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Antiphon

14Ὑπερῷόν τι ἦν τῆς ἡμετέρας οἰκίας, ὃ εἶχε Φιλόνεως ὁπότ᾿ ἐν ἄστει διατρίβοι, ἀνὴρ καλός τε κἀγαθὸς καὶ φίλος τῷ ἡμετέρῳ πατρί· καὶ ἦν αὐτῷ παλλακή, ἣν ὁ Φιλόνεως ἐπὶ πορνεῖον ἔμελλε καταστῆσαι. ταύτην οὖν [πυθομένη]1 ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ 15ἀδελφοῦ ἐποιήσατο φίλην. αἰσθομένη δ᾿ ὅτι ἀδικεῖσθαι ἔμελλεν ὑπὸ τοῦ Φιλόνεω, μεταπέμπεται, καὶ ἐπειδὴ ἦλθεν, ἔλεξεν αὐτῇ ὅτι καὶ αὐτὴ ἀδικοῖτο ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ ἡμετέρου· εἰ οὖν ἐθέλει πείθεσθαι, ἔφη ἱκανὴ εἶναι ἐκείνῃ τε τὸν Φιλόνεων φίλον ποιῆσαι καὶ αὑτῇ τὸν ἐμὸν πατέρα, εἶναι φάσκουσα αὑτῆς μὲν τοῦτο εὕρημα, ἐκείνης δ᾿ 16ὑπηρέτημα. ἠρώτα οὖν αὐτὴν εἰ ἐθελήσει διακονῆσαί οἱ, καὶ ἣ ὑπέσχετο τάχιστα, ὡς οἶμαι.

Μετὰ ταῦτα ἔτυχε τῷ Φιλόνεῳ ἐν Πειραιεῖ ὄντα ἱερὰ Διὶ Κτησίῳ, ὁ δὲ πατὴρ ὁ ἐμὸς εἰς Νάξον πλεῖν ἔμελλεν. κάλλιστον οὖν ἐδόκει εἶναι τῷ Φιλόνεῳ τῆς αὐτῆς ὁδοῦ ἅμα μὲν προπέμψαι εἰς τὸν Πειραιᾶ τὸν πατέρα τὸν ἐμὸν φίλον ὄντα ἑαυτῷ, ἅμα δὲ θύσαντα τὰ ἱερὰ ἑστιᾶσαι ἐκεῖνον. 17ἡ οὖν παλλακὴ τοῦ Φιλόνεω ἠκολούθει τῆς θυσίας ἕνεκεν. καὶ ἐπειδὴ ἦσαν ἐν τῷ Πειραιεῖ, οἷον εἰκός, ἔθυεν.2 καὶ ἐπειδὴ αὐτῷ ἐτέθυτο τὰ ἱερά, ἐντεῦθεν ἐβουλεύετο ἡ ἄνθρωπος ὅπως ἂν αὐτοῖς τὸ φάρμακον δοίη, πότερα πρὸ δείπνου ἢ ἀπὸ δείπνου. ἔδοξεν οὖν αὐτῇ βουλευομένῃ βέλτιον εἶναι μετὰ δεῖπνον δοῦναι, τῆς Κλυταιμνήστρας ταύτης3

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Prosecution of the Stepmother for Poisoning

There was an upper room in our house occupied by Philoneos, a highly respected friend of our father’s, during his visits to Athens. Now Philoneos had a mistressa whom he proposed to place in a brothel. My brother’s mother made friends with her; and on hearing of the wrong intended by Philoneos, she sends for her, informing her on her arrival that she herself was also being wronged by our father. If the other would do as she was told, she said, she herself knew how to restore Philoneos’ love for her and our father’s for herself. She had discovered the means; the other’s task was to carry out her orders. She asked if she was prepared to follow her instructions, and, I imagine, received a ready assent.

Later, Philoneos happened to have a sacrifice to perform to Zeus Ctesiusb in Peiraeus, while my father was on the point of leaving for Naxos. So Philoneos thought that it would be an excellent idea to make one journey of it by seeing my father as far as Peiraeus, offering the sacrifice, and entertaining his friend. Philoneos’ mistress accompanied him to attend the sacrifice. On reaching Peiraeus, Philoneos of course carried out the ceremony. When the sacrifice was over, the woman considered how to administer the draught: should she give it before or after supper? Upon reflection, she decided that it would be better to give it afterwards, thereby carrying out the suggestion

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.antiphon-prosecution_stepmother_poisoning.1941