(15) λέγει δ’ ὡς ὑβριστής εἰμι καὶ βίαιος καὶ λίαν ἀσελγῶς διακείμενος, ὥσπερ, εἰ φοβερῶς ὀνομάσειε, μέλλων ἀληθῆ λέγειν, ἀλλ’ οὔκ, ἂν πάνυ πραόνως μηδὲ ψεύδηται, ταῦτα ποιήσων. ἐγὼ δ’ ὑμᾶς, ὦ βουλή, σαφῶς οἶμαι δεῖν διαγιγνώσκειν οἷς τ’ ἐγχωρεῖ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ὑβρισταῖς εἶναι καὶ οἷς οὐ προσήκει.
The defendant addresses the accusation that he acts with insolence (hubris). The challenger must smear the defendant with a host of bad behaviors in the hopes of advancing his case. It is imperative that the jury distinguish between men whose social standing allows them to behave in this way and those for whom it does not.
The defendant now addresses the challenger’s claim that he displays poor moral character, in particular, that he is an arrogant (ὕβριστἠς), violent (βίαιος), and outright disruptive (λίαν ἀσελγῶς διακείμενος) member of Athenian society. [read full essay]
λίαν ἀσελγῶς διακείμενος: “behaving in an extremely outrageous manner.” διάκειμαι is frequently paired with an adverb to express a particular state of being or behavior (LSJ διάκειμαι A 2). The addition of the adverb λίαν further strengthens the terms of the accusation.
This adverb appears in the speech four times in the span of 10 chapters (Chapters 15, 16, 21 and 25), a rate of usage unattested in any other speech of Lysias (no other speech features more than two uses). It is possible the rate of use here reflects a more colloquial (democratic?) register characteristic of our working-class defendant as well as further contributing to the hyperbolic tone of the speech as a whole?
ὥσπερ, εἰ φοβερῶς ὀνομάσειε…ἀλλ’ οὔκ, ἂν πάνυ πραόνως…ταῦτα ποιήσων: “[He says that I am insolent ect.] as though he will be telling the truth, if he should call me terrible names, but he will not accomplish this (i.e. telling the truth), if he speaks entirely moderately and does not lie.”
A difficult passage both at the level of meaning and syntax and made further uncertain by issues in the transmission of the text.
In terms of the meaning, the defendant is drawing a comparison between the action of the main clause of the sentence (“he says that I am insolent…”) and an assumption, namely that the challenger believes such invective speech is intrinsically more believable than measured speech. Syntactically, the adverb ὥσπερ in combination with circumstantial participles (μέλλων and ποιήσων) produces this comparison with the action of the main clause (S. 2087). Embedded within this comparison are two conditional protases. The circumstantial participle clauses function analogously to apodoses of these conditional statements. Further detailed discussion is provided in the following notes.
ὥσπερ…μέλλων ἀληθῆ λέγειν: “as though he will be telling the truth.” The construction μέλλω + present or future infinitive is a periphrastic future (S. 1959). It is best to translate the infinitive as the main verb and render μέλλω as a modal “will.”
εἰ φοβερῶς ὀνομάσειε: “if he should call me terrible names.” The protasis of a future-less-vivid conditional.
ὀνομάσειε: > 3rd sg. aor. act. opt. of ὀνομάζω.
ἐὰν πάνυ πραόνως μηδὲ ψεύδηται: “if he speaks entirely moderately and does not lie.” Supply the verb λέγῃ (3rd sg. pres. act. subj.) after πραόνως. The protasis of a future-more-vivid conditional.
μηδὲ ψεύδηται, transmitted in the manuscripts, is deleted by Keyser.]
ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ... ταῦτα ποιήσων: “but he will not accomplish these things,” i.e. tell the truth (ἀληθῆ λέξων). The circumstantial future participial phrase is a continuation of the ὥσπερ clause and parallel to the periphrastic future in μέλλων λέγειν.
διαγιγνώσκειν: “to decide.” The defendant is asking the jury to use their knowledge of social conditions to aid in making a distinction between what class of men can and cannot act arrogantly. The verb also has a quasi-technical sense of “reach a judgment”, especially in a trial context, and its presence here might be designed to remind the jury that they have set before them the ultimate task of reaching a verdict in this case.
σαφῶς: take with διαγιγνώσκειν; however the placement of the adverb in the word order of the sentence invites the possibility of its use with both οἶομαι and διαγιγνώσκειν and so links the defendant and the jury through a shared characteristic of clarity of judgment. Remember, further, that the membership of the Council shared more in common, in terms of class and age, with the defendant than they likely did with the challenger.
οἷς: supply τούτους for antecedent, “those men for whom.”
ἐγχωρεῖ: “it is allowed” + dative noun and infinitive construction (LSJ ἐγχωρέω 2).
οἷς τ᾽ ἐγχωρεῖ... καὶ οἷς οὐ προσήκει: the choice of verbs in this antithesis elicits the discourse around (dis)ability and privilege: it draws a subtle distinction between men whose standing in society grants them the permissibility (the root of ἐγχωρεῖ contains a sense of physical movement; see Chapter 18) to behave outrageously (ὑβρισταῖς εἶναι) and those whose innate characteristics forbid similar behavior.
ὑβριστής -οῦ, ὁ: violent, insolent man
βίαιος –α –ον: violent, forcible
λίαν: very, exceedingly
ἀσελγῶς: brutally, wantonly, extravagantly
διάκειμαι, διακείσομαι: be in X state, be in X mood
φοβερῶς: threateningly, terrifyingly
ψεύδω, ψεύσω, ἔψευσα, ἔψευσμαι, ἐψεύσθην: deceive, lie
διαγιγνώσκω, διαγνώσομαι, διέγνων, διέγνωκα, διέγνωσμαι, διεγνώσθην: distinguish, determine
ἐγχωρεῖ: it is possible, allowable (impersonal)
προσήκω, προσήξω: it concerns, belongs (impersonal); be at hand