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

1.133

[Note] Indeed, they say he will not even spare the poems of Homer or the names of the heroes, but will celebrate the friendship between Patroclus and Achilles, which, we are told, had its source in passion. And he will pronounce an encomium on beauty now, as though it were not recognised long since as a blessing, if haply it be united with morality. For he says that if certain men by slandering this beauty of body shall cause beauty to be a misfortune to those who possess it, then in your public verdict you will contradict your personal prayers.

1.134

For you seem to him, he says, in danger of being strangely inconsistent; for when you are about to beget children, you pray one and all that your sons still unborn may be fair and beautiful in person, and worthy of the city; and yet when you have sons already born, of whom the city may well be proud, if by their surpassing beauty and youthful charm they infatuate one person or another, and become the subject of strife because of the passion they inspire, these sons, as it seems, you propose to deprive of civic rights—because Aeschines tells you to do it.

1.135

And just here I understand he is going to carry the war into my territory, and ask me if I am not ashamed on my own part, after having made a nuisance of myself in the gymnasia and having been many times a lover, now to be bringing the practice into reproach and danger. And finally—so I am told—in an attempt to raise a laugh and start silly talk among you, he says he is going to exhibit all the erotic poems I have ever addressed to one person or another, and he promises to call witnesses to certain quarrels and pommellings in which I have been involved in consequence of this habit.

1.136

Now as for me, I neither find fault with love that is honorable, nor do I say that those who surpass in beauty are prostitutes. I do not deny that I myself have been a lover and am a lover to this day, nor do I deny that the jealousies and quarrels that commonly arise from the practice have happened in my case. As to the poems which they say I have composed, some I acknowledge, but as to others I deny that they are of the character that these people will impute to them, for they will tamper with them.

1.137

The distinction which I draw is this: to be in love with those who are beautiful and chaste is the experience of a kind-hearted and generous soul; but to hire for money and to indulge in licentiousness is the act of a man who is wanton and ill-bred. And whereas it is an honor to be the object of a pure love, I declare that he who has played the prostitute by inducement of wages is disgraced. How wide indeed is the distinction between these two acts and how great the difference, I will try to show you in what I shall next say.

1.138

your fathers, when they were laying down laws to regulate the habits of men and those acts that inevitably flow from human nature, forbade slaves to do those things which they thought ought to be done by free men. “A slave,” says the law, “shall not take exercise or anoint himself in the wrestling-schools.” It did not go on to add, “But the free man shall anoint himself and take exercise;” for when, seeing the good that comes from gymnastics, the lawgivers forbade slaves to take part, they thought that in prohibiting them they were by the same words inviting the free.

1.139

again, the same lawgiver said, “A slave shall not be the lover of a free boy nor follow after him, or else he shall receive fifty blows of the public lash.” But the free man was not forbidden to love a boy, and associate with him, and follow after him, nor did the lawgiver think that harm came to the boy thereby, but rather that such a thing was a testimony to his chastity. But, I think, so long as the boy is not his own master and is as yet unable to discern who is a genuine friend, and who is not, the law teaches the lover self-control, and makes him defer the words of friendship till the other is older and has reached years of discretion; but to follow after the boy and to watch over him the lawgiver regarded as the best possible safeguard and protection for chastity.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 1.126 Aeschin. 1.134 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 1.144

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