Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
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Against Philocles

3.1What in Heaven's name are we to say about such men as this? How will you deal with the wickedness of Philocles, who has been convicted by the Areopagus not once only but three times, as you all know, and as you were recently informed in the Assembly? He has lied before all the Athenians and the surrounding crowd, saying that he would prevent Harpalus from putting into the Piraeus, when he had been appointed by you as general in command of Munichia and the dockyards, 3.2and he dared to take bribes against you all, against your country and your wives and children; he has broken the oath which he swore between the statue of Athena and the table; and he proposed a decree against himself imposing the death penalty on him if he had accepted any of the money which Harpalus brought into the country. 3.3Yet despite this he dared to come and show himself to you when you knew that he had been proved answerable on all these counts. It is not justice on which he is relying, Athenians; for what has he to do with justice? No, it is audacity and effrontery, in virtue of which he has seen fit to take bribes in the past, to the utter disregard of yourselves and the course of justice in the city, and has now come forward to explain that he is guilty of none of these things. So complete has been his contempt for your apathy. 3.4The law of the city, which binds us all, lays it down that if anyone breaks an agreement made in the presence of one of the citizens he shall be liable as an offender. Shall this man, who has deceived every Athenian, betrayed the trust which he did not deserve to receive from you, and so done everything in his power to ruin all the city's institutions, claim that he is coming to make his defence against the charge laid against him? 3.5It is my personal opinion, Athenians, if I am to speak the truth,—as I must,—that there is no question whether the reports bearing on Philocles are true or false; you have simply to consider now the punishment mentioned in the decree and to decide whether you ought to fine a man who has done the city so much harm or sentence him to death,—as he proposed in the decree against himself,—confiscating the property which he has amassed from perquisites like this.

3.6Do you think that this question of the gold is the first occasion when Philocles has shown his dishonesty and that he has never taken bribes against you before? You are wrong. He has been like this a long time, though you did not notice it; indeed you have been fortunate not to have met with his venality on more important occasions; for there is no greater menace than a man whose dishonesty passes unobserved. 3.7Athenians, will you not all unite in killing one who has plunged many of our citizens into such deep disgrace and guilt, who first opened the way for the gold that has been distributed, exposing the whole of Athens to blame? Or will you consent to hear this man, who has done so much to harm you, argue that the council of the Areopagus has falsified the reports and that, while he is just and upright and incorruptible, it has published all this in return for favors or bribes? 3.8Do you realize that, although in the case of other offences you must first consider critically and with deliberation, discovering the truth, and only then administer punishment to the offenders, nevertheless, in cases of obvious and unquestioned treason, you should give first place to anger and the vengeance that goes with it? 3.9Do you think this man would refrain from selling any one of the things most vital in the city, when you, relying on his loyalty and honesty, had placed him in charge of it? Do you think that there are any triremes in the dockyards which he would not let go, or that he would trouble to keep anything safe, if there was a prospect of escaping detection and receiving double the amount of gold which he has now received? Nothing, gentlemen, is beyond a man of this type. 3.10For if anyone values silver and gold more highly than his loyalty to you and has no more regard for an oath or for honor and right than he has for making money, then that man, in so far as he is able, will sell Munichia if he has a buyer; he will signal to the enemy and reveal your secrets, he will betray your army and your fleet.

3.11Therefore, Athenians, do not imagine that, in assessing the penalty, you are merely going to judge of the crimes which Philocles has actually committed; you will bear in mind those which he would have committed, had it been in his power. Thank the gods, now that you know the defendant's character, that you have suffered no more grievous harm at his hands, and punish him as your duty and his baseness demand. 3.12This man, Athenians, has held a cavalry command, three or four times, over reputable men; he has been appointed a general by you more than ten times, unworthy though he was, and has enjoyed honor and aroused emulation because of his reputation for loyalty towards you. Yet he sold and betrayed the dignity of a command conferred by us, reducing himself to the level of Aristogiton and changing from a general into a hireling and a traitor. 3.13Is this a reason why you, the injured parties, should give way to feelings of consideration for such a person when he himself showed no consideration in treating you and your fellows as he did? Those who could justly claim your pity, Athenians, are not the like of him,—far from it,—they are those whom Philocles would have betrayed if he had had the chance of a good price; and among them are the promontory and harbors, and the dockyards which your ancestors built and left you.



Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
<<Din. 2.22 Din. 3.2 (Greek) >>Din. 3.17

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