Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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For, first, the Senate of the Areopagus is required by the law to file its accounts with the Board of Auditors and to submit to their examination; yes, even those men, who sit with solemn aspect yonder as the court of highest competence, are brought under your verdict. Shall the Senate of the Areopagus, then, receive no crown? They shall not, for such is not the tradition of our fathers. Have they, then, no love of honor? Indeed they have! They so love honor that they are not satisfied with merely keeping free from guilt, but they punish their members even for mistakes. But your politicians are pampered. Further, the lawgiver has made the Senate of Five Hundred subject to audit.


And so deep is his distrust of those who are subject to audit, that he says at the very beginning of the laws, “The officer who has not yet submitted his accounts shall not leave the country?” “Heracles !” some one may answer, “because I held an office may I not leave the country?” No, for fear you may make profit of the public money or the public acts, and then run away. Furthermore, the man who is subject to audit is not allowed to consecrate his property, or to make a votive offering, or to receive adoption, [Note] or to dispose of his property by will and he is under many other prohibitions. In a word, the lawgiver holds under attachment the property of all who are subject to audit, until their accounts shall have been audited.


“Yes, but there is a man who has received no public funds and spent none, but has simply had something to do with administrative matters.” He too is commanded to render account to the auditors. “And how shall the man who has received nothing and spent nothing render account to the state?” The law itself suggests and teaches what he is to write; for it commands him to file precisely this statement, “I have neither received nor spent any public funds.” There is nothing in all the state that is exempt from audit, investigation, and examination. As proof of what I say, hear the laws themselves.Laws


So when Demosthenes at the height of his impudence shall say that because the money was a gift he is not subject to audit, suggest this to him: was it not, then, your duty, Demosthenes, to allow the herald of the Board of Auditors to make this proclamation, sanctioned by law and custom, “Who wishes to prefer charges?” Let any citizen who wishes have the opportunity to claim that you have given nothing, but that from the large sums under your control you have spent a mere trifle on the repair of the walls, whereas you have received ten talents from the city for this work. Do not grab honor; do not snatch the jurors' ballots from their hands; do not in your political career go before the laws, but follow them. For so is the democracy upheld.


As an answer then to the empty pretexts that they will bring forward, let what I have said suffice. But that Demosthenes was in fact subject to audit at the time when the defendant made his motion, since he held the office of Superintendent of the Theoric Fund [Note] as well as the office of Commissioner for the Repair of Walls, and at that time bad not rendered to you his account and reckoning for either office, this I will now try to show you from the public records. Read, if you please, in what archonship and in what month and on what day and in what assembly Demosthenes was elected a Superintendent of the Theoric Fund.Enumeration of the Days

If now I should prove nothing beyond this, Ctesiphon would be justly convicted, for it is not my complaint that convicts him, but the public records.


In earlier times, fellow citizens, the city used to elect a Comptroller of the Treasury, who every prytany made to the people a report of the revenues. But because of the trust which you placed in Eubulus, those who were elected Superintendents of the Theoric Fund held (until the law of Hegemon was passed) the office of Comptroller of the Treasury and the office of Receiver of Moneys; they also controlled the dockyards, had charge of the naval arsenal that was building, and were Superintendents of Streets; almost the whole administration of the state was in their hands.


I say this, not to accuse or blame them, but because I wish to show you this: that while the lawgiver, in case any one is subject to audit for a single office—though it be the least—does not permit him to be crowned until lie has rendered his account and submitted to audit, Ctesiphon did not hesitate to move to crown Demosthenes, who was holding all the offices in Athens at once.


Furthermore I will present to you Demosthenes himself as witness to the fact that at the time when Ctesiphon made his motion, Demosthenes was holding the office of Commissioner for the Repair of Walls, and so was handling public funds, imposing fines like the other magistrates, and privileged to preside in court. [Note] For in the archonship of Chaerondas, on the last day but one of Thargelion, [Note] Demosthenes made a motion in the assembly that on the second and third days of Skirophorion assemblies of the tribes be held; and he directed in his decree that men be chosen from each tribe as superintendents and treasurers for the work upon the walls; and very properly, that the city might have responsible persons upon whom to call for an accounting of the money spent. Please read the decree.Decree

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.14 Aeschin. 3.23 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.31

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