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Against Timarchus   



[91] For what foot-pad or adulterer or assassin, or what man who has committed the greatest crimes, but has done it secretly, will be brought to justice? For whereas such of these criminals as are caught in the act are instantly punished with death, if they acknowledge the crime, those who have done the act secretly and deny their guilt, are tried in the courts, and the truth can be determined by circumstantial evidence only.

[92] Take the example of the Senate of the Areopagus, the most scrupulous tribunal in the city. I myself have before now seen many men convicted before this tribunal, though they spoke most eloquently, and presented witnesses; and I know that before now certain men have won their case, although they spoke most feebly, and although no witnesses testified for them. For it is not on the strength of the pleading alone, nor of the testimony alone, that the members of the court give their verdict, but on the strength of their own knowledge and their own investigations. And this is the reason why that tribunal maintains its high repute in the city.

[93] Therefore, my fellow citizens, I call upon you to make your decision in this case in the same manner. In the first place, let nothing be more credible in your eyes than your own knowledge and conviction regarding this man Timarchus. In the second place, look at the case in the light, not of the present moment, but of the time that is past. For the words spoken before today about Timarchus and his practices were spoken because they were true; but what will be said today will be spoken because of the trial,and with intent to deceive you. Give, therefore, the verdict that is demanded by the longer time, and the truth, and your own knowledge.

[94] And yet a certain speech-writer who is concocting his defense says that I contradict myself; since it seems to him impossible, he says, for the same man to have been a prostitute and to have consumed his patrimony. For, he says, to have sinned against one's own body is the act of a boy, but to have consumed one's patrimony is that of a man. And furthermore he says that those who defile themselves exact pay for it. He therefore goes up and down the marketplace expressing his wonder and amazement that one and the same man should have prostituted himself and also have consumed his patrimony.

[95] Now if anyone does not understand the facts of the case, I will try to explain them more clearly. Hegesandrus, who kept Timarchus, had married an heiress. So long as her inheritance held out, and the money that Hegesandrus had brought back with him from his voyage with Timomachus, they lived in all luxury and lewdness. But when these resources had been wasted and gambled away and eaten up, and this defendant had lost his youthful charm, and, as you would expect, no one would any longer give him anything, while his lewd and depraved nature constantly craved the same indulgences, and with excessive incontinence kept making demand after demand upon him,

[96] then, at last, incessantly drawn back to his old habits, he resorted to the devouring of his patrimony. And not only did he eat it up, but, if one may so say, he also drank it up! He sold one piece of property after another, not for what it was worth--he couldn't wait for a higher offer nor even for the bare value, but let it go for what it would fetch on the instant, so urgently did he hasten to gratify his lusts.

[97] His father left him a fortune which another man would have found sufficient for the service of the state also. But Timarchus was not able even to preserve it for himself. There was a house south of the Acropolis, a suburban estate at Sphettus, another piece of land at Alopeke, and besides there were nine or ten slaves who were skilled shoemakers, each of whom paid him a fee of two obols a day, and the superintendent of the shop three obols. Besides these there was a woman skilled in flax-working, who produced fine goods for the market, and there was a man skilled in embroidery. Certain men also owed him money, and there were house furnishings.

[98] Here, at any rate, by Zeus, I will present my witnesses to prove the truth of what I say, and they will testify most clearly and explicitly; for there is no danger, as there was the other time, to the man who testifies to the truth, nor any disgrace either. The city residence he sold to Nausicrates, the comic poet; afterward Cleaenetus, the chorus-master, bought it of Nausicrates for twenty minas. The suburban estate Mnesitheus of Myrrinoussa bought of him, a large tract, but wretchedly run down by his neglect.

[99] the place at Alopeke, distant eleven or twelve furlongs from the city-wall, his mother begged and besought him, as I have heard, to spare and not to sell, or, if he would do nothing more, at least to leave her there a place to be buried in. But even from this spot he did not withhold his hand; this too he sold, for 2,000 drachmas. Of the slaves, men and women, he left not one; he has sold them all. To prove that I am not lying, I will produce witness that his father left the slaves; but if he denies that he has sold them, let him produce their persons in court.

[100] but to prove, further, that his father had lent money to certain men, and that Timarchus collected and has spent it, I will call as witnesses for you Metagenes of Sphettus, who owed more than thirty minas, and paid to the defendant what was still due at his father's death, seven minas. Please call Metagenes of Sphettus. But first of all read the testimony of Nausicrates, who bought the house, and take all the other depositions that I mentioned in the same connection. Depositions

[101] I will now show you that his father had not a little ready money, which the defendant has squandered. For the father, afraid of the special services to which he would be liable, sold the property that he owned (with the exception of the items I have mentioned)--a piece of land in Cephisia, another in Amphitrope, and two workshops at the silver mines, one of them in Aulon, the other near the tomb of Thrasyllus.

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