Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
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1.58In the case of Polyeuctus of Cydantidae, [Note] when the people instructed the council to inquire whether he was accompanying the exiles to Megara and to report back after the investigation, it reported that he was doing so. You chose accusers as the law prescribes: Polyeuctus came into court and you acquitted him, on his admitting that he was going to Megara to Nicophanes who, he said, was married to his mother. So you did not consider that he was doing anything strange or reprehensible in keeping in touch with his mother's husband who was in difficulties, or in assisting him, so far as he could, while he was banished from the country. 1.59The report of the council, Demosthenes, was not proved false; it was quite true, but the jury decided to acquit Polyeuctus. The council was instructed to discover the truth, yet, as I say, the court decided whether it was a case for pardon. Is that any reason for distrusting the council over the present reports in which it has stated that you and your confederates are in possession of the gold? That would be disgraceful. 1.60Convince the jury now, Demosthenes, that any of those crimes ranks with yours and that to take bribes against one's country is a pardonable act which would justify these men in acquitting you. For other pecuniary offences the laws prescribe damages twice as great as the sum involved, [Note] but in cases of bribery they have laid down two penalties only: either death, to ensure that by meeting with this punishment the guilty man is an example to others, or a fine for bribery ten times as great as the original bribe, so that men who dare to commit this offence shall not gain by it.

1.61Perhaps you will not attempt to argue thus, Demosthenes, but will say that of those whom the council has reported up till now the rest have admitted that the penalty which it imposed was deserved, whereas you alone have protested against it. But you alone, of all those ever reported, asked these men of your own accord to be your judges and court of inquiry. You proposed the decree against yourself and made the people witness of the agreement, defining the penalty for yourself as death, if the council should report that you had taken any of the money brought into the country by Harpalus. 1.62And yet in the past, Demosthenes, you proposed that the council of the Areopagus should have power over all these men, and the rest of Athens too, to enforce the laws of the land and punish any who transgressed them. It was you who surrendered the whole city into the hands of this council which you will presently tell us is oligarchic. By the terms of your decree the death sentence has been inflicted on two citizens, a father and a son, who were given over to the executioner. 1.63One of the descendants of Harmodius was imprisoned in pursuance of your order. These gentlemen, acting on the council's report, tortured and killed Antiphon. [Note] You expelled Charinus [Note] from the city for treason on the strength of the council's reports and punishments. After proposing this treatment for yourself also, are you now overriding the decree of your own accord? Surely that is neither just nor lawful.

1.64I summon as my witnesses, Athenians, the awful goddesses and their abode, the heroes of the land, Athena Polias, and those other gods who have obtained our city and countryside as their home, to show that when the people has consigned to you for punishment one who, against his country's interests, has accepted a part of the <imported money>, [Note] one who has defiled and ruined the city's prosperity and betrayed that country which he claimed to have fortified by his diplomacy, [Note] 1.65enemies, and those who bear the city ill will, would wish him alive, counting this a disaster for Athens; but all who favor your concerns and hope that with a turn of fortune the city's prospects may improve wish that this man may die and pay the penalty merited by his conduct, and such is the burden of their prayers. I also join in praying the gods to save our country, which I see to be in danger of forfeiting its safety, its women and children, its honor, and every other thing of worth. 1.66What shall we say to the bystanders, Athenians, when we come out of the court, if you are deceived, as I pray you may not be, by the wizardry of this man? What will be the feelings of you all, when, on your return, you presume to look upon your fathers' hearths, after acquitting the traitor who first brought into his own home the gold of bribery; after convicting as utterly false, in both its inquiry and its conclusion, the body which all men hold in the greatest awe? 1.67What hopes, Athenians,—picture for yourselves,—what hopes shall we have if some danger overtakes the city, when we have made it a safe thing to take bribes against one's country and have robbed of its status the body which kept watch over the city in such times of crisis?



Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
<<Din. 1.51 Din. 1.61 (Greek) >>Din. 1.71

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