This trial arose from the political infighting at Athens in the shadow of the rise of Macedon. By 346 Athenian attempts to assemble a Greek coalition against Macedon had achieved nothing. In response to signals from Philip the Athenians sent ten envoys (including Aischines and Demosthenes) to Macedon to negotiate a peace deal on the first of a succession of diplomatic missions. For some such as Aischines (who had previously favoured a more vigorous response to Macedon) a lasting peace with Macedon seemed the best way of securing Athens’ long-term interests. For others such as Demosthenes peace offered a tactical pause to allow Athens to look for ways to thwart Philip. The latter group began working against the peace from the start. All Athenian officials had to submit to an examination on the expiry of their term of office. When Aischines submitted to this process after the second embassy to Macedonia of 346, he was accused of misconduct by Demosthenes and an associate of his named Timarchos. Aischines responded by launching a brutally effective counter-attack. The procedure he used was called ‘Scrutiny of public speakers’ (dokimasia rhetoron). It was open to any citizen to bring this action against someone addressing the Assembly who had forfeited the right because of past behaviour. The terminology (dokimasia) assimilates the action to the regular scrutiny of all office bearers on appointment to test their eligibility for office; but the procedure was a trial before a jury panel. The penalty on conviction was forfeiture of citizen rights (loss of the right to hold office, address or attend the Assembly, serve on a jury, or enter the public temples or the agora.

The process could be instigated on a variety of grounds (as our speech indicates), including evasion of military service, beating one’s parents, squandering inherited property and prostituting oneself. Modern discussion focuses on the last of these, unsurprisingly, since this is the basis of the case against Timarchos. Most of the activities covered by the procedure were themselves subject to loss of citizen rights and the effect of conviction was to confirm the disability.

The speech against Timarchos is (despite some lingering obscurities) one of our best sources for Athenian views on homosexuality. As we can see from Case V, Lysias 3 (pp. 70–78), homoerotic relationships were commonly (though not inevitably) regarded as normal in classical Athens. But sex is always a complicated business and Athens like most societies surrounded it with taboos and restraints. Though there was no law preventing homoerotic relationships of the sort described, selling sex was held to be incompatible with citizen status and a man who had prostituted himself automatically forfeited his citizen rights. In addition to the dokimasia rhetoron, available only against those who addressed the Assembly, there was also a graphe hetaireseos (literally ‘indictment for being a paid lover’), which was probably available against any citizen who sold himself (whether to one or more people) and continued to exercise his citizen rights. The penalty for the latter according to Aischines was death (§§19, 87), but this may mean only that the punishment was subject to assessment, with death as the most severe option conceivable.

The speech is rich in cited documents (depositions and laws), all demonstrably later fabrications and so of value only for the history of the text and the later reception of Aischines’ work. The trial can be dated to 346/5. There is a modern translation with commentary and detailed introduction by N. Fisher in Aeschines, Against Timarchos (Oxford 2001) and an annotated translation by C. Carey, The Speeches of Aeschines (Austin, Texas 2000).

[1] I have never yet, men of Athens, indicted a man or caused him annoyance at his audit; no, I believe that I have shown restraint in all such matters. But I could see that the city was being severely damaged by this man Timarchos, who addresses the Assembly against the laws, and I was myself the victim of his malicious prosecution (I shall explain how later in my speech). [2] So I concluded that it would be disgraceful in the extreme not to intervene to protect the city as a whole, the laws, you and myself. And knowing that he is guilty of the charges that you heard the clerk read out just now, I declared this scrutiny hearing against him. It seems, men of Athens, that the regular claims made in public cases are not untrue: private enmities very often do put right public crimes. [3] It will become clear that Timarchos can blame the whole trial not on the city or the laws or you or me but himself. The laws told him not to address the Assembly because of the shameful life he has led; this was not a difficult command, in my judgment, but a very easy one. As for me, it was open to him not to persecute me, if he had any sense. I hope that my opening remarks on these issues have been reasonable.

[4] I am not unaware, men of Athens, that you will undoubtedly have heard others before say what I am going to say at the outset; but I think that now is a good moment for me too to make the same statement to you. Everyone agrees that there are three constitutions in the whole world; tyranny, oligarchy and democracy. Tyrannies and oligarchies are ruled by the disposition of those in power, but democratic cities are ruled by the established laws. [5] You know well, men of Athens, that under democracy it is the laws that protect the persons of the citizens and the constitution but it is distrust and armed guards that protect tyrants and oligarchs. So oligarchs and all those who run a constitution based on inequality must watch out for people seeking to overthrow their constitutions by force; but you who have a constitution based on equality and laws must guard against people who break the laws with their words and the life they have led. For this is the source of your strength, when you are governed by law and are not brought down by men who break them. [6] In my view, our aim when we legislate should be to make laws that are good and advantageous for our constitution, and once we have legislated, we should obey the established laws and punish those who disobey them, if the city is to thrive.

Observe, men of Athens, the great concern for decency shown by the renowned ancient lawgiver Solon, and by Drakon and the other lawgivers of that period. [7] First of all they legislated for the decency of our children and they explicitly enacted how the freeborn boy should spend his time and how he should be brought up, then second for youths and third for the other age groups in succession, not just for private citizens but also for public speakers. They put these laws in writing and deposited them with you, making you their guardians.

[8] What I want to do now is to follow the same order in my speech to you as the lawgiver does in the law. First of all I shall describe the laws established for the discipline of your children, then second those for the youths, and third in turn those for the other age groups, not only for private citizens but also for public speakers. In this way I believe my argument will be easiest to understand. I also want, men of Athens, first of all to give you a preliminary account of the city’s laws, then after that to examine in comparison Timarchos’ character; for you will find that his life has been contrary to all the laws.

[9] First of all, for the teachers, to whom of necessity we entrust our children, for whom decent conduct means a living and the reverse means poverty, even so the lawgiver was clearly disinclined to trust them, and he indicates explicitly first of all the time of day when a free boy should go to school, then how many other children should be there with him, and what time he should leave. [10] And he forbids the teachers to open the schools and the athletic trainers to open the wrestling schools before sunrise and orders them to shut them before sunset, because he views secluded spots and darkness with profound suspicion. He lays down who the young pupils should be and what ages, and the official who will oversee this, and provides for supervision by slave-attendants and the celebration of the festival of the Muses in the schools and of Hermes in the wrestling schools, and finally for the company kept by the boys and for the circular dances. [11] He orders that the chorus producer, who will be spending his own money on you, should be over forty years old when he performs this role, so that he is already at the age when self-control is greatest when he encounters your sons.

Now the clerk will read out these laws to you, so that you will realize that the lawgiver believed that a boy who had been reared properly would be useful to the city on reaching manhood. But when human nature at the outset gets a corrupt start to its upbringing, he thought that badly reared boys would turn into citizens very like Timarchos here. Read these laws to them.


[12] The teachers of boys are not to open the schools before sunrise and are to close them before sunset. People older than the boys are not to enter when the boys are within, except for the teacher’s son or brother or daughter’s husband. If anyone enters against these regulations, he is to be punished with death. And the gymnasium officials are not to allow anyone who has reached adulthood to participate in the festival of Hermes with them. If he allows and does not exclude them from the gymnasium, the gymnasium official is to be liable under the law dealing with the corruption of the freeborn. Chorus producers who are appointed by the people are to be over forty years of age.

[13] Now after this, men of Athens, he legislates for offences that, heinous as they are, do I think occur in the city. The reason that men of old made the laws was that some improper acts took place. Anyway, the law states explicitly that if a father or brother or uncle or anyone at all acting as guardian hires a boy out as a prostitute – it does not allow an indictment against the boy himself but against the man who hired him out and the man who paid for him, the one because he hired him out and the other, it says, because he hired him. And it has made the penalties the same for each, and any boy who has been hired out for prostitution is not to be required on reaching adulthood to support his father or provide him with a home, but when the father dies he is to bury him and to carry out the other customary rites. [14] See how reasonable this is, men of Athens. In life the law deprives him of the benefits of parenthood, just as he deprived his son of free speech, but once he is dead, when he can no longer perceive the benefit conferred on him but it is the law and religion that are honoured, at that point it instructs the son to bury him and to perform the other customary rites.

And what other law did he establish to protect your children? The law on procuring, in which he stipulated the most severe penalties if anyone procures a free boy or woman for prostitution.

[15] What other law? The law of outrage, which sums up in a single heading all such offences. In this law it is written explicitly that if anyone commits outrage against a boy (and anyone who hires commits outrage, I think) or man or woman, whether free or slave, or does anything contrary to law to any of these, it has provided for indictments for outrage and prescribed assessment of the penalty he must suffer or pay. Read out the law.


[16] If any Athenian commits outrage against a free boy, let the boy’s guardian bring an indictment before the Thesmothetai, indicating in writing the penalty assessed. Let anyone convicted by the court be handed over to the Eleven and executed the same day. If anyone is condemned to pay money, let him pay it within eleven days of the trial, if he cannot pay it immediately; let him be imprisoned until he pays. Let those who commit offences against the bodies of slaves also be liable to these charges.

[17] Now perhaps someone on suddenly hearing this law might wonder why on earth this word, slaves, was added to the law on outrage. But if you consider it, men of Athens, you will find that it is the best detail of all. For the lawgiver was not interested in slaves. But because he wanted to habituate you to keep far away from outrage against free persons, he added the prohibition on outrage even against slaves. In short he believed that in a democracy the man who commits outrage against anyone at all was not fit to be part of the citizen body. [18] Please remember this too, men of Athens, that at this point the lawgiver is not yet speaking to the boy in person but to those around the boy – father, brother, guardian, teachers; in a word those responsible for him. But once he is entered in the deme register and knows the city’s laws and is finally able to distinguish right and wrong, the lawgiver at this point no longer speaks to anybody else but to the man himself, Timarchos. [19] And what does he say? If any Athenian, he says, prostitutes himself, he is not to be eligible to serve as one of the nine Archons (I think because this official wears a sacred wreath), or to hold any priesthood, since he is physically quite unclean; and let him not be advocate for the state, he says, or hold any office ever, whether at home or abroad, whether selected by lot or by vote. [20] Let him not serve as herald, nor as envoy (and let him not prosecute people who have served as envoy, nor let him act as a sykophant for hire), and let him never voice an opinion in the Council or the Assembly (not even if he is the best speaker in Athens). If anyone acts against these regulations, he has made provision for indictments for prostitution and imposed the most severe penalties. Read this law out to them as well, so that you [i.e. the judges] will know how noble and decent are your established laws, in defiance of which Timarchos has dared to address the Assembly, when his character is what you know it to be.


