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Law and Economy in Classical Athens: [Demosthenes], “Against Dionysodorus” 

Edward M. Harris, edition of March 22, 2003

page 11 of 15

· Part 2.4 ·

Read about the evidence
Demosthenes (Dem. 56).
Plot on a Map

When Dareius and Pamphilus discovered what had happened, they confronted Dionysodorus and complained about his partner’s failure to return to Athens as they had promised (11). What was more, they were now open to the charge that they had broken the law by lending money to transport grain to a port other than Athens. These protests got them nowhere so they began to request payment of the interest and principal of the loan (12). Dionysodorus expressed his willingness to comply with their demand but would pay the interest only on the voyage to Rhodes. Dareius and Pamphilus replied that they could not accept this offer.

Read about the evidence
Demosthenes (Dem. 56).

Dionysodorus then gathered a crowd of witnesses and repeated this offer in front of them (13). This was an attempt to intimidate his opponents and also to demonstrate his own willingness to be reasonable and compromise. Some Athenians who happened to be present suggested a temporary solution: Dareius and Pamphilus should accept the amount offered to them and take their dispute about the remaining amount to court (14). Since they did not want to appear litigious, they declared their intention to follow this solution. This put Dionysodorus on the defensive so he stated that he would comply provided that in exchange they destroy the document containing the agreement. Dareius and Parmeniscus could naturally not accede to this condition since it would rob them of the evidence they needed to prove their case in court (15-6).

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page 11 of 15