, to conduct the previous investigation over the three hundred talents which came from the Persian king note; in which case this monster would have been convicted and the names of those who shared the money published; the betrayal of
1.17This citizen, Demosthenes, of such a character, who might well have gained the pardon and gratitude of his colleagues in the public life of those days, since he had rendered great services to the city, not in word only but in deed, and had always remained true to the same policy rather than changing to and fro as you have done, met his death without begging the people for such extensive favors as would set him above the laws or thinking that men who had sworn to vote in accordance with the law should consider anything more important than their word; he was ready even for condemnation, if the jury decided upon it, and did not plead the inclemency of circumstance or express in public opinions which he did not hold.
1.18Will you not execute this accursed wretch, Athenians, who, in addition to many other crucial blunders, stood by while the Thebans' city was destroyed, though he had accepted three hundred talents from the Persian King for their protection though the Arcadians, note arriving at the Isthmus, had dismissed with a rebuff the envoys of Antipater and welcomed those from the unhappy Thebans who had reached them with difficulty by sea, bearing a suppliant's staff and heralds' wands, plaited, they said, from olive shoots? 1.19They came to assure the Arcadians that no wish to break their friendship with the Greeks had led the Thebans to a revolution, nor did they intend to do anything to the detriment of
1.28This man is a hireling, Athenians, a hireling of long standing. It was he who summoned from
1.37Let me remind you, gentlemen, of the conduct of your forbears, who, at a time when many grave perils beset the city, faced danger in the interests of the people, in a manner worthy of their country and their well-earned reputation, as befitted free men. Time does not permit me to deal with those figures of the past, Aristides and Themistocles: the men who built the city's walls and carried up to the Acropolis the tribute paid by the willing and even eager Greeks. 1.38But you will recall what was done, shortly before our own time, by Cephalus the orator, Thrason of Herchia, Eleus and Phormisius and other fine men, some of whom are still alive today. note Some of them, when the Cadmea was garrisoned by Spartans, assisted the exiles who returned to
1.41Are you not ashamed, Athenians, that you should think our speeches the only evidence you have on which to determine the punishment of Demosthenes? Do you not know yourselves that this man is open to bribes and is both a robber and a traitor to his friends that neither he nor the fortune which has gone with him is fit for the city? Are there any decrees or any laws which have not brought him money? 1.42Are there any people in the court who were among those included in the three hundred when Demosthenes brought in his law concerning the trierarchs? note Then tell your neighbors that he accepted three talents and used to alter and re-draft the law for every sitting of the Assembly, in some cases taking money over points for which he had been paid already, in others failing to honor the sales which he had made. 1.43Really, gentlemen, tell me: do you think he got nothing for proposing that Diphilus note should have meals at the Prytaneum or for that statue to be put up in the market? Nothing for conferring Athenian citizenship on Chaerephilus, Phidon, Pamphilus, and Phidippus, or again on Epigenes and
1.46Gentlemen, you have very many witnesses, as I said before, among citizens and other Greeks, watching to see how you will judge this trial; are you, they wonder, going to bring within the scope of the courts the venal actions of other men, or will there be complete freedom to accept bribes against you? Will the things which so far have been held trustworthy and sure now cease to be so on account of the trial of Demosthenes? On his past record he ought to have been put to death, and he is liable to all the curses known to the city, 1.47having broken the oaths he took on the Areopagus, in the names of the holy goddesses and the other deities by whom it is customary to swear there, and making himself accursed at every sitting of the Assembly. He has been proved to have taken bribes against
1.48Despite this, gentlemen of the jury, Demosthenes is so ready with his lies and utterly unsound assertions, so oblivious of shame, exposure, or curse, that he will dare to say of me, I gather, that I too was previously condemned by the council. According to him I am behaving with the utmost inconsistency, because in the past I opposed the council's report and pleaded my own case, whereas I am now serving as its advocate and accusing him over the report before us today. 1.49This is a story of his own invention, not based on fact, and he is impudent enough to lie to you. So to make sure that, if he embarks upon this story, you will pay no attention to him but will realize fully that the council did not report me and was in no danger of doing so,—the truth being that I suffered at the hands of a man of low character who has been convicted before you,—let me explain briefly. Then I will come back to Demosthenes.
1.50The council of the Areopagus is bound, gentlemen, to follow one of two methods in making all its reports. What are these methods? Its inquiry is made either on its own initiative or in obedience to the people's instructions. note Apart from these two, there is no other procedure it could follow. If then you tell us, you abominable brute, that the council followed the people's instructions in making its inquiry and publishing the report on me, 1.51show me the decree and tell me who were my accusers after the report was made. Compare the present case, where you have both: a decree which authorized the council's inquiry, and accusers, elected by the people, who are now giving the jury an account of the crimes. If your story is true, I am prepared to die. But if you claim that the council took the initiative in reporting me, produce the Areopagites as witnesses, just as I myself shall produce them to show that I was not reported, 1.52to show in fact that, after impeaching one rogue and traitor who, like you, had maligned the council and myself, I proved before two thousand five hundred citizens that he had hired himself to Pythocles note in making this attack upon me, and so avenged myself with the help of those then serving on the jury. Clerk, please take the deposition. I laid it before the jury previously as evidence and no one questioned its veracity. So I will produce it now. Read the deposition.