[21] If any Athenian prostitutes himself, he is not to have the right to serve as one of the nine Archons or to hold any priesthood or serve as advocate for the people or to hold any office at all, whether at home or abroad, whether selected by lot or by vote; nor is he to be sent out as herald, or to voice an opinion, or to enter the public temples or to wear a garland on occasions when the population are all wearing garlands, or to enter within the purified area of the agora. If anyone acts in defiance of these regulations when convicted of prostitution, he is to be punished with death.

[22] This was the law he passed concerning young men who casually commit offences against their own bodies, while the ones he read to you a little earlier concern the boys. The ones I am now about to discuss concern the rest of the Athenians. Once he had done with the previous laws, the lawgiver turned to the question of how we should gather in the Assembly and deliberate on the most important issues. Where then does he begin? ‘The laws on good conduct,’ he says. He began with self-control, in the belief that the best-governed city will be the one where good conduct is most widespread.

[23] Now how does he instruct the presiding officers to conduct business? When the purificatory victim has been carried around and the herald has made the traditional prayers, the lawgiver instructs the presiding officers to deal first with matters of traditional religion, heralds, embassies and secular matters. After that the herald asks: ‘Who wishes to speak, of those over the age of fifty?’ And only when these have all spoken does he bid any other Athenian who wishes and who has the right, to speak.

[24] Observe how well this was done, men of Athens. The lawgiver was not unaware, I think, that older men are at the high point of their judgment and their daring is already beginning to decrease because of their experience of life. He wanted to establish the custom that the men with the best judgment must be the ones who speak on public business, but since he has no means of addressing each one of them by name, he subsumes them under the collective term for the whole age group and invites them to the platform and encourages them to address the people. At the same time he teaches the younger men to respect their elders and to give precedence to them in all matters, and to honour the age which all of us will reach, if indeed we survive. [25] And the famous public speakers of old, Perikles and Themistokles and Aristeides, who bore a title quite unlike that of this man Timarchos (he was known as ‘the just’), were so decent that in those days this practice which is universal nowadays of speaking with the hand outside the clothing was considered rather brazen and they avoided doing it. And I think I can offer you convincing factual evidence of this. I am sure you have all sailed across to Salamis and have viewed the statue of Solon, and you yourselves could be my witness that Solon stands in the agora on Salamis with his hand inside his robe. This, men of Athens, is a reminder and representation of the stance that Solon himself used to adopt when he spoke to the Athenian people.

[26] Now, men of Athens, mark the huge difference between Solon and those famous men I mentioned a little earlier and Timarchos. While those men were ashamed to speak with their hand outside their robe, this man here not in the distant past but the other day threw off his robe and rolled about like a wrestler in the Assembly, stripped bare, in such a foul and shameful physical condition from drunkenness and other vile conduct that decent men covered their face in shame for the city, because we let people like this advise us. [27] With this in view the lawgiver explicitly declared who should address the people and who must not speak in the Assembly. He does not bar a man from the platform if he is not descended from ancestors who have served as generals, nor if he works at some trade to provide for his needs. In fact he actually welcomes these men especially and this is why he repeatedly asks: ‘Who wishes to speak?’

[28] Which men then did he think must not speak? Those who have lived a disgraceful life, these are the ones he does not allow to address the people. And where does he make this clear? ‘The scrutiny of public speakers,’ he says. ‘If anyone who strikes his father or mother or does not support them or provide a home speaks in the Assembly’, he does not allow this man to speak. Quite right, by Zeus, in my personal opinion. Why? Because if a man behaves basely to the people he should honour as much as the gods, how, says the lawgiver, will he treat people unrelated to him and indeed the city as a whole? [29] And who next does he forbid to speak? ‘… or,’ he says, ‘has not performed all the military service assigned to him, or has thrown away his shield’; and he is quite right. Just why is that? Fellow, do not expect to give advice to the city, if you do not take up arms for it or through cowardice are unable to defend it. Who are third group he addresses? ‘… or has been a prostitute,’ he says, ‘or has sold himself.’ For if a man has wantonly sold his own body, he thought he would not hesitate to sell out the interests of the city.

[30] Who are the fourth group he addresses? ‘ … or has squandered his paternal property,’ he says, ‘or anything else he has inherited.’ For he considered that the man who has mismanaged his private household would handle the city’s business in a very similar way; and the lawgiver did not think it possible that the same person could be unscrupulous in his private life and useful to the community, nor did he believe that a public speaker should come to the platform trained in oratory and not in his way of life. [31] He believed that anything said by a good and decent man, even when expressed clumsily or plainly, would benefit the hearers, while anything said by a vile man who had shown contempt for his own body and shamefully squandered his ancestral property would do no good to the hearers even when expressed with great elegance. [32] These then are the men he bars from the platform; these are the ones he forbids to address the people. And if anyone in breach of this restriction not only speaks but persecutes and acts outrageously, and the city can no longer tolerate such a man, ‘Let any Athenian who wishes and has the right,’ he says, ‘declare a scrutiny’, and at that point he orders you to decide the case in a lawcourt. And it is now under this law that I have come before you.

[33] Now these laws have long been in place. But you passed an additional new law after the splendid wrestling bout this man staged in the Assembly, overcome with shame at the incident: that at each Assembly a tribe should be selected by lot to preside over the platform. And what were the instructions of the proposer of the law? He orders the members of the tribe to sit as defenders of the law and the democracy, because unless we summon help from somewhere against men who have lived like this, we will not be able even to debate the most serious matters. [34] There is no point, men of Athens, trying to drive men like this from the platform by yelling at them; they have no shame. We must punish them to change their habits; only then can we make them bearable.

Now he will read out to you the laws established for the good conduct of public speakers. For the law on the presiding role of the tribes has been indicted as inexpedient by Timarchos and other speakers of the same sort in collusion, to free them to speak and to live just as they choose.


[35] If any public speaker speaks in the Council or the Assembly other than on the subject that is under discussion, or does not speak on each issue separately, or speaks twice on the same matter on the same day, or insults or slanders anyone, or heckles, or stands up during the conduct of business and speaks on a subject that is not part of the proceedings, or urges on others, or assaults the Chairman, once the Assembly or Council is released, the presiding officers are to have the authority to register a fine of up to fifty drachmas for each offence and pass the record to the Collectors. If he merits a more severe punishment, they are to impose a fine of up to fifty drachmas and refer the matter to the Council or the next Assembly. When the summonses are lodged, the case is to be judged, and if he is convicted by secret ballot, the Chairmen are to record his name for the Collectors.

[36] You have heard the laws, men of Athens, and I know well that you think they are good. But whether these laws are to be effective or not rests with you. If you punish the guilty, your laws will be good and valid, but if you let them go, the laws will still be good but no longer valid.

[37] But what I want to do, as I proposed at the beginning of my speech, is now that I have spoken about the laws to contrast with them Timarchos’ character, so that you will realize how far it differs from your laws. And I beg you, men of Athens, to excuse me if, when obliged to speak about activities which though naturally offensive have been practised by this man, I am drawn to use some expression that resembles Timarchos’ acts. [38] For you could not rightly reproach me, if at any point I were to use explicit language in my desire to inform you, but quite the contrary this man here, if in fact his life has been so disgraceful that anyone describing his conduct cannot say what he actually wants to without using this kind of expression. But I shall avoid doing so to the very best of my ability.

[39] Observe, men of Athens, how restrained I shall be in dealing with this man Timarchos. All the abuses against his own body which he has committed while still a boy I ignore. Let them be void like events under the Thirty or before Eukleides, or anything else for which any such official time limit has been enacted. But the acts he has committed upon reaching the age of sense and as a young man and in knowledge of the city’s laws I will make the basis of my accusations, and I urge you to take them seriously.

[40] Now this man first of all, as soon as he was out of boyhood, settled down in the Peiraieus in the premises of the doctor Euthydikos, supposedly to study the profession but in reality because it was his intention to sell himself, as the sequel showed. All the merchants or other foreigners or our fellow citizens who had the use of Timarchos’ body during that period I shall deliberately omit, so that nobody can say that I am needlessly including every detail. I shall devote my account to the men in whose house he has lived, shaming his own body and the city, earning money from the very practice that the law forbids a man to engage in, on pain of losing the right to address the people.

[41] There is a man named Misgolas son of Eukrates, men of Athens, of the deme Kollytus, a man who in general is upright and beyond reproach but has an astonishing enthusiasm for this activity and is always in the habit of having around him male singers and lyreplayers. I say this not to be coarse but so that you will recognize who he is. This man, understanding why Timarchos was spending his time at the doctor’s place, made an advance payment and moved Timarchos and established him in his own house, a firm bodied young man, depraved and ready for the acts that Misgolas fully intended to do, and Timarchos to have done to him. [42] Timarchos without any hesitation submitted to this, though he did not lack the means to meet all reasonable needs. His father had left him a very large inheritance, which he had frittered away, as I shall show later in my speech. On the contrary he did this because he was a slave to the most shameful pleasures, expensive and extravagant dinners and flutegirls and courtesans and dice and the other activities that should never dominate a decent and freeborn man. And this wretch had no shame in leaving his ancestral house and living with Misgolas, who was not a friend of his father nor a member of his own age group nor a legal guardian but someone unrelated and older than himself and addicted to such activity, and he was a handsome young man.

