Aeschines: Against Timarchus [346 BCE]
Aeschine's speech Against
Timarchus of 346 BCE is one of the most valuable sources we
have about Athenian attitudes to homosexuality. Unlike Plato,
whose views were highly distinctive and not necessarily shared
by his fellow Athenians, Aeschines was appealing directly to the
members of an Athenian jury, and so it may be expected that he
was appealing to current popular opinion. It is by far the longest
text addressing homosexual behavior we have from the Classical
The circumstance of the speech are complex. Basically
it was an attempt to save the lives of the Athenian envoys to
Philip II of Macedon. Demosthenes had lead an attack on them,
and, it seems, Timarchus, one of Demosthenes' allies, was to lead
the prosecution. The beleaguered envoys, facing death, responded
by prosecuting Timarchus, charging that under Athenian law he
could hold not public office. The prosecution was successful.
Timarchus was excluded from office [Dem. Xix. 284] (until he
had the charges reversed three years later) and Demosthenes suffered
a major setback in his resistance to Philip II.
For an extended discussion of this text and its
implication see Kenneth J. Dover, Greek
Homosexuality, (London: Duckworth, 1978, or a later edition),
Chapter II: "The Prosecution of Timarkhos".
 I have never, fellow citizens, brought indictment
against any Athenian, nor vexed any man when he was rendering
account of his office; but in all such matters I have, as I believe,
shown myself a quiet and modest man. But when I saw that the city
was being seriously injured by the defendant, Timarchus, who,
though disqualified by law, was speaking in your assemblies, and
when I myself was made a victim of his blackmailing attack--the
nature of the attack I will show in the course of my speech--
 I decided that it would be a most shameful thing
if I failed to come to the defence of the whole city and its laws,
and to your defence and my own; and knowing that he was liable
to the accusations that you heard read a moment ago by the clerk
of the court, I instituted this suit, challenging him to official
scrutiny. Thus it appears,fellow citizens, that what is so frequently
said of public suits is no mistake, namely, that very often private
enmities correct public abuses.
 You will see, then, that Timarchus cannot blame
the city for any part of this prosecution, nor can he blame the
laws, nor you, nor me, but only himself. For because of his shameful
private life the laws forbade him to speak before the people,
laying on him an injunction not difficult, in my opinion, to obey--nay,
most easy; and had he been wise, he need not have made his slanderous
attack upon me. I hope, therefore, that in this introduction I
have spoken as a quiet and modest citizen ought to speak.
 I am aware, fellow citizens, that the statement
which I am about to make first is something that you will undoubtedly
have heard from other men on other occasions; but I think the
same thought is especially timely on this occasion, and from me.
It is acknowledged, namely, that there are in the world three
forms of government, autocracy, oligarchy, and democracy: autocracies
and oligarchies are administered according to the tempers of their
lords, but democratic states according to established laws.
 And be assured, fellow citizens, that in a democracy
it is the laws that guard the person of the citizen and the constitution
of the state, whereas the despot and the oligarch find their protection
in suspicion and in armed guards. Men, therefore, who administer
an oligarchy, or any government based on inequality, must be on
their guard against those who attempt revolution by the law of
force; but you, who have a government based upon equality and
law, must guard against those whose words violate the laws or
whose lives have defied them; for then only will you be strong,
when you cherish the laws, and when the revolutionary attempts
of lawless men shall have ceased.
 And it behooves us, I think, not only when we
are enacting laws, to consider always how the laws that we make
may be good and advantageous to the democracy, but when once we
have enacted them, it equally behooves us, if all is to be well
with the state, to obey the laws that we have enacted, and to
punish those who do not obey them. Consider, fellow citizens,
how much attention that ancient lawgiver, Solon, gave to morality,
as did Draco and the other lawgivers of those days.
 First, you recall, they laid down laws to protect
the morals of our children, and they expressly prescribed what
were to be the habits of the freeborn boy, and how he was to be
brought up; then they legislated for the lads, and next for the
other age-groups in succession, including in their provision,
not only private citizens, but also the public men. And when they
had inscribed these laws, they gave them to you in trust, and
made you their guardians.
 Now it is my desire, in addressing you on this
occasion, to follow in my speech the same order which the lawgiver
followed in his laws. For you shall hear first a review of the
laws that have been laid down to govern the orderly conduct of
your children, then the laws concerning the lads, and next those
concerning the other ages in succession, including not only private
citizens, but the public men as well. For so, I think, my argument
will most easily be followed. And at the same time I wish, fellow
citizens, first to describe to you in detail the laws of the state,
and then in contrast with the laws to examine the character and
habits of Timarchus. For you will find that the life he has lived
has been contrary to all the laws.
 In the first place, consider the case of the
teachers. Although the very livelihood of these men, to whom we
necessarily entrust our own children, depends on their good character,
while the opposite conduct on their part would mean poverty, yet
it is plain that the lawgiver distrusts them; for he expressly
prescribes, first, at what time of day the free-born boy is to
go to the school-room; next, how many other boys may go there
with him, and when he is to go home.
 He forbids the teacher to open the school-room,
or the gymnastic trainer the wrestling school, before sunrise,
and he commands them to close the doors before sunset; for he
is exceeding suspicious of their being alone with a boy, or in
the dark with him. He prescribes what children are to be admitted
as, pupils, and their age at admission. He provides for a public
official who shall superintend them, and for the oversight of
slave-attendants of school-boys. He regulates the festivals of
the Muses in the school-rooms, and of Hermes in the wrestling-schools.
Finally, he regulates the companionships that the boys may form
at school, and their cyclic dances.
 He prescribes, namely, that the choregus, a
man who is going to spend his own money for your entertainment,
shall be a man of more than forty years of age when he performs
this service, in order that he may have reached the most temperate
time of life before he comes into contact with your children.These
laws, then, shall be read to you, to prove that the lawgiver believed
that it is the boy who has been well brought up that will be a
useful citizen when he becomes a man. But when a boy's natural
disposition is subjected at the very outset to vicious training,
the product of such wrong nurture will be, as he believed, a citizen
like this man Timarchus. Read these laws to the jury.
The teachers of the boys shall open the school-rooms
not earlier than sunrise, and they shall close them before sunset.
No person who is older than the boys shall be permitted to enter
the room while they are there, unless he be a son of the teacher,
a brother, or a daughter's husband. If any one enter in violation
of this prohibition, he shall be punished with death. The superintendents
of the gymnasia shall under no conditions allow any one who has
reached the age of manhood to enter the contests of Hermes together
with the boys. A gymnasiarch who does permit this and fails to
keep such a person out of the gymnasium, shall be liable to the
penalties prescribed for the seduction of free-born youth. Every
choregus who is appointed by the people shall be more than forty
years of age.
 Now after this, fellow citizens, he lays down
laws regarding crimes which, great as they undoubtedly are, do
actually occur, I believe, in the city. For the very fact that
certain unbecoming things were being done was the reason for the
enactment of these laws by the men of old. At any rate the law
says explicitly: if any boy is let out for hire as a prostitute,
whether it be by father or brother or uncle or guardian, or by
any one else who has control of him, prosecution is not to he
against the boy himself, but against the man who let him out for
hire and the man who hired him; against the one because he let
him out for hire, and against the other, it says, because he hired
him. And the law has made the penalties for both offenders the
same. Moreover the law frees a son, when he has become a man,
from all obligation to support or to furnish a home to a father
by whom he has been hired out for prostitution; but when the father
is dead, the son is to bury him and perform the other customary
 See, gentlemen, how admirably this legislation
fits the case; so long as the father is alive he is deprived of
all the benefits of fatherhood, precisely as he deprived his son
of a citizen's right to speak; but when he is dead, and unconscious
of the service that is being rendered him, and when it is the
law and religion that receive the honor, then at last the lawgiver
commands the son to bury him and perform the other customary rites.But
what other law has been laid down for the protection of your children?
The law against panders. For the lawgiver imposes the heaviest
penalties if any person act as pander in the case of a free-born
child or a free-born woman.
 And what other law? The law against outrage,
which includes all such conduct in one summary statement, wherein
it stands expressly written: if any one outrage a child (and surely
he who hires, outrages) or a man or woman, or any one, free or
slave, or if he commit any unlawful act against any one of these.
Here the law provides prosecution for outrage, and it prescribes
what bodily penalty he shall suffer, or what fine he shall pay.
Read the law.
If any Athenian shall outrage a free-born child,
the parent or guardian of the child shall demand a specific penalty.
If the court condemn the accused to death, he shall be delivered
to the constables and be put to death the same day. If he be condemned
to pay a fine, and be unable to pay the fine immediately, he must
pay within eleven days after the trial, and he shall remain in
prison until payment is made. The same action shall hold against
those who abuse the persons of slaves.
 Now perhaps some one, on first hearing this
law, may wonder for what possible reason this word "slaves"
was added in the law against outrage. But if you reflect on the
matter, fellow citizens, you will find this to be the best provision
of all. For it was not for the slaves that the lawgiver was concerned,
but he wished to accustom you to keep a long distance away from
the crime of outraging free men, and so he added the prohibition
against the outraging even of slaves. In a word, he was convinced
that in a democracy that man is unfit for citizenship who outrages
any person whatsoever.
 And I beg you, fellow citizens, to remember
this also, that here the lawgiver is not yet addressing the person
of the boy himself, but those who are near him, father, brother,
guardian, teachers, and in general those who have control of him.
But, as soon as the young man has been registered in the list
of citizens, and knows the laws of the state, and is now able
to distinguish between right and wrong, the lawgiver no longer
addresses another, Timarchus, but now the man himself.
 And what does he say? "If any Athenian,"
he says, "shall have prostituted his person, he shall not
be permitted to become one of the nine archons," because,
no doubt, that official wears the wreath; "nor to discharge
the office of priest," as being not even clean of body; "nor
shall he act as an advocate for the state," he says, "nor
shall ever hold any office whatsoever, at home or abroad, whether
filled by lot or by election; nor shall he be a herald or an ambassador"
 --nor shall he prosecute men who have served
as ambassadors, nor shall he be a hired slanderer-- "nor
ever address senate or assembly," not even though he be the
most eloquent orator in Athens. And if any one contrary to these
prohibitions, the lawgiver has provided for criminal process on
the charge of prostitution, and has prescribed the heaviest penalties
therefor. Read to the jury this law also, that you may know, gentlemen,
in the face of what established laws of yours, so good and so
moral, Timarchus has had the effrontery to speak before the people--a
man whose character is so notorious.
If any Athenian shall have prostituted his person,
he shall not be permitted to become one of the nine archons, nor
to discharge the office of priest, nor to act as an advocate for
the state, nor shall he hold any office whatsoever, at home or
abroad, whether filled by lot or by election; he shall not be
sent as a herald; he shall not take part in debate, nor be present
at public sacrifices; when the citizens are wearing garlands,
he shall wear none; and he shall not enter within the limits of
the place that has been purified for the assembling of the people.
If any man who has been convicted of prostitution act contrary
to these prohibitions, he shall be put to death.
 This law was enacted concerning youths who recklessly
sin against their own bodies. The laws relating to boys are those
read to you a moment ago; but I am going to cite now laws that
have to do with the citizens at large. For when the lawgiver had
finished with these laws, he next turned to the question of the
proper manner of conducting our deliberations concerning the most
important matters, when we are met in public assembly. How does
he begin? "Laws," he says, "concerning orderly
conduct." He began with morality, thinking that that state
will be best administered in which orderly conduct is most common.