1.53Is it not an anomaly, Athenians, that on that occasion, because one man, Pistias an Areopagite, note told lies against the council and myself and said that I was a criminal, falsehood would have prevailed over truth, if through my weakness and isolation at the time the trumped up lies against me had been believed; whereas now, when the fact is admitted by the whole Areopagus that Demosthenes has taken twenty talents of gold against your interests, and is therefore a criminal, and that your popular leader, in whom some men place their hopes, 1.54has been caught in the act of taking bribes, the customs of the Areopagus and truth and justice are going to prove weaker than Demosthenes' word? Truth will be overridden by the slanderous statement he intends to make against the council, namely that many of those reported by it as a menace to the people have, on coming into court, been acquitted, in some cases the council failing to secure a fifth part of the votes. There is an explanation for this which you will easily follow. 1.55The council, gentlemen, has its own method of inquiring into the cases which you assign to it and the crimes committed within its own body. Unlike yourselves,—and you need not take offence at this,—who are sometimes apt when judging to give more weight to mercy than to justice, it simply reports anyone who is liable to the charges in question or has broken any traditional rule of conduct believing that if a person is in the habit of committing small offences he will more easily involve himself in serious crimes. 1.56Consequently when one of its number robbed the ferryman of his fare it fined him and reported him to you. Again, when someone claimed the five drachma allowance note in the name of an absentee, it reported him also to you. Similarly it fined and expelled the man who presumed to break the rule and sell the Areopagite portion. 1.57You tried these men and acquitted them. You were not thereby convicting the Areopagus of error but you were more concerned with sympathy than justice, and thought the punishment too severe for the offence which the defendants had committed. Do you imagine then, Demosthenes, that the council made a false report? Of course it did not. Nevertheless, gentlemen, you acquitted these men and others like them, though the council reported that they were guilty of breaking its rules. 1.58In the case of Polyeuctus of Cydantidae, note when the people instructed the council to inquire whether he was accompanying the exiles to
1.61Perhaps you will not attempt to argue thus, Demosthenes, but will say that of those whom the council has reported up till now the rest have admitted that the penalty which it imposed was deserved, whereas you alone have protested against it. But you alone, of all those ever reported, asked these men of your own accord to be your judges and court of inquiry. You proposed the decree against yourself and made the people witness of the agreement, defining the penalty for yourself as death, if the council should report that you had taken any of the money brought into the country by Harpalus. 1.62And yet in the past, Demosthenes, you proposed that the council of the Areopagus should have power over all these men, and the rest of
1.64I summon as my witnesses, Athenians, the awful goddesses and their abode, the heroes of the land, Athena Polias, and those other gods who have obtained our city and countryside as their home, to show that when the people has consigned to you for punishment one who, against his country's interests, has accepted a part of the <imported money>, note one who has defiled and ruined the city's prosperity and betrayed that country which he claimed to have fortified by his diplomacy, note 1.65enemies, and those who bear the city ill will, would wish him alive, counting this a disaster for
1.72What do you think it is, Athenians, that makes cities vary between good and evil fortunes? You will find only one cause: the counsellors and leaders. Take Thebes. It was a city; it became supreme. Under what leaders and generals? All the older men, on whose authority I shall give you the story, would admit that it was when Pelopidas, note so they have it, 1.73led the Sacred Band note and Epaminondas and their compeers were in command. It was then that Thebes won the battle of Leuctra, then that they invaded the Spartans' country which, it was thought, could not be ravaged. During that period they accomplished many fine achievements: founded
1.78I want you also, Athenians, to hear that other decree moved by Demosthenes, note the decree which this democratic statesman proposed when the city was in disorder after the battle of
Oracle1.79Read that splendid decree of his.
Part of the Decree
A fine democrat indeed who arranges for himself, being a brave and courageous man, to remain in arms, while he orders the citizens whom he rejects for service to go off to their work or to do anything else he thinks is called for. Read the rest.
Rest of the Decree
Now read the note and the decree relating to the inquiry over the money proposed by Demosthenes for the Areopagus and affecting both himself and you. I want you by comparing them together to realize that he is demented.
Read the decree again which Demosthenes proposed against Demosthenes. Let me have your attention, gentlemen.
