Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Sticking Up for Athens
Demosthenes, For the Liberty of the Rhodians
25 (tr. J.H. Vince):
There are some among you, Athenians, who are very clever at pleading the rights of others against you, and I would just give them this piece of advice—to find something to say for your rights against others, so that they themselves may set the example of doing what is proper; since it is absurd for a man to lecture you about rights when he is not doing what is right himself, and it is not right that a citizen should have given his attention to all the arguments against you and to none in your favour.
εἰσὶ δέ τινες, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, παρ᾿ ὑμῖν δεινότατοι τὰ δίκαια λέγειν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἄλλων πρὸς ὑμᾶς, οἷς παραινέσαιμ᾿ ἂν ἔγωγε τοσοῦτον μόνον, ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν πρὸς τοὺς ἄλλους ζητεῖν τὰ δίκαια λέγειν, ἵν᾿ αὐτοὶ τὰ προσήκοντα πρῶτοι φαίνωνται ποιοῦντες· ὡς ἔστ᾿ ἄτοπον περὶ τῶν δικαίων ὑμᾶς διδάσκειν αὐτὸν οὐ δίκαια ποιοῦντα· οὐ γάρ ἐστι δίκαιον ὄντα πολίτην τοὺς καθ᾿ ὑμῶν λόγους, ἀλλὰ μὴ τοὺς ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐσκέφθαι.