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On his death the estate passed to his son Macartatus, whose title was attacked by Sositheus, the husband of Phylomache II., acting on behalf of his second son, Eubulides III., whom he had enrolled as the adopted son of Eubulides II., his maternal grandfather, thus bringing him within the requisite degree of relationship as the son of a first cousin of the original tenant of the estate, Hagnias II. The Pseudo-Demosthenic speech Against Macartatus was delivered in this suit. It is wordy and ill-arranged, and its perusal makes the reader appreciate still more highly the extraordinary skill attained by Isaeus in the representation of a case of this kind.

A deposition inserted in the Pseudo-Demosthenic speech (§31) states that the earlier trial, as a result of which the will was annulled and the estate awarded to Phylomache II., took place in the archonship of Nicophemus (361–360 b.c.). If this deposition is genuine, the present speech would have to be dated a few years later; Jebb suggests 359 b.c. There can be little doubt that this is too late a date. It has already been seen that, thanks to the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia, the death of Hagnias can be dated at 396 b.c.; it is scarcely possible that thirty-five years can have elapsed between that event and the present speech. An incident mentioned in the speech, the adventure of Macartatus I. in Crete (§ 48), which appears to have made a stir at the time and to have endangered the relations between Athens and Sparta, might have provided a clue, but there is no reference to it elsewhere. A privateering enterprise of this kind is, however, more likely to have occurred during the period when the Spartans were masters at sea as well as on land, that is to say,

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before the Athenians recovered their naval power in 378 b.c. Thus, while we have not the necessary material for fixing the exact date of this speech, it appears to be considerably earlier than that indicated by the deposition in the Pseudo-Demosthenic oration, which, like many similar documents, is probably a fabrication.

In this speech the word ἀνεψιὸς is translated as “cousin”. But it covers not only “first cousin” but also “first cousin once removed” and “second cousin”. It does not however cover “second cousin once removed”. Theopompus was a second cousin, and as such had a claim to the estate. But his nephew (ward) had not.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.isaeus-xi_estate_hagnias.1927