And how does he command the presiding officers to proceed? 
After the purifying sacrifice has been carried round and the herald
has offered the traditional prayers, the presiding officers are
commanded to declare to be next in order the discussion of matters
pertaining to the national religion, the reception of heralds
and ambassadors, and the discussion of secular matters. The herald
then asks, "Who of those above fifty years of age wishes
to address the assembly?" When all these have spoken, he
then invites any other Athenian to speak who wishes (provided
such privileges belongs to him).
 Consider, fellow citizens, the wisdom of this
regulation. The lawgiver does not forget, I think, that the older
men are at their best in the matter of judgment, but that courage
is now beginning to fail them as a result of their experience
of the vicissitudes of life. So, wishing to accustom those who
are the wisest to speak on public affairs, and to make this obligatory
upon them, since he cannot call on each one of them by name, he
comprehends them all under the designation of the age-group as
a whole, invites them to the platform, and urges them to address
the people. At the same time he teaches the younger men to respect
their elders, to yield precedence to them in every act, and to
honor that old age to which we shall all come if our lives are
 And so decorous were those public men of old,
Pericles, Themistocles, and Aristeides (who was called by a name
most unlike that by which Timarchus here is called), that to speak
with the arm outside the cloak, as we all do nowadays as a matter
of course, was regarded then as an ill-mannered thing, and they
carefully refrained from doing it. And I can point to a piece
of evidence which seems to me very weighty and tangible. I am
sure you have all sailed over to Salamis, and have seen the statue
of Solon there. You can therefore yourselves bear witness that
in the statue that is set up in the Salaminian market-place Solon
stands with his arm inside his cloak. Now this is a reminiscence,
fellow citizens, and an imitation of the posture of Solon, showing
his customary bearing as he used to address the people of Athens.
 See now, fellow citizens, how unlike to Timarchus
were Solon and those men of old whom I mentioned a moment ago.
They were too modest to speak with the arm outside the cloak,
but this man not long ago, yes, only the other day, in an assembly
of the people threw off his cloak and leaped about like a gymnast,
half naked, his body so reduced and befouled through drunkenness
and lewdness that right-minded men, at least, covered their eyes,
being ashamed for the city, that we should let such men as he
be our advisers.
 It was with such conduct as this in view that
the lawgiver expressly prescribed who were to address the assembly,
and who were not to be permitted to speak before the people. He
does not exclude from the platform the man whose ancestors have
not held a general's office, nor even the man who earns his daily
bread by working at a trade; nay, these men he most heartily welcomes,
and for this reason he repeats again and again the invitation,
"Who wishes to address the assembly?"
 Who then are they who in the lawgiver's opinion
are not to be permitted to speak? Those who have lived a shameful
life; these men he forbids to address the people. Where does he
show this? Under the heading "Scrutiny of public men"
he says, "If any one attempts to speak before the people
who beats his father or mother, or fails to support them or to
provide a home for them." Such a man, then, he forbids to
speak. And right he is, by Zeus, say I! Why? Because if a man
is mean toward those whom he ought to honor as the gods, how,
pray, he asks, will such a man treat the members of another household,
and how will he treat the whole city? Whom did he, in the second
place, forbid to speak?
 "Or the man who has failed to perform all
the military service demanded of him, or who has thrown away his
shield." And he is right. Why? Man, if you fail to take up
arms in behalf of the state, or if you are such a coward that
you are unable to defend her, you must not claim the right to
advise her, either. Whom does he specify in the third place? "Or
the man," he says, "who has debauched or prostituted
himself." For the man who has made traffic of the shame of
his own body, he thought would be ready to sell the common interests
of the city also. But whom does he specify in the fourth place?
 "Or the man," he says, "who has
squandered his patrimony or other inheritance." For he believed
that the man who has mismanaged his own household will handle
the affairs of the city in like manner; and to the lawgiver it
did not seem possible that the same man could be a rascal in private
life, and in public life a good and useful citizen; and he believed
that the public man who comes to the platform ought to come prepared,
not merely in words, but, before all else, in life.
 And he was of the opinion that the advice of
a good and upright man, however simple and even awkward the words
in which it is given, is profitable to the hearers; but the words
of a shameless man, who has treated his own body with scorn and
disgracefully squandered his patrimony--the words of such a man
the lawgiver believed could never benefit the hearers, however
eloquently they might be spoken.
 These men, therefore, he debars from the speaker's
platform, these he forbids to address the people. But if any one,
in violation of these prohibitions, not only speaks, but is guilty
of blackmail and wanton scurrility, and if the city is no longer
able to put up with such a man, "Let any citizen who chooses,"
he says, "and is competent thereto, challenge him to a suit
of scrutiny;" and then he commands you to render decision
on the case in a court of justice. This is the law under authority
of which I now appear before you.
 Now these regulations of the law have long been
in force; but you went further and added a new law, after that
charming gymnastic exhibition which Timarchus gave in an assembly
of the people; for you were exceedingly ashamed of the affair.
By the new law, for every meeting of the assembly one tribe is
to be chosen by lot to have charge of the speaker's platform,
and to preside. And what did the proposer of the law prescribe?
That the members of the tribe should sit as defenders of the laws
and of the democracy; for he believed that unless we should summon
help from some quarter against men who have lived such a life,
we should not be able even to deliberate on matters of supreme
 For there is no use in attempting, fellow citizens,
to drive such men from the platform by shouting at them, for they
have no sense of shame. We must try, rather, to break them of
their habits by pains and penalties; for so only can they be made
endurable. The clerk shall therefore read to you the laws that
are in force to secure orderly conduct on the part of our public
men. For the law that introduced the presidency of a tribe has
been attacked in the courts by Timarchus here, in conspiracy with
other men like himself, as being inexpedient, their object being
to have license to speak, as well as to behave, as they choose.
If any public man, speaking in the senate or in
the assembly of the people, shall not speak on the subject which
is before the house, or shall fail to speak on each proposition
separately, or shall speak twice on the same subject in one day,
or if he shall speak abusively or slanderously, or shall interrupt
the proceedings, or in the midst of the deliberations shall get
up and speak on anything that is not in order, or shall shout
approval, or shall lay hands on the presiding officer, on adjournment
of the assembly or the senate the board of presidents are authorized
to report his name to the collectors, with a fine of not more
than 50 drachmas for each offence. But if he be deserving of heavier
penalty, they shall impose a fine of not more than 50 drachmas,
and refer the case to the senate or to the next meeting of the
assembly. After due summons that body shall pass judgment; the
vote shall be secret, and if he be condemned, the presiding officers
shall certify the result to the collectors.
 You have heard the laws, fellow citizens, and
I am sure that you approve of them. But whether these laws are
to be of use or not, rests with you. For if you punish the wrong-doers,
your laws will be good and valid; but if you let them go, the
laws will still be good, indeed, but valid no longer.
 Now that I have finished with the laws, I wish
next, as I proposed at the outset, to inquire into the character
of Timarchus, that you may know how completely at variance it
is with your laws. And I beg you to pardon me, fellow citizens,
if, compelled to speak about habits which by nature are, indeed,
unclean, but are nevertheless his, I be led to use some expression
that is as bad as Timarchus' deeds.
 For it would not be right for you to blame me,
if now and again I use plain language in my desire to inform you;
the blame should rather be his, if it is a fact that his life
has been so shameful that a man who is describing his behavior
is unable to say what he wishes without sometimes using expressions
that are likewise shameful. But I will try my best to avoid doing
 See, fellow citizens, with what moderation I
am going to deal with Timarchus here. For I remit all the sins
that as a boy he committed against his own body; let all this
be treated as were the acts committed in the days of the Thirty,
or before the year of Eucleides, or whenever else a similar statute
of limitations has been passed. But what he is guilty of having
done after he had reached years of discretion, when he was already
a youth, and knew the laws of the state, that I will make the
object of my accusation, and to that I call upon you to give serious
 First of all, as soon as he was past boyhood
he settled down in the Peiraeus at the establishment of Euthydicus
the physician, pretending to be a student of medicine, but in
fact deliberately offering himself for sale, as the event proved.
The names of the merchants or other foreigners, or of our own
citizens, who enjoyed the person of Timarchus in those days I
will pass over willingly, that no one may say that I am over particular
to state every petty detail. But in whose houses he has lived
to the shame of his own body and of the city, earning wages by
precisely that thing which the law forbids, under penalty of losing
the privilege of public speech, of this I will speak.
 Fellow citizens, there is one Misgolas, son
of Naucrates, of the deme Collytus, a man otherwise honorable,
and beyond reproach save in this, that he is bent on that sort
of thing like one possessed, and is accustomed always to have
about him singers or cithara-players. I say this, not from any
liking for indecent talk, but that you may know what sort of man
Misgolas is. Now this Misgolas, perceiving Timarchus' motive in
staying at the house of the physician, paid him a sum of money
in advance and caused him to change his lodgings, and got him
into his own home; for Timarchus was well developed, young, and
lewd, just the person for the thing that Misgolas wanted to do,
and Timarchus wanted to have done.
 Timarchus did not hesitate, but submitted to
it all, though he had income to satisfy all reasonable desires.
For his father had left him a very large property, which he has
squandered, as I will show in the course of my speech. But he
behaved as he did because he was a slave to the most shameful
lusts, to gluttony and extravagance at table, to flute-girls and
harlots, to dice, and to all those other things no one of which
ought to have the mastery over a man who is well-born and free.
And this wretch was not ashamed to abandon his father's house
and live with Misgolas, a man who was not a friend of his father's,
nor a person of his own age, but a stranger, and older than himself,
a man who knew no restraint in such matters, while Timarchus himself
was in the bloom of youth.
 Among the many ridiculous things which Timarchus
did in those days was one which I wish to relate to you. The occasion
was the procession at the City Dionysia. Misgolas, who had taken
possession of him, and Phaedrus, son of Callias, of the deme Sphettus,
were to march in the procession together. Now Timarchus here had
agreed to join them in the procession, but they were busy with
their general preparations, and he failed to come back. Misgolas,
provoked at the thing, proceeded to make search for him in company
with Phaedrus. They got word of him and found him at lunch with
some foreigners in a lodging-house. Misgolas and Phaedrus threatened
the foreigners and ordered them to follow straight to the lock-up
for having corrupted a free youth. The foreigners were so scared
that they dropped everything and ran away as fast as they could
 The truth of this story is known to everybody
who knew Misgolas and Timarchus in those days. Indeed, I am very
glad that the suit that I am prosecuting is against a man not
unknown to you, and known for no other thing than precisely that
practice as to which you are going to render your verdict. For
in the case of facts which are not generally known, the accuser
is bound, I suppose, to make his proofs explicit; but where the
facts are notorious, I think it is no very difficult matter to
conduct the prosecution, for one has only to appeal to the recollection
of his hearers.
 However, although the fact in this case is acknowledged,
I remember that we are in court, and so I have drafted an affidavit
for Misgolas, true and not indelicate in phrasing, as I flatter
myself. For I do not set down the actual name of the thing that
Misgolas used to do to him, nor have I written anything else that
would legally incriminate a man who has testified to the truth.
But I have set down what will be no news for you to hear, and
will involve the witness in no danger nor disgrace.
