[Demades], On the Twelve Years

LCL 395: 336-337

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Τῆς μὲν τῶν κινδυνευόντων σωτηρίας, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, καὶ τῆς τιμωρίας ὑμεῖς παρὰ τῶν νόμων τὴν ἐξουσίαν εἰλήφατε· οὔτε δ᾿ ἰατρὸς ἐμπείρως δύναται θεραπεῦσαι τοὺς κάμνοντας, ἂν μὴ τὴν αἰτίαν τοῦ νοσήματος κατανοήσῃ, οὔτε δικαστὴς ὁσίαν θεῖναι τὴν ψῆφον, ἐὰν μὴ τοῖς τῆς κρίσεως 2δικαίοις σαφῶς1 ᾖ παρηκολουθηκώς. ἐμπεσὼν δ᾿ αὐτὸς εἰς μέσην τὴν τῶν2 ῥητόρων δυσμένειαν, ὥσπερ τῆς παρὰ θεῶν, οὕτω τῆς παρ᾿ ὑμῶν δέομαι τυχεῖν βοηθείας. διαβάλλουσι γάρ μου τὸν βίον, οἰόμενοι τὸν λόγον ἄπιστον καταστήσειν. ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἀποθανὼν μὲν ἢ ζῶν οὐδέν εἰμι· τί γὰρ Ἀθηναίοις, εἰ3 παρανάλωμα4 Δημάδης;5 δακρύσει δέ μου τὴν ἀπώλειαν οὐχ ὁ στρατιώτης6—πῶς γὰρ; ὃν αὔξει μὲν πόλεμος, εἰρήνη δ᾿ οὐ τρέφει—ἀλλ᾿ ὁ τὴν χώραν γεωργῶν καὶ ὁ τὴν θάλατταν πλέων καὶ πᾶς ὁ τὸν ἡσύχιον βίον ἠγαπηκώς, ᾧ τὴν Ἀττικὴν ἐτείχισα, τοὺς ὅρους τῆς χώρας περιβαλὼν οὐ 3λίθοις ἀλλὰ τῇ τῆς πόλεως ἀσφαλείᾳ. δεινὸν δέ τι συμβαίνει πολλοῖς τῶν κρινόντων, ὦ ἄνδρες7 δικασταί. ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν νόσος τὴν ὅρασιν συγχέασα κωλύει τὰ ἐμποδὼν κείμενα θεωρεῖν,


On The Twelve Years

On the Twelve Years

The laws have given you the right, Athenians, to acquit or punish men on trial. A doctor cannot treat his patients skilfully if he has not discerned the cause of the disease, nor can a member of a jury give a fair vote unless he has followed intelligently the rights and wrongs of the case. Since I have myself become exposed to the full hatred of the orators, I am asking not only for divine assistance, but for your help also. For they are casting aspersions on my personal history, thinking to undermine your confidence in my speech. I am of no consequence whether alive or dead; for what do the Athenians care if Demades is lost to them, too? No soldier will shed tears over my death—(How could he, when war brings him advancement and peace destroys his livelihood?); but it will be lamented by the farmer, the sailor, and everyone who has enjoyed the peaceful life with which I fortified Attica, encircling its boundaries, not with stone, but with the safety of the city. In many cases, gentlemen of the jury, when men are serving as judges they are seriously misled. For, just as a complaint of the eyes, by confusing the vision, prevents a man from seeing what lies before him, so an unjust

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demades-twelve_years.1954