Andocides, Against Alcibiades

LCL 308: 544-545

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3Ἄξιον δὲ μέμψασθαι τὸν θέντα τὸν νόμον, ὃς ἐναντία τῷ ὅρκῳ τοῦ δήμου καὶ τῆς βουλῆς ἐνομοθέτησεν· ἐκεῖ μὲν γὰρ ὄμνυτε μηδένα μήτε ἐξελᾶν μήτε δήσειν μήτε ἀποκτενεῖν1 ἄκριτον, ἐν δὲ τῷδε τῷ καιρῷ οὔτε κατηγορίας γενομένης οὔτε ἀπολογίας ἀποδοθείσης [οὔτε]2 διαψηφισαμένων κρύβδην τὸν ὀστρακισθέντα τοσοῦτον χρόνον δεῖ 4στερηθῆναι τῆς πόλεως. εἶτα ἐν τοῖς τοιούτοις οἱ τοὺς ἑταίρους καὶ συνωμότας κεκτημένοι πλέον φέρονται τῶν ἄλλων· οὐ γὰρ ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς δικαστηρίοις οἱ λαχόντες κρίνουσιν, ἀλλὰ τούτου τοῦ πράγματος ἅπασιν Ἀθηναίοις μέτεστι. πρὸς δὲ τούτοις τῷ μὲν ἐλλείπειν τῷ δ᾿ ὑπερβάλλειν ὁ νόμος μοι3 δοκεῖ· τῶν μὲν γὰρ ἰδίων ἀδικημάτων μεγάλην τιμωρίαν ταύτην νομίζω, τῶν δὲ δημοσίων μικρὰν καὶ οὐδενὸς ἀξίαν ἡγοῦμαι ζημίαν,4 ἐξὸν 5κολάζειν χρήμασι καὶ δεσμῷ καὶ θανάτῳ. ἔτι δ᾿ εἴ τις διὰ τοῦτο μεθίσταται ὅτι <πονηρὸς>5 πολίτης ἐστίν, οὗτος οὐδ᾿ ἀπελθὼν ἐνθένδε6 παύσεται, ἀλλ᾿ ὅπου ἂν οἰκῇ, ταύτην τὴν πόλιν διαφθερεῖ,7 καὶ τῇδε οὐδὲν ἧττον ἐπιβουλεύσει, ἀλλὰ καὶ μᾶλλον <καὶ>8 δικαιότερον ἢ πρὶν ἐκβληθῆναι. οἶμαι δὲ καὶ τοὺς φίλους ὑμῶν9 ἐν ταύτῃ μάλιστα τῇ ἡμέρᾳ λυπεῖσθαι καὶ τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἥδεσθαι, συνειδότας ὡς ἂν ἀγνοήσαντες ἐξελάσητε τὸν βέλτιστον, δέκα ἐτῶν ἡ πόλις οὐδὲν ἀγαθὸν ὑπὸ10 τούτου τοῦ ἀνδρὸς πείσεται.


Against Alcibiades

Now the legislatora responsible for this deserves censure; for the law which he framed violates the oath of the People and Council. Under the terms of that oath you swear to exile no one, to imprison no one, to put no one to death, without trial; whereas on this present occasion, when the person ostracized is to be cut off from his country for so long, no accusation has been made, no defence allowed, and the voting is secret. Moreover, at a time like this those who have political associates and confederates have an advantage over the rest, because the judges are not appointed by lot as in courts of law: in the present decision every member of the community has a voice. And not only that: the law appears to me to go both too far and not far enough; for wrongs done to individuals I consider such redress as this excessive: for wrongs done to the state I regard it as an insufficient and useless penalty, when you have the right to punish by fine, imprisonment, or death. Furthermore, if a man is exiled because he is a bad citizen, his leaving Athens will not cure him; wherever he lives, he will do this city harm and intrigue against her no less than hitherto—nay more so and with more justification than before his banishment. Today, too, above all days, your friends, I feel, are filled with sorrow and your enemies with joy, because they know that if you unwittingly banish your best citizen, Athens will derive no benefit from him for

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.andocides-alcibiades.1941