53. AGAINST NICOSTRATUS

INTRODUCTION

Apollodorus delivers this speech and, despite the ascription to Demosthenes, is probably its author as well.1 As we see in many other lawcourt speeches, the litigant narrates a chain of actions and reactions, often in the form of legal maneuvers, nearly all of which would be deemed irrelevant in a modern court. Apollodorus tells a dramatic story, complete with reported dialogue, of friendship betrayed: his neighbor Nicostratus and Nicostratus’ brother Arethusius repaid Apollodorus’ exceptional kindness by employing the courts to make common cause with his adversaries in earlier litigation, damaging his property, laying a legal trap for him, and assaulting him physically.2

The formal occasion of this speech is an apographē. The term literally means “list” or “inventory” and, by extension, the procedure in which a list of property is the centerpiece of the legal argument. In the variety of apographē exemplified here, a citizen acting as a voluntary prosecutor went to court to claim that items he has listed, which are owned by another individual, are liable to sale by the city’s official “sellers” (pōlētai) to discharge their owner’s debt to the state.3 Until re-

1 See pp. 12–15.

2 M. Christ speculates that as Nicostratus worked for Apollodorus (4), the men’s relationship was not precisely one of friendship and that Apollodorus’ banking activities “may well [have been] at the roots of his dealings with Nicostratus” (1998, 176 –177).

3 See R. Osborne, “Law in Action in Classical Athens,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 105 (1985): 44–47, 54–55.

-56-

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Speeches 50-59
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Editor’s Preface ix
  • Translator’s Preface xi
  • Series Introduction Greek Oratory xiii
  • Introduction to Demosthenes 3
  • Introduction to This Volume 9
  • 50- Against Polycles in the Matter of a Period of Supplementary Service as Trierarch 19
  • 51- On the Trierarchic Crown 39
  • 52- Against Callippus 46
  • 53- Against Nicostratus 56
  • 54- Against Conon 66
  • 55- Against Callicles for Damage to Property 81
  • 56- Against Dionysodorus for Damages 92
  • 57- Appeal against Eubulides 107
  • 58- Against Theocrines 129
  • 59- Against Neaera 151
  • Index 195
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