Demosthenes, Orations 35. Androcles against Lacritus

LCL 318: 278-279

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Οὐδὲν καινὸν διαπράττονται οἱ Φασηλῖται, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, ἀλλ᾿ ἅπερ εἰώθασιν. οὗτοι γὰρ δεινότατοι μέν εἰσι δανείσασθαι χρήματ᾿ ἐν τῷ ἐμπορίῳ, ἐπειδὰν δὲ λάβωσι καὶ συγγραφὴν συγγράψωνται ναυτικήν, εὐθὺς ἐπελάθοντο καὶ τῶν συγγραφῶν καὶ τῶν νόμων καὶ ὅτι δεῖ ἀποδοῦναι 2αὐτοὺς ἃ ἔλαβον, καὶ οἴονται, ἐὰν ἀποδῶσιν, ὥσπερ [924]τῶν ἰδίων τι τῶν ἑαυτῶν ἀπολωλεκέναι, ἀλλ᾿ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀποδοῦναι σοφίσματα εὑρίσκουσι καὶ παραγραφὰς καὶ προφάσεις, καὶ εἰσὶ πονηρότατοι ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἀδικώτατοι. τεκμήριον δὲ τούτου· πολλῶν γὰρ ἀφικνουμένων εἰς τὸ ὑμέτερον ἐμπόριον καὶ Ἑλλήνων καὶ βαρβάρων, πλείους δίκαι εἰσὶν ἑκάστοτε αὐτῶν τῶν Φασηλιτῶν ἢ τῶν ἄλλων 3ἁπάντων. οὗτοι μὲν οὖν τοιοῦτοί εἰσιν· ἐγὼ δ᾿, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, χρήματα δανείσας Ἀρτέμωνι τῷ τούτου ἀδελφῷ κατὰ τοὺς ἐμπορικοὺς νόμους, εἰς τὸν Πόντον καὶ πάλιν Ἀθήναζε, τελευτήσαντος ἐκείνου πρὶν ἀποδοῦναί μοι τὰ χρήματα, Λακρίτῳ τουτῳὶ εἴληχα τὴν δίκην ταύτην κατὰ τοὺς αὐτοὺς


Against Lacritus


Androcles Against Lacritus in Reply to The Latter’s Special Plea

The Phaselites,a men of the jury, are up to no new tricks; they are merely doing what it is their wont to do. For they are the cleverest people at borrowing money on your exchange; but, as soon as they get it and have drawn up a maritime contract, they straightway forget the contract and the laws, and that they are under obligation to pay back what they have received. They consider that, if they pay2 their debts, it is like having lost something of their own private property, and, instead of paying, they invent sophisms, and special pleas, and pretexts; and are the most unprincipled and dishonest of men. Here is a proof of this. Out of the hosts of people, both Greeks and barbarians, who frequent your exchange, the Phaselites alone have more lawsuits, whenever the courts sit,b than all others put together. That is the sort of people they are. But I, men of the3 jury, lent money to Artemo, this fellow’s brother, in accordance with the commercial laws for a voyage to Pontus and back. As he died before having repaid me the money I have brought this suit against Lacritus here in accordance with the same laws

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demosthenes-orations_xxxv_androcles_lacritus.1936