 If therefore Misgolas is willing to come forward
here and testify to the truth, he will be doing what is right;
but if he prefers to refuse the summons rather than testify to
the truth, the whole business will be made clear to you. For if
the man who did the thing is going to be ashamed of it and choose
to pay a thousand drachmas into the treasury rather than show
his face before you, while the man to whom it has been done is
to be a speaker in your assembly, then wise indeed was the lawgiver
who excluded such disgusting creatures from the platform.
 But if Misgolas does indeed answer the summons,
but resorts to the most shameless course, denial of the truth
under oath, as a grateful return to Timarchus, and a demonstration
to the rest of them that he well knows how to help cover up such
conduct, in the first place he will damage himself, and in the
second place he will gain nothing by it. For I have prepared another
affidavit for those who know that this man Timarchus left his
father's house and lived with Misgolas, though it is a difficult
thing, no doubt, that I am undertaking. For I have to present
as my witnesses, not friends of mine nor enemies of theirs, nor
those who are strangers to both of us, but their friends.
 But even if they do persuade these men also
not to testify--I do not expect they will, at any rate not all
of them--one thing at least they will never succeed in accomplishing:
they will never hush up the truth, nor blot out Timarchus' reputation
among his fellow citizens--a reputation which he owes to no act
of mine, but to his own conduct. For the life of a virtuous man
ought to be so clean that it will not admit even of a suspicion
 But I wish to say another thing in anticipation,
in case Misgolas shall answer before the laws and before you.
There are men who by nature differ widely from the rest of us
as to their apparent age. For some men, young in years, seem mature
and older than they are; others, old by count of years, seem to
be mere youths. Misgolas is such a man. He happens, indeed, to
be of my own age, and was in the cadet corps with me; we are now
in our forty-fifth year. I am quite gray, as you see, but not
he. Why do I speak of this? Because I fear that,seeing him for
the first time, you may be surprised,and some such thought as
this may occur to you: "Heracles! This man is not much older
than Timarchus." For not only is this youthful appearance
characteristic of the man, but moreover Timarchus was already
past boyhood when he used to be in his company.
 But not to delay, call first, if you please,
those who know that Timarchus here lived in the house of Misgolas,
then read the testimony of Phaedrus, and, finally, please take
the affidavit of Misgolas himself, in case fear of the gods, and
respect for those who know the facts as well as he does, and for
the citizens at large and for you the jurors, shall persuade him
to testify to the truth.
Misgolas, son of Nicias, of Piraeus, testifies.
Timarchus, who once used to stay at the house of Euthydicis the
physician, became intimate with me, and I hold him today in the
same esteem as in all my past acquaintance with him.
 Now, fellow citizens, if Timarchus here had
remained with Misgolas and never gone to another man's house,
his conduct would have been more decent--if really any such conduct
is "decent"--and I should not have ventured to bring
any other charge against him than that which the lawgiver describes
in plain words, simply that he was a kept man. For the man who
practises this thing with one person, and practises it for pay,
seems to me to be liable to precisely this charge.
 But if, saying nothing about these bestial fellows,
Cedonides, Autocleides, and Thersandrus, and simply telling the
names of those in whose houses he has been an inmate, I refresh
your memories and show that he is guilty of selling his person
not only in Misgolas' house, but in the house of another man also,
and again of another, and that from this last he went to still
another, surely you will no longer look upon him as one who has
merely been a kept man, but--by Dionysus, I don't know how I can
keep glossing the thing over all day long--as a common prostitute.
For the man who follows these practices recklessly and with many
men and for pay seems to me to be chargeable with
 Well, when now Misgolas found him too expensive
and dismissed him, next Anticles, son of Callias, the deme Euonymon,
took him up. Anticles, however, is absent in Samos as a member
of the new colony, so I will pass on to the next incident. For
after this man Timarchus had left Anticles and Misgolas, he did
not repent or reform his way of life, but spent his days in the
gambling-place, where the gaming-table is set, and cock-fighting
and dice-throwing are the regular occupations. I imagine some
of you have seen the place; at any rate you have heard of it.
 Among the men who spend their time there is
one Pittalacus, a slave-fellow who is the property of the city.
He had plenty of money, and seeing Timarchus spending his time
thus he took him and kept him in his own house. This foul wretch
here was not disturbed by the fact that he was going to defile
himself with a public slave, but thought of one thing only, of
getting him to be paymaster for his own disgusting lusts; to the
question of virtue or of shame he never gave a thought.
 Now the sins of this Pittalacus against the
person of Timarchus, and his abuse of him, as they have come to
my ears, are such that, by the Olympian Zeus, I should not dare
to repeat them to you. For the things that he was not ashamed
to do in deed, I had rather die than describe to you in words.
But about the same time, while, as I have said, he was staying
with Pittalacus, here comes Hegesandrus, back again from the Hellespont.
I know you are surprised that I have not mentioned him long before
this, so notorious is what I am going to relate.
 This Hegesandrus, whom you know better than
I, arrives. It happened that he had at that time sailed to the
Hellespont as treasurer to the general Timomachus, of the deme
Acharnae; and he returned, having made the most, it is said, of
the simple-mindedness of the general, for he had in his possession
no less than eighty minas of silver. Indeed, he proved to be,
in a way, largely responsible for the fate of Timomachus.
 Hegesandrus, being so well supplied with money,
resorted to the house of Pittalacus, who gambled with him; there
he first saw this man Timarchus; he was pleased with him, lusted
after him, and wanted to take him to his own house, thinking,
doubtless, that here was a man of his own kidney. So he first
had a talk with Pittalacus, asking him to turn Timarchus over
to him. Failing to persuade him, he appealed to the man himself.
He did not spend many words; the man was instantly persuaded.
For when it is a question of the business itself, Timarchus shows
an openmindedness and a spirit of accommodation that are truly
wonderful; indeed, that is one of the very reasons why he ought
to be an object of loathing.
 When now he had left Pittalacus' house and been
taken up by Hegesandrus, Pittalacus was enraged, I fancy, at having
wasted, as he considered it, so much money, and, jealous at what
was going on, he kept visiting the house. When he was getting
to be a nuisance, behold, a mighty stroke on the part of Hegesandrus
and Timarchus! One night when they were drunk they, with certain
others, whose names I do not care to mention,
 burst into the house where Pittalacus was living.
First they smashed the implements of his trade and tossed them
into the street--sundry dice and dice-boxes, and his gaming utensils
in general; they killed the quails and cocks, so well beloved
by the miserable man; and finally they tied Pittalacus himself
to the pillar and gave him an inhuman whipping, which lasted until
even the neighbors heard the uproar.
 The next day Pittalacus, exceeding angry over
the affair, comes without his cloak to the marketplace and seats
himself at the altar of the Mother of the Gods. And when, as always
happens, a crowd of people had come running up, Hegesandrus and
Timarchus, afraid that their disgusting vices were going to be
published to the whole town--a meeting of the assembly was about
to be held--hurried up to the altar themselves, and some of their
gaming-companions with them,
 and surrounding Pittalacus begged him to get
up, saying that the whole thing was only a drunken frolic; and
this man himself, not yet, by Zeus, repulsive to the sight as
he is now, but still usable, begged, touching the fellow's chin,
and saying he would do anything Pittalacus pleased. At last they
persuaded him to get up from the altar, believing that he was
going to receive some measure of justice. But as soon as he had
left the marketplace, they paid no more attention to him.
 the fellow, angry at their insolent treatment,
brings a suit against each of them.When now the case was coming
to trial, behold, another mighty stroke on the part of Hegesandrus!
Here was a man who had done him no wrong, but, quite the opposite,
had been wronged by him, a man on whom he had no claim, in fact,
a slave belonging to the city; this man he attempted to enslave
to himself, alleging that he was his owner. Now Pittalacus, reduced
to desperate straits, falls in with a man--a very good man he
is--one Glaucon of the deme Cholargus; he attempts to rescue Pittalacus
and secure his freedom.
 law-suits were next begun. As time went on they
submitted the matter to the arbitration of Diopeithes of Sunium,
a man of Hegesandrus' own deme and one with whom he had had dealings
in his younger years. Diopeithes undertook the case, but put it
off again and again in order to favor these parties.
 But when now Hegesandrus was coming before you
as a public speaker, being at the same time engaged in his attack
on Aristophon of Azenia, an attack which he kept up until Aristophon
threatened to institute against him before the people the same
process that I have instituted against Timarchus, and when Hegesandrus'
brother Crobylus was coming forward as a public man, when, in
short, these men had the effrontery to advise you as to international
questions, then at last Pittalacus, losing confidence in himself
and asking himself who he was that he should attempt to fight
against such men as these, came to a wise decision--for I must
speak the truth: he gave up, and considered himself lucky if his
ill-treatment should stop there.So now when Hegesandrus had won
this glorious victory--without a fight!--he kept possession of
the defendant, Timarchus.
 That this is true you all know. For who of you
that has ever gone to the stalls where dainty foods are sold has
not observed the lavish expenditures of these men? Or who that
has happened to encounter their revels and brawls has not been
indignant in behalf of the city? However, since we are in court,
call, if you please, Glaucon of Cholargus, who restored Pittalacus
to freedom, and read his affidavit and the others.
Glaucon, son of Timaeus, of Cholargus, testifies.
I rescued Pittalacus and secured his freedom, when Hegesandrus
was attempting to make him his slave. Some time after this, Pittalacus
came to me and said that he wished to send to Hegesandrus and
come to such settlement with him that the suits should be dropped,
both his own suit against Hegesandrus and Timarchus, and the suit
of Hegesandrus for his enslavement. And they came to a settlement.Amphisthenes
testifies to the same effect. "I rescued Pittalacus and secured
his freedom, when Hegesandrus was attempting to make him his slave,"
and so forth.
 Now I will summon Hegesandrus himself for you.
I have written out for him an affidavit that is too respectable
for a man of his character, but a little more explicit than the
one I wrote for Misgolas. I am perfectly aware that he will refuse
to swear to it, and presently will perjure himself. Why then do
I call him to testify? That I may demonstrate to you what sort
of man this kind of life produces--how regardless of the gods,
how contemptuous of the laws, how indifferent to all disgrace.
Please call Hegesandrus.
Hegesandrus, son of Diphilus, of Steiria testifies.
When I returned from my voyage to the Hellespont, I found Timarchus,
son of Arizelus, staying at the house of Pittalacus, the gambler.
As a result of this acquaintance I enjoyed the same intimacy with
Timarchus as with Leodamas previously.
 I was sure, fellow citizens, that Hegesandrus
would disdain the oath, and I told you so in advance. This too
is plain at once, that since he is not willing to testify now,
he will presently appear for the defence. And no wonder, by Zeus!
For he will come up here to the witness stand, I suppose, trusting
in his record, honorable and upright man that he is, an enemy
of all evil-doing, a man who does not know who Leodamas was--Leodamas,
at whose name you yourselves raised a shout as the affidavit was
 Shall I yield to the temptation to use language
somewhat more explicit than my own self-respect allows? Tell me,
fellow citizens, in the name of Zeus and the other gods, when
a man has defiled himself with Hegesandrus, does not that man
seem to you to have prostituted himself to a prostitute? In what
excesses of bestiality are we not to imagine them to have indulged
when they were drunken and alone! Don't you suppose that Hegesandrus,
in his desire to wipe out his own notorious practices with Leodamas,
which are known to all of you, made extravagant demands on the
defendant, hoping to make Timarchus' conduct so exceedingly bad
that his own earlier behavior would seem to have been modest indeed?
