Andocides, On His Return

LCL 308: 462-463

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1Εἰ μέν, ὦ ἄνδρες, ἐν ἑτέρῳ τῳ πράγματι οἱ παριόντες μὴ τὴν αὐτὴν γνώμην ἔχοντες πάντες ἐφαίνοντο, οὐδὲν ἂν θαυμαστὸν ἐνόμιζον· ὅπου μέντοι δεῖ τὴν πόλιν ἐμέ τι ποιῆσαι ἀγαθόν, ἢ εἴ τις ἕτερος1 βούλοιτο ἐμοῦ κακίων, δεινότατον ἁπάντων χρημάτων ἡγοῦμαι, εἰ τῷ μὲν δοκεῖ ταῦτα τῷ δὲ μή, ἀλλὰ μὴ πᾶσιν ὁμοίως. εἴπερ γὰρ ἡ πόλις ἁπάντων τῶν πολιτευομένων κοινή ἐστι, καὶ τὰ γιγνόμενα δήπου ἀγαθὰ τῇ πόλει κοινά ἐστι.

2Τουτὶ τοίνυν τὸ μέγα καὶ δεινὸν πάρεστιν ὑμῖν ὁρᾶν τοὺς μὲν ἤδη πράττοντας, τοὺς δὲ τάχα μέλλοντας· καί μοι μέγιστον θαῦμα παρέστηκε, τί [20]ποτε οὗτοι οἱ ἄνδρες δεινῶς οὕτω περικάονται, εἴ τι ὑμᾶς χρὴ ἀγαθὸν ἐμοῦ ἐπαυρέσθαι. δεῖ γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἤτοι ἀμαθεστάτους εἶναι πάντων ἀνθρώπων, ἢ τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ δυσμενεστάτους. εἰ μέν γε νομίζουσι τῆς πόλεως εὖ πραττούσης καὶ τὰ ἴδια σφῶν αὐτῶν ἄμεινον ἂν φέρεσθαι, ἀμαθέστατοί εἰσι τὰ ἐναντία νῦν τῇ ἑαυτῶν ὠφελείᾳ σπεύδοντες· 3εἰ δὲ μὴ ταὐτὰ ἡγοῦνται σφίσι τε αὐτοῖς συμφέρειν καὶ τῷ ὑμετέρῳ κοινῷ, δυσμενεῖς ἂν τῇ πόλει εἶεν· οἵτινες εἰσαγγείλαντός μου ἀπόρρητα εἰς τὴν βουλὴν περὶ τῶν πραγμάτων, ὧν ἀποτελεσθέντων

  • 1ἕτερος Reiske: ἑτέρως codd.

On His Return

On His Return

Had some other matter been at issue, gentlemen, I should have felt no surprise at finding a difference of opinion among the speakers who addressed you. But when the question is whether or not I, or anyone less worthy who so desires, should do this state a service, nothing seems to me more extraordinary than that contrary views should be held, instead of there being complete unanimity; for if the state is common to all who enjoy civic rights, the benefits which the state receives are likewise, I presume, common benefits.

Such disagreement is a matter for alarm and astonishment; yet, as you can see, it has already been expressed by some, and will shortly be expressed by others. Indeed, I am completely at a loss to understand why the question of your receiving a benefit from me should cause such excitement among our friends here. They must either be the most stupid of mankind or the worst of public enemies. If they hold that when the state is prospering they are better off individually, they are showing extreme stupidity in advocating to-day a policy which directly conflicts with their own interests; while if they do not identify their interests as individuals with yours as a community, they can only be public enemies. Indeed when I secretly communicated to the Council a proposal which would be of the very greatest service

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.andocides-his_return.1941