(14) ἀλλὰ γὰρ οὔτε ὑμεῖς τούτῳ τὴν αὐτὴν ἔχετε γνώμην, οὔθ’ οὗτος, εὖ φρονῶν. ὁ μὲν γὰρ ὥσπερ ἐπικλήρου τῆς συμφορᾶς οὔσης ἀμφισβητήσων ἥκει καὶ πειρᾶται πείθειν ὑμᾶς ὡς οὔκ εἰμι τοιοῦτος οἷον ὑμεῖς ὁρᾶτε πάντες· ὑμεῖς δὲ (ὃ τῶν εὖ φρονούντων ἔργον ἐστὶ) μᾶλλον πιστεύετε τοῖς ὑμετέροις αὐτῶν ὀφθαλμοῖς ἢ τοῖς τούτου λόγοις.
ἐπίκληρος –οῦ, ἡ: heiress
ἀμφισβητέω, ἀμφισβητήσω, ἠμφεσβήτησα, ἠμφεσβητήθην: dispute over, make a claim on
The challenger’s arguments do not hold water. The jury should trust what they see plainly before them.
ἀλλὰ γὰρ: “but in fact,” a phrase commonly used by the orators to introduce a statement that is an objection to or in direct opposition of the preceding discussion (S. 2819).
τὴν αὐτὴν…γνώμην: “the same opinion.” Lysias draws a distinct contrast between the opinion held by the challenger (i.e. that the defendant is ineligible for the benefit) and the (correct) opinion held by the jury and himself.
τούτῳ: “as him,” i.e. the challenger. The dative is used with adjectives of sameness, similarity or dissimilarity in a compressed (brachyology) comparison, e.g. “you all hold the same opinion as he holds” (S. 1500 and 1501).
οὔθ’ οὗτος: supply τὴν αὐτὴν γνώμην ἔχει; commonly compressed parallel to preceding phrase. The challenger, who must be either a fool or a hypocrite, doesn’t even believe his own accusations.
Carey prints <ὑμῖν>, following Contius, an insertion that would translate as “nor does this man [hold the same opinion] as you all,” which would radically change the meaning the phrase. On this reading, Lysias is contrasting the opinions held by the Council and by the challenger.
εὖ φρονῶν: “when he’s thinking clearly.” With this stinging tag to the statement, the speaker chalks up the illogical position of the challenger to ignorance or hypocrisy.
The printed text is an emendation by Markland of the manuscript reading εὖ ποιῶν (“fortunately”, see LSJ ποιέω ΒΙ.3), which is also printed by Carey. For further discussion of the emendation, see the essay on this chapter.
τῆς συμφορᾶς…ἀμφισβητήσων: “to make a claim on my misfortune,” future participle to express purpose. In Attic legal contexts, ἀμφισβήτεω (+ gen.) describes the act of asserting one’s rights to an inheritance (LSJ I.3b).
ὥσπερ ἐπικλήρου…οὔσης: “just as though it were an heiress.” ἐπικλήρου is predicate to the gen. pres. act. participle οὔσης. Note how the interlocking word order of ὥσπερ ἐπικλήρου τῆς συμφορᾶς οὔσης emphasizes the analogy which the speaker wishes to make between his own state of affairs and a claim on the property of an heiress.
ἐπικλήρου: “heiress.” In the event that a male head of household should die without a son to inherit, the estate would be vested to a daughter, an ἐπικλήρος.
Women were not allowed to own property under Athenian law, and so the daughter would be forced to marry the nearest male relative of her father in order to keep the property within her family unit. This process may even have necessitated the ἐπικλήρος to divorce. The likening of the challenger’s attempt to deprive the defendant of his state benefit to an unlawful claim on an inheritance humorously inflates the importance of a one obol payment, while also reinforcing the image of the challenger as a rapacious litigant.
τοιοῦτος οἷον: “the sort of man whom…”
ὃ τῶν εὖ φρονούντων ἔργον ἐστί: “which is the task of wise men.” The antecedent to ὅ is the act of prudent analysis described in the main clause of the sentence. The defendant pays the jury a compliment.
τοῖς ὑμετέροις αὐτῶν ὀφθαλμοῖς: “your own eyes.” The reflexive possessive adjective expressed with the addition of the demonstrative third-person pronoun in the genitive.
τοῖς...ὀφθαλμοῖς...τοῖς...λόγοις: The defendant builds his defense on the argument that the proof of his disability is visible to the jury which overpowers any claim the challenger advances in his speech. While the challenger brings forward no witnesses to support his claims, the defendant recruits the jury as witnesses to his disability (O’Connell 2017: 48).