Tuesday, February 23, 2016


A Deserter

Lycurgus, Against Leocrates 8 (tr. J.O. Burtt):
What punishment would suit a man who left his country and refused to guard the temples of his fathers, who abandoned the graves of his ancestors and surrendered the whole country into the hands of the enemy? The greatest and final penalty, death, though the maximum punishment allowed by law, is too small for the crimes of Leocrates.

τί γὰρ χρὴ παθεῖν τὸν ἐκλιπόντα μὲν τὴν πατρίδα, μὴ βοηθήσαντα δὲ τοῖς πατρῴοις ἱεροῖς, ἐγκαταλιπόντα δὲ τὰς τῶν προγόνων θήκας, ἅπασαν δὲ τὴν χώραν ὑποχείριον τοῖς πολεμίοις παραδόντα; τὸ μὲν γὰρ μέγιστον καὶ ἔσχατον τῶν τιμημάτων, θάνατος, ἀναγκαῖον μὲν ἐκ τῶν νόμων ἐπιτίμιον, ἔλαττον δὲ τῶν Λεωκράτους ἀδικημάτων καθέστηκε.
Id. 147:
I believe, gentlemen, that all the greatest and most atrocious crimes are to-day included within the scope of your single verdict; for Leocrates can be shown to have committed them all. He is guilty of treason, since he left the city and surrendered it to the enemy; guilty of overthrowing the democracy, because he did not face the danger which is the price of freedom; guilty of impiety, because he has done all in his power to have the sacred precincts ravaged and the temples destroyed. He is guilty too of injuring his forbears, for he effaced their memorials and deprived them of their rites, and guilty of desertion and refusal to serve, since he did not submit his person to the leaders for enrolment.

ἡγοῦμαι δ᾿, ὦ ἄνδρες, ὑπὲρ ἁπάντων τῶν μεγίστων καὶ δεινοτάτων ἀδικημάτων μίαν ὑμᾶς ψῆφον ἐν τῇ τήμερον ἡμέρᾳ φέρειν, οἷς ἅπασιν ἔνοχον ὄντα Λεωκράτην ἔστιν ἰδεῖν, προδοσίας μὲν ὅτι τὴν πόλιν ἐγκαταλιπὼν τοῖς πολεμίοις ὑποχείριον ἐποίησε, δήμου δὲ καταλύσεως ὅτι οὐχ ὑπέμεινε τὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς ἐλευθερίας κίνδυνον, ἀσεβείας δ᾿ ὅτι τοῦ τὰ τεμένη τέμνεσθαι καὶ τοὺς νεὼς κατασκάπτεσθαι τὸ καθ᾿ ἑαυτὸν γέγονεν αἴτιος, τοκέων δὲ κακώσεως τὰ μνημεῖα αὐτῶν ἀφανίζων καὶ τῶν νομίμων ἀποστερῶν, λιποταξίου δὲ καὶ ἀστρατείας οὐ παρασχὼν τὸ σῶμα τάξαι τοῖς στρατηγοῖς.

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