Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication
→ § 55 (Dem. 47).
Craig Gibson, trans., edition of April 30, 2003
page 56 of 58
(1) Since the Athenians were in a hurry to set out on a naval expedition, trireme equipment was needed. And a decree was passed to exact payment quickly from some of the former trierarchs who owed the city some trireme equipment. (2) So one man would be appointed to exact payment from others; the man delivering the present speech was appointed to do so to Theophemus and Demochares. He brought a suit against them for behaving unfairly, and he won. Demochares paid up, but Theophemus was still craftily trying to get out of it. (3) When the Council voted to exact payment from debtors by whatever means possible, this man (the one who is now having his case heard) went to Theophemus’ house. They struck each other in the skirmish that ensued, and then they brought actions for assault against each other, each of them claiming that the other one hit him first. (For this was the definition of assault.) (4) So Theophemus went first and offered Euergus and Mnesibulus as witnesses; one of these men was his brother, the other his brother-in-law. And they testified that Theophemus was willing to hand over the woman who was present at the fight for examination by torture, so that she could declare under torture which of the two men struck first, but when Theophemus issued a challenge about this and tried to hand over the maid, the speaker did not accept. (5) Finally the jurors were convinced by their testimony and voted in favor of Theophemus, but now the loser is taking the witnesses to court for lying.
page 56 of 58