 And yet you will presently see Hegesandrus and
his brother Crobylus leaping to the platform here and most vehemently
and eloquently declaring that what I say is all nonsense. They
will demand that I present witnesses to testify explicitly where
he did it, how he it, or who saw him do it, or what sort of an
act it was--a shameless demand, I think.
 For I do not believe your memory is so short
that you have forgotten the laws that you heard read a few moments
ago, in which it stands written that if anyone hires any Athenian
for this act, or if any one lets himself out for hire, he is liable
to the most severe penalties, and the same penalties for both
offences. Now what man is so reckless that he would be willing
to give in plain words testimony which, if the testimony be true,
would inevitably amount to information against himself as liable
to extreme punishment?
 Only one alternative then remains: that the
man who submitted to the act shall acknowledge it. But he is on
trial on precisely this charge, that after such conduct as this,
he breaks the laws by speaking before the assembly. Shall we,
then, drop the whole affair, and make no further inquiry? By Poseidon,
a fine home this city will be for us, if when we ourselves know
that a thing has been done in fact, we are to ignore it unless
some man come forward here and testify to the act in words as
explicit as they must be shameless.
 But pray consider the case with the help of
illustrations; and naturally the illustrations will have to be
like the pursuits of Timarchus. You see the men over yonder who
sit in the bawdy-houses, men who confessedly pursue the profession.
Yet these persons, brought to such straits as that, do nevertheless
make some attempt to cover their shame: they shut their doors.
Now if, as you are passing along the street, any one should ask
you, "Pray, what is the fellow doing at this moment?"
you would instantly name the act, though you do not see it done,
and do not know who it was that entered the house; knowing the
profession of the man, you know his act also.
 In the same way, therefore, you ought to judge
the case of Timarchus, and not to ask whether anyone saw, but
whether he has done the deed. For by heaven, Timarchus, what shall
a man say? What would you say yourself about another man on trial
on this charge? What shall we say when a young man leaves his
father's house and spends his nights in other people's houses,
a conspicuously handsome young man? When he enjoys costly suppers
without paying for them, and keeps the most expensive flutegirls
and harlots? When he gambles and pays nothing himself but another
man always pays for him?
 Does it take a wizard to explain all that? Is
it not perfectly plain that the man who makes such demands must
himself necessarily be furnishing in return certain pleasures
to the men who are spending their money on him? I say "furnishing
pleasures," because, by the Olympian Zeus, I don't know how
I can use more euphemistic language than that in referring to
your contemptible conduct.
 But also look at the case, if you please, with
the help of certain illustrations taken from the field of politics,
especially matters which you have in hand just now. We have been
having revisions of the citizen-lists in the demes, and each one
of us has submitted to a vote regarding himself to determine whether
he is a genuine citizen or not. Now whenever I am in the court-room
listening to the pleas, I see that the same argument always prevails
with you: when the prosecutor says
 "Gentlemen of the jury, the men of the
deme have under oath excluded this man on their own personal knowledge,
although nobody brought accusation or gave testimony against him,"
you immediately applaud, assuming that the man who is before the
court has no claim to citizenship. For I suppose you are of the
opinion that when one knows a thing perfectly of his own knowledge,
he does not need argument or testimony in addition.
 Come now, in God's name! if, as on the question
of birth, so on the question of these personal habits, Timarchus
had to submit to a vote as to whether he is guilty of the charge
or not, and the case were being tried in court and were being
brought before you as now, except that it were not permitted by
constitution or statute either for me to accuse or for him to
defend himself, and if this crier who is now standing at my side
were putting the question to you in the formula prescribed by
law, "The hollow ballot for the juror who believes that Timarchus
has been a prostitute, the solid ballot for the juror who does
not," what would be your vote? I am absolutely sure that
you would decide against him.
 Now if one of you should ask me, "How do
you know that we would vote against him?" I should answer,
"Because you have spoken out and told me." And I will
remind you when and where each man of you speaks and tells me:
it is every time that Timarchus mounts the platform in the assembly;
and the senate spoke out, when last year he was a member of the
senate. For every time he used such words as "walls"
or "tower" that needed repairing, or told how so-and-so
had been "taken off" somewhere, you immediately laughed
and shouted, and yourselves spoke the words that belong to those
exploits of which he, to your knowledge, is guilty.
 will pass over the most of these incidents and
those which happened long ago, but I do wish to remind you of
what took place at the very assembly in which I instituted this
process against Timarchus.The Senate of the Areopagus appeared
before the people in accordance with the resolution that Timarchus
had introduced in the matter of the dwelling-houses on the Pnyx.
The member of the Areopagus who spoke was Autolycus, a man whose
life has been good and pious, by Zeus and Apollo, and worthy of
 Now when in the course of his speech he declared
that the Areopagus disapproved the proposition of Timarchus, and
said, "You must not be surprised, fellow citizens, if Timarchus
is better acquainted than the Senate of the Areopagus with this
lonely spot and the region of the Pnyx," then you applauded
and said Autolycus was right, for Timarchus was indeed acquainted
 Autolycus, however, did not catch the point
of your uproar; he frowned and stopped a moment; then he went
on: "But, fellow citizens, we members of the Areopagus neither
accuse nor defend, for such is not our tradition, but we do make
some such allowance as this for Timarchus: he perhaps," said
he, "thought that where everything is so quiet, there will
be but little expense for each of you." Again, at the words
"quiet" and "little expense," he encountered
still greater laughter and shouting from you.
 and when he spoke of the "house sites"
and the "tanks" you simply couldn't restrain yourselves.
Thereupon Pyrrandrus came forward to censure you, and he asked
the people if they were not ashamed of themselves for laughing
in the presence of the Senate of the Areopagus. But you drove
him off the platform, replying, "We know, Pyrrandrus, that
we ought not to laugh in their presence, but so strong is the
truth that it prevails--over all the calculations of men."
 This, then, I understand to be the testimony
that has been offered you by the people of Athens, and it would
not be proper that they should be convicted of giving false testimony.
When I, fellow citizens, say not a word, you of yourselves shout
the name of the acts of which you know he is guilty; strange,
then, it would be if when I name them, you cannot remember them;
even had there been no trial of this case, he would have been
convicted; strange indeed then if when the charge has been proved,
he is to be acquitted!
 But since I have mentioned the revision of the
lists and the measures proposed by Demophilus, I wish to cite
a certain other illustration in this connection. For this Demophilus
had previously brought in a measure of the following sort: he
declared that there were certain men who were attempting to bribe
the members of the popular assembly and the courts as well--the
same assertion that Nicostratus also has made very recently. Some
cases under this charge have been in the courts, others are still
 Come now, in the name of Zeus and the gods,
if they had resorted to the same defence that Timarchus and his
advocates now offer, and demanded that someone should testify
explicitly to the crime, or else that the jurors should refuse
to believe the charge, surely according to that demand it would
have been absolutely necessary for the one man to testify that
he gave a bribe, the other, that he took a bribe, though the law
threatens each of them with death precisely as in this case if
anyone hires an Athenian for a disgraceful purpose, and again
if any Athenian voluntarily hires himself out to the shame of
 Is there any man who would have testified, or
any prosecutor who would have undertaken to present such proof
of the act? Surely not. What then? Were the accused acquitted?
No, by Heracles! They were punished with death, though their crime
was far less, by Zeus and Apollo, than that of this defendant;
those poor wretches met such a fate because they were unable to
defend themselves against old age and poverty together, the greatest
of human misfortunes; the defendant should suffer it because he
is unwilling to restrain his own lewdness.
 Now if this trial were taking place in another
city, and that city were the referee, I should have demanded that
you should be my witnesses, you who best know that I am speaking
the truth. But since the trial is at Athens, and you are at the
same time judges and witnesses of the truth of what I say, it
is my place to refresh your memory, and yours not to disbelieve
me. For I think Timarchus' anxiety is not for himself alone, fellow
citizens, but for all the others also whose practices have been
the same as his
 For if in the future, as always in the past,
this practice is going to be carried on in secret, and in lonely
places and in private houses, and if the man who best knows the
facts, but has defiled one of his fellow citizens, is to be liable
to the severest punishment if he testifies to the truth, while
the man on trial, who has been denounced by the testimony of his
own life and of the truth, is to demand that he be judged, not
by the facts that are notorious, but by the testimony of witnesses,
then the law is done away with, and so is the truth, while a plain
path is marked out by which the worst wrongdoers may escape.
 For what foot-pad or adulterer or assassin,
or what man who has committed the greatest crimes, but has done
it secretly, will be brought to justice? For whereas such of these
criminals as are caught in the act are instantly punished with
death, if they acknowledge the crime, those who have done the
act secretly and deny their guilt, are tried in the courts, and
the truth can be determined by circumstantial evidence only.
 Take the example of the Senate of the Areopagus,
the most scrupulous tribunal in the city. I myself have before
now seen many men convicted before this tribunal, though they
spoke most eloquently, and presented witnesses; and I know that
before now certain men have won their case, although they spoke
most feebly, and although no witnesses testified for them. For
it is not on the strength of the pleading alone, nor of the testimony
alone, that the members of the court give their verdict, but on
the strength of their own knowledge and their own investigations.
And this is the reason why that tribunal maintains its high repute
in the city.
 Therefore, my fellow citizens, I call upon you
to make your decision in this case in the same manner. In the
first place, let nothing be more credible in your eyes than your
own knowledge and conviction regarding this man Timarchus. In
the second place, look at the case in the light, not of the present
moment, but of the time that is past. For the words spoken before
today about Timarchus and his practices were spoken because they
were true; but what will be said today will be spoken because
of the trial,and with intent to deceive you. Give, therefore,
the verdict that is demanded by the longer time, and the truth,
and your own knowledge.
 And yet a certain speech-writer who is concocting
his defense says that I contradict myself; since it seems to him
impossible, he says, for the same man to have been a prostitute
and to have consumed his patrimony. For, he says, to have sinned
against one's own body is the act of a boy, but to have consumed
one's patrimony is that of a man. And furthermore he says that
those who defile themselves exact pay for it. He therefore goes
up and down the marketplace expressing his wonder and amazement
that one and the same man should have prostituted himself and
also have consumed his patrimony.
 Now if anyone does not understand the facts
of the case, I will try to explain them more clearly. Hegesandrus,
who kept Timarchus, had married an heiress. So long as her inheritance
held out, and the money that Hegesandrus had brought back with
him from his voyage with Timomachus, they lived in all luxury
and lewdness. But when these resources had been wasted and gambled
away and eaten up, and this defendant had lost his youthful charm,
and, as you would expect, no one would any longer give him anything,
while his lewd and depraved nature constantly craved the same
indulgences, and with excessive incontinence kept making demand
after demand upon him,
 then, at last, incessantly drawn back to his
old habits, he resorted to the devouring of his patrimony. And
not only did he eat it up, but, if one may so say, he also drank
it up! He sold one piece of property after another, not for what
it was worth--he couldn't wait for a higher offer nor even for
the bare value, but let it go for what it would fetch on the instant,
so urgently did he hasten to gratify his lusts.
 His father left him a fortune which another
man would have found sufficient for the service of the state also.
