(6) ἐμοὶ γὰρ ὁ μὲν πατὴρ κατέλιπεν οὐδέν, τὴν δὲ μητέρα τελευτήσασαν πέπαυμαι τρέφων τρίτον ἔτος τουτί, παῖδες δέ μοι οὔπω εἰσὶν οἵ με θεραπεύσουσι. τέχνην δὲ κέκτημαι βραχέα δυναμένην ὠφελεῖν, ἣν αὐτὸς μὲν ἤδη χαλεπῶς ἐργάζομαι, τὸν διαδεξόμενον δ’ αὐτὴν οὔπω δύναμαι κτήσασθαι. πρόσοδος δέ μοι οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλη πλὴν ταύτης, ἣν ἂν ἀφέλησθέ με, κινδυνεύσαιμ’ ἂν ὑπὸ τῇ δυσχερεστάτῃ γενέσθαι τύχῃ.
The defendant starts to address the allegations that he earns an income that exceeds the legal limit for the benefit.
In this section, the defendant first addresses the allegation that he has a level of wealth that would disqualify him from receiving an obol from the state. [read full essay]
ἐμοὶ γὰρ ὁ μὲν πατὴρ κατέλιπεν οὐδέν: inter-generational accumulation of wealth was foundational to prosperity, and inheritance cases choked Athenian law courts. By starting with the absence of an inheritance, Lysias is trying to establish in the minds of the jury that the defendant is unlikely to have accumulated wealth, which would disqualify him from the benefit.
ἐμοὶ: indirect object. Note the emphatic form (vs. μοὶ) and placement of the pronoun in the sentence.
γὰρ: Lysias consistently begins the first sentences of his narratives with an explanatory γάρ, since a core function of the narrative section of a defense speech is to answer the questions and claims raised in the prologue. How does the narrative in this chapter answer questions raised at the start of the speech?
οὐδέν: the delayed position of the object of κατέλιπεν produces a humorously self-deprecatory surprise for the listener: “my father left me…nothing.”
πέπαυμαι τρέφων: “I’ve stopped supporting.” πέμαυμαι > 1st sing. perf. act. ind. παύομαι + supplementary participle “to cease doing” (LSJ παύω I.3).
τὴν δὲ μητέρα…τρέφων: adult children were expected to provide support for elderly parents, including proper burial, and could be prosecuted for neglecting to fulfill their filial duties (Xen. Mem. 2.2.13; Dem. 24.107).
τὴν δὲ μητέρα τελευτήσασαν: “my mother, after she died,” circumstantial participial. Object of the verbal phrase πέπαυμαι τρέφων.
τρίτον ἔτος τουτί: “since the third year (which is the current year),” i.e. “two years ago” (Goodwin 1063-4). Greeks (and Romans) counted inclusive of day, month or year on which the event began. Accusative of extent of time (G. 538) with ordinal numbers expressing the sense of “how long since.” τουτί is another example of the deictic iota (see τουτονί in Chapter 1): acc sg. neut. τουτ(ό) + ί.
The pointed alliteration of τ (along with τρέφων) in this phrase accentuates the emphasis the speaker puts on the recent demise of his mother whom he supported.]
παῖδες δέ μοι οὔπω εἰσὶν: “I do not yet have children.” μοι = dative of possession. The presence of οὔπω (“not yet”) suggests that the defendant holds out hope of having children of his own, though it is unclear how he could secure a marriage given his supposed level of poverty.
οἵ με θεραπεύσουσι: future tense verb in relative clause expresses idea of purpose (S. 2554), i.e. one has children so that they make take care of their parents in old age.
τέχνην δὲ: without clarifying the total value of his property, the defendant now turns to the income he earns from his trade. What type of business the defendant operates is never specified. On the deceptive equivalence of wealth and income, see further discussion in the interpretive essay.
κέκτημαι: “I have acquired.” > κτάομαι, 1st sing. perf. mid./pass. ind. (LSJ κτάομαι II).
τέχνην δὲ δυναμένην ὠφελεῖν: “a trade capable of helping.” The participle δυναμένην (= δύναμαι) requires a complementary infinitive.
βραχέα: “a little bit.” Adverbial use of acc. pl. neut. substantive adjective. Construe the adverbial accusative with the infinitive ὠφελεῖν.
