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Demosthenes, Speeches 39-49

Translated with introduction and notes by Adele C. Scafuro
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    Demosthenes, Speeches 39-49
    Book Description:

    This is the thirteenth volume in the Oratory of Classical Greece. This series presents all of the surviving speeches from the late fifth and fourth centuries BC in new translations prepared by classical scholars who are at the forefront of the discipline. These translations are especially designed for the needs and interests of today's undergraduates, Greekless scholars in other disciplines, and the general public.

    Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, law and legal procedure, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have recently been attracting particular interest: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few.

    Demosthenes is regarded as the greatest orator of classical antiquity. This volume contains eleven law court speeches ascribed to Demosthenes, though modern scholars believe that only two or three of them are actually his. Most of the speeches here concern inheriting an estate, recovering debts owed to an estate, or exchanging someone else's estate for one's own. Adele Scafuro's supplementary material allows even non-specialists to follow the ins and outs of the legal arguments as she details what we know about the matters involved in each case, including marriage laws, adoptions, inheritances, and the financial obligations of the rich. While Athenian laws and family institutions (e.g., the marriages of heiresses) differ from ours in quite interesting ways, nevertheless the motives and strategies of the litigants often have a contemporary resonance.

    eISBN: 978-0-292-78590-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    Michael Gagarin
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Adele C. Scafuro
    (pp. xiii-xxxii)
    Michael Gagarin

    From as early as Homer (and undoubtedly much earlier) the Greeks placed a high value on effective speaking. Even Achilles, whose greatness was primarily established on the battlefield, was brought up to be “a speaker of words and a doer of deeds” (Iliad9.443); and Athenian leaders of the sixth and fifth centuries,¹ such as Solon, Themistocles, and Pericles, were all accomplished orators. Most Greek literary genres—notably epic, tragedy, and history—underscore the importance of oratory by their inclusion of set speeches. The formal pleadings of the envoys to Achilles in theIliad, the messenger speeches in tragedy reporting...

    (pp. 1-5)
    Michael Gagarin

    Since antiquity Demosthenes (384–322 BC) has usually been judged the greatest of the Attic orators. Although the patriotic and nationalistic tenor of his message has been more highly regarded in some periods of history than in others, he is unique in his mastery of so many different rhetorical styles and his ability to blend them into a powerful ensemble.

    Demosthenes was born into an old wealthy Athenian family. His father Demosthenes owned workshops that made swords and furniture. His maternal grandfather, Gylon, had been exiled from Athens and lived in the Crimea, where his mother Cleobule was born (perhaps...

    (pp. 6-32)
    Adele C. Scafuro

    Nine of the eleven speeches in this volume concern inheriting an estate, or recovering debts owed to an estate, or exchanging someone else’s estate for one’s own. One of the remaining two speeches (Dem. 39) belongs to a trial that emerged in the course of an inheritance dispute, when one party delayed a lawsuit against his half-brother in order to sue him to stop using the same name as his. The other odd (non-estate) speech (Dem. 47) belongs to a trial that originated in a request to return naval gear: a fight broke out between two men, each sued the...


      (pp. 33-58)

      The two lawsuits represented by this speech and the next emerged from a series of disputes between two half-brothers who were born by different mothers to the same father, Mantias son of Mantitheus of the deme Thoricus. In the first suit, the plaintiff seeks to prevent the defendant from bearing the same name as he does, and in the second, he seeks to recover his mother’s dowry from their father’s estate. The plaintiff (and speaker) in both suits is Mantitheus son of Mantias and an unnamed woman, the daughter of Polyaratus. The defendant (whose speeches are not preserved) is the...

      (pp. 59-85)

      For the background to this case, which involves the same litigants as in Oration 39, see the Introduction to that speech. In that case, “Boeotus” won the right to be called Mantitheus, which is also the name of his half-brother.¹ Here Mantitheus son of Mantias is suing Boeotus son of Mantias for the recovery of his mother’s dowry from Mantias’ estate; Boeotus’ younger brother Pamphilus may have been a co-pleader (synēgoros) for the defense.² After Mantias’ death (ca. 358),³ the three half-brothers had divided the property amongst themselves, but they postponed apportioning the house as that was to be reserved...

      (pp. 86-102)

      This short speech emerges from an inheritance dispute carried on by two men, Spudias and the unnamed speaker, who are married to two sisters, the daughters of the deceased Polyeuctus of the deme Teithras and his more recently deceased wife. The speaker claims that 1,000 drachmas are owed to him from Polyeuctus’ estate; the sum is the unpaid portion of his wife’s dowry that was to consist of 4,000 drachmas in its entirety. He also demands of Spudias that he return 2,000 drachmas to the estate’s common fund: 200 drachmas were borrowed from Polyeuctus to purchase a household slave (41.8),...