But Timarchus was not able even to preserve it for himself. There
was a house south of the Acropolis, a suburban estate at Sphettus,
another piece of land at Alopeke, and besides there were nine
or ten slaves who were skilled shoemakers, each of whom paid him
a fee of two obols a day, and the superintendent of the shop three
obols. Besides these there was a woman skilled in flax-working,
who produced fine goods for the market, and there was a man skilled
in embroidery. Certain men also owed him money, and there were
 Here, at any rate, by Zeus, I will present my
witnesses to prove the truth of what I say, and they will testify
most clearly and explicitly; for there is no danger, as there
was the other time, to the man who testifies to the truth, nor
any disgrace either. The city residence he sold to Nausicrates,
the comic poet; afterward Cleaenetus, the chorus-master, bought
it of Nausicrates for twenty minas. The suburban estate Mnesitheus
of Myrrinoussa bought of him, a large tract, but wretchedly run
down by his neglect.
 the place at Alopeke, distant eleven or twelve
furlongs from the city-wall, his mother begged and besought him,
as I have heard, to spare and not to sell, or, if he would do
nothing more, at least to leave her there a place to be buried
in. But even from this spot he did not withhold his hand; this
too he sold, for 2,000 drachmas. Of the slaves, men and women,
he left not one; he has sold them all. To prove that I am not
lying, I will produce witness that his father left the slaves;
but if he denies that he has sold them, let him produce their
persons in court.
 but to prove, further, that his father had
lent money to certain men, and that Timarchus collected and has
spent it, I will call as witnesses for you Metagenes of Sphettus,
who owed more than thirty minas, and paid to the defendant what
was still due at his father's death, seven minas. Please call
Metagenes of Sphettus. But first of all read the testimony of
Nausicrates, who bought the house, and take all the other depositions
that I mentioned in the same connection. Depositions
 I will now show you that his father had not
a little ready money, which the defendant has squandered. For
the father, afraid of the special services to which he would be
liable, sold the property that he owned (with the exception of
the items I have mentioned)--a piece of land in Cephisia, another
in Amphitrope, and two workshops at the silver mines, one of them
in Aulon, the other near the tomb of Thrasyllus.
 How it was that the father became so well-to-do
I will tell you. There were three brothers in this family, Eupolemus,
the gymnastic trainer, Arizelus,the father of the defendant, and
Arignotus, who is still living, an old man now, and blind. Of
these, Eupolemus was the first to die, before the estate had been
divided; next, Arizelus, the father of Timarchus. So long as Arizelus
lived, he managed the whole estate, because of the ill-health
of Arignotus and the trouble with his eyes, and because Eupolemus
was dead. By agreement with Arignotus he regularly gave him a
sum of money for his support.
 then Arizelus, the father of the defendant
Timarchus, died also. In the first years thereafter, so long as
the defendant was a child, Arignotus received from the guardians
all that one could ask. But after Timarchus was enrolled in the
citizens' list, and had come into control of the estate, he thrust
aside this old and unfortunate man, his own uncle, and made way
with the estate. He gave nothing to Arignotus for his support,
but was content to see him, fallen from such wealth, now receiving
the alms that the city gives to disabled paupers.
 finally--and most shameful of all--when the
old man's name had been omitted at a revision of the list of pauper-pensioners,
and he had laid a petition before the senate to have his dole
restored, the defendant, who was a member of the senate, and one
of the presiding officers that day, did not deign to speak for
him, but let him lose his monthly pension. To prove the truth
of what I say, call,if you please, Arignotus of Sphettus, and
read his affidavit. Affidavit
 But perhaps someone may say that after selling
his father's house he bought another one somewhere else in the
city, and that in place of the suburban estate and the land at
Alopeke, and the slaves and the rest, he made investments in connection
with the silver mines, as his father had done before him. No,
he has nothing left, not a house, not an apartment, not a piece
of ground, no slaves, no money at interest, nor anything else
from which honest men get a living. On the contrary, in place
of his patrimony, the resources he has left are lewdness, calumny,
impudence, wantonness, cowardice, effrontery, a face that knows
not the blush of shame--all that would produce the lowest and
most unprofitable citizen.
 But it is not only his patrimony that he has
wasted, but also the common possessions of the state, your possessions,
so far as they have ever come under his control. You see for yourselves
how young he is, and yet there is not a public office which he
has not held, not one of them by lot or by election, but every
one by purchase, in defiance of the laws. The most of them I will
pass over, and mention two or three only.
 He held the office of auditor, and did the
state serious injury by taking bribes from office holders who
had been dishonest, though his specialty was the blackmailing
of innocent men who were to appear before the auditing board.
He held a magistracy in Andros, which he bought for thirty minas,
borrowing the money at nine obols on the mina, and thus he made
your allies a ready source of supply for his own lusts. And in
his treatment of the wives of free men he showed such licentiousness
as no other man ever did. Of these men I call no one into court
to testify publicly to his own misfortune, which he has chosen
to cover in silence, but I leave it to you to investigate this
 But what do you expect? If a man at Athens
not only abuses other people, but even his own body, here where
there are laws, where you are looking on, where his personal enemies
are on the watch, who would expect that same man, when he had
received impunity and authority and office, to have placed any
limit on his license? By Zeus and Apollo, many a time before now
have I marvelled at the good fortune of your city, shown on many
other occasions, but not least in this, that in those days he
found nobody to whom he could sell the state of Andros!
 But, you say, although he was worthless when
he held office alone, yet when he was associated with others he
was all right! How so? This man, fellow citizens, became a member
of the senate in the archsonship of Nicophemus. Now to recount
all the rascalities of which he was guilty in that year would
be too large an undertaking for the small fraction of a day; but
those which are most germane to the charge that underlies the
present trial, I will relate in a few words.
 in the same year in which Timarchus was a member
of the senate, Hegesandrus, the brother of Crobylus, was a treasurer
of the funds of the goddess, and together, in right friendly comradeship,
they were in the act of stealing a thousand drachmas which belonged
to the city. But a reputable man, Pamphilus of the deme Acherdous,
who had had some trouble with the defendant and was angry with
him, found out what was going on, and at a meeting of the assembly
arose and said, "Fellow citizens, a man and a woman are conspiring
to steal one thousand drachmas of yours."
 then you in astonishment cried, "How `a
man and a woman,' what are you talking about?" after a little
he went on: "Don't you understand," said he, "what
I mean? The man is our friend Hegesandrus there, a man now, though
he too used to be a woman, Laodamas's woman; as for the woman,
she is Timarchus yonder. How the money is being stolen I will
tell you." He then proceeded to give a full account of the
matter, and in a way that showed that there was no guesswork about
it. After he had given you this information, "What is it,
fellow citizens," said he, "that I advise? If the senate
sustains the charge against this man and expels him, and then
hands him over to the courts, give the senate the usual testimonial;
but if they fail to punish him, refuse to give it, and lay up
this thing against them for that day."
 after this, when the senate had returned to
the senate chamber, they expelled him on the preliminary ballot,
but took him back on the final vote. I must tell you, however
unpleasant it is to mention it, that for their failure to hand
him over to the courts, or even to expel him from the senate chamber,
they failed to receive the usual testimonial. I beg you therefore,
fellow citizens, not to present the spectacle of showing resentment
toward the senate, and depriving five hundred citizens of a crown
because they failed to punish the defendant, and then letting
him go free yourselves; and I beg you not to preserve for the
popular assembly a public man who has proved useless to the senate.
 But, you say, though such is his record in
the offices filled by lot, he has been a better man in the elective
offices. Why, who of you has not heard of his notorious conviction
for stealing? You will recall that you sent him as an inspector
of the mercenary troops in Eretria. He and he only of the board
of inspectors acknowledged that he had taken money, and made no
defence against the charge, but immediately admitted his guilt,
making his plea only as to the penalty. You punished those who
denied their guilt with a fine of a talent apiece, but him with
half a talent. Whereas the laws command that thieves who admit
their guilt shall be punished with death; it is those who deny
their guilt that are to be put on trial.
 In consequence of this experience so great
became his contempt for you that immediately, on the occasion
of the revision of the citizen lists, he gathered in two thousand
drachmas. For he asserted that Philotades of Cydathenaeon, a citizen,
was a former slave of his own, and he persuaded the members of
the deme to disfranchise him. He took charge of the prosecution
in court, and after he had taken the sacred offerings in his hand
and sworn that he had not taken a bribe and would not,
 and though he swore by the usual gods of oaths
and called down destruction on his own head, yet it has been proved
that he received twenty minas from Leuconides, the brother-in-law
of Philotades, at the hands of Philemon the actor, which money
he soon spent on his mistress Philoxene. And so he broke his oath
and abandoned the case. To prove that I speak the truth please
call Philemon, who paid over the money, and Leuconides, the brother-in-law
of Philotades, and read the copy of the agreement by which he
effected the sale of the case. Affidavits Agreement
 Now what manner of man he has shown himself
to be in his dealings with his fellow citizens and his own family,
how shamefully he has wasted his patrimony, how he has submitted
to the abuse of his own body, all this you knew as well as I,
before ever I spoke, but my account of it has sufficiently refreshed
your memory. Two points of my plea remain, and I pray to all the
gods and goddesses that I may be enabled to speak regarding them
as I have planned to do, for the public good; and I should like
you to give attention to what I am about to say, and to follow
me with willing mind.
 The first of these points is an anticipation
of the defence which I hear he is about to offer, for I fear that
if I neglect this topic, that man who professes to teach the young
the tricks of speech may mislead you by some artifice, and so
defraud the state. My second point is an exhortation of the citizens
to virtue. And I see many young men present in court, and many
of their elders, and not a few citizens of other states of Hellas,
gathered here to listen. Do not imagine that they have come to
look at me.
 Nay, rather have they come to find out about
you, whether you not only know how to make good laws, but also
are able to distinguish between good conduct and bad; whether
you know how to honor good men; and whether you are willing to
punish those who make their own life a reproach to the city. I
will first speak to you about the defence.
 The eminent orator Demosthenes says that you
must either wipe out your laws, or else no attention must be paid
to my words. For he is amazed, he says, if you do not all remember
that every single year the senate farms out the tax on prostitutes,
and that the men who buy this tax do not guess, but know precisely,
who they are that follow this profession. When, therefore, I have
dared to bring impeachment against Timarchus for having prostituted
himself, in order that I may deprive him of the right to address
the people in assembly, Demosthenes says that the very act complained
of calls, not for an accuser's arraignment, but for the testimony
of the tax-gatherer who collected this tax from Timarchus.
 Now, fellow citizens, see whether the reply
that I make seems to you frank and straightforward. For I am ashamed
in the city's behalf, if Timarchus,the counsellor of the people,
the man who dares to go out into Hellas on their embassies, if
this man, instead of undertaking to clear his record of the whole
matter, shall ask us to specify the localities where he plied
his trade, and to say whether the tax collectors have ever collected
the prostitutes' licence from him.
 For your sakes pray let him give up such defence
as that! But I myself will suggest to you, Timarchus, a different
line of defence, which is honorable and fair, and you will adopt
it, if you are conscious of having done nothing shameful. Come,
dare to look the jury in the face and say that which a decent
man ought to say of his youth: "Fellow citizens, I have been
brought up as boy and youth among you; how I have spent my time
is no secret to you, and you see me with you in your assemblies.
 Now if I were defending myself before any other
set of men on the charge on which I stand accused, I think your
testimony would readily suffice to refute the words of my accuser.
For if any such act has been committed by me, nay rather if my
life has exhibited to you even any resemblance to that of which
he accuses me, I feel that the rest of my life is not worth living;
I freely concede you my punishment, that the state may have therein
a defence in the eyes of Hellas. I have not come here to beg for
mercy from you; nay, do with me what you will, if you believe
that I am such a man as that."This, Timarchus, is the defence
of a good and decent man, a man who has confidence in his past
life, and who with good reason looks with contempt upon all efforts
to slander him.
