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54 Reading Passages: Classical

Classical Reading


To download this assignment as a pdf, click here: AGE Readings 17.

In 404 BCE, democratic Athens surrendered to Sparta after decades of conflict. A group known as the Thirty Tyrants then took control of Athens, but democracy was restored the next year. Among the Thirty was a man named Eratosthenes, who allegedly murdered the brother of the famous orator and legal expert Lysias. Lysias published a speech prosecuting Eratosthenes. Here Lysias explains that sometimes defendants point to their good, patriotic deeds as counterbalancing any crimes they committed, but that is impossible for Eratosthenes:

ἐπεὶ κελεύετε αὐτὸν ἀποδεῖξαι ὅπου τοσούτους τῶν πολεμίων ἀπέκτειναν ὅσους τῶν πολιτῶν, ἢ ναῦς ὅπου τοσαύτας ἔλαβον ὅσας αὐτοὶ παρέδοσαν, ἢ πόλιν ἥντινα τοιαύτην προσεκτήσαντο οἵαν τὴν ὑμετέραν κατεδουλώσαντο. ἀλλὰ γὰρ ὅπλα τῶν πολεμίων ἐσκύλευσαν τοσαῦτα ὅσα περ ὑμῶν ἀφείλοντο, ἀλλὰ τείχη τοιαῦτα εἷλον οἷα τῆς ἑαυτῶν πατρίδος κατέσκαψαν. οἵτινες καὶ τὰ περὶ τὴν Ἀττικὴν φρούρια καθεῖλον, [and made it evident to you that even in dismantling the Peiraeus they were not obeying the injunctions of the Lacedaemonians], ἀλλ’ ὅτι ἑαυτοῖς τὴν ἀρχὴν οὕτω βεβαιοτέραν ἐνόμιζον εἶναι. πολλάκις οὖν ἐθαύμασα τῆς τόλμης τῶν λεγόντων ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ…. οὐ γὰρ νῦν πρῶτον τῷ ὑμετέρῳ πλήθει τὰ ἐναντία ἔπραξεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν Τετρακοσίων ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ ὀλιγαρχίαν καθιστὰς ἔφευγεν ἐξ Ἑλλησπόντου τριήραρχος καταλιπὼν τὴν ναῦν, μετὰ Ἰατροκλέους καὶ ἑτέρων, ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα οὐδὲν δέομαι λέγειν. ἀφικόμενος δὲ δεῦρο τἀναντία τοῖς βουλομένοις δημοκρατίαν εἶναι ἔπραττε. καὶ τούτων μάρτυρας ὑμῖν παρέξομαι.

Lysias 12.39-42


ἀποδείκνυμι show, display

Ἀττική -ῆς ἡ Attica

ἀφείλοντο (3rd pl aorist) take from (+ gen.)

ἀφικόμενος –η –ον having returned

βεβαιοτερος –α –ον more secure

βουλόμενος –η –ον wanting, planning

δέομαι need

δεῦρο here

Ἑλλήσποντος –ου ὁ Hellespont

ἐπεί next, then

Ἰατροκλής –έους ὁ Iatrocles

καθεῖλον < κατα + αἱρέω take down, destroy

καθιστάς –άσα –άν having established

καταλιπών –οῦσα –όν having abandoned

κατεδουλώσαντο (3rd pl aorist) enslave

κατασκάπτω dig up, destroy

λέγων –όντος ὁ speaker, orator

νῦν now

οἷος –α –ον (of the same kind) as (here correlates with τοιαύτην)

ὀλιγαρχία –ας ἡ oligarchy

ὅπου where

ὅσος –α –ον as; as many of (here correlates with τοσούτους)

οὕτω this way

περ marker of emphasis

περιεῖλον < περι + αἱρέω take away

πολίτης –ου ὁ citizen

πολλάκις often

προσεκτήσαντο (3rd pl aorist) acquire

σκυλεύω strip from

στρατόπεδον –ου τό military camp

τἀναντία = τὰ ἐναντία

Τετρακόσιοι –ων The Four Hundred (a brief oligarchy eight years earlier, in 411 BCE)

τοιοῦτος –αύτη –οῦτο of the same kind (as)

τόλμη –ης ἡ boldness, daring

τοσοῦτος –αύτη –οῦτο so great, so large

τριήραρχος –ου ὁ trierarch (commander of a trireme warship)

φρούριον –ου τό fort, garrison


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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.