Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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Now it is my desire, in addressing you on this occasion, to follow in my speech the same order which the lawgiver followed in his laws. For you shall hear first a review of the laws that have been laid down to govern the orderly conduct of your children, then the laws concerning the lads, and next those concerning the other ages in succession, including not only private citizens, but the public men as well. For so, I think, my argument will most easily be followed. And at the same time I wish, fellow citizens, first to describe to you in detail the laws of the state, and then in contrast with the laws to examine the character and habits of Timarchus. For you will find that the life he has lived has been contrary to all the laws.


In the first place, consider the case of the teachers. Although the very livelihood of these men, to whom we necessarily entrust our own children, depends on their good character, while the opposite conduct on their part would mean poverty, yet it is plain that the lawgiver distrusts them; for he expressly prescribes, first, at what time of day the free-born boy is to go to the school-room; next, how many other boys may go there with him, and when he is to go home.


He forbids the teacher to open the school-room, or the gymnastic trainer the wrestling school, before sunrise, and he commands them to close the doors before sunset; for he is exceeding suspicious of their being alone with a boy, or in the dark with him. He prescribes what children are to be admitted as, pupils, and their age at admission. He provides for a public official who shall superintend them, and for the oversight of slave-attendants of school-boys. He regulates the festivals of the Muses in the school-rooms, and of Hermes in the wrestling-schools. Finally, he regulates the companionships that the boys may form at school, and their cyclic dances. [Note]


He prescribes, namely, that the choregus, a man who is going to spend his own money for your entertainment, shall be a man of more than forty years of age when he performs this service, in order that he may have reached the most temperate time of life before he comes into contact with your children.

These laws, then, shall be read to you, to prove that the lawgiver believed that it is the boy who has been well brought up that will be a useful citizen when he becomes a man. But when a boy's natural disposition is subjected at the very outset to vicious training, the product of such wrong nurture will be, as he believed, a citizen like this man Timarchus. Read these laws to the jury.



[The teachers of the boys shall open the school-rooms not earlier than sunrise, and they shall close them before sunset. No person who is older than the boys shall be permitted to enter the room while they are there, unless he be a son of the teacher, a brother, or a daughter's husband. If any one enter in violation of this prohibition, he shall be punished with death. The superintendents of the gymnasia shall under no conditions allow any one who has reached the age of manhood to enter the contests of Hermes together with the boys. A gymnasiarch who does permit this and fails to keep such a person out of the gymnasium, shall be liable to the penalties prescribed for the seduction of free-born youth. Every choregus who is appointed by the people shall be more than forty years of age.]


Now after this, fellow citizens, he lays down laws regarding crimes which, great as they undoubtedly are, do actually occur, I believe, in the city. For the very fact that certain unbecoming things were being done was the reason for the enactment of these laws by the men of old. At any rate the law says explicitly: if any boy is let out for hire as a prostitute, whether it be by father or brother or uncle or guardian, or by any one else who has control of him, prosecution is not to he against the boy himself, but against the man who let him out for hire and the man who hired him; against the one because he let him out for hire, and against the other, it says, because he hired him. And the law has made the penalties for both offenders the same. Moreover the law frees a son, when he has become a man, from all obligation to support or to furnish a home to a father by whom he has been hired out for prostitution; but when the father is dead, the son is to bury him and perform the other customary rites.


See, gentlemen, how admirably this legislation fits the case; so long as the father is alive he is deprived of all the benefits of fatherhood, precisely as he deprived his son of a citizen's right to speak; [Note] but when he is dead, and unconscious of the service that is being rendered him, and when it is the law and religion that receive the honor, then at last the lawgiver commands the son to bury him and perform the other customary rites.

But what other law has been laid down for the protection of your children? The law against panders. For the lawgiver imposes the heaviest penalties if any person act as pander in the case of a free-born child or a free-born woman.


And what other law? The law against outrage, which includes all such conduct in one summary statement, wherein it stands expressly written: if any one outrage a child (and surely he who hires, outrages) or a man or woman, or any one, free or slave, or if he commit any unlawful act against any one of these. Here the law provides prosecution for outrage, and it prescribes what bodily penalty he shall suffer, or what fine he shall pay. Read the law.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 1.1 Aeschin. 1.11 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 1.20

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