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

1.128

to manifest and so far from being fabricated is this statement of mine, that you will find that both our city and our forefathers dedicated an altar to Common Report, as one of the greatest gods; [Note] and you will find that Homer again and again in the Iliad says, of a thing that has not yet come to pass, “Common Report came to the host;” and again you will find Euripides declaring that this god is able not only to make known the living, revealing their true characters, but the dead as well, when he says, “Common Report shows forth the good man, even though he be in the bowels of the earth;”

1.129

and Hesiod expressly represents her as a goddess, speaking in words that are very plain to those who are willing to understand, for he says, “But Common Report dies never, the voice that tongues of many men do utter. She also is divine.” [Note] You will find that all men whose lives have been decorous praise these verses of the poets. For all who are ambitious for honor from their fellows believe that it is from good report that fame will come to them. But men whose lives are shameful pay no honor to this god, for they believe that in her they have a deathless accuser.

1.130

Call to mind, therefore, fellow citizens, what common report you have been accustomed to hear in the case of Timarchus. The instant the name is spoken you ask, do you not, “What Timarchus do you mean? The prostitute?” Furthermore, if I had presented witnesses concerning any matter, you would believe me; if then I present the god as my witness, will you refuse to believe? But she is a witness against whom it would be impiety even to bring complaint of false testimony.

1.131

in the case of Demosthenes, too, it was common report, and not his nurse, that gave him his nickname; and well did common report name him Batalus, for his effeminacy and lewdness! For, Demosthenes, if anyone should strip off those exquisite, pretty mantle of yours, and the soft, pretty shirts that you wear while you are writing your speeches against your friends, [Note] and should pass them around among the jurors, I think, unless they were informed beforehand, they would be quite at a loss to say whether they had in their hands the clothing of a man or of a woman!

1.132

But in the course of the defence one of the generals will, as I am told, mount the platform, with head held high and a self-conscious air, as one who should say, Behold the graduate of the wrestling schools, and the student of philosophy! And he will undertake to throw ridicule upon the whole idea of the prosecution, asserting that this is no legal process that I have devised, but the first step in a dangerous decline in the culture of our youth. [Note] He will cite first those benefactors of yours, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, describing their fidelity to one another, and telling how in their case this relationship proved the salvation of the state.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 1.118 Aeschin. 1.127 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 1.137

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