[43] Of the many ludicrous acts of Timarchos in that period I want to tell you about one in particular. The procession for the City Dionysia was taking place, and Misgolas, the man who had taken him up, and Phaidros son of Kallias of Sphettos, were both taking part together. Timarchos here had agreed to join them in the procession and they were busy with their preparations but Timarchos was not yet back. Incensed at this Misgolas went looking for him with Phaidros; his whereabouts were reported to them and they found him lunching in a lodging house with some foreigners. Misgolas and Phaidros threatened the foreigners and ordered them to come with them straightaway to the prison for corrupting a free youth; the foreigners took fright and fled, leaving all their things behind. [44] The truth of my account is known to everyone who was familiar with Misgolas and Timarchos at that time. Indeed I am very pleased that my case is against a man who is not unknown to you, and is known for the very activity on which you will be voting. For where the people involved are unknown, the prosecutor is perhaps obliged to offer specific proof, but where the facts are generally agreed, in my opinion it is no great task to prosecute; for all one has to do is refresh his hearers’ memory. [45] Now although the factual case is agreed, since we are in a lawcourt, I have drafted a deposition for Misgolas, one that is accurate but not vulgar, in my belief. I do not include the actual term for the acts he performed on this man; nor have I written down anything that renders a man liable to punishment under the laws, if he attests the truth. What I have written will be intelligible to you when you hear it but involves no risk to the witness and no shame.

[46] Now if Misgolas is willing to come forward here and testify to the truth, he will be doing what is right. But if he would rather refuse the summons than testify to the truth, then you can see the whole thing clearly. For if the active partner feels ashamed and prefers to pay a thousand drachmas to the Treasury to avoid showing his face to you, while the passive partner speaks in the Assembly, it was a wise lawgiver who barred such dissolute people from the platform. [47] But if he obeys the summons but takes the most brazen course, which is to deny the truth on oath, as a gesture of gratitude to Timarchos and at the same time a demonstration to others that he knows well how to keep such activities secret, first he will be wronging himself and second he will achieve nothing. For I have drafted another deposition for the people who know that Timarchos here left his father’s house and lived with Misgolas. The task I am attempting is, I think, a difficult one. For I must provide as witnesses neither my own friends nor enemies of my opponents nor people who are acquainted with neither of us, but their friends. [48] But if in the event they persuade these witnesses not to testify (I don’t think they will, or at any rate not all of them), there is one thing at least they will never be able to do, eliminate the truth, nor the general report in the city about Timarchos; it was not I who created this for him; no, he did it for himself. For a decent man’s life should be so clean that it does not even allow the suggestion of a charge of misconduct.

[49] I want to mention this as well in advance, in case Misgolas does obey the laws and you. There are men who differ naturally from others in their appearance, where age is concerned. Some men, though young, look advanced in years and rather old, while others though old in number of years look quite young. Misgolas is one of the latter. As it happens he is a contemporary of mine and was a cadet with me; we are both in our forty-fifth year. And I have all these grey hairs you see, but he doesn’t. Why do I say this in advance? So that, if you see him suddenly, you will not be amazed and respond in your mind: ‘Herakles! He is not much older than Timarchos!’ For it is the case both that the man is naturally like this and that he had a relationship with Timarchos when Timarchos was already a youth.

[50] But to avoid taking up your time, first of all call the people who know that Timarchos here lived in Misgolas’ house, then read out the deposition of Phaidros, and lastly take the deposition for Misgolas himself, just in case he agrees to testify to the truth from fear of the gods and shame before the people who know the facts, the other citizens and you the judges.


Misgolas son of Nikias of Peiraieus testifies: Timarchos, who once stayed at the establishment of the doctor Euthydikos, was associated with me, and throughout my acquaintance with him to the present I have not ceased to hold him in high esteem.

[51] Now if, men of Athens, Timarchos here had remained with Misgolas and had not gone to live with anyone else, this would have been more moderate behaviour, if, that is, any such behaviour is moderate, and I would have been reluctant to charge him with anything beyond the blunt term used by the lawgiver, that is only with having been a kept lover. For I think that this is the precise charge for a man who engages in this activity with one individual but does so for pay. [52] But if I remind you of what you know and prove, ignoring these wild men, Kedonides and Autokleides and Thersandros, into whose houses he has been taken to live, that he has earned his living with his body not only in the home of Misgolas but in the house of another and then another, and that he went from this one to yet another, then it will be clear that he has not only been a kept lover but (and by Dionysos! – I don’t think I can prevaricate all day) has actually prostituted himself. For I think that this is the precise charge for anyone who engages in this activity casually with many individuals for pay.

[53] Now when Misgolas tired of the expense and sent this man away from his house, he was taken up by Antikles the son of Kallias of Euonymon. This man is away in Samos with the colonists there. But I’ll tell you what happened after this. When this man Timarchos here was done with Antikles and Misgolas, he did not discipline himself or turn to better habits but would spend his days in the gaming house, where the gambling board is set out and they pit cocks against each other and play dice. I think some of you have seen what I mean before, or if not, have heard of it anyway. [54] One of the people who spend time there is a certain Pittalakos; this person is a public slave of the city. Now this man, who was financially well-to-do and had seen Timarchos spending time there, took him up and kept him at his house. And this loathsome man here was not offended by this, that he was about to humiliate himself with a person who was a public slave of the city; no, his only aim was to get a backer to finance his disgusting habits, while for decency or shame he had no concern whatsoever. [55] Now the practices and outrages that I have heard were committed on the person of Timarchos by this person were such that – by Olympian Zeus! – I could not bring myself to tell them to you. The things that this man was not ashamed to do in practice are such that if I described them clearly in words among you I would not wish to live.

About the same period when this man was living with Pittalakos, Hegesandros sailed back to Athens from the Hellespont. And I am well aware that you have been wondering for some time why I haven’t mentioned him; so well known is the story I am about to narrate. [56] This Hegesandros, whom you know better than I, arrived. He had in fact at that time sailed to the Hellespont as treasurer to Timomachos of Acharnai, who served as general, and he returned to Athens having exploited Timomachos’ naivety, it is said, in possession of not less than eighty mnai of silver; and he was in a way not the least cause of Timomachos’ downfall.

[57] With this sort of wealth at his disposal, and as a regular visitor to the house of Pittalakos, who was a gaming-partner of his, he saw Timarchos there for the first time. He was pleased with him and filled with desire and he wanted to install him in his own house; he thought, I expect, that Timarchos’ nature was very like his own. First of all he spoke to Pittalakos, urging him to hand over Timarchos; and when he could not persuade Pittalakos, he set about Timarchos here in person. It did not take much time; he persuaded him in a moment. Indeed, when it comes to the business itself, his lack of principle and his disloyalty are remarkable; for this very reason he should rightly be hated.

[58] After he had quit Pittalakos and been taken in by Hegesandros, Pittalakos was, I think, pained at having spent so much money to no purpose (as he saw it) and jealous of what was taking place; and he kept going to the house. And because he was annoying them – look at the great exploit of Hegesandros and Timarchos! At one point they and some others whose names I do not wish to mention got drunk and [59] forced their way at night into the house where Pittalakos was living; first they broke up his equipment and threw it into the street (throwing dice and dicing cups and other things to do with gambling) and they killed the quails and cocks which that miserable man loved, and finally they tied Pittalakos himself to a pillar and gave him a whipping beyond imagining for so long that even the neighbours heard the yelling.

[60] Next day Pittalakos, incensed at the incident, went into the agora without his cloak and sat as suppliant at the altar of the mother of the gods. A crowd gathered, as usually happens, and Hegesandros and Timarchos took fright that their vile behaviour might be announced to the whole city (the Assembly was about to meet). They ran up to the altar with some of their gambling partners, [61] surrounded Pittalakos and begged him to leave the altar, claiming that the whole business had been drunken folly. And Timarchos himself (who was not yet – by Zeus – repulsive looking as he is now but still serviceable) touched the fellow’s chin in supplication and said he would do everything he wanted. Eventually they persuaded the fellow to leave the altar in the belief that he would receive some kind of justice. But once he left the agora they paid no further attention to him. [62] And Pittalakos, resentful at their outrageous conduct, brought a suit against each of them.

When he was bringing these suits, now watch the great exploit of Hegesandros! This was a person who had done him no wrong but quite the opposite and had been wronged by him; he had no connection with him but was the public slave of the city. But Hegesandros seized him as a slave, claiming he belonged to him. In a quite desperate situation Pittalakos encountered a real man and a truly upright one. There is a man named Glaukon of Cholarge. This man asserted Pittalakos’ freedom.

[63] After this they initiated the lawsuits. After an interval they entrusted the decision of the dispute to Diopeithes of Sounion, a member of Hegesandros’ deme who had already in the past in fact had a relationship with him when he was young. On taking over the case, Diopeithes caused perpetual delays as a favour to these people. [64] And when Hegesandros began to appear on the Assembly platform, which was also the time when he was feuding with Aristophon of Azenia, before Aristophon threatened in the Assembly to declare against him the same formal scrutiny that I have brought against Timarchos, and when Hegesandros’ brother Krobylos was a regular speaker in the Assembly and these people had the nerve to advise you on the affairs of Greece, at that point Pittalakos lost confidence in himself. He considered who he was and whom he was warring with and (I have to tell the truth) came to a sensible decision; he kept his peace and was happy to receive no fresh abuse. At this point, having won this fine victory effortlessly, Hegesandros kept Timarchos here in his house. [65] You all know I am telling the truth here. Which of you has never been to the fish stalls and witnessed the spending of these people? Which of you has not chanced upon their revels and brawls and not grown angry for the city’s sake? However, since we are in a lawcourt, please call Glaukon of Cholarge, the man who asserted Pittalakos’ freedom, and read out the other depositions.


[66] Glaukon son of Timaios of Cholarge testifies. I asserted the freedom of Pittalakos when he was being seized as a slave by Hegesandros. Afterward Pittalakos came to me and said that he wanted to send to Hegesandros and settle his dispute with him on the basis of the withdrawal of his suit against Hegesandros and Hegesandros’ action for slavery against him. And they settled the dispute in this way.

Amphisthenes testifies. I asserted the freedom of Pittalakos when he was being seized as a slave by Hegesandros and so on.

[67] So then, I shall call Hegesandros himself for you. I have drafted for him a deposition more modest that he deserves but a little more explicit than the one for Misgolas. I am not unaware that he will swear the disclaimer and perjure himself. Why then do I call him to testify? So that I can show you what sort of effect this practice has on men’s characters, how contemptuous of the gods, disdainful of the laws, and casual about every source of shame it makes them. Please call Hegesandros.


[68] Hegesandros son of Diphilos of Steiria testifies. When I sailed back from the Hellespont, I found Timarchos son of Arizelos living at the house of Pittalakos the gambler and as a result of that acquaintance I consorted with Timarchos and used him for the same purpose as I had used Leodamas previously.