1.89Demosthenes himself proposed in the Assembly, clearly implying that it was a just step to take, that we should keep for Alexander the money brought into
1.91The statements made by the defendant, gentlemen, have been numerous and very varied but never consistent. For he realizes that all along you have been cheated by him with empty hopes and lying assertions and that you remember his promises only so long as they are being uttered. If then the city must go on enjoying the fruits of Demosthenes' wickedness and ill-fortune, that we may still be plagued by an evil genius,—I can find no other word for it,—we should acquiesce in the present state of affairs. 1.92But if we have any regard for our country, if we hate wicked and corrupt men and want our fortune to change for the better, you must not surrender yourselves, Athenians, to the prayers of this accursed juggler or lend an ear to his laments and quackeries. You have had enough experience of him, his speeches, his actions, and his luck. 1.93Which of you is so hopeful, Athenians, or so irrational, which of you is so unversed in past or present history, as to expect that a man who reduced the city, through whatever fault or fortune,—I am not concerned with that,—from such great prosperity to such utter disgrace, will save us now by serving as a counsellor and administrator? For besides the other difficulties and dangers which beset us we have now corruption also, of men right in the city, and are one and all striving to clear ourselves of a shameful charge, lest the people be thought to hold in their own name the money which certain individuals are keeping for themselves. 1.94I am not citing other instances of his continual change of policy or of the pernicious speeches which he has consistently made. At one time he made a proposal forbidding anyone to believe in any but the accepted gods and at another said that the people must not question the grant of divine honors to Alexander note; and again when he was on the point of being tried before you, he impeached Callimedon for consorting with the exiles note in
1.99How then shall we be of one mind, Athenians? How shall we agree upon the interests of the state when our leaders and demagogues take bribes and betray their country's interests, when you yourselves and the whole people are in danger of losing the very foundations of
1.105Let me explain, Athenians, what you are going to do. You have taken over the case from the people, who know the facts; and to undergo the punishment, due to those whose names appear in the reports, Demosthenes is brought in first. We have made our accusation and have allowed no private interest on the part of any to stand in the way of common justice. 1.106Will you disregard all that has passed and acquit the first man up before you? Will you, with full power at your command, reject what seemed just both to the people and the Areopagus, and indeed to everyone, and take upon yourselves these men's depravity? 1.107Or will you, for the city's sake, give a demonstration to all alike of the hatred you bear towards traitors and those who, through love of gain, betray the people's interests? All this now lies in your control, and the fifteen hundred of you hold the city's safety in your hands. Your verdict of today will either bring to
1.108You must not be cowed, Athenians, or by losing your self-control give up the city's just defence, which touches all alike, in deference to Demosthenes' entreaties. For none of you compelled this man to take the money, to which he had no right, against your own interests, when he has acquired, with your assistance, much more than enough besides, nor to defend himself now when the crimes have been acknowledged and he has proposed the death penalty for himself. But the avarice and wickedness, fostered in him by his whole mode of life, have brought this on his head. 1.109So do not be concerned when he weeps and laments. You might, with far more justice, pity the country, which this man is exposing to danger by behaving as he has, and which is begging you, who are its sons, in the names of your wives and children, to take vengeance on the traitor and save it: the land which your ancestors, after facing many noble combats for it, have handed on to you free in which many noble examples have been left us of the courage of those who gave their lives. 1.110It is this land, Athenians, the sacrifices traditional in it, and its ancestral sepulchres to which right-thinking men must turn their thoughts when they give their vote. And when Demosthenes wishes to cheat you and cunningly turns pathetic, shedding tears, you must think of the city's person, and the glory which it once possessed, and judge between two alternatives: which has become the more deserving of pity: the city because of Demosthenes or Demosthenes because of the city? 1.111You will find that this man has become famous since he entered politics; that from being a speechwriter and a paid advocate, in the service of Ctesippus, Phormio and many others, note he has become the richest man in
1.112And whenever anyone comes forward to speak for him, bear in mind that he who does so, even if not involved in the reports we are about to hear, is hostile to the constitution, unwilling to see punished those who take bribes against the people and anxious that the general protection of your persons, for which the Areopagus is responsible, should be abolished and every right in the city overwhelmed; whereas, if it is some orator or general, one of those participating in the defence because they wish to discredit the report, which they expect will reflect against themselves, you must give their arguments no credence, knowing as you do that all these men collaborated over the landing of Harpalus and his release. 1.113You must realize then, Athenians, that when these men come forward, they do so against your interests, being enemies alike of the laws and the entire city. Do not tolerate them; insist that their defence answers the charges. And do not countenance his own fury either; for he prides himself on his powers as an orator and, since he is known to have taken bribes against you, has been proved an even greater fraud. No, punish him in a manner befitting yourselves and the city. If you do not, by one verdict and at one trial you will release all who have been reported, and all who ever will be, and will bring these men's corruption upon yourselves and upon the people, even though, afterwards, you may prosecute those who acquitted them, when it will avail you nothing.
1.114I have now played my full part in assisting the prosecution and have shown regard for nothing but justice and your interests. I have not deserted the city or given more weight to personal favor than to the people's vote. With an appeal to you to show the same spirit I now hand over the water to the other prosecutors.
|Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Din.].
|Din. 1 (Greek)