Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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1.119

The eminent orator Demosthenes says that you must either wipe out your laws, or else no attention must be paid to my words. For he is amazed, he says, if you do not all remember that every single year the senate farms out the tax on prostitutes, and that the men who buy this tax do not guess, but know precisely, who they are that follow this profession. When, therefore, I have dared to bring impeachment against Timarchus for having prostituted himself, in order that I may deprive him of the right to address the people in assembly, Demosthenes says that the very act complained of calls, not for an accuser's arraignment, but for the testimony of the tax-gatherer who collected this tax from Timarchus.

1.120

Now, fellow citizens, see whether the reply that I make seems to you frank and straightforward. For I am ashamed in the city's behalf, if Timarchus,the counsellor of the people, the man who dares to go out into Hellas on their embassies, if this man, instead of undertaking to clear his record of the whole matter, shall ask us to specify the localities where he plied his trade, and to say whether the tax collectors have ever collected the prostitutes' licence from him.

1.121

For your sakes pray let him give up such defence as that! But I myself will suggest to you, Timarchus, a different line of defence, which is honorable and fair, and you will adopt it, if you are conscious of having done nothing shameful. Come, dare to look the jury in the face and say that which a decent man ought to say of his youth: “Fellow citizens, I have been brought up as boy and youth among you; how I have spent my time is no secret to you, and you see me with you in your assemblies.

1.122

Now if I were defending myself before any other set of men on the charge on which I stand accused, I think your testimony would readily suffice to refute the words of my accuser. For if any such act has been committed by me, nay rather if my life has exhibited to you even any resemblance to that of which he accuses me, I feel that the rest of my life is not worth living; I freely concede you my punishment, that the state may have therein a defence in the eyes of Hellas. I have not come here to beg for mercy from you; nay, do with me what you will, if you believe that I am such a man as that.”

This, Timarchus, is the defence of a good and decent man, a man who has confidence in his past life, and who with good reason looks with contempt upon all efforts to slander him.

1.123

But the defence which Demosthenes persuades you to make is not for a free man, but for a prostitute—quibbling about when and where! But since you do take refuge in the names of the lodgings, demanding that in our proof we specify every single house where you plied your trade, to such an argument as that you will never again resort, if you are wise, when you have heard what I am about to say. For it is not the lodgings and the houses which give their names to the men who have lived in them, but it is the tenants who give to the places the names of their own pursuits.

1.124

Where, for example, several men hire one house and occupy it, dividing it between them, we call it an “apartment house,” but where one man only dwells, a “house.” And if perchance a physician moves into one of these shops on the street, it is called a “surgery.” But if he moves out and a smith moves into this same shop, it is called a “smithy”; if a fuller, a “laundry”; if a carpenter, a “carpenter's shop”; and if a pimp and his harlots, from the trade itself it gets its name of “brothel.” So that you have made many a house a brothel by the facility with which you have plied your profession. Ask not, then, where it was that you practised it, but make this your defence, that you have never done the thing.

1.125

But it seems that we are to have another argument, too, concocted by the same sophist. For he says that nothing is more unjust than common report, and he goes to the market-place for his evidence, the sort of thing that is quite in harmony with his own life. He says first [Note] that the apartment house in Colonus which is called Demon's is falsely named, for it does not belong to Demon. Again, that the herm called “the Herm of Andocides” is not that of Andocides, but a votive offering of the tribe Aegeis.

1.126

and Demosthenes by way of a jest presents himself as an example, for he poses as a man who knows how to indulge in pleasantries and to joke about his own manner of life. “Unless,” he says, “I am to answer to the name when the crowd call me, not Demosthenes, but ‘Batalus,’ just because I got that nickname from my nurse, as my baby-name.” [Note] And he says that if Timarchus did develop into a handsome youth, and if he is jeered at through slanderous interpretation of that fact, and not because of his own actions, surely he ought not for that reason to fall into misfortune.

1.127

But, Demosthenes, in the case of votive offerings, houses, estates, and all dumb objects in general, I do indeed hear many names applied, ever changing, never twice the same; for in them are no actions good or bad, but the man who happens to have become connected with them, whoever he may be, gives them a name according to the greatness of his own reputation. But in the case of the life and conduct of men, a common report which is unerring does of itself spread abroad throughout the city; it causes the private deed to become matter of public knowledge, and many a time it even prophesies what is about to be.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 1.114 Aeschin. 1.122 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 1.131

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