[69] I was not unaware that he would treat the oath with contempt, men of Athens; in fact I warned you in advance. And this much at least is quite clear, that since he is now refusing to give evidence, he will shortly appear for the defence. And by Zeus this is no surprise. He will mount this platform, I think, confident in the life he has led, an upright and decent man opposed to all wickedness, who doesn’t even know who Leodamas was, though you all yelled out at his name as the deposition was read out. [70] Shall I let myself speak a little more frankly than is in my nature? Tell me, in the name of Zeus and the other gods, men of Athens, when a man has shamed himself with Hegesandros, don’t you think he has prostituted himself for a prostitute? What extremes of depravity do we suppose they did not practise when drunk and alone? Don’t you imagine that Hegesandros, in an attempt to vindicate his notorious activities for Leodamas, which you all know, imposed degrading demands in the belief that his own past behaviour would seem moderate in comparison with the excesses of Timarchos?

[71] Nonetheless, you will see that Hegesandros himself and his brother Krobylos will leap up here very soon and with considerable passion and rhetorical skill will argue that my case is complete idiocy. They will demand that I present witnesses who testify explicitly where he did it, how he did it, or who saw and what sort of activity. This I think is a disgraceful demand. [72] I don’t imagine you’re so forgetful that you do not remember the laws you heard read out a little earlier, in which it is written that if anyone hires an Athenian for this activity or if anyone hires himself out, he is liable to the most severe, and the same, penalties. What man is so reckless that he would agree to give clear testimony of a sort that makes him, if he attests the truth, prove himself liable to the most extreme penalties? [73] So all that remains is for the one who had the things done to him to admit it himself. But this is why he is on trial, because after engaging in these acts he addressed the Assembly against the laws. So do you want us to give up the whole business and not investigate? By Poseidon, this will be a nice way for us to manage the city, if we know ourselves that acts are taking place but we ignore them simply because someone does not come forward and testify explicitly without shame.

[74] Consider the issue on the basis of parallels; and I suppose the parallels will have to be similar to Timarchos’ ways. You see these men who sit in the brothels, the ones who admit to engaging in this practice. Yet these men, whenever they have to do this activity, still try to cover their shame and lock the doors. Now if someone were to ask you, the passersby on the street: ‘what is this person now doing?’, you would immediately say the name of the act, without seeing who had gone in; no, once you know the person’s choice of trade, you also recognize the act.

[75] So you should investigate Timarchos in the same way and not ask if anyone saw him but if this man has engaged in the practice. For by the gods what should one say, Timarchos? What would you yourself say about another person who was being tried on this charge? What should one say when a youth leaves his father’s house and spends his nights in other people’s houses, a youth of singular beauty, and eats lavish dinners without making a contribution and keeps fluteplayers and the most expensive courtesans and plays dice, while he spends nothing himself but another man pays for him? [76] Does this need second sight? Isn’t it obvious that inevitably a man who makes demands on this scale of others must himself provide certain pleasures in return to the men who advance the money? By Olympian Zeus I can find no more delicate way to refer to the grotesque acts you have practised.

[77] Consider the matter if you wish on the basis of parallels from political life too, and especially matters with which you have in hand just now. There have been general scrutinies in the demes and each of you has submitted his status to the vote, to see who is truly Athenian and who is not. And personally whenever I find myself in court and listen to the litigants, I see that the same point always has force with you. [78] Whenever the accuser says: ‘Judges, the demesmen voted against this man on oath, though no man alive accused him or gave evidence against him; they voted on the basis of their own knowledge’, immediately, I think, you shout out, convinced that the man on trial has no claim to citizen rights. For you take the view, I think, that you need no further argument or testimony in matters that a man knows himself for certain. [79] Come now in the name of Zeus, if Timarchos had had to submit to a vote on this way of life like the vote on birth, to decide whether he is guilty or not, and the matter was being judged in court, and was being brought before you as now but it was not permitted by some law or decree either for me to argue for the prosecution or Timarchos for the defence; and if this herald here who is standing near me had put to you the proclamation in the law: ‘Of the ballots the hollowed one for whoever believes Timarchos has prostituted himself, the solid one for whoever believes he has not’, what would you have voted? I know full well that you would have convicted him. [80] And if one of you were to ask me: ‘How do you know if we would have voted against him?’, I should say: ‘Because you have spoken candidly and told me.’ When and where each of you did so I shall remind you: whenever this man mounted the platform in the Assembly, when he was a member of the Council last year. Whenever he mentioned putting up walls or a tower or said that someone had been taken off somewhere, immediately you would shout out and laugh and you yourselves use the terms for the acts of his you know about.

[81] Now the majority of these occasions from the distant past I shall leave out; but I do want to remind you what happened in the actual Assembly when I declared this scrutiny against Timarchos. The Council of the Areiopagos appeared before the Assembly under the decree that this man had proposed on the subject of the houses on the Pnyx. The man who was speaking for the Areiopagites was Autolykos, a man who has lived a noble and dignified life, by Olympian Zeus and Apollo, and one worthy of that council. [82] And when at some point in the course of his speech he said that the Areiopagos disapproved of Timarchos’ proposal, ‘and as to this isolated location and the area near the Pnyx, do not be surprised, men of Athens, if Timarchos has more experience than the Council of the Areiopagos’, at that point you were in uproar and you said that Autolykos was right, that this man did have experience of the place. [83] And Autolykos, misunderstanding your uproar, scowled severely and after a pause said: ‘Men of Athens, we members of the Areiopagos neither accuse nor defend (it is not our traditional way), but we have some sympathy for Timarchos insofar as he perhaps,’ he said, ‘thought that with things so quiet the expense for each of you was small.’ Once more at the mention of quiet and small expense he met with still greater uproar and laughter from you. [84] When he mentioned foundations and cisterns you just couldn’t control yourselves. At this point Pyrrhandros came forward to reproach you and asked the Assembly if they were not ashamed at laughing in the presence of the Council of the Areiopagos. But you shouted him down and answered: ‘Pyrrhandros, we know that we should not be laughing in front of them. But so strong is the truth that it overcomes all human reason.’

[85] This is what I take to be the testimony given by the Athenian people to you, and they cannot properly be convicted of false testimony. Isn’t it preposterous, men of Athens, if without me saying anything you yourselves shout out the name of the acts you know this man has performed, but when I state them you forget? And if when there was no trial he was convicted but now that the offence is proved he is acquitted?

[86] Now since I have mentioned the deme scrutinies and the policies of Demophilos, I want to offer another example relating to them. For this same man introduced a similar measure before. He alleged that there were people who were trying to bribe the Assembly and the lawcourts too, an allegation repeated by Nikostratos recently. Some of the trials on these charges took place some time ago and others are still pending. [87] Well now, by Zeus and the gods, if they had resorted to the same defence used now by Timarchos and his supporting speakers, and demanded that someone give explicit testimony on the charge or the judges should disbelieve it, then it would be quite inevitable I think on this logic for one to attest that he offered a bribe and the other that he took a bribe, when the penalty set down in law for each is death, just as on the present issue if someone hires out an Athenian for abuse and likewise if any Athenian willingly takes money for the shameful use of his body. [88] Is there anyone who would have given evidence or an accuser who would have tried to prove the case in such circumstances? Of course not! So what happened? Were the defendants acquitted? No by Herakles; they were condemned to death, though they had committed a much less serious offence – by Zeus and Apollo! – than this person here. Those unhappy men met with this disaster because they could not protect themselves against old age paired with poverty, the greatest evils in human life, while for this man it is because he could not control his own depravity.

[89] Now if this trial were taking place in another city, which had been called to arbitrate, I should have expected you to be my witnesses, as the ones who know best that I am speaking the truth. But since the trial is in Athens and you are at one and the same time judges and witnesses of my account, my duty is to remind you and yours not to doubt me. For in my opinion, men of Athens, Timarchos here is concerned not only for himself but also for all the others who have engaged in the same practices. [90] For if this practice is to take place, as usually happens, in secret and in deserted spots and private houses, and the man who best knows the facts will, since he has shamed a citizen, face the most severe penalties, if he testifies to the truth; and if the man on trial, convicted by the evidence of his own life and the truth, is to demand that he be judged not from what is known but from the depositions, the law and the truth are destroyed and a clear route has been revealed to allow those guilty of the most serious felonies to be acquitted. [91] For what mugger or thief or seducer or killer, or anyone else who commits the worst crimes but does so in secret, will be punished? For in these cases those who are caught redhanded are executed at once if they confess, but those who escape detection and deny their guilt are tried in the courts and the truth is discovered on the basis of likelihood.

[92] Now take the example of the Council of the Areiopagos, the most scrupulous body in the city. I have often before now at this council seen men who made a very good speech and provided witnesses convicted, and again some men who made a very bad speech and had no witnesses for their case succeed. For they cast their vote not just on the speech nor the witnesses but on what they themselves know and have investigated. And so that body remains in high regard in the city. [93] Now, men of Athens, you too should judge this trial in the same way. First of all, nothing should have greater authority with you than your personal knowledge and conviction about Timarchos here, and second you should consider the issue not in relation to the present but in relation to the past. For the things said in the past about Timarchos and his way of life were said for the truth, but what will be said on this day will be said for the trial in order to deceive you. Cast your vote then for the longer period, the truth, and your personal knowledge.

[94] Yet a certain speechwriter, the one who has manufactured his defence speech, says that I contradict myself. He says that in his view it is impossible for the same man to have prostituted himself and devoured his inheritance; to have offended against one’s body is the act of a child, while to have swallowed up one’s inheritance is the act of a grown man. Furthermore, he claims that men who shame themselves charge fees for the practice. So he is going around the agora expressing surprise and amazement at the idea that the same man has prostituted himself and swallowed up his inheritance. [95] But if anyone does not realize how it is, I shall try to set it out more clearly in my account. As long as the estate of the heiress whom Hegesandros, Timarchos’ husband, had married, held out and the money he brought back from his period abroad with Timomachos, they behaved with enormous dissoluteness and extravagance. But when this was all finished, squandered on dicing and opulent dinners, and Timarchos had passed his prime, unsurprisingly nobody was prepared to pay money any more, while his disgusting and unholy nature still yearned for the same vices and in its extreme debauchery made demand after demand on him and he was drawn back to his daily habits; at that point he turned to swallowing up his inheritance. [96] And he not only swallowed it up, he actually – if one can say this – drank it up as well! In truth he sold off each of his possessions, and not even at its true value; he could not wait for a profit or a reasonable price but sold it for what it would fetch immediately. So powerful was his urge to enjoy his pleasures.

