Isocrates, Discourses 18. Against Callimachus

LCL 373: 254-255

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Εἰ μὲν καὶ ἄλλοι τινὲς ἦσαν ἠγωνισμένοι τοιαύτην παραγραφήν, ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ τοῦ πράγματος ἠρχόμην ἂν τοὺς λόγους ποιεῖσθαι· νῦν δ᾿ ἀνάγκη περὶ τοῦ νόμου πρῶτον εἰπεῖν καθ᾿ ὃν εἰσεληλύθαμεν, ἵν᾿ ἐπιστάμενοι περὶ ὧν ἀμφισβητοῦμεν, τὴν ψῆφον φέρητε, καὶ μηδεὶς ὑμῶν θαυμάσῃ διότι φεύγων τὴν δίκην πρότερος λέγω τοῦ διώκοντος.


Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἐκ Πειραιέως κατελθόντες ἐνίους ἑωρᾶτε τῶν πολιτῶν συκοφαντεῖν ὡρμημένους καὶ τὰς συνθήκας λύειν ἐπιχειροῦντας, βουλόμενοι τούτους τε παῦσαι καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἐπιδεῖξαι ὅτι οὐκ ἀναγκασθέντες ἐποιήσασθ᾿ αὐτὰς ἀλλ᾿ ἡγούμενοι τῇ πόλει συμφέρειν, εἰπόντος Ἀρχίνου νόμον ἔθεσθε, ἄν τις δικάζηται παρὰ τοὺς ὅρκους, ἐξεῖναι τῷ φεύγοντι παραγράψασθαι, τοὺς δ᾿ ἄρχοντας περὶ τούτου πρῶτον εἰσάγειν, λέγειν δὲ πρότερον τὸν 3παραγραψάμενον, ὁπότερος δ᾿ ἂν ἡττηθῇ, τὴν ἐπωβελίαν ὀφείλειν, ἵν᾿ οἱ τολμῶντες μνησικακεῖν


Against Callimachus

XVIII. Special Plea Against Callimachus

If any others had employed in litigation such a special plea of exception, I should have begun my discourse with the facts themselves; but as the situation is, I am compelled first to speak of the law in accordance with which we have come before the court, that you may cast your votes with an understanding of the issues in our dispute and that no one of you may be surprised that I, although defendant in the case, am speaking prior to the plaintiff.

Now after your return to the city from Piraeus,a you saw that some of the citizens were bent upon bringing malicious prosecutions and were attempting to violate the Amnestyb; so, wishing to restrain these persons and to show to all others that you had not made these agreements under compulsion, but because you thought them of advantage to the city, you enacted a law, on the motion of Archinus, to the effect that, if any person should commence a lawsuit in violation of the oaths, the defendant should have the power to enter a plea of exception, the magistrates should first submit this question to the tribunal, and that the defendant who had entered the plea should speak first; and further, that the loser should pay a penalty of one-sixth of the sum at stake. The purpose of the penalty was this—that persons who

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.isocrates-discourses_18_callimachus.1945