Wednesday, May 23, 2018


But X Did the Same Thing!

Isocrates, Busiris 45 (tr. LaRue Van Hook):
For you do not exonerate him from the charges, but only declare that some others have done the same things, inventing thus a very easy refuge for all criminals. Why, if it is not easy to find a crime which has not yet been committed, and if we should consider that those who have been found guilty of one or another of these crimes have done nothing so very wrong, whenever others are found to have perpetrated the same offences, should we not be providing ready-made pleas in exculpation of all criminals and be granting complete licence for those who are bent on villainy?

οὐ γὰρ ἀπολύεις αὐτὸν τῶν αἰτιῶν, ἀλλ᾿ ἀποφαίνεις ὡς καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τινὲς ταὐτὰ πεποιήκασι, ῥᾳθυμοτάτην τοῖς ἁμαρτάνουσιν εὑρίσκων καταφυγήν. εἰ γὰρ τῶν μὲν ἀδικημάτων μὴ ῥᾴδιον εὑρεῖν ὃ μήπω τυγχάνει γεγενημένον, τοὺς δ᾿ ἐφ᾿ ἑκάστοις αὐτῶν ἁλισκομένους μηδὲν ἡγοίμεθα δεινὸν ποιεῖν, ὅταν ἕτεροι ταὐτὰ φαίνωνται διαπεπραγμένοι, πῶς οὐκ ἂν καὶ τὰς ἀπολογίας ἅπασι ῥᾳδίας ποιήσαιμεν, καὶ τοῖς βουλομένοις εἶναι πονηροῖς πολλὴν ἐξουσίαν παρασκευάσαιμεν;

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