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44 Reading Passages: Classical

Reading Passages



1. Read the passages aloud in Greek.

2. Vocabulary and commentary is provided for each passage. For words that do not appear in the vocabulary, please use your dictionary.

3. Translate the passages. As you translate the sentences, pay careful attention to words that go together, such as prepositional phrases and relative clauses. Breaking the sentences up into logical units is oftentimes a better first approach than attempting to translate all the words in succession.

To download this assignment as a pdf, click here: AGE Readings 14b.


Classical Reading

This is the beginning of a legal speech stemming from a dispute over a loan used to back the security of a shipload of grain. The speaker is a man named Demon, a cousin of the famous orator Demosthenes, who probably composed the speech. Demon is being sued by a man named Zenothemis, a man from Massalia (now Marseille in southern France). In this speech, Demon contends that the suit is inadmissible and should be thrown out of court.

NOTE: Some forms of οὗτος in this passage have an extra iota, called the DEICTIC IOTA (S 333g), which literally means “pointing iota.” The forms translate something like this here.

Ἄνδρες δικασταί, βούλομαι, παραγεγραμμένος μὴ εἰσαγώγιμον εἶναι τὴν δίκην, περὶ τῶν νόμων πρῶτον εἰπεῖν, καθ’ οὓς παρεγραψάμην. οἱ νόμοι κελεύουσιν, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, τὰς δίκας εἶναι τοῖς ναυκλήροις καὶ τοῖς ἐμπόροις τῶν Ἀθήναζε καὶ τῶν Ἀθήνηθεν συμβολαίων, καὶ περὶ ὧν ἂν ὦσι συγγραφαί· ἂν δέ τις παρὰ ταῦτα δικάζηται, μὴ εἰσαγώγιμον εἶναι τὴν δίκην. τουτῳὶ τοίνυν Ζηνοθέμιδι πρὸς μὲν ἐμὲ ὅτι οὐδὲν ἦν συμβόλαιον οὐδὲ συγγραφή, καὐτὸς ὁμολογεῖ ἐν τῷ ἐγκλήματι· δανεῖσαι δέ φησιν Ἡγεστράτῳ ναυκλήρῳ, [and that after Hegestratos was lost at sea], ἡμᾶς τὸ ναῦλον σφετερίσασθαι· τουτὶ τὸ ἔγκλημ’ ἐστίν. ἐκ δὴ τοῦ αὐτοῦ λόγου τήν τε δίκην οὐκ εἰσαγώγιμον οὖσαν μαθήσεσθε, καὶ τὴν ὅλην ἐπιβουλὴν καὶ πονηρίαν τουτουὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὄψεσθε. δέομαι δ’ ὑμῶν πάντων, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, εἴπερ ἄλλῳ τινὶ πώποτε πράγματι τὸν νοῦν προσέσχετε, καὶ τούτῳ προσέχειν· ἀκούσεσθε γὰρ ἀνθρώπου τόλμαν καὶ πονηρίαν οὐ τὴν τυχοῦσαν, ἄνπερ ἐγὼ τὰ πεπραγμέν’ αὐτῷ πρὸς ὑμᾶς πολλάκις εἰπεῖν δυνηθῶ. οἶμαι δέ.

Demosthenes Against Zenothemis (Dem. 32.1-3)


Ἀθήναζε to Athens

Ἀθήνηθεν from Athens

ἄλλο –ου τό other

ἄν marks a hypothetical situation

ἄν, ἄνπερ ~ εἰ

δανεῖσαι (inf act) made a loan

δέομαι ask (+ gen. of person addressed)

δικάζω sue, bring to court

δικάζηται ~ δικάζεται

δικαστής –οῦ ὁ juror

δή now

δυνηθῶ (1st sg) have the ability

ἔγκλημα –ματος τό charge, accusation, complaint

εἰσαγώγιμος –ου ὁ/ἡ admissible

εἰπεῖν ~ λέγειν

εἴπερ ~ εἰ

ἔμπορος –ου ὁ businessman

ἐπιβουλή -ῆς ἡ plot

Ζηνόθεμις –ιδις ὁ Zenothemis

Ἡγέστρατος –ου ὁ Hegestratus

ἦν (3rd sg) was

καὐτὸς = καὶ αὐτός

ναύκληρος –ου ὁ ship master

ναῦλον –ου τό cargo

οἶμαι think (yes)

ὅλη –ης ἡ whole, entire

οὖσα –ας ἡ ~ εἶναι

παραγεγραμμένος –ου ὁ countercharging [followed by indirect statement]

παρεγραψάμην (1st sg) was charged

πεπραγμένον –ου τό what was done + αὐτῷ “by him”

πολλάκις often

πονηρία –ας ἡ wickedness

προσέσχετε ~ προσέχετε

προσέχω νοῦν pay attention

πρῶτον first

πώποτε ever

συγγραφή -ῆς ἡ written contract

συμβόλαιον –ου τό contract

σφετερίσασθαι (inf act) misappropriate

τοίνυν so now…

τόλμα –ης ἡ daring

τουτὶ ~ τοῦτο

τυχοῦσα –ης ἡ random

ὦσι ~ εἰσι


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Reading Passages: Classical by Wilfred E. Major and Michael Laughy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.