Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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Furthermore, I will show you that the proclamation of the crown, as proposed in his decree, is to be made in an illegal manner. For the law expressly commands that if the Senate confer a crown, the crown shall be proclaimed in the senate-house, and if the people confer it, in the assembly, “and nowhere else.” Read me the law.Law


This, fellow citizens, is an excellent law. For it seems that it was the idea of the lawgiver that the public man ought not to be thinking of outsiders as he receives his honors, but to be well content with honor received in the city itself and from the people; and that he ought not to treat such proclamations as a source of revenue. So thought the lawgiver. But Ctesiphon how? Read his decree.Decree


You hear, fellow citizens, how the lawgiver commands that the man who is crowned by the people be proclaimed among the people, on the Pnyx, at a meeting of the assembly, “and nowhere else”; but Ctesiphon, in the theater—not only overriding the laws but also changing the place; not when the Athenians are in assembly, but when tragedies are being performed; not in the presence of the people, but in the presence of the Hellenes, that they also may know what sort of man we honor.


Having, then, made a motion that is so manifestly illegal, he will call Demosthenes as his ally and bring up the artifices of rhetoric for the assault on the laws. These tricks I will reveal and of these I will forewarn you, lest you be taken unawares and deceived.

They will not be able to deny that the laws forbid the man who is crowned by the people to be proclaimed outside the assembly, but they will present for their defence the Dionysiac law, and will use a certain portion of the law, cheating your ears.


For they will offer a law that has nothing to do with this case, and will say that the city has two laws governing proclamations: one, the law that I now offer in evidence, which expressly forbids the man who is crowned by the people to be proclaimed outside the assembly; but they will say that there is another law, contradictory to this, and that that law has given authority for the proclamation of the crown at the time of the tragedies in the theater, “if the people vote.” And so they will say that it is in accordance with that law that Ctesiphon has made his motion.


Now against their tricks I will introduce your own laws as my advocates, as indeed I earnestly try to do throughout this whole prosecution. For if what they say is true, and such a custom has crept into your government that invalid laws stand written among the valid, and that there exist two laws concerning one and the same action, which contradict each other, how could any man longer call this a “government,” if in it the laws command to do and not to do one and the same thing?


But that is not the case. May you never reach the point where your laws are in such disorder as that! Nor was the lawgiver who established the democracy guilty of such neglect; he has expressly laid upon the Thesmothetae [Note] the duty of making an annual revision of the laws in the presence of the people, prescribing sharp investigation and examination, in order to determine whether any law stands written which contradicts another law, or an invalid law stands among the valid, or whether more laws than one stand written to govern each action.


And if they find such a thing, they are required to write it out and post it on bulletins in front of the Eponymi; [Note] and the prytanes are required to call a meeting of the assembly, writing at the head of the call, “For Nomothetae”; [Note] and the chairman of the presiding officers must submit to vote [Note] the question of the removal of one set of laws and the retention of the other, in order that for each action there may be one law and no more. Please read the laws.Laws


If now, fellow citizens, what they assert were true, and two laws had been in force governing proclamations, I think the Thesmothetae would necessarily have searched them out, and the prytanes would have referred them to the Nomothetae, and one or the other of the two laws would have been repealed, either the law that gave authority for the proclamation, or the law that forbade it. But seeing that no such thing has been done, surely what they say is demonstrated to be, not only false, but absolutely impossible.


But I will show you where they get this false assertion. First, however, I will tell the reason why the laws governing the proclamations in the theater were enacted. It frequently happened that at the performance of the tragedies in the city proclamations were made without authorization of the people, now that this or that man was crowned by his tribe, now that others were crowned by the men of their deme, while other men by the voice of the herald manumitted their household slaves, and made all Hellas their witness;

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.27 Aeschin. 3.36 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.45

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