 But the defence which Demosthenes persuades
you to make is not for a free man, but for a prostitute--quibbling
about when and where! But since you do take refuge in the names
of the lodgings, demanding that in our proof we specify every
single house where you plied your trade, to such an argument as
that you will never again resort, if you are wise, when you have
heard what I am about to say. For it is not the lodgings and the
houses which give their names to the men who have lived in them,
but it is the tenants who give to the places the names of their
 Where, for example, several men hire one house
and occupy it, dividing it between them, we call it an "apartment
house," but where one man only dwells, a "house."
And if perchance a physician moves into one of these shops on
the street, it is called a "surgery." But if he moves
out and a smith moves into this same shop, it is called a "smithy";
if a fuller, a "laundry"; if a carpenter, a "carpenter's
shop"; and if a pimp and his harlots, from the trade itself
it gets its name of "brothel." So that you have made
many a house a brothel by the facility with which you have plied
your profession. Ask not, then, where it was that you practised
it, but make this your defence, that you have never done the thing.
 But it seems that we are to have another argument,
too, concocted by the same sophist. For he says that nothing is
more unjust than common report, and he goes to the market-place
for his evidence, the sort of thing that is quite in harmony with
his own life. He says first that the apartment house in Colonus
which is called Demon's is falsely named, for it does not belong
to Demon. Again, that the herm called "the Herm of Andocides"
is not that of Andocides, but a votive offering of the tribe Aegeis.
 and Demosthenes by way of a jest presents himself
as an example, for he poses as a man who knows how to indulge
in pleasantries and to joke about his own manner of life. "Unless,"
he says, "I am to answer to the name when the crowd call
me, not Demosthenes, but `Batalus,' just because I got that nickname
from my nurse, as my baby-name." And he says that if Timarchus
did develop into a handsome youth, and if he is jeered at through
slanderous interpretation of that fact, and not because of his
own actions, surely he ought not for that reason to fall into
 But, Demosthenes, in the case of votive offerings,
houses, estates, and all dumb objects in general, I do indeed
hear many names applied, ever changing, never twice the same;
for in them are no actions good or bad, but the man who happens
to have become connected with them, whoever he may be, gives them
a name according to the greatness of his own reputation. But in
the case of the life and conduct of men, a common report which
is unerring does of itself spread abroad throughout the city;
it causes the private deed to become matter of public knowledge,
and many a time it even prophesies what is about to be.
 to manifest and so far from being fabricated
is this statement of mine, that you will find that both our city
and our forefathers dedicated an altar to Common Report, as one
of the greatest gods; and you will find that Homer again and again
in the Iliad says, of a thing that has not yet come to pass, "Common
Report came to the host;" and again you will find Euripides
declaring that this god is able not only to make known the living,
revealing their true characters, but the dead as well, when he
says, "Common Report shows forth the good man, even though
he be in the bowels of the earth;"
 and Hesiod expressly represents her as a goddess,
speaking in words that are very plain to those who are willing
to understand, for he says, "But Common Report dies never,
the voice that tongues of many men do utter. She also is divine."
You will find that all men whose lives have been decorous praise
these verses of the poets. For all who are ambitious for honor
from their fellows believe that it is from good report that fame
will come to them. But men whose lives are shameful pay no honor
to this god, for they believe that in her they have a deathless
 Call to mind, therefore, fellow citizens, what
common report you have been accustomed to hear in the case of
Timarchus. The instant the name is spoken you ask, do you not,
"What Timarchus do you mean? The prostitute?" Furthermore,
if I had presented witnesses concerning any matter, you would
believe me; if then I present the god as my witness, will you
refuse to believe? But she is a witness against whom it would
be impiety even to bring complaint of false testimony.
 in the case of Demosthenes, too, it was common
report, and not his nurse, that gave him his nickname; and well
did common report name him Batalus, for his effeminacy and lewdness!
For, Demosthenes, if anyone should strip off those exquisite,
pretty mantle of yours, and the soft, pretty shirts that you wear
while you are writing your speeches against your friends, and
should pass them around among the jurors, I think, unless they
were informed beforehand, they would be quite at a loss to say
whether they had in their hands the clothing of a man or of a
 But in the course of the defence one of the
generals will, as I am told, mount the platform, with head held
high and a self-conscious air, as one who should say, Behold the
graduate of the wrestling schools, and the student of philosophy!
And he will undertake to throw ridicule upon the whole idea of
the prosecution, asserting that this is no legal process that
I have devised, but the first step in a dangerous decline in the
culture of our youth. He will cite first those benefactors of
yours, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, describing their fidelity to
one another, and telling how in their case this relationship proved
the salvation of the state.
 Indeed, they say he will not even spare the
poems of Homer or the names of the heroes, but will celebrate
the friendship between Patroclus and Achilles, which, we are told,
had its source in passion. And he will pronounce an encomium on
beauty now, as though it were not recognised long since as a blessing,
if haply it be united with morality. For he says that if certain
men by slandering this beauty of body shall cause beauty to be
a misfortune to those who possess it, then in your public verdict
you will contradict your personal prayers.
 For you seem to him, he says, in danger of
being strangely inconsistent; for when you are about to beget
children, you pray one and all that your sons still unborn may
be fair and beautiful in person, and worthy of the city; and yet
when you have sons already born, of whom the city may well be
proud, if by their surpassing beauty and youthful charm they infatuate
one person or another, and become the subject of strife because
of the passion they inspire, these sons, as it seems, you propose
to deprive of civic rights--because Aeschines tells you to do
 And just here I understand he is going to carry
the war into my territory, and ask me if I am not ashamed on my
own part, after having made a nuisance of myself in the gymnasia
and having been many times a lover, now to be bringing the practice
into reproach and danger. And finally--so I am told--in an attempt
to raise a laugh and start silly talk among you, he says he is
going to exhibit all the erotic poems I have ever addressed to
one person or another, and he promises to call witnesses to certain
quarrels and pommellings in which I have been involved in consequence
of this habit.
 Now as for me, I neither find fault with love
that is honorable, nor do I say that those who surpass in beauty
are prostitutes. I do not deny that I myself have been a lover
and am a lover to this day, nor do I deny that the jealousies
and quarrels that commonly arise from the practice have happened
in my case. As to the poems which they say I have composed, some
I acknowledge, but as to others I deny that they are of the character
that these people will impute to them, for they will tamper with
 The distinction which I draw is this: to be
in love with those who are beautiful and chaste is the experience
of a kind-hearted and generous soul; but to hire for money and
to indulge in licentiousness is the act of a man who is wanton
and ill-bred. And whereas it is an honor to be the object of a
pure love, I declare that he who has played the prostitute by
inducement of wages is disgraced. How wide indeed is the distinction
between these two acts and how great the difference, I will try
to show you in what I shall next say.
 your fathers, when they were laying down laws
to regulate the habits of men and those acts that inevitably flow
from human nature, forbade slaves to do those things which they
thought ought to be done by free men. "A slave," says
the law, "shall not take exercise or anoint himself in the
wrestling-schools." It did not go on to add, "But the
free man shall anoint himself and take exercise;" for when,
seeing the good that comes from gymnastics, the lawgivers forbade
slaves to take part, they thought that in prohibiting them they
were by the same words inviting the free.
 again, the same lawgiver said, "A slave
shall not be the lover of a free boy nor follow after him, or
else he shall receive fifty blows of the public lash." But
the free man was not forbidden to love a boy, and associate with
him, and follow after him, nor did the lawgiver think that harm
came to the boy thereby, but rather that such a thing was a testimony
to his chastity. But, I think, so long as the boy is not his own
master and is as yet unable to discern who is a genuine friend,
and who is not, the law teaches the lover self-control, and makes
him defer the words of friendship till the other is older and
has reached years of discretion; but to follow after the boy and
to watch over him the lawgiver regarded as the best possible safeguard
and protection for chastity.
 and so it was that those benefactors of the
state, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, men pre-eminent for their virtues,
were so nurtured by that chaste and lawful love--or call it by
some other name than love if you like--and so disciplined, that
when we hear men praising what they did, we feel that words are
inadequate to the eulogy of their deeds.
 But since you make mention of Achilles and
Patroclus, and of Homer and the other poets--as though the jury
were men innocent of education, while you are people of a superior
sort, who feel yourselves quite beyond common folks in learning--that
you may know that we too have before now heard and learned a little
something, we shall say a word about this also. For since they
undertake to cite wise men, and to take refuge in sentiments expressed
in poetic measures, look, fellow citizens, into the works of those
who are confessedly good and helpful poets, and see how far apart
they considered chaste men, who love their like, and men who are
wanton and overcome by forbidden lusts.
 I will speak first of Homer, whom we rank among
the oldest and wisest of the poets. Although he speaks in many
places of Patroclus and Achilles, he hides their love and avoids
giving a name to their friendship, thinking that the exceeding
greatness of their affection is manifest to such of his hearers
as are educated men.
 For Achilles says somewhere in the course of
his lament for the death of Patroclus, as recalling one of the
greatest of sorrows, that unwillingly he has broken the promise
he had given to Menoetius, the father of Patroclus; for he had
promised to bring his son back safe to Opus, if he would send
him along with him to Troy, and entrust him to his care. It is
evident from this that it was because of love that he undertook
to take care of him.
 But the verses, which I am about to recite,
are these: "Ah me, I rashly spoke vain words that day When
in his halls I cheered Menoetius. I told the hero I would surely
bring His famous son to Opus back again, When he had ravaged Ilium,
and won His share of spoil. But Zeus does not fulfil To men their
every hope. For fate decrees That both of us make red one spot
 And indeed not only here do we see his deep
distress, but he mourned so sorely for him, that although his
mother Thetis cautioned him and told him that if he would refrain
from following up his enemies and leave the death of Patroclus
unavenged, he should return to his home and die an old man in
his own land, whereas if he should take vengeance, he should soon
end his life, he chose fidelity to the dead rather than safety.
And with such nobility of soul did he hasten to take vengeance
on the man who slew his friend, that when all tried to comfort
him and urged him to bathe and take food, he swore that he would
do none of these things until he had brought the head of Hector
to the grave of Patroclus.
 And when he was sleeping by the funeral pyre,
as the poet says, the ghost of Patroclus stood before him, and
stirred such memories and laid upon Achilles such injunctions,
that one may well weep, and envy the virtue and the friendship
of these men. He prophesies that Achilles too is not far from
the end of life, and enjoins upon him, if it he in any wise possible,
to make provision that even as they had grown up and lived together,
even so when they are dead their bones may be in the same coffer.
 weeping, and recalling the pursuits which they
had followed together in life, he says, "Never again shall
we sit together alone as in the old days, apart from our other
friends, and take high counsel," feeling, I believe, that
this fidelity and affection were what they would long for most.
But that you may hear the sentiments of the poet in verse also,
the clerk shall read to you the verses on this theme which Homer
 read first the verses about the vengeance on
Hector. "But since, dear comrade, after thee I go Beneath
the earth, I will not bury thee Till here I bring thee Hector's
head and arms, The spoils of that proud prince who took thy life."