αὐτὴν: = τέχνην.
τὸν διαδεξόμενον: “someone to take up” the craft. A substantive future participle expressing purpose (G. 583b, S. 2050a). The defendant cannot afford to purchase an enslaved person to provide the required labor to keep the business within his oikos in the event that he does not have children. Yet, it is rather unlikely that any citizen with property valued at less than three minai could afford such a purchase.
πρόσοδος: “income” (LSJ πρόσοδος ΙΙ).
ταύτης: the disability benefit.
ἣν: the income from the disability benefit.
ἀφέλησθέ: > ἀφ-αιρέω, 2nd pl. aor. mid. subj.: “take X thing (acc.) from Y person (acc.)” (LSJ ἀφαιρέω II), again at Chapter 7.
ἣν ἂν ἀφέλησθέ με, κινδυνεύσαιμ᾽ ἂν...γενέσθαι: “which if you take (it) from me, I would be in danger of being….” A mixed conditional construction. The protasis is of a future more vivid conditional (ἔαν + subj. verb; G. 650) and thus ἄν = ἐάν when the protasis is contained within a relative clause. The phrase is equivalent to ἐάν ταύτην ἀφέλησθε με (“if you take this from me…”). The apodosis is of a future less vivid conditional (ἄν + optative verb), which is equivalent to a potential optative (S. 2326d). While the apodosis of a future less vivid conditional is usually a future indicative verb, the combination with a potential optative + ἄν is attested and may carry a weak future force (“will” v. “may/would”) in these contexts (S. 2356a).
κινδυνεύσαιμ᾽: κινδυνεύω takes a complementary infinitive (LSJ κινδυνεύω Ι.4).
This verb often has the meaning of “to be on trial” in Attic oratory (Todd 2007: 309). Although this is not the primary sense of the verb in this instance, we may wonder if a hint of wordplay is detectable: for if the Council revokes the defendant’s benefit, it might be possible further trials await him. Lysias makes the dual meaning of the verb explicit at 3.2 where the defendant states that should he stand before any other court he would be worried about the danger (ἐφοβούμην τὸν κίνδυνον) he may face as many other men before him have faced who stood trial (τοῖς κινδυνεύουσιν).
ὑπὸ τῇ δυσχερεστάτῃ...τύχῃ: “subject to the most difficult misfortune.” ὑπό + dat. expresses subjugation or dependence (LSJ ὑπό II.2).
καταλείπω, καταλείψω, κατέλιπον, καταλέλοιπα, καταλέλειμμαι, κατελείφθην: leave behind, bequeath
τελευτάω, τελευτήσω, ἐτελεύτησα, τετελεύτηκα, τετελεύτημαι, ἐτελευτήθην: die, finish
παύω, παύσω, ἔπαυσα, πέπαυκα, πέπαυμαι, ἐπαύθην: stop, put an end to; (mid.) cease
τρέφω, θρέψω, ἔθρεψα, τέθραμμαι, ἐτράφην: nourish, feed, maintain
τρίτος –ον: third
ους, τό: year
οὔπω: not yet; not at all
θεραπεύω, θεραπεύσω, ἐθεράπευσα, τεθεράπευκα, τεθεράπευμαι, ἐθεραπεύθην: take care of, attend to, do service
κτάομαι, κτήσομαι, ἐκτησάμην, κέκτημαι: get, gain, acquire
ὠφελέω, ὠφελήσω, ὠφέλησα, ὠφέληκα, ὠφέλημαι, ὠφελήθην: help, aid, benefit
διαδέχομαι, διαδέξομαι, διεδεξάμην, διαδέδεγμαι, διεδέχθην: succeed, take someone’s place
πρόσοδος -ου, ἡ: approach, advance
ἀφαιρέω, ἀφαιρήσω, ἀφεῖλον, ἀφῄρηκα, ἀφῄρημαι, ἀφῃρέθην: take from, take away
κινδυνεύω, κινδυνεύσω, ἐκινδύνευσα, κεκινδύνευκα, κεκινδύνευμαι, ἐκινδυνεύθην: be in danger, run risk
δυσχερής –ές: annoying, difficult, contradictory