Τοῖς μὲν ἐμπόροις, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, καὶ τοῖς ναυκλήροις κελεύει ὁ νόμος εἶναι τὰς δίκας πρὸς τοὺς θεσμοθέτας, ἐάν τι ἀδικῶνται ἐν τῷ ἐμπορίῳ ἢ ἐνθένδε ποι πλέοντες ἢ ἑτέρωθεν δεῦρο, καὶ τοῖς ἀδικοῦσι δεσμὸν ἔταξε τοὐπιτίμιον, ἕως ἂν ἐκτείσωσιν ὅ τι ἂν αὐτῶν καταγνωσθῇ, ἵνα μηδεὶς ἀδικῇ 2μηδένα τῶν ἐμπόρων εἰκῇ. τοῖς δὲ περὶ τῶν μὴ γενομένων συμβολαίων εἰς κρίσιν καθισταμένοις ἐπὶ [893]τὴν παραγραφὴν καταφεύγειν ἔδωκεν ὁ νόμος, ἵνα μηδεὶς συκοφαντῆται, ἀλλ᾿ αὐτοῖς τοῖς τῇ ἀληθείᾳ ἀδικουμένοις τῶν ἐμπόρων καὶ τῶν ναυκλήρων αἱ δίκαι ὦσιν. καὶ πολλοὶ ἤδη τῶν φευγόντων ἐν ταῖς ἐμπορικαῖς, παραγραψάμενοι κατὰ τὸν νόμον τουτονὶ καὶ εἰσελθόντες εἰς ὑμᾶς, ἐξήλεγξαν τοὺς δικαζομένους ἀδίκως ἐγκαλοῦντας, καὶ ἐπὶ τῇ προφάσει 3τοῦ ἐμπορεύεσθαι συκοφαντοῦντας. ὁ μὲν οὖν μετὰ τούτου μοι ἐπιβεβουλευκὼς καὶ τὸν ἀγῶνα τουτονὶ κατεσκευακώς, προϊόντος τοῦ λόγου καταφανὴς


Against Apaturius


An Unknown Pleader Against Apaturius, A Special Plea

The law, men of Athens, ordains that actions for merchants and shipowners shall be before the Thesmothetaea if they have been in any way wronged in the market either in connexion with a voyage from Athens to any point, or from some other port to Athens; and it fixes imprisonment as the penalty for wrongdoers until such time as they shall have paid the amount adjudged against them, so that no one may lightly do wrong to any merchant. To those,2 however, who are brought into court in cases where no contract has been made, the law gives the right to have recourse to a special plea, that no one may bring a baseless or malicious suit, but that actions may be confined to those among the merchants and shipowners who are really wronged. Many defendants in mercantile suits have before now entered special pleas in accordance with this law, and have come before you and proved that their adversaries were making unjust charges and bringing baseless suits under pretence of being engaged in commerce. Who it is that has conspired with this fellow against3 me and who has concocted this suit, will become clear to you as my speech goes on. Since, however,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demosthenes-orations_xxxiii_unknown_pleader_apaturius.1936