 Now read what Patroclus says in the dream about
their common burial and about the intercourse that they once had
with one another. "For we no longer as in life shall sit
Apart in sweet communion. Nay, the doom Appointed me at birth
has yawned for me. And fate has destined thee, Achilles, peer
Of gods, to die beneath the wall of Troy's Proud lords, fighting
for fair-haired Helen's sake. More will I say to thee, pray heed
it well: Let not my bones be laid apart from thine, Achilles,
but that thou and I may be In common earth, I beg that I may share
That golden coffer which thy mother brought To be thine own, even
as we in youth Grew up together in thy home. My sire Menoetius
brought me, a little lad, from home, From Opus, to your house,
for sad bloodshed, That day, when, all unwitting, in childish
wrath About the dice, I killed Amphidamas' son. The knightly Peleus
took me to his home And kindly reared me, naming me thy squire.
So let one common coffer hide our bones."
 Now to show that it was possible for him to
have been saved had he refrained from avenging the death of Patroclus,
read what Thetis says. "Ah me, my son, swift fate indeed
will fall On thee, if thou dost speak such words. For know, Swift
after Hector's death fate brings thine own. To her divine Achilles,
swift of foot, In turn made answer. Straightway let me die, For
when my friend was slain, my dearest friend, It was not granted
me to succor him."
 Again, Euripides, a poet than whom none is
wiser, considering chaste love to be one of the most beautiful
things, says somewhere, making love a thing to be prayed for:
"There is a love that makes men virtuous And chaste, an envied
gift. Such love I crave."
 Again the same poet, in the Phoenix, expresses
his opinion, making defence against false charges brought by the
father, and trying to persuade men habitually to judge, not under
the influence of suspicion or of slander, but by a man's life:
"Many a time ere now have I been made The judge in men's
disputes, and oft have heard For one event conflicting witnesses.
And so, to find the truth, I, as do all Wise men, look sharp to
see the character That marks the daily life, and judge by that.
The man who loves companionship of knaves I care not to interrogate.
What need Is there? I know too well the man is such As is the
company he loves to keep."
 Examine the sentiments, fellow citizens, which
the poet expresses. He says that before now he has been made judge
of many cases, as you today are jurors; and he says that he makes
his decisions, not from what the witnesses say, but from the habits
and associations of the accused; he looks at this, how the man
who is on trial conducts his daily life, and in what manner he
administers his own house, believing that in like manner he will
administer the affairs of the state also; and he looks to see
with whom he likes to associate. And, finally, he does not hesitate
to express the opinion that a man is like those whose "company
he loves to keep." It is right, therefore, that in judging
Timarchus you follow the reasoning of Euripides.
 How has he administered his own property? He
has devoured his patrimony, he has consumed all the wages of his
prostitution and all the fruits of his bribery, so that he has
nothing left but his shame. With whom does he love to be? Hegesandrus!
And what are Hegesandrus' habits? The habits that exclude a man
by law from the privilege of addressing the people. What is it
that I say against Timarchus, and what is the charge that I have
brought? That Timarchus addresses the people, a man who has made
himself a prostitute and has consumed his patrimony. And what
is the oath that you have taken? To give your verdict on the precise
charges that are presented by the prosecution.
 But not to dwell too long on the poets, I will
recite to you the names of older and well-known men, and of youths
and boys, some of whom have had many lovers because of their beauty,
and some of whom, still in their prime, have lovers today, but
not one of whom ever came under the same accusations as Timarchus.
Again, I will tell over to you in contrast men who have prostituted
themselves shamefully and notoriously, in order that by calling
these to mind you may place Timarchus where he belongs.
 First I will name those who have lived the
life of free and honorable men. You know, fellow citizens, Crito,
son of Astyochus, Pericleides of Perithoedae, Polemagenes, Pantaleon,
son of Cleagoras, and Timesitheus the runner, men who were the
most beautiful, not only among their fellow citizens, but in all
Hellas, men who counted many a man of eminent chastity as lover;
yet no man ever censured them.
 and again, among the youths and those who are
still boys, first, you know the nephew of Iphicrates, the son
of Teisias of Rhamnos, of the same name as the defendant. He,
beautiful to look upon, is so far from reproach, that the other
day at the rural Dionysia when the comedies were being played
in Collytus, and when Parmenon the comic actor addressed a certain
anapaestic verse to the chorus, in which certain persons were
referred to as "big Timarchian prostitutes," nobody
thought of it as aimed at the youth, but, one and all, as meant
for you, so unquestioned is your title to the practice. Again,
Anticles, the stadium runner, and Pheidias,the brother of Melesias.
Although I could name many others, I will stop, lest I seem to
be in a way courting their favor by my praise.
 But as to those men who are kindred spirits
with Timarchus, for fear of arousing their enmity I will mention
only those toward whom I am utterly indifferent. Who of you does
not know Diophantes, called "the orphan," who arrested
the foreigner and brought him before the archon, whose associate
on the bench was Aristophon of Azenia? For Diophantes accused
the foreigner of having cheated him out of four drachmas in connection
with this practice, and he cited the laws that command the archon
to protect orphans, when he himself had violated the laws that
enjoin chastity. Or what Athenian was not indignant at Cephisodorus,
called Molon's son, for having ruined his surpassing beauty by
a most infamous life? Or Mnesitheus, known as the cook's son?
Or many others, whose names I am willing to forget?
 For I have no desire to tell over the whole
list of them one by one in a spirit of bitterness. Nay, rather
I could wish that I might be at a loss for such examples in my
speech, for I love my city. But since we have selected for special
mention a few from each of the two classes, on the one side men
who have been loved with a chaste love, and on the other men who
sin against themselves, now let me ask you this question, and
pray answer me: To which class do you assign Timarchus--to those
who are loved, or to those who are prostitutes? You see, Timarchus,
you are not to be permitted to desert the company which you have
chosen and go over to the ways of free men.
 But if they shall undertake to say that no
man has been a prostitute unless he was hired under contract,
and if they demand that I produce writings and witnesses, I ask
you first to call to mind the laws concerning prostitution; in
them the lawgiver has nowhere made mention of contracts, for he
did not inquire whether it was by contract that a person had defiled
himself, but in comprehensive terms, no matter how the deed is
done, he commands that the man who did it shall take no part in
public affairs. And he is right; for the man who in his youth
was led by shameful indulgence to surrender honorable ambition,
that man, he believed, ought not in later life to be possessed
of the citizen's privileges.
 In the second place, it is easy to demonstrate
the folly of this plea. For we should all acknowledge this, that
we enter into contracts because we do not trust one another, the
object being that the party who has not violated the written terms
may receive satisfaction by verdict of the courts from the one
who has. If, therefore, this business needs the help of the courts,
those who have served as prostitutes by contract, in case they
are wronged, have left them, according to the argument of the
defendants, recourse to the protection of the laws. And what would
be the plea that either side would advance? Imagine the case,
not as something that I am telling you, but as going on before
 Assume that the man who hired the other is
in the right as regards the fact and the man who was hired is
in the wrong and has no ground to stand on; or assume the opposite,
that the man who was hired is fair and fulfils his engagement,
but the man who has plucked the flower of his youth and hired
him has broken his word; then imagine that you yourselves are
sitting as jury. Now the elder man, when his time allowance and
the right to speak are given him, will press his accusation vigorously,
and looking, of course, into your faces, he will say,
 "Fellow citizens, I hired Timarchus to
serve me as a prostitute according to the contract that is deposited
with Demosthenes"--there is no reason why that statement
might not be made!--"but he fails to carry out his engagement
with me." And now, of course, he proceeds to describe this
engagement to the jury, telling what it is that a man of that
sort is expected to do. Thereupon will not the man be stoned who
has hired an Athenian contrary to the laws, and will he not leave
the court-room not only sentenced to pay his fine, but also convicted
of wanton outrage?
 But suppose it is not this man, but the one
who was hired, that is bringing suit. Now let him come forward
and speak--or else let the wise Batalus speak in his stead, that
we may know what he will find to say! "Gentlemen of the jury,
so-and-so"--it does not matter who--"hired me to be
his prostitute for money, and I have done, and still continue
to do, according to the terms of the contract, all that a prostitute
is under obligation to do; he, however, fails to fulfil the agreement."
Will he not immediately have to face a loud protest from the jurors?
For who will not say, "And then do you thrust yourself into
the market-place, do you put on a garland, do you attempt to do
anything else that the rest of us do?" His contract, you
see, is of no use to him.
 Now let me tell you how it happens that it
has become the prevailing custom to say, that persons have in
the past become prostitutes "under written contract."
One of our citizens (I will not name him, for I have no desire
to make myself hated), foreseeing none of the consequences which
I have just described to you, is said to have served as prostitute
according to a contract deposited with Anticles. Now, since he
was not a private citizen, but active in politics and subject
to scurrilous attack, he caused the city to become accustomed
to this expression, and that is the reason why some men ask whether
in a given case the practice has been "by written contract."
But the lawgiver did not care how the thing was brought about;
on the contrary, if there is a letting for hire in any way whatsoever,
the man who does the deed is condemned by him to disgrace.
 But nevertheless, although all this is so plainly
defined, many irrelevant arguments will be invented by Demosthenes.
Possibly, when he sticks to his subject, we might be less indignant
with him for the animosity he shows; but when, to the injury of
our national rights, he foists in matters that do not belong to
the case, then one may well be angry. Philip will be largely in
evidence, and the name of Philip's son Alexander is going to be
mixed up in it. For in addition to all the rest that is bad in
him, this Demosthenes is an ill-mannered and boorish sort of person.
 His offensive talk against Philip is foolish
and out of place, but not so serious a mistake as that which I
am about to mention. For confessedly he will be making his slanderous
charges against a man--he who is himself no man. But when he insinuates
shameful suspicions against the boy, by deliberately applying
to him words of double meaning, he makes our city ridiculous.
 For, under the impression that he is hurting
me with reference to the accounting which I am about to render
for my service on the embassy, he says that when the other day
he himself was describing the boy Alexander, telling how at a
certain banquet of ours he played the cithara, reciting certain
passages in which there were thrusts at another boy, and when
he reported to the senate what he himself happened to know about
the incident, I got angry at his jests at the expense of the boy,
as though I were not merely a member of the embassy, but one of
the boy's own family.
 Now I naturally have had no conversation with
Alexander, because of his youth, but Philip I do praise now because
of his auspicious words, and if in what he does toward us in the
future he shall fulfil the promise of what he now says, he will
make praise of him a safe and easy thing. I did, indeed, rebuke
Demosthenes in the senate-chamber, not because I was counting
the favor of the boy, but because I felt that if you should listen
to such words as his, the city would show itself as ill-behaved
as the speaker.
 But, fellow citizens, I beg you not to accept
their irrelevant pleas at all, in the first place for the sake
of the oaths which you have sworn, in the second place that you
may not be misled by a fellow who makes a trade of the manipulation
of words. But I will go back a little way for your instruction.
Demosthenes, after he had spent his patrimony, went up and down
the city, hunting rich young fellows whose fathers were dead,
and whose mothers were administering their property. I will omit
many instances, and will mention only one of those who were outrageously
 he discovered a household that was rich and
ill-managed, the head of which was a woman, proud and of poor
judgment. A fatherless young man, half crazy, was managing the
estate, Aristarchus, son of Moschus. Demosthenes, pretending to
be a lover of his, invited the young man to this intimacy, filling
him up with empty hopes, assuring him that without any delay whatever
he should become the foremost man in public life, and he showed
him a list of names. So he became prompter and teacher of the
young man in conduct which has made Aristarchus an exile from
 while Demosthenes, getting hold of the money
that was to support him in in his banishment, has cheated him
out of three talents, and, at the hands of Aristarchus, Nicodemus
of Aphidna has met a violent death, poor man! after having had
both eyes knocked out, and that tongue cut off with which he had
been wont to speak out freely, trusting in the laws and in you.