[97] For his father left him an estate from which another man would actually have performed public services, but this man did not manage even to preserve it for himself; it included a house behind the Acropolis, a piece of land near the hills at Sphettos, another farm in Alopeke, and nine or ten slave craftsmen besides engaged in shoemaking, each of whom brought him a fee of two obols a day, while the foreman of the workshop brought in three, and in addition a woman skilled in working linen, who would take her work to the market, and a male embroiderer, and debtors who owed him money, and furniture.

[98] To prove the truth of my account, I shall at this point – by Zeus – offer you witnesses with abundantly clear and explicit testimony. For there is no danger or shame, unlike the other matters, for anyone attesting the truth. The house in the city he sold to Nausikrates the comic poet, and Kleainetos the chorus-trainer subsequently bought it from Nausikrates for twenty mnai. The piece of land at Sphettos was bought from him by Mnesitheos of Myrrinous; it was a sizeable property, though it had been left to run wild to a terrible degree by Timarchos. [99] The farm at Alopeke was eleven or twelve stades from the city wall; his mother had begged and implored him, I’m told, to let this be and not to sell and to leave this plot at least, if nothing else, for her to be buried in. But he did not hold back; he sold this too for two thousand drachmas. And he left none of the male and female slaves but has sold all of them. And to prove I am not lying in this, I will provide witnesses to prove that his father left them to him; as for him, if he claims that he has not sold them, let him provide the slaves visibly in person. [100] And to prove that his father had also lent out money to some people, which Timarchos collected and spent, I shall present Metagenes of Sphettos, who owed his father more than thirty mnai and repaid to Timarchos here the sum remaining on his father’s death, seven mnai. Please call Metagenes of Sphettos. But first of all read out the deposition of Nausikrates, the man who bought his house. And take all the other depositions on the facts I’ve mentioned on the same subject.


[101] Now I shall prove to you that his father possessed not a small amount of money, which this man has wasted. Fearing liability for public services he sold off his properties, apart from those just mentioned; these were a property at Kephisia, another piece of land at Amphitrope and two processing plants in the silver-mining district, one at Aulon and the other at Thrasymos. How he acquired this wealth I shall tell you.

[102] There were three brothers, Eupolemos the athletic trainer and Arizelos, Timarchos’ father, and Arignotos, who is still alive today, an old man who has lost his sight. Eupolemos was the first of them to die, while the estate was still undivided; next was Arizelos, Timarchos’ father. While he was alive, he handled the whole property because of Arignotos’ poor health and the misfortune with his sight, and because Eupolemos was dead, and he also gave Arignotos an agreed amount for maintenance. [103] When Arizelos, the father of Timarchos here, also died, to begin with, while this man was still a boy, Arignotos received his proper share from Timarchos’ guardians. But when Timarchos here was enrolled in the deme register and gained control of the property, he shoved aside an old and unfortunate man, his own uncle, and squandered the property. He gave Arignotos no support at all; no, he stood by while a man who had owned so much property collected the disabled dole. [104] Finally, and most monstrous, when the old man was left off the list for examination for the disabled dole and had made formal supplication before the Council for the dole, though Timarchos was serving on the Council and was presiding for that day, he did not choose to speak in his support, but stood by while Arignotos lost the dole for that prytany. To prove the truth of what I say, please call Arignotos of Sphettos and read out the deposition.


[105] Perhaps one might suggest that after selling his ancestral home he bought another one elsewhere in the city, and in place of the piece of land at Sphettos and the farm at Alopeke and the craftsmen he set himself up in the silver mines like his father before him. But he has nothing left, no house, no apartment, no farm, no slaves, no loans out, none of the things from which men who aren’t criminals support themselves. Instead of his ancestral property what he has left is depravity, sykophancy, recklessness, self-indulgence, cowardice, brazenness, and an inability to blush at shameful acts, qualities which make a man the most base and worthless citizen.

[106] Now he has not only devoured his ancestral property but in addition all of your public property of which he has had control. For despite his age, which you can see, there is no office he has not held, and he was not selected by lot or elected to any of them; no, he bought every one illegally. The majority of them I shall overlook and mention just two or three. [107] He became auditor and did immense damage to the city by accepting bribes from people guilty of misconduct in office, though most of all he would blackmail innocent people facing their final audit. He held office at Andros, a post he bought for thirty mnai, money he borrowed at a rate of nine obols to the mna,1 using your allies as a fund to pay for his depravity. And in dealing with the wives of free men he displayed a debauchery beyond anything ever seen before. I call none of the men here to testify in public to the personal calamity which he preferred to keep silent; I leave it to you to investigate. [108] But what do you expect? When a man commits outrage in Athens not only against others but also against his own body, where there are laws, while you were watching and his enemies were standing ready, who would expect that once the same man obtained immunity, power and office he would have omitted any act of extreme debauchery? Often before now, by Zeus and Apollo, I have reflected on the good luck of our city, for many reasons but not least for this, that at that period there was no buyer available for the city of Andros!

[109] But perhaps he was corrupt when holding office alone but decent when he was a member of a board. How? This person, men of Athens, served on the Council in the archonship of Nikophemos. Now to offer an account of all the crimes he committed in that year is too great a task for a small portion of a day. But I shall tell you briefly of the ones most relevant to the charge that forms the subject of the present trial. [110] During the same Archon year in which Timarchos was on the Council, Hegesandros the brother of Krobylos was treasurer to the goddess, and together like good comrades they stole a thousand drachmas from the city. An upright man, Pamphilos of Acherdous, saw what was happening; he had some quarrel with the defendant and was angry with him, and during an Assembly meeting he stood up and said: ‘Men of Athens, a man and a woman are together stealing a thousand drachmas of your money.’ [111] When you were mystified what he meant by a man and woman and wondered what he was talking about, after a short pause he said: ‘Don’t you realize what I’m saying? The man is Hegesandros there – now, though before he was himself Leodamas’ woman; and the woman is Timarchos here. Just how the money is being stolen I shall tell you.’ After this he gave a well informed and clear account of the matter. And after giving this information he said: ‘What then is my advice to you, men of Athens? If the Council finds Timarchos guilty, expels him and hands him over to a court, give them their reward, and if they don’t punish him, don’t give it and keep this in mind against them until that day.’ [112] Afterward when the Council next entered the Council chamber, they held a straw vote and expelled him but reinstated him in the actual ballot. And because they did not hand him over to a court or expel him from the Council chamber, though it pains me to say so, I am compelled to tell you that they did not receive their reward. So then, men of Athens, do not vent your anger on the Council and leave five hundred citizens without their crown because they did not punish this man, and then yourselves acquit him and save for the Assembly a public speaker who was no good for the Council.

[113] But perhaps, though he behaves like this in offices filled by lot, in elective offices he is better. And which of you does not know the scandal of his conviction as a thief? He was sent by you as auditor of the mercenaries at Eretria; and he was the only one of the auditors who confessed to receiving money. He did not in his defence contest the fact but admitted guilt and immediately pleaded with you about the penalty. And you fined the men who denied the offence a talent each, while you fined Timarchos thirty mnai. Yet the laws order that thieves who admit the offence be punished with death, while those who deny it should be tried.

[114] So then he conceived such contempt for you that immediately during the scrutinies in the demes he took two thousand drachmas in bribes. He claimed that Philotades of Kydathenaion, a member of the citizen body, was a freedman of his and persuaded his deme members to reject him. He took charge of the case for the prosecution in court and taking the sacrificial victims in his hand swore that he had taken and would take no bribes, swearing by the gods who enforce oaths and calling down destruction on himself. [115] But it came out that he had received twenty mnai from Leukonides, Philotades’ in-law, by way of Philemon the actor (money he spent in a short time on the courtesan Philoxene) and he abandoned the case and broke his oath. To prove I am telling the truth, please call Philemon, who gave Timarchos the money, and Leukonides the in-law of Philotades, and read out the copy of the agreement on which he sold the case.

Depositions, agreement

[116] So then the way he has behaved towards citizens and relatives and scandalously spent his inheritance and tolerated the abuse of his own body are things you know yourselves even before I speak, and my account is reminder enough for you. But there are two aspects of my accusation left, and I pray to all the gods and goddesses that I myself shall speak on these matters as I have undertaken for the city’s sake; and I would like you for your part to pay attention to what I am about to say and follow conscientiously.

[117] The first of my two themes is an advance account of the defence that I am told will be made, in case through its omission on my part the man who proclaims that he can teach young men the tricks of public speaking misleads you with false arguments and robs you of a result that will benefit the city. My second theme is to urge the citizens to virtuous conduct. I see many of the younger men present in court, and many of the older men, and not least people from the rest of Greece, gathered to listen. [118] Don’t suppose that they have come to watch me but much more to determine whether you not only know how to legislate but can also judge right and wrong, whether you know how to honour good men and whether you are willing to punish people who make their life a reproach to the city. I shall speak to you first of all about the defence.

[119] That accomplished speaker Demosthenes claims that you must either delete the laws or else you must pay no attention to my arguments. He says he is amazed if you don’t all remember that each year the Council sells the prostitution tax, and that those who buy the right to collect the tax do not guess but know precisely the people involved in this trade. Though I have had the nerve to charge that Timarchos has no right to address the people when he has been a prostitute, Demosthenes says that the practice itself calls not for an accusation from a prosecutor but a deposition from a tax-collector who has collected the tax from Timarchos. [120] Men of Athens, see whether you think my own reply to this argument simple and frank. I am ashamed for the city’s sake if Timarchos, the people’s adviser, the man who dares to serve on embassies to the rest of Greece, will not attempt to eradicate the whole charge but instead ask about the places where he solicited and if the tax-collectors have ever collected the prostitutes’ tax from him. [121] I shall offer you a different argument, one which is honourable and just, which you will use, if you have nothing shameful on your conscience. Have the courage to look straight at the judges and say what a virtuous man should about his youth: ‘Men of Athens, I have been brought up among you from childhood and early youth, and my way of life is no mystery. I am seen among you in the Assembly. [122] And I think that if I were addressing any other people on the charge on which I am now being tried, I could easily use your testimony to refute the accuser’s claims. I hold the rest of my life not worth living, not just if I have committed any of these acts but if you believe that I have lived a life which resembles my opponent’s accusations, and I offer up the punishment inflicted on me as a way for the city to defend its reputation before Greece. I have not come to beg you for mercy; rather, destroy me, if you think me this sort of man.’ This, Timarchos, is the defence of an upright and virtuous man who has confidence in his way of life and rightly despises every calumny. [123] But the argument which Demosthenes is urging you to use is not that of a free man but a prostitute cavilling about locations.

