(4) περὶ μὲν οὖν τούτων τοσαῦτά μοι εἰρήσθω· ὑπὲρ ὧν δέ μοι προσήκει λέγειν, ὡς ἂν οἷόν τε διὰ βραχυτάτων ἐρῶ. φησὶ γὰρ ὁ κατήγορος οὐ δικαίως με λαμβάνειν τὸ παρὰ τῆς πόλεως ἀργύριον· καὶ γὰρ τῷ σώματι δύνασθαι καὶ οὐκ εἶναι τῶν ἀδυνάτων, καὶ τέχνην ἐπίστασθαι τοιαύτην ὥστε καὶ ἄνευ τοῦ διδομένου τούτου ζῆν.
Defendant transitions to an account of his life.
On the heels of his confident, assertive, and humorous introduction, Lysias concisely summarizes the challenger’s charges against the defendant in the prothesis (“a proposition”), one of the two required sections of a speech according to Aristotle in his Rhetoric. [read full essay]
μὲν οὖν...δὲ: “well then...but now.” The particles emphasize the transition from one topic to another (Denniston GP 472): μὲν οὖν (“well then”) marks the summation of the discussion from the previous chapter, while δέ (“but now”) introduces a new idea. Lysias was fond of this construction.
περὶ...ὑπὲρ: “about...concerning.” The two words are synonymous, but varied here for stylistic effect.
τούτων: the previous topic of discussion.
μοι εἰρήσθω: “let it be said by me.” > ἔρω, 3rd sing. perf. pass. imper. + dative of agent with passive verb. The use of the imperative lends the statement an (ironically?) grand tone.
ὑπὲρ ὧν: “concerning those things which….” The case of the relative pronoun has been attracted into the case of the omitted antecedent [G. 614]: ὑπὲρ τουτῶν ἅ.
μοι προσήκει λέγειν: “it is proper for me to speak (about).” προσήκει = impersonal verb (“it is proper for”) + dat. person and inf.
ὡς ἂν οἷόν τε διὰ βραχυτάτων ἐρῶ: “I will speak as concisely as possible,” a typical transitional phrase in Attic oratory (Edwards and Usher 1985: 264).
βραχυτάτων: Supply λόγων.
ἐρῶ: serves as the 1st sing. fut. act. ind. for λέγω.
φησὶ...με λαμβάνειν: indirect speech construction.
τὸ παρὰ τῆς πόλεως ἀργύριον: i.e. the state disability benefit.
δύνασθαι...εἶναι...ἐπίστασθαι: continuation of the indirect speech construction initiated by φησί. Supply με.
τῶν ἀδυνάτων: “one of the disabled men,” predicate genitive (G. 508).
τέχνην ἐπίστασθαι τοιαύτην: “trained in such a trade.” ἐπίσταμαι + τέχνη = having working knowledge and experience in a craft or skill, see Herodotus 3.130. Central to the challenger’s objection to the renewal of the defendant’s benefits is the fact that he practices a trade or craft (τέχνη) that earns him a living. Over the course of the speech, we never learn the specifics of the defendant’s occupation. The law, as we know it from Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 49.4), stipulates that a citizen’s physical disability must prevent him from doing any work in order to qualify him for state support, although it is uncertain how strictly this condition was enforced at that time (Carey 1990: 44) or if the law was different when Lysias composed this speech 70 years earlier (Dillon 1995: 38).
τοιαύτην: the demonstrative adjective expressing degree often triggers a result clause.
ὥστε...ζῆν: “that [I] live.” Result clause with the infinitive to mark an intended result (G. 566.b).
καὶ: adverbial, “even.”
τοῦ διδομένου: “grant,” i.e. the disability benefit. Article in combination with participle creates a substantive noun.
προσήκω, προσήξω: it is proper, fitting for (+ dat.), it concerns (impersonal); be at hand
δικαίως: justly, rightly
ἀδύνατος -ον: disabled, unable
ἐπίσταμαι, ἐπιστήσομαι, ἠπιστήθην: know, understand