1Πρότερον μέν, ὦ βουλή, ἐνόμιζον ἐξεῖναι τῷ βουλομένῳ, ἡσυχίαν ἄγοντι, μήτε δίκας ἔχειν μήτε πράγματα· νυνὶ δὲ οὕτως ἀπροσδοκήτως αἰτίαις καὶ πονηροῖς συκοφάνταις περιπέπτωκα, ὥστ᾿ εἴ πως οἷόν τε, δοκεῖ μοι δεῖν καὶ τοὺς μὴ γεγονότας ἤδη δεδιέναι περὶ τῶν μελλόντων ἔσεσθαι· διὰ γὰρ τοὺς τοιούτους οἱ κίνδυνοι [οἱ]1 κοινοὶ γίγνονται καὶ τοῖς 2μηδὲν ἀδικοῦσι καὶ τοῖς πολλὰ ἡμαρτηκόσιν. οὕτω δ᾿ ἄπορος ὁ ἀγών μοι καθέστηκεν, ὥστε ἀπεγράφην τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἐλάαν ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἀφανίζειν, καὶ πρὸς τοὺς ἐωνημένους τοὺς καρποὺς τῶν μορίων πυνθανόμενοι προσῇσαν· ἐπειδὴ δ᾿ ἐκ τούτου τοῦ τρόπου ἀδικοῦντά με οὐδὲν εὑρεῖν ἐδυνήθησαν, νυνί με σηκόν <φασιν>2 ἀφανίζειν, ἡγούμενοι ἐμοὶ μὲν ταύτην τὴν αἰτίαν ἀπορωτάτην εἶναι ἀπελέγξαι,3 αὐτοῖς δὲ ἐξεῖναι μᾶλλον ὅ τι ἂν βούλωνται λέγειν. 3καὶ δεῖ με, περὶ ὧν οὗτος ἐπιβεβουλευκὼς ἥκει, ἅμ᾿ ὑμῖν τοῖς διαγνωσομένοις περὶ τοῦ πράγματος ἀκούσαντα4 καὶ περὶ τῆς πατρίδος καὶ περὶ τῆς


On the Olive-Stump

VII. Before the Areopagus: Defence in the Matter of the Olive-Stump

Heretofore, gentlemen of the Council, I thought it possible for a person who so desired to avoid both law-suits and anxieties by leading a quiet life; but now I find myself so unexpectedly embarrassed with accusations and with nefarious slanderers that, if such a thing could be, I conceive that even those who are yet unborn ought now to be feeling alarmed for what is in store for them, since the conduct of these men brings as great a share of danger upon those who have done no wrong as upon those who are guilty of many offences. And this trial has been made specially perplexing for me, because at first I was indicted for clearing away an olive-tree from my land, and they went and made inquiry of the men who had bought the produce of the sacred olives; but having failed by this method to find that I have done anything wrong, they now say it is an olive-stump that I cleared away, judging that for me this is a most difficult accusation to refute, while to them it allows more freedom to make any statement that they please. So I am obliged, on a charge which this man has carefully planned against me before coming here, and which I have only heard at the same moment as you who are to decide on the case, to defend myself against the loss of my native land

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.lysias-7_areopagus_matter_olive_stump.1930