But since you take refuge in the names of the dwellings and insist that the case must be examined on the basis of the establishment where you solicited, once you have heard what I am about to say you will not use this argument again, if you’re wise. It is not buildings or lodgings that give their names to their occupants but occupants who give the names of their individual lifestyles to locations. [124] Thus, where a number of people have a single building which they have rented divided among them, we call it an apartment block. Where one person lives, we call it a house. If a doctor moves into one of these commercial properties by the roadside, surely it is called a doctor’s surgery. If he moves out and a blacksmith moves into the same shop, it is then called a smithy. If it is a fuller, a laundry, if it is a carpenter, a carpenter’s shop. If a pimp and prostitutes move in, it immediately gets the name brothel from the trade. And so you have created a lot of brothels from your readiness for this practice. So don’t ask where you ever practised the trade but defend yourself on the ground that you have not done so.

[125] Another argument, evidently, will be advanced, manufactured by the same sophist. He says that there is nothing more unjust than report; and he offers examples got from the marketplace and entirely suited to his own life. First of all, he points out that the apartment block at Kolonos called ‘Demon’s’ is falsely named; it isn’t Demon’s. Then the Hermes statue called ‘Andokides’ Hermes’, he says, isn’t Andokides’ but a dedication by the Aegeis tribe. [126] And he offers himself as a parallel by way of a joke, like a good-natured man jesting about his own lifestyle. ‘Unless,’ he says, ‘I too must respond to the crowd when they call me not Demosthenes but Batalos, because my nurse gave me this pet name.’ And if Timarchos was good looking and is the target of jibes in malicious distortion of the fact and not because of his own acts, surely, says Demosthenes, he doesn’t deserve to be ruined because of this. [127] Personally, Demosthenes, in the case of dedications and houses and possessions, in general all voiceless objects, I hear many tales of all sorts and never consistent. For they have in them no capacity for noble or shameful action; it is the man who happens to be associated with them, whoever he is, who furnishes the story according to the scale of his own reputation. But in the case of men’s lives and actions, of its own accord an unerring report spreads through the city announcing individual conduct to the public at large and often predicting the future as well. [128] And my statement is so obvious and uncontrived that you will find both that our city and our ancestors set up an altar to Report as a very great goddess, and that Homer often says in the Iliad before some event which was about to happen: ‘Report came to the army’, and that Euripides declares that this goddess is able not only in the case of the living to reveal what kind of men they may be, but also in the case of the dead, when he says:

Report declares the noble man, even when deep in the ground.

[129] And Hesiod actually describes her explicitly as a goddess, stating it unambiguously for anyone who is willing to understand. He says:

Report never dies away completely, if many
people utter it. So she too is a god.

And you will find that people who have lived decent lives are admirers of these poems. For all men who seek honour in public life believe that they will win their reputation from good report. But those whose lives are shameful do not respect this god. They think her their immortal accuser.

[130] So then call to mind, gentlemen, the report you have heard concerning Timarchos. Isn’t it true that as soon as the name is spoken you immediately ask the question: ‘Which Timarchos? The prostitute?’ So then, if I were offering witnesses, you would believe me. If I offer the god as witness, will you not believe, when piety does not allow us to accuse her of false testimony? [131] For in the case of Demosthenes’ nickname too, it is no mistake that he is called Batalos, by common report and not by his nurse, having earned the name for unmanliness and pathic habits. For if someone were to take off these elegant robes of yours and the soft-textured tunics in which you write your speeches against your friends and carry them around and put them in the hands of the judges, I think that, if someone were to do this without warning, they would be quite unsure whether they had been given the clothes of a man or a woman.

[132] And one of the generals will mount the stand for the defence, I’m told, head high and self-assured, like a man who has spent his time in the wrestling schools and philosophical debate. And he will attempt to demolish the whole basis of the trial, maintaining that what I have devised is not a prosecution but the beginning of an appalling crassness. He will offer as examples first of all your benefactors, Harmodios and Aristogeiton and describe their mutual devotion and the good their relationship did for the city. [133] He will not spare, they say, even Homer’s poems or the names of the heroes, but will hymn the friendship of Patroklos and Achilles, said to be based on love, and will now deliver an encomium on beauty, as though it had not long since been considered a blessing – if it is combined with self-control. If certain people slander this bodily beauty and bring disaster on those who possess it, he says, your collective vote will contradict your individual prayers. [134] For he finds it strange, he says, if for sons not yet born all of you who intend to sire children pray that they may be born fine and noble in appearance and worthy of the city, but when there are sons already born, who ought to make the city proud, if they amaze people with their exceptional youthful beauty and become objects of lovers’ rivalry, you will evidently let Aischines persuade you to disfranchise them. [135] And then he intends to go on the offensive against me, I’m told. He’ll ask if I’m not ashamed to be the one to subject the practice to scorn and danger, when I am a nuisance in the gymnasia and have been the lover of many boys. And finally, so certain people inform me, in an attempt to reduce you to idle laughter, he says he will exhibit all the love poems I have written to various people and he says he will provide testimonies to squabbles and exchanges of blows in which the practice has involved me.

[136] Myself, I neither disparage legitimate desire, nor do I say that boys of exceptional beauty have prostituted themselves; nor do I deny that I myself have been erotically inclined and still am. And I do not deny that the rivalries and fights that the business causes have happened to me. As to the poems they say I have written, some I admit, but others I deny possessed the character presented by my opponents, who are twisting them. [137] In my definition, to love those who are noble and decent is a mark of a humane and discerning soul, but to hire for money and engage in depravity is the conduct of a gross and uncultured man. And to be loved without corruption I consider noble, but to have been induced by payment to prostitute oneself is a disgrace. How far apart they are from each other, how greatly they differ, I shall try to explain to you in what follows.

[138] Our fathers, when they were legislating to regulate behaviour and urges dictated by nature, forbade slaves to engage in any practice which they thought should belong to free men. ‘A slave,’ says the law, ‘is not to exercise and rub himself with oil in the wrestling schools.’ And it did not add further: ‘but the free man is to rub himself down and exercise.’ For when the lawgivers with a view to the noble effects of the gymnasia forbade slaves to participate, they believed that with the same law in which they forbade these they were also encouraging free men to go to the gymnasia. [139] And again the same lawgiver said: ‘A slave is not to be the lover of a free boy or to follow him, or he is to receive fifty blows of the public lash.’ But he did not forbid the free man to be a boy’s lover or associate with and follow him, and he did not believe that this would result in harm to the boy but would be testimony to his chastity. But since the boy is not yet responsible, and is unable to distinguish the real and the false friend, he disciplines the lover and postpones talk of love to the age of good sense, when the boy is older. And he believed that following and watching over a boy was the most effective safeguard and protection for his chastity. [140] And so it was that those benefactors of the city and men of outstanding excellence, Harmodios and Aristogeiton, were brought up by that decent and lawful feeling – whether we should call it love or something else – to be men of such a cast that when men praise their deeds the eulogies are felt to fall short of their achievements.

[141] But since you mention Achilles and Patroklos and Homer and other poets, as though the judges have had no education, and present yourselves as imposing figures who because of your learning can despise the people, to show you that we too have already heard and learned a little, we too shall say something on the subject. For since they elect to talk about wise men and take refuge in statements made in verse, look to the poets, men of Athens, who are by common consent noble and beneficial, and see how great they thought was the distance between decent men, who love those like themselves, and wanton men who cannot resist illicit pleasures.

[142] I shall speak first about Homer, whom we count among the oldest and wisest of the poets. Homer, though he often mentions Patroklos and Achilles, conceals their love and the precise term for their friendship, in the belief that the exceptional strength of their affection is obvious to the cultured among his audience. [143] At one point when Achilles is lamenting Patroklos’ death he states, recalling it as one of his greatest sources of pain, that he has involuntarily betrayed the promise to Patroklos’ father Menoitios; he had undertaken to bring him safe back to Opous, if his father would send the son with him to Troy and entrust him to Achilles. And this makes it quite clear that it was for love that he had taken over his care. [144] The verses are those I shall now recite to you:2

Alas, idle then the words I let fall on that day
assuring the hero Menoitios in his halls.
I said I would restore his glorious son to Opous
as sacker of Troy with his share of the spoil.
But Zeus does not fulfil all of men’s intents;
for it is fated that both stain the same earth red.

[145] And this is not the only place where he can be seen to complain bitterly; so powerful was his grief for Patroklos that though he was forewarned by his mother that if he did not go in pursuit of his enemies but left Patroklos’ death unavenged he would return home and die an old man in his own homeland, but if he avenged it he would soon lose his own life, he chose fidelity to the dead man over survival. Such was the greatheartedness that drove him to punish Patroklos’ killer that, when everyone comforted him and urged him to bathe and take food, he vows he will do none of this until he brings Hektor’s head to Patroklos’ tomb.

[146] And while he is asleep at the pyre, the poet says, Patroklos’ ghost stands over him; and the memories he stirred, and the solemn commands he gave Achilles were such that one should weep and wonder at their virtue and their friendship. He foretold that Achilles himself was not far away from the end of his life and enjoined him that, if it were at all possible, he should ensure that, in the same way that they had been brought up and lived together, so too in death the bones of both should lie in the same urn. [147] And grieving he describes the pursuits they shared in life, and says: ‘No more will we, as before, sit together apart from our other friends and deliberate on matters of the greatest importance’; for he believes (I think) that it is the trust and the affection which are yearned for the most. So that you can hear the poet’s sentiments in verse, the clerk will read to you the lines which Homer has composed on this subject. [148] To begin with, read the verses about vengeance on Hektor.3

Yet since, dear comrade, I shall go beneath the earth after you,
I shall not perform your rites until I bring here Hektor’s

armour and head, those of your proudhearted killer.

