Friday, February 19, 2021


Bulwark Against Tyranny

Demosthenes 6.23-24 (Second Philippic, Demosthenes addressing the Messenians; tr. J.H. Vince):
"Verily," I said, "there are manifold means devised by states for protection and safety—stockades, ramparts, fosses and the like. And all these are wrought by hand and entail expense. But there is one common bulwark which the instinct of sensible men possesses within itself, a good and safe one for all, but invaluable for democracies against tyrants. And what is that bulwark? It is mistrust. Guard that; hold fast to that. If you preserve it, no harm can touch you."

"ἔστι τοίνυν νὴ Δί᾿," ἔφην ἐγώ, "παντοδαπὰ εὑρημένα ταῖς πόλεσι πρὸς φυλακὴν καὶ σωτηρίαν, οἷον χαρακώματα καὶ τείχη καὶ τάφροι καὶ τἄλλ᾿ ὅσα τοιαῦτα. καὶ ταῦτα μέν ἐστιν ἅπαντα χειροποίητα καὶ δαπάνης προσδεῖται· ἓν δέ τι κοινὸν ἡ φύσις τῶν εὖ φρονούντων ἐν αὑτῇ κέκτηται φυλακτήριον, ὃ πᾶσι μέν ἐστ᾿ ἀγαθὸν καὶ σωτήριον, μάλιστα δὲ τοῖς πλήθεσι πρὸς τοὺς τυράννους. τί οὖν ἐστι τοῦτο; ἀπιστία. ταύτην φυλάττετε, ταύτης ἀντέχεσθε· ἂν ταύτην σῴζητε, οὐδὲν μὴ δεινὸν πάθητε."

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?