Lysias, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Lys.].
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Against Pancleon

23.1To speak at length upon this matter, gentlemen of the jury, is both beyond my powers and, to my mind, unnecessary; but that I am correct in obtaining leave for my suit against this man Pancleon as being no Plataean, I will attempt to prove to you.

23.2As he continued to injure me for a long time, I went to the fuller's where he was working and summoned him before the Polemarch, note supposing him to be a resident alien. On his stating that he was a Plataean, I asked to what township he belonged, since one of my witnesses there advised me to summon him also before the court of the tribe of which he might pretend to be a member. When he replied “to Decelea,” I summoned him before the court of tribe Hippothontis; 23.3I then went and asked at barber's in the street of the Hermae, note where the Deceleans resort, and I inquired of such Deceleans as I could discover if they knew a certain Pancleon belonging to the township of Decelea. As nobody spoke to knowing him, and I learnt that he was then a defendant in some other suits before the Polemarch, and had been cast in some, I took proceedings on my own part.

23.4So now, in the first place, I will produce to you as witnesses some Deceleans whom I questioned, and after them the other persons who have taken proceedings against him before the Polemarch and have obtained a conviction,—as many as chance to be present. Please stop the water. noteWitnesses

23.5Relying on this evidence I took proceedings against him before the Polemarch: but he then put in a demurrer against the admissibility of my suit; and as I felt it important to avoid any imputation of oppressive aims, instead of a desire to get satisfaction for my wrongs, I first asked Euthycritus, whom I knew as the oldest citizen of Plataea and whom I supposed to be best informed, whether he knew a certain Pancleon, son of Hipparmodorus, a Plataean. 23.6Then, on his answering me that he knew Hipparmodorus, but was not aware of his having any son, either Pancleon or any other, I went on to ask all the other persons whom I knew as Plataeans. Well, they were all ignorant of his name; but they told me that I should get the most definite information if I went to the fresh-cheese market on the last day of the month: for on that day in each month the Plataeans collected there. 23.7So I went on that day to the cheese market and inquired of the people if they knew a certain Pancleon, their fellow-citizen. They all denied knowledge of him, except one who said that, although he knew no citizen of that name, there was a slave of his own called Pancleon, who had deserted, 23.8and he told me his age and his business, which is that of this man. To show the truth of all this, I will produce as witnesses Euthycritus whom I questioned first, all the other Plataeans to whom I applied, and the man who said he was this person's master. So please stop the water.Witnesses

23.9Well then, not many days later, I saw this man Pancleon being arrested by Nicomedes, who has testified to being his master; and I went up to them, desiring to know what it could be that was going to done with him. So, when they had ceased fighting some of his witnesses said that he had a brother who would vindicate him as a freeman: 23.10on this understanding they gave security for producing him the morrow, and departed and went their way. On the following day, in view of the present demurrer and the suit itself, I decided that I ought to appear there with witnesses, in order that I might know the man who was to vindicate him, and what plea he would urge for his discharge. Now, as regards the condition on which security was taken for his release, neither a brother nor anyone else appeared; but a woman asserted that he was her slave, in dispute of Nicomedes' claim, and she said that she would not allow him to be arrested. 23.11Well, to recount all that was spoken in that place would make this a long story; but with such violence did his supporters and the man himself behave that, while Nicomedes on his part, and the woman on hers, were both willing to let him go if somebody should either vindicate him as a freeman or arrest him on the claim of owning him as a slave, they did nothing of the sort, but carried him off and departed. Now, to prove that security was taken for him on that condition the day before, and that they then carried him off with them by force, I will produce to you witnesses. So please stop the water.Witnesses

23.12It is easy, then, to make sure that even Pancleon himself, far from regarding himself as a Plataean, does not suppose himself to be even a freeman. For when a man has chosen, on being carried off by force, to make his own associates liable to action for assault rather than to be vindicated as a freeman by legal process and to get damages from those who were arresting him, nobody can have difficulty in perceiving that he was so conscious of his being a slave that he was afraid to provide guarantors and to face a trial concerning his civil status.

23.13Now, that he is far from being a Plataean, I think you perceive pretty clearly from these statements; and that even the man himself, who is most fully aware of his own position, did not expect you to believe that he was a Plataean, will be readily impressed on you by his own conduct. For in his counter-deposition at the proceedings brought against him by Aristodicus, here present, when he contended that his case did not lie before the Polemarch, he was declared on evidence note not to be a Plataean. 23.14But although he denounced this witness, he did not pursue the matter, but allowed Aristodicus to obtain a verdict against him. And when he failed to pay on the appointed date, he discharged the debt on such terms as he could arrange. To prove the truth of all this, I will produce to you witnesses. So please stop the water.Witnesses

23.15Now, before making this agreement with him, he had removed from the city through fear of Aristodicus, and was living as an alien in Thebes. But I think you understand that, if he was a Plataean, he might be expected to live as an alien anywhere rather than in Thebes. Well, to prove that he lived there a long time, I will produce to you witnesses. So please stop the water.Witnesses

23.16I consider, gentlemen of the jury, that the statements I have made are sufficient. For if you will bear the whole of them in mind, I know that you will give the just and true decision, which is all I ask of you.

Lysias, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Lys.].
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