[149] Now read out what Patroklos says in the dream about their burial together and the pursuits they shared together. 4

For no more in life apart from our dear comrades
shall we sit and take counsel. No, hated doom

has swallowed me, which fell to my lot at my birth.
And for you yourself too it is fated, godlike Achilles,
to die beneath the walls of the noble Trojans,
fighting with the enemy for fine-haired Helen.
Another thing I shall tell you, and fix it in your heart.
Place not my bones apart from yours, Achilles,

but so that the same earth covers yourself too,
in the golden urn your lady mother gave you,
just as we were raised together in your halls,

when from Opous as a small child still Menoitios
brought me to your house from grim manslaying,
that day when I killed the son of Amphidamas,

in childish folly, not wishing it, in anger over dice.
There welcoming me in his halls Peleus the knight
reared me unstintingly and called me your companion.
Just so let the same vessel also cover our bones.

[150] Now to show that he it was open to him to survive if he had not avenged Patroklos’ death, read out what Thetis says:5

‘Swift will be your fate, child, from what you say.
For at once after Hektor your destiny is waiting.
To her in turn spoke swiftfooted godlike Achilles:

‘Let me die at once, since it seems I was not to save

my comrade from death, he who was much the dearest to me.’

[151] And Euripides, as wise as any of the poets, believing chaste love to be one of the finest emotions treats love as something to be prayed for and says somewhere:6

That love that leads to decency and virtue
is to be envied by mankind. Might I be one such!

[152] Again the same poet in his Phoinix declares, when he is defending him against the false accusation from his father and trying to accustom people to judge not from suspicion and slander but from a man’s life:7

Of many disputes I have been chosen judge ere now
and have known many opposing claims,

with conflicting witnesses, about the same event.
And thus do I, and any man who’s wise,

reckon the truth, by looking to a man’s nature
and the way of life in which he spends his days.
And any man who enjoys bad company,

I’ve never questioned – for I know full well

he resembles those whose company he likes.

[153] Observe the views expressed by the poet, men of Athens. He says that he has already been the arbiter of many disputes, just as you now are judges, and he says that he bases his verdict not on testimony but on a man’s way of life and the company he keeps. He pays attention to the way the man on trial lives his daily life and the way he runs his household, in the belief that he will run the city’s business in much the same way, and whose company he enjoys. And finally he does not hesitate to assert that a man resembles those whose company pleases him. So it is just that you use Euripides’ reasoning to judge Timarchos. [154] How has he managed his property? He has squandered his inheritance and after hiring out his body and taking bribes in political life he has used it all up, and so all he has left is the shame. Whose company does he enjoy? Hegesandros’. And what is Hegesandros’ way of life? The sort for which the laws forbid the perpetrator to address the people. As for me, what charge do I make against Timarchos and what exactly is it that I have entered in my written accusation? That Timarchos addresses the people, though he has prostituted himself and squandered his paternal estate. And as for you, what have you sworn? That you will cast your vote on the issue which forms the basis of the prosecution.

[155] But to avoid dwelling at length on the poets, I shall tell you the names of older men who are well known, and young men and boys. Some of these have had many lovers because of their beauty, others are still now in the bloom of youth; but none of them has ever been subjected to the same accusations as Timarchos. And then again in contrast I shall list for you the names of men who have shamefully and openly prostituted themselves. Recalling them will help you to assign Timarchos to the proper category.

[156] First I shall give the names of people who have lived an honourable life worthy of a free man. You know, men of Athens, that Kriton the son of Astyochos and Perikleides of Perithoidai and Polemagenes and Pantaleon the son of Kleagoras and Timesitheos the runner were the most beautiful not only of the citizens but of all the Greeks beside, and that they won the most and the most decent lovers. Yet nobody has ever criticized them. [157] Again, among the youths or those still now counted as boys, there is Iphikrates’ nephew, the son of Teisias of Rhamnous, who has the same name as the defendant Timarchos. Though he is handsome in appearance, he is so far removed from shameful conduct that the other day, at the Rural Dionysia during the performance of the comic plays at Kollytos, when the comic actor Parmenon spoke an anapaestic line to the chorus in which it was said that certain men were ‘big Timarchian prostitutes’, nobody understood it as a reference to the young man; no, everyone saw a reference to you. So firm is your title to the practice. And again there is Antikles the sprinter and Pheidias the brother of Melesias. Though I could mention many more, I shall stop, to avoid seeming to flatter them with my praise.

[158] As to those who share Timarchos’ ways, I shall avoid making enemies and speak of those about whom I care least. Who among you does not know of Diophantos, known as ‘the orphan’, who arrested the foreigner and took him before the archon for whom Aristophon of Azenia was serving as assistant, alleging that he had been cheated of four drachmas owed for this service, and who cited the laws which order the Archon to protect orphans, though he himself had breached the ones which cover chastity? Who among the citizen body was not offended by Kephisodoros, known as the son of Molon, who had defiled outstanding youthful beauty with the most infamous behaviour? Or Mnesitheos, known as the cook’s son, and many others whose names I choose to forget. [159] I don’t want to go over each of them by name spitefully. In fact I could pray rather to have a lack of such examples to cite in my affection for the city. But now that we have mentioned selected examples of each type, on the one hand those who are loved in a chaste manner and on the other those who offend against their own persons, I want you now to answer this question from me: to which category do you assign Timarchos; to the ones who are loved or to the ones who have been prostitutes? Well then, Timarchos, do not desert the class you chose for yourself and defect to the way of life of free men.

[160] If they try to claim that a man has not prostituted himself if he did not hire himself out under contract, and demand that I provide a document and witnesses to this effect, firstly remember the laws concerning prostitution; nowhere in them does the lawgiver mention contracts. He did not enquire whether anyone had shamed himself under a written contract but, however the activity occurs, he absolutely orders that the man who has engaged in it must be excluded from the public life of the city. And rightly. For any man who in his youth has forsaken the ambition for noble action for the sake of shameful pleasures, should not, he believed, in later life enjoy political rights. [161] Furthermore, one can easily prove the futility of this argument. We would all agree that we make contracts from lack of trust of one another, so that the party who has not broken the written terms can obtain satisfaction through the judges’ vote from the one who has broken them. So then, if the matter calls for litigation, men who have prostituted themselves by contract, if wronged, still have access to the protection of the laws, according to their arguments. And what case would be made by each party? Imagine that you’re not hearing me describe it but seeing the thing actually happening. [162] Suppose that the one who did the hiring is honest in the business and the person hired is dishonest and unreliable, or again the opposite, that the person hired is reasonable and does what was agreed while the one who exploited his youthful beauty and hired him has cheated; and imagine that you yourselves are sitting as judges. So then, the older man, when given the allocation of water for his case, will solemnly present his prosecution and looking you in the face (of course) will say: [163] ‘I hired Timarchos, men of Athens, to be my kept lover according to the contract lodged with Demosthenes’ (there’s nothing to prevent this being the claim) ‘and he is not doing what was agreed for me.’ And obviously he’ll immediately give the judges a description, explaining what a person of this sort has to do. Then won’t he be stoned, this person who hires an Athenian against the laws? Won’t he leave the court not only owing compensation but also guilty of outrage?

[164] Or perhaps it is not this one but the one who was hired who is suing. Now let clever Batalos step up and speak on his behalf, so we’ll know what on earth he will say. ‘Judges, whoever it is’ (it makes no difference) ‘hired me to be his kept lover for money. And while I have done, and still continue to do, everything which a kept lover should according to the written contract, the defendant is breaking the agreement.’ And then won’t he be met with loud yells from the judges? Won’t everyone say: ‘And in spite of this do you invade the marketplace, wear the crown of office, or attempt to do any of the things we do?’ So there is no point to the contract.

[165] How then has it become prevailing custom to assert that before now people have prostituted themselves by written contract? I’ll tell you. A certain citizen (I shall not give the name; I am trying to avoid making enemies), who foresaw none of the consequences I described to you just before and (it is said) became a kept lover under a contract lodged with Antikles. Since he was not a private citizen but entered public life and met with insults, the upshot was that the city became familiar with the phrase, and this is why some people ask if the activity has taken place under a contract. But the lawgiver did not consider the way the activity has taken place; no, however the hiring out is done, he condemned the man to disgrace.

[166] And yet though these things have been defined so clearly, Demosthenes will discover many misleading arguments. The corrupt nature of his statements on the main issue one might not resent so much. But the irrelevant arguments he will drag in to injure the city’s claim to justice, these are what deserve your anger. Philip will be there in plenty; and the name of his son Alexander will be thrown in too. For in addition to his other faults this man is a crass and uncultivated individual. [167] The unseemly statements in his speech about Philip are vulgar and inappropriate, but less serious than the wrong I am about to mention; for he will be uttering abuse against someone who is undeniably a man, even though he himself is not a man. But when with his contrived figures of speech he slips in shameful insinuations against the boy, he makes a laughing stock of the city. [168] In an effort to spoil the audit I am about to undergo for my service on the embassy, he says that when he was giving the Council an account of Alexander the other day, about how he played the lyre to us while we were drinking and recited tragic speeches and debated with another boy, and was telling the Council all he happened to know about the matter, I was enraged at the jokes against the boy as if I were not a member of the embassy but his relative. [169] In fact I have, naturally, not spoken with Alexander because of his youth. But Philip I praise already for his auspicious statements; and if his actions towards us accord with his present promises, he will make praising him a safe and easy task. I rebuked Demosthenes in the Council chamber not out of a desire to ingratiate myself with the boy but in the belief that if you listen to such things, the city will be held to share the speaker’s lack of propriety.

