(11) ὃ δὲ μέγιστον, ὦ βουλή, τεκμήριον ὅτι διὰ τὴν συμφορὰν ἀλλ’ οὐ διὰ τὴν ὕβριν, ὡς οὗτός φησιν, ἐπὶ τοὺς ἵππους ἀναβαίνω. εἰ γὰρ ἐκεκτήμην οὐσίαν, ἐπ’ ἀστράβης ἂν ὠχούμην, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους ἵππους ἀνέβαινον· νυνὶ δ’ ἐπειδὴ τοιοῦτον οὐ δύναμαι κτήσασθαι, τοῖς ἀλλοτρίοις ἵπποις ἀναγκάζομαι χρῆσθαι πολλάκις.
It is misfortune not affluence that accounts for his use of a horse. A wealthy man would not ride a borrowed horse, as the defendant admits to doing, but rather would travel upon a mule.
ὃ δὲ μέγιστον...τεκμήριον: “but this is the best evidence,” supply ἐστί. Τhe antecedent for the relative clause is the conditional sentence that follows (εἰ γὰρ ἐκεκτήμην οὐσίαν...). This use of a pronoun is known as cataphoric pronoun. In these instances, the relative pronoun is most intelligibly rendered as a demonstrative.
Carey, following Scheibe, deletes the phrase ῥᾴδιόν ἐστι μαθεῖν (“it is easy to understand”) transmitted in the manuscripts, which is an unnecessarily redundant tag to the claim that begins the sentence.
διὰ...ἀλλ᾽ οὐ διὰ: the preposition διά + acc. = “because of.”
ὕβριν: “contempt, arrogance.” Hubris is used in reference to a range of social offenses from verbal insult to outright violence. In every instance to define an act as hubris is to underscore its serious breach of social norms.
ἐκεκτήμην: > 1st sing. plpf. mid./pass. ind. of κτάομαι.
εἰ ἐκεκτήμην... ἂν ὠχούμην...ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ...ἀνέβαινον:“If I had money (but I don’t and that’s why I need the benefit!)...I would (now) ride…and would (now) not mount.” A present contrary-to-fact conditional, expressing the unreality of the situation and thus reinforcing his indigence. The pluperfect verb (rather than the textbook imperfect) in the protasis denotes the present state of existence that results from a completed act, i.e. that the defendant is wealthy (S. 2306; see S. 2310e for a further example of the pluperfect protasis and imperfect apodosis)
ἀστράβης: a type of saddle with added padding and support used when riding a mule. Here the term must refer to the mule itself (metonymy). If the defendant had the means, he would ride in comfort on a mule and have no need to mount uncomfortably on a (borrowed) horse.
The term also had derogatory connotations. In his speech against Meidias (21.133) on the charge of hubris, the Attic orator Demosthenes paints a picture of Meidias as unmanly, noting how he rode into battle on a silver ἀστράβη.
χρῆσθαι: “to use” + dat.
πολλάκις: “from time to time.”
τεκμήριον -ου, τό: proof, token
ὕβρις –εως, ἡ: violence, rudeness, hubris
ἀναβαίνω, ἀναβήσομαι, ἀνέβην, ἀναβέβηκα, ἀναβέβαμαι: board, mount
κτάομαι, κτήσομαι, ἐκτησάμην, κέκτημαι, ἐκτήθην: acquire, procure, get
οὐσία –ας, ἡ: money, possession
ἀστράβη -ης, ἡ: padded saddle, mule’s saddle
ὀχέω, ὀχήσω, ὤχησα: endure, sustain; ride, drive (middle/pass.)
ἀλλότριος –α –ον: belonging to another, foreign
ἐπειδή: when, after
ἀναγκάζω, ἀναγκάσω, ἠνάγκασα, ἠνάγκακα, ἠνάγκασμαι, ἠναγκάσθην: force, compel