An examination of the guilty verdict against theomnestos

Translator of the Characters of Theophrastus: THE first object of this book is to offer a contribution to a chapter in the history of Greek Literature which has perhaps received less attention than its importance deserves. The oratorical branch of Attic prose has a more direct and more fruitful relation to the general development than modern analogies would suggest.

An examination of the guilty verdict against theomnestos

He was the son of Archippe and Pasion, a former slave who, upon being freed, acquired ownership of a bank and was subsequently awarded Athenian citizenship. Upon Pasion's death, both the bank and his widow Apollodorus' mother passed to Phormio, a former slave of Pasion who, like him, had been freed and acquired Athenian citizenship.

Apollodorus' brother-in-law and speaker of the first section of the oration. Apollodorus had married Theomnestos' sister, and then Theomnestos married their daughter, his own niece. He was also Theomnestus' first cousin, since Stephanus' mother and Theomnestus' father were siblings.

Stemma Stephanus and Apollodorus were fellow-demesmen, from the deme of Acharnai. Theomnestus was from the nearby deme of Athmonon. The genealogical and geographical relationships among the principals is an important feature of this case. One question about her frequently asked is whether she herself was in court for these proceedings.

As you read through the speech, ask yourself what indications you can detect that this was or was not the case. The date of the oration is BCE. The translation of the speech is the same one as on Perseus, by A. Theomnestus, who brings the indictment, speaks.

MANY indeed are the reasons, men of Athens, which urged me to prefer this indictment against Neaera, and to come before you.

Verdict - Wikipedia

We have suffered grievous wrongs at the hands of Stephanus and have been brought by him into the most extreme peril, I mean my father-in law, myself, my sister, and my wife ; so that I shall enter upon this trial, not as an aggressor, but as one seeking vengeance.

For Stephanus was the one who began our quarrel without ever having been wronged by us in word or deed.

Full text of "The Attic orators from Antiphon to Isaeos" Etymology[ edit ] The term "verdict", from the Latin veredictum, literally means "to say the truth" and is derived from Middle English verdit, from Anglo-Norman:

I wish at the outset to state before you the wrongs which we have suffered at this hands, in order that you may feel more indulgence for me as I seek to defend myself and to show you into what extreme danger we were brought by him of losing our country and our civic rights.

When the people of Athens passed a decree granting the right of citizenship to Pasion and his descendants on account of services to the state, my father favoured the granting of the people's gift, and himself gave in marriage to Apollodorus, son of Pasion, his own daughter, my sister, and she is the mother of the children of Apollodorus.

Inasmuch as Apollodorus acted honourably toward my sister and toward all of us, and considered us in truth his relatives and entitled to share in all that he had, I took to wife his daughter, my own niece.

After some time had elapsed Apollodorus was chosen by lot as a member of the senate ; and when he had passed the scrutiny and had sworn the customary oaththere came upon the city a war and a crisis so grave that, if victors, you would be supreme among the Greek peoples, and would beyond possibility of dispute have recovered your own possessions and have crushed Philip in war, but, if your help arrived too late and you abandoned your allies, allowing your army to be disbanded for want of money, you would lose these allies, forfeit the confidence of the rest of the Greeks, and risk the loss of your other possessions, Lemnos and Imbros, and Scyros and the Chersonese.

You were at that time on the point of sending your entire force to Euboea and Olynthusand Apollodorus, being one of its members, brought forward in the senate a bill, and carried it as a preliminary decree to the assembly, proposing that the people should decide whether the funds remaining over from the state's expenditure should be used for military purposes or for public spectacles.

For the laws prescribed that, when there was war, the funds remaining over from state expenditures should be devoted to military purposes, and Apollodorus believed that the people ought to have power to do what they pleased with their own; and he had sworn thatas member of the senate, he would act for the best interests of the Athenian people, as you all bore witness at that crisis.

For when the division took place there was not a man whose vote opposed the use of these funds for military purposes; and even now, if the matter is anywhere spoken of, it is acknowledged by all that Apollodorus gave the best advice, and was unjustly treated. It is, therefore, upon the one who by his arguments deceived the jurors that your wrath should fall, not upon those who were deceived.

This fellow Stephanus indicted the decree as illegaland came before a court. He produced false witnesses to substantiate the calumnious charge that Apollodorus had been a debtor to the treasury for twenty five years, and by making all sorts of accusations that were foreign to the indictment won a verdict against the decree.

So far as this is concerned, if he saw fit to follow this course, we do not take it ill; but when the jurors were casting their votes to fix the penaltyalthough we begged him to make concessions, he would not listen to us, but fixed the fine at fifteen talents in order to deprive Apollodorus and his children of their civic rights, and to bring my sister and all of us into extremest distress and utter destitution.

For the property of Apollodorus did not amount to as much as three talents to enable him to pay in full a fine of such magnitude, yet if it were not paid by the ninth prytany the fine would have been doubled and Apollodorus would have been inscribed as owing thirty talents to the treasury, all the property that he has would have been scheduled as belonging to the state, and upon its being sold Apollodorus himself and his children and his wife and all of us would have been reduced to extremest distress.

And more than this, his other daughter would never have been given in marriage; for who would ever have taken to wife a portionless girl from a father who was a debtor to the treasury and without resources? Of such magnitude, you see, were the calamities which Stephanus was bringing upon us all without ever having been wronged by us in any respect.With only circumstantial evidence to go on, it can be tough for a jury to convict.

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An examination of the guilty verdict against theomnestos

Lanni, A. (b) “‘Verdict Most Just’: The modes of classical Athenian justice” Yale Journal of Law & Humanities 16, Lanni, A. (a) “Arguing from ‘Precedent’: Modern perspectives on Athenian practice” in The Law and the Courts,

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