[170] But, men of Athens, you should refuse altogether to listen to defence arguments irrelevant to the main issue, first of all because of the oaths you have sworn and secondly to avoid being misled by a person who is expert in the art of speaking. I’ll go back a little to give you the information. When Demosthenes had used up his inheritance, he went round the city hunting for rich young orphans whose fathers had died and whose mothers were managing the property. I shall leave out many of them and mention one of the people who have been treated appallingly. [171] He noticed a household, which was rich but badly managed. The head of the house was a proud but foolish woman and the property was handled by a half-mad young orphan, Aristarchos the son of Moschos. He pretended to be in love with this young man, drew him into this close relationship and filled him with false hopes that he would in no time at all be one of the leading public speakers; and he showed him a list of names. [172] And he prompted and taught him to commit acts whose result is that the young man is now in exile from his fatherland, while this man has got hold of the money which was to maintain him in exile and robbed him of three talents; and Nikodemos of Aphidna has been violently killed by Aristarchos, with both his eyes poked out, unhappy man, and the tongue cut out with which he practised free speech, trusting in the laws and in you.

[173] Well then, men of Athens, when you executed Sokrates the sophist, because it was shown that he had taught Kritias, one of the Thirty who overthrew the democracy, is Demosthenes to plead his associates off in your court? This man who has exacted such monstrous revenge from ordinary people loyal to the democracy for their free speech? At his invitation some of his pupils have come here as an audience. For he promises them, I’m informed, touting for business at your expense, that you won’t notice as he shifts the basis of the trial and with it your attention. [174] And that, the moment he appears in court, he will inspire confidence in the defendant and in the accuser confusion and fear for himself; that he will call forth such loud and hostile shouts from the judges by dragging in my Assembly speeches and criticizing the peace which was brought about through me and Philokrates that I will not even turn up in court to defend myself, when I undergo audit for my service as envoy, but will be happy if I receive a moderate penalty and am not condemned to death!

[175] Do not under any circumstances give this sophist the occasion for laughter and amusement at your expense. No, imagine you are seeing him back home from court, looking grand among his circle of young men and describing how successfully he stole the case from the judges: ‘I led them away from the charges against Timarchos and I took them and fixed their attention on the accuser, Philip and the Phokians; and I dangled fears before my listeners, with the result that the defendant was accuser and the accuser was on trial, and the judges forgot the case they were trying and listened to a case they were not trying.’ [176] Your duty is to take a firm stand against this, to follow every detail and at no point let him digress or press arguments irrelevant to the case. Rather, as in chariot races, you must steer him back to the actual track of the subject at issue. And if you do this, you will not be treated with contempt, and you will display the same attitude as lawgivers and judges. If not, you will give the impression that you feel anger when you anticipate future crimes but cease to care about crimes committed.

[177] To sum the matter up: if you punish offenders, your laws will be good and valid, while if you acquit them the laws will still be good but no longer valid. My reason for saying this I shall not hesitate to tell you freely. My account will use a parallel. Why do you think, men of Athens, that the laws are good but the decrees are inferior to the city and the judgments in court sometimes cause amazement? I shall explain the reasons for this. [178] The reason is that you make the laws entirely on the basis of justice, not for dishonest profit or favour or enmity but with an eye only to justice and the public good. And because you are by nature more intelligent, I think, than other men, it follows that you make the best laws. But in the Assembly meetings and the courts you often lose sight of the arguments relevant to the main issue; you are led astray by deception and humbug and admit the most unjust practice into your trials: you allow the defendants to make counter-accusations against their accusers. [179] Whenever you are dragged away from the case for the defence and your minds are diverted to other matters, you become forgetful of the case for the prosecution and you leave the courts without getting satisfaction from either side. Neither from the prosecutor (for no verdict is passed on him) nor from the defendant (for by brushing off with his accusations against others the real charges against him he has evaded the court). And the laws are undermined and the democracy is corrupted and the practice gains still more ground. For you are sometimes too ready to accept an argument unsupported by an upright life.

[180] But not the Spartans – and it is right to imitate the virtues of foreigners as well. When someone was addressing the Spartan Assembly, a man who had lived a shameful life but who was a supremely able speaker, and the Spartans, so they say, were about to vote as he proposed, one of the Council of Old Men came forward. These men they respect and fear; they regard the office named after this age group as the most important and they form it from men who show self-control from childhood to old age. One of these, it is said, came forward and forcefully berated the Spartans and condemned them along the following lines; that they would not long inhabit a Sparta unravaged by war if they were influenced by advisers like this in their Assembly meetings. [181] At the same time he called forward another Spartan, a man not naturally gifted as a speaker but distinguished in war and outstanding in justice and self-control, and ordered him to express as best he could the views spoken by the previous speaker; ‘so that,’ he said, ‘the Spartans may vote on the words of a good man, and not even receive into their ears the voices of men who are inveterate cowards and villains.’ This is how the old man who had lived a life of self-control from childhood advised his fellow citizens. He would have been keen to allow Timarchos or the catamite Demosthenes to take part in politics!

[182] But to avoid seeming to flatter the Spartans, I shall also speak of our own ancestors. They dealt so severely with shameful acts and took so very seriously the chastity of their children that, when one citizen found that his daughter had been seduced and had not preserved her maidenhood honourably until marriage, he walled her up in an empty house with a horse, knowing that she would be killed by it if they were shut in together. And even to this day the foundations of this house are standing in your city, and the place is called ‘by the horse and girl’. [183] And Solon, the most renowned of lawgivers, has written laws in an ancient and solemn manner to deal with the orderly conduct of women. Any woman with whom a seducer is caught he does not allow to wear finery or to enter the public temples, so that she does not corrupt innocent women by mixing with them. And if she does enter or wear finery, he instructs anyone who encounters her to tear her clothing, remove her jewellery and hit her, though he is prevented from killing or maiming her; Solon thus dishonours such a woman and makes her life unliveable. [184] And he orders the indictment of procurers, male and female; and if they are convicted, he orders that they be punished with death, because when people who desire to sin hesitate through shame to meet each other, the procurers offer their own lack of shame for pay and take the affair to the point of discussion and action.

[185] So then, when your fathers took this view on the question of shame and honour, will you acquit Timarchos, who is guilty of the most shameful practices? A man with a male body who has committed the offences of a woman? Who among you then, if he catches his wife doing wrong, will punish her? Who will not seem crass if he is angry with a woman who does wrong according to her nature but uses as adviser a man who had degraded himself against nature? [186] What will be thoughts of each of you when he goes home from the court? The man on trial is not obscure but well known, and the law on the scrutiny of public speakers is not trifling but quite excellent. It is probable that boys and young men will ask their relatives how the case has been judged. [187] What then will you say, you who now control the vote, when your sons ask you if you convicted or acquitted? As soon as you admit that you acquitted him, won’t you overturn the whole system of education? What is the point in keeping slave chaperones or appointing gymnastic trainers and teachers for our children, when the men who have the laws in their trust bend when faced with disgraceful acts.

[188] I am also amazed, men of Athens, if you, who hate brothelkeepers, are to acquit people who have voluntarily prostituted themselves. Evidently this very man, who will not be selected for the priesthood of any of the gods, since under the laws his body is unclean, will draft in the text of decrees prayers for the good of the city to the Solemn Goddesses. Then why are we amazed at the failure of our public policies, when the names of speakers like this man are attached to decisions of the people? And shall we send abroad as an envoy a man whose life at home has been shameful and entrust to him matters of supreme importance? What would a man not sell, when he has sold off the degradation of his body? Who would this man pity when he has shown no pity for himself?

[189] Which of you is not well aware of the depravity of Timarchos? For just as with people who exercise, even if we are not at the gymnasia, we can recognize them by looking at their fine condition, in the same way with men who have been prostitutes, even if we’re not present at their activities, we recognize them from their shamelessness and impudence and from their general behaviour. For a man who has shown contempt for the laws and for decency on the most important issues has a certain quality of mind, which is visible from his disorderly conduct.

[190] You will find that it is men of this sort most of all who have destroyed cities and have themselves met with the worst disasters. For don’t imagine, men of Athens, that the origins of wrongdoing lie with the gods and not with the wantonness of men, nor that Furies drive men guilty of impiety, as in the tragedies, and punish them with burning brands. [191] No, it is reckless physical pleasures and a belief that nothing is ever enough, these are what fill the gangs of robbers, what put people on pirate ships, these are each man’s Fury; these are what urge him to slaughter his fellow citizens, serve tyrants, work with others to overthrow democracy. For they take no account of the shame or the consequences for themselves; what mesmerizes them is the pleasures they will enjoy, if they succeed. So eliminate natures such as this, men of Athens, and turn the ambitions of the young towards virtue.

[192] Rest assured, and please keep in mind particularly what I’m about to say: if Timarchos is punished for his practices, you will be making a start for discipline in the city, but if he is acquitted, it would have been better if the trial had not been held. For before Timarchos was put on trial, the law and the name of the courts inspired fear in some men. But if the outstanding and most infamous exponent of debauchery comes to court and survives it, he will inspire many more to offend and in the end what rouses your anger will not be a speech but a crisis. [193] So then, don’t wait to vent your wrath on a host but do it on one man. And beware their schemes and their supporting speakers. I won’t mention any of them by name, so that they don’t make this the opening of their speech by saying that they would not have come forward if they had not been mentioned by name. This is what I’ll do instead. I’ll remove the names and describe the practices and make their physical features recognizable to you. Each of them will have only himself to blame, if he mounts this stand and shows no shame. [194] There are three kinds of supporting speakers here to help this man, those who have used up their inheritance with their daily spending, those who have abused their youth and their bodies and are afraid not for Timarchos but for themselves and their conduct, in case they are brought to trial one day, and others who are people without any restraint who have made unlimited use of men like him, so people will be more ready to do wrong, confident in the protection they offer. [195] And before you listen to their supporting speeches, remember their way of life. And the ones who have wronged their own bodies, tell them not to pester you but to stop addressing the people; for the law does not scrutinize private citizens but politicians. The ones who have squandered their inheritance, tell them to work and earn their living in some other way. And the hunters of those young men who are easily caught, tell them to turn to foreigners and resident aliens, so that they won’t be deprived of their chosen practice and you will not be damaged.

[196] You have had from me all that justice demands. I have informed you of the laws, I’ve examined the defendant’s way of life. So now you are the judges of my words; shortly I shall be the observer of your acts. It is on your decisions that the outcome depends. If it is your wish, if you act justly and in your own best interests, we for our part will be more zealous in exposing those who break the laws.