Antiphon, Tetralogy 3

LCL 308: 120-121

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1Νενόμισται μὲν ὀρθῶς τὰς φονικὰς δίκας περὶ πλείστου τοὺς κρίνοντας ποιεῖσθαι διώκειν τε καὶ μαρτυρεῖν κατὰ τὸ δίκαιον, μήτε τοὺς ἐνόχους ἀφιέντας μήτε τοὺς καθαροὺς εἰς ἀγῶνα καθιστάντας. 2ὅτε1 γὰρ <ὁ>2 θεὸς βουλόμενος ποιῆσαι τὸ ἀνθρώπινον φῦλον3 τοὺς πρώτους4 γενομένους ἔφυσεν ἡμῶν, τροφέας τε καὶ <σωτῆρας>5 παρέδωκε τὴν γῆν καὶ τὴν θάλασσαν, ἵνα μὴ σπάνει τῶν ἀναγκαίων προαποθνῄσκοιμεν τῆς γηραιοῦ τελευτῆς. ὅστις οὖν, τούτων ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀξιωθέντος τοῦ βίου ἡμῶν, ἀνόμως τινὰ ἀποκτείνει, ἀσεβεῖ μὲν περὶ τοὺς θεούς, συγχεῖ δὲ τὰ νόμιμα τῶν ἀνθρώπων. 3ὅ τε γὰρ ἀποθανών, στερόμενος ὧν ὁ θεὸς ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ, εἰκότως θεοῦ τιμωρίαν ὑπολείπει τὴν τῶν ἀλιτηρίων δυσμένειαν, ἣν οἱ παρὰ τὸ


Third Tetralogy

The Third Tetralogy


Prosecution for Murder of One Who Pleads That He Was Acting in Self-Defence

It is very rightly laid down that in cases of murder prosecutors must take especial care to observe justice in making their charge and presenting their evidence: they must neither let the guilty escape nor bring the innocent to trial. For when God was minded to create the human race and brought the first of us into being, he gave us the earth and sea to sustain and preserve us, in order that we might not die for want of the necessaries of life before old age brought us to our end. Such being the value placed upon our life by God, whoever unlawfully slays his fellow both sins against the gods and confounds the ordinances of man. For the victim, robbed of the gifts bestowed by God upon him, naturally leaves behind him the angry spirits of vengeance,a God’s instruments of punishment, spirits which they who prosecute and

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.antiphon-third_tetralogy.1941