Antiphon, Tetralogy 1

LCL 308: 52-53

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1Ὁπόσα μὲν τῶν πραγμάτων ὑπὸ τῶν ἐπιτυχόντων ἐπιβουλεύεται, οὐ χαλεπὰ ἐλέγχεσθαί ἐστιν· ἂν δ᾿ οἱ ἱκανῶς μὲν πεφυκότες, ἔμπειροι δὲ τῶν πραγμάτων ὄντες, ἐν δὲ τούτῳ τῆς ἡλικίας καθεστῶτες ἐν ᾧ κράτιστοι φρονεῖν αὑτῶν εἰσι, πράσσωσι, χαλεποὶ καὶ γνωσθῆναι καὶ ἐλεγχθῆναί1 2εἰσι· διὰ γὰρ τὸ μέγεθος τοῦ κινδύνου ἐκ πολλοῦ τὴν ἀσφάλειαν ὧν ἐπιβουλεύουσι σκοποῦντες, οὐ πρότερον ἐπιχειροῦσιν ἢ πάσης ὑποψίας φυλακὴν ποιήσωνται. γιγνώσκοντας οὖν ὑμᾶς χρὴ ταῦτα, κἂν ὁτιοῦν εἰκὸς παραλάβητε, σφόδρα πιστεύειν αὐτῷ. ἡμεῖς δ᾿ οἱ ἐπεξερχόμενοι τὸν φόνον οὐ 3τὸν αἴτιον ἀφέντες τὸν ἀναίτιον διώκομεν· σαφῶς γὰρ οἴδαμεν ὅτι πάσης τῆς πόλεως μιαινομένης ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ, ἕως ἂν διωχθῇ, τό τ᾿ ἀσέβημα ἡμέτερον γίγνεται, τῆς θ᾿ ὑμετέρας ἁμαρτίας ἡ ποινὴ εἰς ἡμᾶς τοὺς μὴ δικαίως διώκοντας ἀναχωρεῖ. ἅπαντος δὲ τοῦ μιάσματος ἀναχωροῦντος εἰς ἡμᾶς, ὡς


First Tetralogy

The First Tetralogy


Anonymous Prosecution for Murder

When a crime is planned by an ordinary person, it is not hard to expose; but to detect and expose criminals who are naturally able, who are men of experience, and who have reached an age when their faculties are at their best, is no easy matter. The enormous risk makes them devote a great deal of thought to the problem of executing the crime in safety, and they take no steps until they have completely secured themselves against suspicion. With these facts in mind, you must place implicit confidence in any and every indication from probabilitya presented to you. We, on the other hand, who are seeking satisfaction for the murder, are not letting the guilty escape and bringing the innocent into court; we know very well that as the whole city is defiled by the criminal until he is brought to justice, the sin becomes ours and the punishment for your error falls upon us, if our prosecution is misdirected. Thus, as the entire defilement falls upon

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.antiphon-first_tetralogy.1941