 Did you put to death Socrates the sophist,
fellow citizens, because he was shown to have been the teacher
of Critias, one of the Thirty who put down the democracy, and
after that, shall Demosthenes succeed in snatching companions
of his own out of your hands, Demosthenes, who takes such vengeance
on private citizens and friends of the people for their freedom
of speech? At his invitation some of his pupils are here in court
to listen to him. For with an eye to business at your expense,
he promises them, as I understand, that he will juggle the issue
and cheat your ears, and you will never know it;
 assuring them that, as soon as he shall come
forward to speak, the situation shall be reversed, the defendant
filled with confidence, the plaintiff confounded, frightened for
his own safety; and that he will lug in my speeches, and find
fault with the peace which was brought about through Philocrates
and myself, until he shall call out such bursts of applause from
the jurors that I will not even face him in the court-room to
defend myself when I render account of my service on the embassy,
but will consider myself lucky if I get off with a moderate fine
instead of being punished with death.
 So I do beg you by all means not to furnish
this sophist with laughter and patronage at your expense. Imagine
that you see him when he gets home from the court-room, putting
on airs in his lectures to his young men, and telling how successfully
he stole the case away from the jury. "I carried the jurors
off bodily from the charges brought against Timarchus, and set
them on the accuser, and Philip, and the Phocians, and I suspended
such terrors before the eyes of the hearers that the defendant
began to be the accuser, and the accuser to be on trial; and the
jurors forgot what they were to judge; and what they were not
to judge, to that they listened."
 But it is your business to take your stand
against this sort of thing, and following close on his every step,
to let him at no point turn aside nor persist in irrelevant talk;
on the contrary, act as you do in a horse-race, make him keep
to the track--of the matter at issue. If you do that, you will
not fail of respect, and you will have the same sentiments when
you are called to enforce laws that you had when you made them;
but if you do otherwise, it will appear that when crimes are about
to be committed, you foresee them and are angry, but after they
have been committed, you no longer care.
 To sum it all up, if you punish the wrongdoers,
your laws will be good and valid; but if you let them go, good
laws, indeed, but valid no longer. And I shall not hesitate to
speak out and tell you why I say this. I will explain by means
of an illustration. Why do you suppose it is, fellow citizens,
that the existing laws are good, but that the decrees of the city
are inferior to them, and that the verdicts rendered in the courts
are sometimes open to censure?
 I will explain to you the reason. It is because
you enact the laws with no other object than justice, not moved
by unrighteous gain, or by either partiality or animosity, looking
solely to what is just and for the common good. And because you
are, as I think, naturally, more clever than other men, it is
not surprising that you pass most excellent laws. But in the meetings
of the assembly and in the courts, you oftentimes lose all hold
of the discussion of the matter in hand, and are led away by deceit
and trickery; and you admit into your cases at law a custom that
is utterly unjust, for you allow the defendants to bring counter
accusations against the complainants.
 and when you have been drawn away from the
defence itself, and your minds have become intent on other things,
you forget the accusation entirely, and leave the court-room without
having received satisfaction from either party--not from the complainant,
for you are given no opportunity to vote with reference to him,
and not from the defendant, for by his extraneous charges he has
brushed aside the original complaints against himself, and gone
out of court scot-free. Thus the laws are losing their force,
the democracy is being undermined, and the custom is steadily
gaining ground. For you sometimes thoughtlessly listen to mere
talk that is unsupported by a good life.
 Not so the Lacedaemonians (and it is well to
imitate virtue even in a foreigner). For instance, when a certain
man had spoken in the assembly of the Lacedaemonians, a man of
shameful life but an exceedingly able speaker, and when, we are
told, the Lacedaemonians were on the point of voting according
to his advice, a man came forward from the Council of Elders--a
body of men whom they reverence and fear, whose age gives its
name to that office which they consider the highest, and whom
they appoint from among those who have been men of sobriety from
boyhood to old age--one of these, it is said, came forward and
vehemently rebuked the Lacedaemonians and denounced them in words
like these: that the homes of Sparta would not long remain unravaged
if the people folIowed such advisers in their assemblies.
 at the same time he called forward another
of the Lacedaemonians, a certain man who was not gifted in speech,
but brilliant in war and distinguished for justice and sobriety,
and he ordered him to express as best he could the same sentiments
that the former orator had uttered, "In order," he explained,
"that a good man may speak before the Lacedaemonians vote,
but that they may not even receive into their ears the voices
of proven cowards and rascals." Such was the advice that
the old man, who had lived a pure life from childhood, gave to
his fellow citizens. He would have been quick, indeed, to allow
Timarchus or the low-lived Demosthenes to take part in public
 But that I may not seem to be flattering the
Lacedaemonians, I will make mention of our ancestors also. For
so stern were they toward all shameful conduct, and so precious
did they hold the purity of their children, that when one of the
citizens found that his daughter had been seduced, and that she
had failed to guard well her chastity till the time of marriage,
he walled her up in an empty house with a horse, which he knew
would surely kill her, if she were shut in there with him. And
to this day the foundations of that house stand in your city,
and that spot is called "the place of the horse and the maid."
 and Solon, the most famous of lawgivers, has
written in ancient and solemn manner concerning orderly conduct
on the part of the women. For the woman who is taken in the act
of adultery he does not allow to adorn herself, nor even to attend
the public sacrifices, lest by mingling with innocent women she
corrupt them. But if she does attend, or does adorn herself, he
commands that any man who meets her shall tear off her garments,
strip her of her ornaments, and beat her (only he may not kill
or maim her); for the lawgiver seeks to disgrace such a woman
and make her life not worth the living.
 and he commands that procurers, men and women,
be indicted, and if they are convicted, be punished with death,
because to people who lust after sin but hesitate and are ashamed
to meet one another, the procurers offer their own shamelessness
for pay, and make it possible to discuss the act and to accomplish
 Such, then, was the judgment of your fathers
concerning things shameful and things honorable; and shall their
sons let Timarchus go free, a man chargeable with the most shameful
practices, a creature with the body of a man defiled with the
sins of a woman? In that case, who of you will punish a woman
if he finds her in wrong doing? Or what man will not be regarded
as lacking intelligence who is angry with her who errs by an impulse
of nature,while he treats as adviser the man who in despite of
nature has sinned against his own body?
 How will each man of you feel as he goes home
from court? For the person who is on trial is no obscure man,
but well known; the law governing the official scrutiny of public
speakers is not a trivial law, but a most excellent one; and we
must expect that the boys and young men will ask the members of
their families how the case was decided.
 What then, pray, are you going to answer, you
in whose hands the decision now rests, when your sons ask you
whether you voted for conviction or acquittal? When you acknowledge
that you set Timarchus free, will you not at the same time be
overturning our whole system of training the youth? What use is
there in keeping attendants for our children, or setting trainers
and teachers over them, when those who have been entrusted with
the laws allow themselves to be turned into crooked paths of shame?
 I am also surprised, fellow citizens, that
you who hate the brothel-keeper propose to let the willing prostitute
go free. And it seems that a man who is not to be permitted to
be a candidate for election by lot for the priesthood of any god,
as being impure of body as that is defined by the laws, this same
man is to write in our decrees prayers to the August Goddesses
in behalf of the state. Why then do we wonder at the futility
of our public acts, when the names of such public men as this
stand at the head of the people's decrees? And shall we send abroad
as ambassador a man who has lived shamefully at home, and shall
we continue to trust that man in matters of the greatest moment?
What would he not sell who has trafficked in the shame of his
own body? Whom would he pity who has had no pity on himself?
 To whom of you is not the bestiality of Timarchus
well known? For just as we recognize the athlete, even without
visiting the gymnasia, by looking at his bodily vigor, even so
we recognize the prostitute, even without being present at his
act, by his shamelessness, his effrontery, and his habits. For
he who despises the laws and morality in matters of supreme importance,
comes to be in a state of soul which is plainly revealed by his
 Many men of this sort you could find who have
overthrown cities and have fallen into the greatest misfortunes
themselves. For you must not imagine, fellow citizens, that the
impulse to wrong doing is from the gods; nay, rather, it is from
the wickedness of men; nor that ungodly men are, as in tragedy,
driven and chastised by the Furies with blazing torches in their
 No, the impetuous lusts of the body and insatiate
desire--these it is that fill the robbers' bands, that send men
on board the pirates' boats; these are, for each man, his Fury,
urging him to slay his fellow citizens, to serve the tyrant, to
help put down the democracy. For such men reck not of disgrace,
nor yet of punishment to come, but are beguiled by the pleasures
they expect if they succeed. Therefore, fellow citizens, remove
from among us such natures, for so shall you turn the aspirations
of the young toward virtue.
 And be assured--I earnestly beg of you to remember
what I am about to say--be assured that if Timarchus shall pay
the penalty for his practices, you will lay the foundation for
orderly conduct in this city; but if he shall be cleared, the
case had better never have been tried. For before Timarchus came
to trial, the law and the name of the courts did cause some men
to fear; but if the leader in indecency and the most notorious
man of all shall once have been brought into court and then come
safely off, many will be induced to offend; and it will finally
be, not what is said, but the desperate situation, that will arouse
 therefore punish one man, and do not wait till
you have a multitude to punish; and be on your guard against their
machinations and their advocates. I will name no one of these,
lest they make that their excuse for speaking, saying that they
would not have come forward had not someone mentioned them by
name. But this I will do: I will omit their names, but by describing
their habits will make known their persons also. And each man
will have only himself to blame if he comes up here and displays
 three sorts of supporters, namely, are going
to come into court to help the defendant: firstly, men who have
squandered their patrimony by the extravagance of their daily
life; secondly, men who have abused their youth and their own
bodies, and now are afraid, not for Timarchus, but for themselves
and their own habits, lest they one day be called to account;
and still others from the ranks of the licentious, and of those
who have freely associated with licentious men; for they would
have certain men rely on their aid, and thus be the more ready
to indulge in wrong-doing.
 therefore you hear the pleas of these men in
his support, call to mind their lives, and bid those who have
sinned against their own bodies to cease annoying you and to stop
speaking before the people; for the law investigates, not men
in private station, but those who are in public life. And tell
those who have eaten up their patrimony to go to work, and find
some new way to get their living. And as for the hunters of such
young men as are easily trapped, command them turn their attention
to the foreigners and the resident aliens, that they may still
indulge their predilection, but without injuring you.
 And now I have fulfilled all my obligation
to you: I have explained the laws, I have examined the life of
the defendant. Now, therefore, you are judges of my words, and
soon I shall be spectator of your acts, for the decision of the
case is now left to your judgment. If, therefore, you do what
is right and best, we on our part shall, if it be your wish, be
able more zealously to call wrongdoers to account.
 And now I have fulfilled all my obligation
to you: I have explained the laws, I have examined the life of
the defendant. Now, therefore, you are judges of my words, and
soon I shall be spectator of your acts, for the decision of the
case is now left to your judgment. If, therefore, you do what
is right and best, we on our part shall, if it be your wish, be
able more zealously to call wrongdoers to account.
From Aeschines, trans. Charles Darwin Adams,
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann
[Note: In the US copyright expires after 70 years.
This text is public domain in the US. No representation is made
about its status elsewhere.]