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Demosthenes

LVI

ΚΑΤΑ ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΔΩΡΟΥ

Κοινωνός εἰμι τοῦ δανείσματος τούτου, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί. συμβαίνει δ᾿ ἡμῖν τοῖς τὴν κατὰ θάλατταν [1283]ἐργασίαν προῃρημένοις καὶ τὰ ἡμέτερ᾿ αὐτῶν ἐγχειρίζουσιν ἑτέροις, ἐκεῖνο μὲν σαφῶς εἰδέναι, ὅτι ὁ δανειζόμενος ἐν παντὶ προέχει ἡμῶν. λαβὼν γὰρ ἀργύριον φανερὸν καὶ ὁμολογούμενον, ἐν γραμματειδίῳ δυοῖν χαλκοῖν ἐωνημένῳ καὶ βυβλιδίῳ μικρῷ πάνυ τὴν ὁμολογίαν καταλέλοιπε τοῦ ποιήσειν τὰ δίκαια. ἡμεῖς δ᾿ οὐ φαμὲν δώσειν, ἀλλ᾿ εὐθὺς τῷ δανειζομένῳ δίδομεν τὸ ἀργύριον. 2τῷ οὖν ποτὲ πιστεύοντες καὶ τί λαβόντες τὸ βέβαιον προϊέμεθα; ὑμῖν, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, καὶ τοῖς νόμοις τοῖς ὑμετέροις, οἳ κελεύουσιν, ὅσα ἄν τις ἑκὼν ἕτερος ἑτέρῳ ὁμολογήσῃ, κύρια εἶναι. ἀλλά μοι δοκεῖ οὔτε τῶν νόμων οὔτε συγγραφῆς οὐδεμιᾶς ὄφελος εἶναι οὐδέν, ἂν ὁ λαμβάνων τὰ χρήματα μὴ πάνυ δίκαιος ᾖ τὸν τρόπον, καὶ δυοῖν θάτερον, ἢ ὑμᾶς δεδιὼς ἢ τὸν συμβαλόντ᾿ αἰσχυνόμενος. 3ὧν οὐδέτερον πρόσεστι Διονυσοδώρῳ τουτῳί, ἀλλ᾿ εἰς τοσοῦτον ἥκει τόλμης, ὥστε δανεισάμενος

194

Against Dionysodorus

Lvi

Dareius Against Dionysodorus in the Matter of a Loan

I am a sharer in this loan, men of the jury. We, who have engaged in the business of overseas trade and put our money in the hands of others, have come to know one thing very clearly: that in all respects the borrower has the best of us. He received the money in cash which was duly acknowledged, and has left us on a scrap of papera which he bought for a couple of coppers, his agreement to do the right thing. We on our part do not promise to give the money, we give it outright to the borrower. What,2 then, do we rely upon, and what security do we get when we risk our money? We rely upon you, men of the jury, and upon your laws, which ordain that all agreements into which a man voluntarily enters with another shall be valid. But in my opinion there is no use in your laws or in any contract, if the one who receives the money is not thoroughly upright in character, and does not either fear youb or regard the rights of the one making the loan. Now Dionysodorus here does neither the one nor3 the other, but has come to such a pitch of audacity,

  • aThat is, of course, papyrus.
  • bThat is, the jury in the law-courts.
195
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demosthenes-orations_lvi_dareius_dionysodorus_matter_loan.1939