ΠΑΡΑΓΡΑΦΗ ΥΠΕΡ ΦΟΡΜΙΩΝΟΣ
Τὴν μὲν ἀπειρίαν τοῦ λέγειν, καὶ ὡς ἀδυνάτως ἔχει Φορμίων, αὐτοὶ πάντες ὁρᾶτ᾿, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι· ἀνάγκη δ᾿ ἐστὶ τοῖς ἐπιτηδείοις ἡμῖν, ἃ σύνισμεν πολλάκις τούτου διεξιόντος ἀκηκοότες, λέγειν καὶ διδάσκειν ὑμᾶς, ἵν᾿ εἰδότες καὶ μεμαθηκότες ὀρθῶς τὰ δίκαια παρ᾿ ἡμῶν, ἃν ᾖ δίκαια καὶ 2εὔορκα, ταῦτα ψηφίσησθε. τὴν μὲν οὖν παραγραφὴν ἐποιησάμεθα τῆς δίκης, οὐχ ἵν᾿ ἐκκρούοντες χρόνους ἐμποιῶμεν, ἀλλ᾿ ἵνα τῶν πραγμάτων, ἐὰν ἐπιδείξῃ μηδ᾿ ὁτιοῦν ἀδικοῦνθ᾿ ἑαυτὸν οὑτοσί, ἀπαλλαγή τις αὐτῷ γένηται παρ᾿ ὑμῖν κυρία. ὅσα γὰρ παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἐστὶν ἀνθρώποις ἰσχυρὰ καὶ βέβαια, ἄνευ τοῦ παρ᾿ ὑμῖν ἀγωνίσασθαι, ταῦτα πάντα πεποιηκὼς Φορμίων οὑτοσί, καὶ πολλὰ μὲν 3εὖ πεποιηκὼς Ἀπολλόδωρον τουτονί, πάντα δ᾿, ὅσων κύριος τῶν τούτου κατελείφθη, διαλύσας καὶ παραδοὺς δικαίως, καὶ πάντων ἀφεθεὶς μετὰ ταῦτα
A Friend, Pleading for Phormio, a Special Plea
Phormio’s inexperience in speaking,a and his utter helplessness, you all see for yourselves, men of Athens. It is necessary for us, his friends, to state and set forth for you the facts, which we know full well from having heard him often relate them; in order that, when you have duly learned from us and have come to know the rights of the case, you may give a verdict that is both just and in harmony with your oaths. We have put in a special plea in bar of action,2 not that we may evade the issue and waste time, but that, if the defendantb shows that he has committed no wrong whatsoever, he may win in your court an acquittal which will be final. For all that in the minds of other people brings about a firm and lasting settlement without engaging in a trial before you—all this Phormio here has done; he has done many3 kindnesses to this man Apollodorus; he has duly paid and delivered up to the plaintiff everything belonging to him of which he had been left in control, and has since received a discharge from all further claims;
- aThis is not merely the conventional plea of inexperience (compare XXXIV. 1); Phormio was by now an old man, and further, since he was a manumitted slave, he can have had no training which would equip him for the task, and furthermore, he was, of course, of barbarian birth. His friends, therefore, came to his aid, and one of them speaks in his behalf.
- bThe terms “plaintiff” and “defendant,” as used in the translation of this oration, apply to the suit brought against Phormio.