(12) καίτοι πῶς οὐκ ἄτοπόν ἐστιν, ὦ βουλή, τοῦτον ἄν, εἰ μὲν ἐπ’ ἀστράβης ὀχούμενον ἑώρα με, σιωπᾶν (τί γὰρ ἂν καὶ ἔλεγεν;), ὅτι δ’ ἐπὶ τοὺς ᾐτημένους ἵππους ἀναβαίνω, πειρᾶσθαι πείθειν ὑμᾶς ὡς δυνατός εἰμι; καὶ ὅτι μὲν δυοῖν βακτηρίαιν χρῶμαι, τῶν ἄλλων μιᾷ χρωμένων, μὴ κατηγορεῖν ὡς καὶ τοῦτο τῶν δυναμένων ἐστίν· ὅτι δ’ ἐπὶ τοὺς ἵππους ἀναβαίνω, τεκμηρίῳ χρῆσθαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς ὥς εἰμι τῶν δυναμένων; οἷς ἐγὼ διὰ τὴν αὐτὴν αἰτίαν ἀμφοτέροις χρῶμαι.
καίτοι: and yet
ἄτοπος –ον: out of place, extraordinary, strange
σιωπάω, σιωπήσω, ἐσιώπησα, σεσιώπηκα: be silent, keep silent
ἀναβαίνω, ἀναβήσομαι, ἀνέβην, ἀναβέβηκα, ἀναβέβαμαι, ἀνεβάθην: board, mount
βακτηρία -ας, ἡ: cane, stick
τεκμήριον -ου, τό: proof, token
The defendant rides horses and uses canes to aid his mobility.
This chapter comprises one long, complex sentence featuring a series of parallel constructions:
(α) καίτοι πῶς οὐκ ἄτοπόν ἐστιν, ὦ βουλή (α) main clause
(β) τοῦτον ἄν...σιωπᾶν (β) accusative + infinitive phrase → apodosis of present CTF conditional governed by οὐκ ἄτοπόν ἐστιν
(γ) εἰ μὲν ἐπ᾽ ἀστράβης ὀχούμενον ἑώρα με, (γ) protasis of present CTF conditional
(δ) (τί γὰρ ἂν καὶ ἔλεγεν;) (δ) parenthetical statement
(ε) ὅτι δ᾽ ἐπὶ τοὺς ᾐτημένους ἵππους ἀναβαίνω, (ε) causal clause
(ζ) πειρᾶσθαι πείθειν ὑμᾶς (ζ) accusative + infinitive phrase parallel to (β)
(η) ὡς δυνατός εἰμι; (η) indirect statement
(θ) καὶ ὅτι μὲν δυοῖν βακτηρίαιν χρῶμαι, (θ) causal clause parallel to (ε)
(ι) τῶν ἄλλων μιᾷ χρωμένων, (ι) concessive genitive absolute
(κ) μὴ κατηγορεῖν (κ) accusative + infinitive phrase parallel to (β) + (ζ)
(λ) ὡς καὶ τοῦτο τῶν δυναμένων ἐστιν: (λ) indirect statement parallel to (η)
(μ) ὅτι δ᾽ ἐπὶ τοὺς ἵππους ἀναβαίνω, (μ) causal clause parallel to (ε) + (θ)
(ν) τεκμηρίῳ χρῆσθαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς (ν) accusative + infinitive phrase parallel to (β) + (ζ) + (κ)
(ξ) ὡς εἰμὶ τῶν δυναμένων; (ξ) indirect statement parallel to (η) + (λ)
(ο) οἷς ἐγώ διὰ τὴν αὐτὴν αἰτίαν ἀμφοτέροις χρῶμαι. (ο) relative clause
καίτοι: contributes a sense of exasperation to the rhetorical question.
πῶς οὐκ ἄτοπόν ἐστιν: “how is it not strange that....” This rhetorical question initiates a series of accusative + infinitive phrases across this long sentence. On this type of rhetorical question see the note in Chapter 8.
τοῦτον: the challenger
σιωπᾶν: > pres. act. inf. of σιωμάω.
τοῦτον ἄν...σιωπᾶν: infinitives and participles can express the apodosis of a conditional (S. 2350). The accusative subject + infinitive phrase is governed by the impersonal statement πῶς οὐκ ἄτοπόν, i.e. “how is not strange…that he would have been silent.” An infinitive + ἄν is equivalent to either a past tense indicative verb + ἄν or an optative verb + ἄν (S. 1845). Context determines the difference. Since this phrase is the apdosis of a present contrary-to-fact conditional, the infinitive + ἄν is equivalent to the imperfect indicative + ἄν.
ἐπ᾽ ἀστράβης ὀχούμενον...με: “me riding on a mule.”
ἑώρα: > 3rd sing. impf. act. ind. of ὁράω.
The form likely derives from ἡ-𝟋ορ- where the loss of the digamma necessitated the transposition of vowel lengths (i.e. quantitative metathesis) between η (a lengthened form of the temporal augment) and ο, resulting in ἑωρ-.]
τί γὰρ ἂν καὶ ἔλεγεν: “For what could he have said?” Past tense indicative verbs + ἄν express past potential (S. 1784). This aside emphasizes the fact that if the defendant had the means to hire a mule for transportation the sight of him riding one would not be noteworthy on its own.
ὅτι δ᾽: “and since,” introduces a causal clause.
ᾐτημένους: “borrowed.” > acc. pl. perf. mid./pass. part. of αἰτέω (LSJ αἰτέω III.2).
πειρᾶσθαι: supply τοῦτον, “this man tries.” This accusative + infinitive phrase is a continuation of the rhetorical question πῶς οὐκ ἄτοπόν that initiates the sentence.
ὡς δυνατός εἰμι: “that I am able-bodied.”
καὶ ὅτι μὲν δυοῖν βακτηρίαιν χρῶμαι: βακτηρίαιν = dual forms of the dative. The defendant uses two sticks as mobility aids, clear visual evidence of his physical disability.
τῶν ἄλλων μιᾷ χρωμένων: “although others use one [stick],” concessive genitive absolute.
μὴ κατηγορεῖν: “he doesn’t allege.” Another accusative + infinitive phrase parallel to σιωπᾶν and πειρᾶσθαι. Here the defendant sarcastically argues that the challenger does not make an erroneous claim (unlike with the defendant’s horse-riding) that evidence of disability, i.e. using two canes instead of one, is in actuality evidence of physical ability. The logic of the argument is strained and the defendant humorously obscures with a reductio ad absurdum the fact that he does not respond to the challenger’s accusation that his horse-riding is evidence of physical ability.
τοῦτο...ἐστίν: “this is evidence of.”
τεκμηρίῳ χρῆσθαι: “he uses as evidence.”
οἷς...ἀμφοτέροις: “both which,” i.e. his sticks and horse.
αὐτὴν: = “same,” when placed in the attributive position.