Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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And on the third of the Hermae stands written: “Once from this city Menestheus, summoned to join the Atreidae,
Led forth an army to Troy, plain beloved of the gods.
Homer has sung of his fame, and has said that of all the mailed chieftains
None could so shrewdly as he marshal the ranks for the fight.
Fittingly then shall the people of Athens be honored, and called
Marshals and leaders of war, heroes in combat of arms.”
Is the name of the generals anywhere here? Nowhere; only the name of the people.


And now pass on in imagination to the Stoa Poecile [Note]; for the memorials of all our noble deeds stand dedicated in the Agora. What is it then, fellow citizens, to which I refer? The battle of Marathon is pictured there. Who then was the general? If you were asked this question you would all answer, “Miltiades.” But his name is not written there. Why? Did he not ask for this reward? He did ask, but the people refused it; and instead of his name they permitted that he should be painted in the front rank, urging on his men.


Again, in the Metroön you may see the reward that you gave to the band from Phyle, who brought the people back from exile. For Archinus of Coele, one of the men who brought back the people, was the author of the resolution. He moved, first, to give them for sacrifice and dedicatory offerings a thousand drachmas, less than ten drachmas per man; then that they be crowned each with a crown of olive (not of gold, for then the crown of olive was prized, but today even a crown of gold is held in disdain). And not even this will he allow to be done carelessly, but only after careful examination by the Senate, to determine who of them actually stood siege at Phyle when the Lacedaemonians and the Thirty made their attack, not those who deserted their post—as at Chaeroneia—in the face of the advancing enemy. As proof of what I say, the clerk shall read the resolution to you.Resolution as to the Reward of the Band from Phyle


Now over against this read the resolution which Ctesiphon has proposed for Demosthenes, the man who is responsible for our greatest disasters.Resolution

By this resolution the reward of those who restored the democracy is annulled. If this resolution is good, the other was bad. If they were worthily honored, this man is unworthy of the crown that is proposed.


And yet I am told that he intends to say that I am unfair in holding up his deeds for comparison with those of our fathers. For he will say that Philammon the boxer was crowned at Olympia, not as having defeated Glaucus, that famous man of ancient days, but because he beat the antagonists of his own time; [Note] as though you did not know that in the case of boxers the contest is of one man against another, but for those who claim a crown, the standard is virtue itself; since it is for this that they are crowned. For the herald must not lie when he makes his proclamation in the theater before the Greeks. Do not, then, recount to us how you have been a better citizen than Pataecion, [Note] but first attain unto nobility of character, and then call on the people for their grateful acknowledgment.


But lest I lead you away from the subject, the clerk shall read to you the epigram that is inscribed in honor of the band from Phyle, who restored the democracy.Epigram “These men, noble of heart, hath the ancient Athenian people
Crowned with an olive crown. First were they to oppose
Tyrants who knew not the laws, whose rule was the rule of injustice.
Danger they met unafraid, pledging their lives to the cause.”


Because they put down those who ruled unlawfully, for this cause the poet says they were honored. For then it was still in the ears of all men that the democracy was overthrown only after certain men had put out of the way the provision for the indictment of men who propose illegal measures. Yes, as I have heard my own father say, [Note] for he lived to be ninety-five years old, and had shared all the toils of the city, which he often described to me in his leisure hours—well, he said that in the early days of the re-established democracy, if any indictment for an illegal motion came into court, the word was as good as the deed. [Note] For what is more wicked than the man who speaks and does what is unlawful?


And in those days, so my father said, they gave no such hearing as is given now, but the jurors were far more severe toward the authors of illegal motions than was the accuser himself; and it frequently happened that they made the clerk stop, and told him to read to them the laws and the motion a second time; and they convicted a man of making an illegal motion, not in case he had overleaped all the laws together, but if one syllable only was contravened. But the process as it is conducted nowadays is ridiculous. The clerk reads the statement of the illegality which is charged, and the jurors, as though hearing an incantation, or some matter which is no concern of theirs, are attending to something else.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.179 Aeschin. 3.188 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.196

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