      (pp. 103-122)

      This short speech emerges from a dispute over the undertaking of a liturgy or “public service.”¹ Beginning ca. 378/7 bc, rich citizens (perhaps 1,000–1,200 in total) were assigned to tax-paying companies called symmories.² The three hundred richest of these men were distributed among the companies and acted as “advance-contributors”; they were required to pay the whole tax immediately and to make their own arrangements for reimbursement from the members of their respective companies.³ By a law of Periander ca. 358/7,⁴ twenty new symmories with sixty men apiece were created for naval purposes; each symmory (or “naval board”) was to...

      (pp. 123-177)

      Hagnias II of the deme Oeum Cerameicum was a wealthy Athenian citizen who died childless after setting out on an embassy perhaps thirty years or more before the orationAgainst Macartatuswas delivered.¹ His estate passed through numerous hands before the present hearing: (1) first to an adopted daughter who died; (2) then to a matrilinear brother who was awarded the estate on the basis of Hagnias’ alleged will; (3) next, to the speaker’s wife Phylomache II, who contested the will before a court and claimed the right to succeed as a first cousin once removed (and this, only after...

      (pp. 178-214)

      Aristodemus of the deme Pallene sues Leochares of the deme Otryne on a charge of false witnessing; the trial emerges from a dispute over the estate of Archiades son of Euthymachus of Otryne, who died decades earlier.¹ Aristodemus’ (unnamed) son delivers the speech since (so he tells us) his father, a herald in Piraeus, is too inexperienced in public speaking to address the court himself. The defendant, on the other hand, may have delivered his speech (which is not preserved) jointly with his natural father Leostratus [II] (44.51 and 56).

      The speaker claims that Leochares testified falsely during a preliminary...

      (pp. 215-267)

      Speeches 45, 46, and 49 in this volume (as well as 50, 52, 53, and 59 in the next) belong to lawsuits initiated or at least pleaded (Dem. 59) by Apollodorus of Acharnae. Speeches 45 and 46 belong to the same trial, the first and second speeches in a suit for false witnessing: Apollodorus is suing his wife’s kinsman Stephanus (45.54). The latter had confirmed the alleged false testimony in the course of an earlierparagraphētrial (a “special plea to bar action”) that Phormion had brought against Apollodorus;¹ Phormion was trying to bar Apollodorus from suing him for the...

      (pp. 268-289)

      Speech 46 is the second speech for the plaintiff Apollodorus in the false-witnessing case against Stephanus.¹ In many private lawsuits, each party was allowed to speak twice. The order of speakers would be plaintiff followed by defendant, and then plaintiff and defendant once again; speeches were shorter in the second round.² Since the defendant will have spoken directly after the plaintiff, the latter, in his second speech, might have to respond extemporaneously to unexpected arguments or data presented by the defendant. The plaintiff, however, may have devised his second speech in advance, trying to second guess the arguments of the...

      (pp. 290-328)

      Speech 47, like 45 and 46, belongs to a suit for false witnessing. As in that case, the contested testimony involves a challenge, this time to interrogate a slave woman under torture regarding who struck the first blow in a fight that broke out between the unnamed speaker and Theophemus. The speaker had begun a suit against Theophemus for assault (dikē aikeias), and the latter in turn had initiated the same kind of suit against the speaker. Theophemus managed to delay the speaker’s case, but Theophemus’ case against the speaker went to court, and the speaker was the loser. Theophemus’...

      (pp. 329-353)

      This short speech against Olympiodorus for damages¹ was written for a certain Callistratus² who was married to Olympiodorus’ sister. Callistratus claims that he and Olympiodorus had made an agreement, sworn to and sealed before witnesses, and deposited with a third party named Androcleides: the men were to split the estate of Comon of the deme Halae, a kinsman who died rich and childless. Their enterprise (or conspiracy) met obstacles: other kinsmen filed claims for the estate and won it. The two men, however, via the law that allowed the reopening of a previously adjudicated estate, instituted a new hearing, each...

      (pp. 354-388)

      Here Apollodorus sues Timotheus son of Conon of the deme Anaphlystus to recover 4,438 drachmas and 2 obols, the total of four loans (and one “supplement”) made to Timotheus by Apollodorus’ father, the banker Pasion, during the years 374–372. The trial did not take place until the late 360s.¹ In the interim, Pasion had died (370/69); his estate had been divided (ca. 367), but his former bank manager Phormion had retained the lease of the bank and shield factory until his younger son Pasicles came of age (ca. 364–362);² at that point, Apollodorus took over the shield factory,...

    (pp. 389-394)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 395-400)