Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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2.145

But be assured, fellow citizens, there is the greatest difference between common report and slander. For common report has no affinity with malice, but malice is slander's own sister. I will define each of them specifically: it is a case of common report when the mass of the people, on their own impulse and for no reason that they can give, say that a certain event has taken place; but it is slander when one person, insinuating an accusation in the minds of the people, calumniates a man in all the meetings of the assembly and before the senate. To Common Report we offer public sacrifice, as to a god, but the slanderer we prosecute, in the name of the people, as a scoundrel. Do not, therefore, join together the most honourable and the most shameful things.

2.146

At many of his charges I was indeed angry, but most of all when he accused me of being a traitor. For to bring such charges as those was to hold me up to public view as a brute, without natural affection, and chargeable in the past with many other sins. Now of my daily life and conduct I think you are competent judges. But facts that escape the public eye, yet are of greatest importance in the opinion of men of character, I will bring into court as my witnesses—facts very many in number and to my credit in the eyes of the law—in order that seeing them you may know what pledges I left at home when I set out for Macedonia on the embassy.

2.147

For you, Demosthenes, fabricated these charges against me, but I will tell my story, as I was taught to do from childhood, truthfully. Yonder is my father, Atrometus; there are few older men among all the citizens, for he is now ninety-four years old. When he was a young man, before the war destroyed his property, he was so fortunate as to be an athlete; banished by the Thirty, he served as a soldier in Asia, and in danger he showed himself a man; by birth he was of the phratry [Note] that uses the same altars as the Eteobutadae, from whom the priestess of Athena Polias comes; and he helped in the restoration of the democracy, as I said a little while ago. [Note]

2.148

It is my good fortune, too, that all the members of my mother's family are free-born citizens; and to-day I see her here before my eyes in anxiety and fear for my safety. And yet, Demosthenes, this mother of mine went out to Corinth an exile, with her husband, and shared the disasters of the democracy; but you, who claim to be a man—that you really are a man I should not venture to say—you were once indicted for desertion, and you saved yourself by buying off the man who indicted you, Nicodemus of Aphidna, whom afterward you helped Aristarchus to destroy; [Note]

wherefore you are polluted, and have no right to be invading the market-place. [Note]

2.149

Philochares yonder, our eldest brother, a man not of ignoble pursuits, as you slanderously assert, [Note] but a frequenter of the gymnasia, a one-time comrade of Iphicrates in the field, and a general now for the past three years, has come to beg you to save me. Our youngest brother, too, Aphobetus yonder, who as ambassador to the king of Persia has served you to the credit of the city, who administered your revenues honestly and well when you called him to the department of the treasury, who has gotten him children lawfully—not by putting his wife in Cnosion's bed, as you, Demosthenes, did yours—he also is here, despite your slanders ;for defamation goes no further than the ears.

2.150

But you dared to speak about my wife's family also—so shameless you are and so inherently thankless, you that have neither affection nor respect for Philodemus, [Note] the father of Philon and Epicrates, the man by whose good offices you were enrolled among the men of your deme, as the elder Paeanians know. [Note] But I am amazed if you dare slander Philon, and that, too, in the presence of the most reputable men of Athens, who, having come in here to render their verdict for the best interest of the state, are thinkingmore about the lives we have lived than what we say.

2.151

Which think you would they pray heaven to give them, ten thousand hoplites like Philon, so fit in body and so sound of heart, or thrice ten thousand lewd weaklings like you? You try to bring into contempt the good breeding of Epicrates, Philon's brother; but who ever saw him behaving in an indecent manner, either by day in the Dionysiac procession, as you assert, or by night? For you certainly could never say that he was unobserved, for he was no stranger.

2.152

And I myself, gentlemen, have three children, one daughter and two sons, by the daughter of Philodemus, the sister of Philon and Epicrates; and I have brought them into court with the others for the sake of asking one question and presenting one piece of evidence to the jury. This question I will now put to you; for I ask, fellow citizens, whether you believe that I would have betrayed to Philip, not only my country, my personal friendships, and my rights in the shrines and tombs of my fathers, but also these children, the dearest of mankind to me. Do you believe that I would have held his friendship more precious than the safety of these children? By what lust have you seen me conquered? What unworthy act have I ever done for money? It is not Macedon that makes men good or bad, but their own inborn nature; and we have not come back from the embassy changed men, but the same men that you yourselves sent out.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.141 Aeschin. 2.148 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.156

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