We are told in the preceding speech (§ 3) that Aphobus, after being condemned to pay Demosthenes damages in the amount of ten talents, proceeded to make it as difficult as possible for Demosthenes to collect that sum, or, indeed, anything at all. He disposed of his visible property, and himself took up residence at Megara. He had a farm, valued at a talent, of which Demosthenes sought to take possession, only to find that Onetor, the brother-in-law of Aphobus, was occupying it, claiming that it had been mortgaged to him as security for the amount of his sister’s dowry. This dowry, alleged to have been paid to Aphobus at the time of the marriage, had become repayable, inasmuch as Aphobus had divorced his wife. On attempting to take possession of the land, as he had to do for himself, there being in Athens no officer corresponding to our sheriff, Demosthenes was driven off by Onetor; hence the present suit—technically a δίκη ἐξούλης, a suit for ejectment. The speaker’s contention is that the marriage-portion had never been really paid, that the divorce was a fiction, and that the alleged mortgage was but a scheme devised by Aphobus and Onetor to prevent him (Demosthenes) from securing the property.

The speeches against Onetor are discussed in Schaefer, i. pp. 267 if., and in Blass, iii. pp. 238 ff.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demosthenes-orations_xxx_onetor_ejectment_suit_i.1936