Apollumai

hemlock

This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

Ἐξιοῦσι δ’ ἐμοὶ καὶ Πείσωνι ἐπιτυγχάνει Μηλόβιός τε καὶ Μνησιθείδης ἐκ τοῦ ἐργαστηρίου ἀπιόντες, καὶ καταλαμβάνουσι πρὸς αὐταῖς ταῖς θύραις, καὶ ἐρωτῶσιν ὅποι βαδίζοιμεν· ὁ δ’ ἔφασκεν εἰς τὰ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τοῦ ἐμοῦ, ἵνα καὶ τὰ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ οἰκίᾳ σκέψηται. ἐκεῖνον μὲν οὖν ἐκέλευον βαδίζειν, ἐμὲ δὲ μεθ’ αὑτῶν ἀκολουθεῖν εἰς Δαμνίππου. Πείσων δὲ προσελθὼν σιγᾶν μοι παρεκελεύετο καὶ θαρρεῖν, ὡς ἥξων ἐκεῖσε. καταλαμβάνομεν δὲ αὐτόθι Θέογνιν ἑτέρους φυλάττοντα· ᾧ παραδόντες ἐμὲ πάλιν ᾤχοντο. ἐν τοιούτῳ δ᾽ ὄντι μοι κινδυνεύειν ἐδόκει, ὡς τοῦ γε ἀποθανεῖν ὑπάρχοντος ἤδη. καλέσας δὲ Δάμνιππον λέγω πρὸς αὐτὸν τάδε, “ἐπιτήδειος μέν μοι τυγχάνεις ὤν, ἥκω δ᾽ εἰς τὴν σὴν οἰκίαν, ἀδικῶ δ’ οὐδέν, χρημάτων δ᾽ ἕνεκα ἀπόλλυμαι. σὺ οὖν ταῦτα πάσχοντί μοι πρόθυμον παράσχου τὴν σεαυτοῦ δύναμιν εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν σωτηρίαν.” ὁ δ᾽ ὑπέσχετο ταῦτα ποιήσειν. ἐδόκει δ᾽ αὐτῷ βέλτιον εἶναι πρὸς Θέογνιν μνησθῆναι· ἡγεῖτο γὰρ ἅπαν ποιήσειν αὐτόν, εἴ τις ἀργύριον διδοίη. ἐκείνου δὲ διαλεγομένου Θεόγνιδι (ἔμπειρος γὰρ ὢν ἐτύγχανον τῆς οἰκίας, καὶ ᾔδειν ὅτι ἀμφίθυρος εἴη) ἐδόκει μοι ταύτῃ πειρᾶσθαι σωθῆναι, ἐνθυμουμένῳ ὅτι, ἐὰν μὲν λάθω, σωθήσομαι, ἐὰν δὲ ληφθῶ, ἡγούμην μέν, εἰ Θέογνις εἴη πεπεισμένος ὑπὸ τοῦ Δαμνίππου χρήματα λαβεῖν, οὐδὲν ἧττον ἀφεθήσεσθαι, εἰ δὲ μή, ὁμοίως ἀποθανεῖσθαι. ταῦτα διανοηθεὶς ἔφευγον, ἐκείνων ἐπὶ τῇ αὐλείῳ θύρᾳ τὴν φυλακὴν ποιουμένων· τριῶν δὲ θυρῶν οὐσῶν, ἃς ἔδει με διελθεῖν, ἅπασαι ἀνεῳγμέναι ἔτυχον. ἀφικόμενος δὲ εἰς Ἀρχένεω τοῦ ναυκλήρου ἐκεῖνον πέμπω εἰς ἄστυ, πευσόμενον περὶ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ· ἥκων δὲ ἔλεγεν ὅτι Ἐρατοσθένης αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ λαβὼν εἰς τὸ δεσμωτήριον ἀπαγάγοι. καὶ ἐγὼ τοιαῦτα πεπυσμένος τῆς ἐπιούσης νυκτὸς διέπλευσα Μέγαράδε. Πολεμάρχῳ δὲ παρήγγειλαν οἱ τριάκοντα τοὐπ’ ἐκείνων εἰθισμένον παράγγελμα, πίνειν κώνειον, πρὶν τὴν αἰτίαν εἰπεῖν δι’ ἥντινα ἔμελλεν ἀποθανεῖσθαι· οὕτω πολλοῦ ἐδέησε κριθῆναι καὶ ἀπολογήσασθαι. καὶ ἐπειδὴ ἀπεφέρετο ἐκ τοῦ δεσμωτηρίου τεθνεώς, τριῶν ἡμῖν οἰκιῶν οὐσῶν ἐξ οὐδεμιᾶς εἴασαν ἐξενεχθῆναι, ἀλλὰ κλεισίον μισθωσάμενοι προὔθεντο αὐτόν. καὶ πολλῶν ὄντων ἱματίων αἰτοῦσιν οὐδὲν ἔδοσαν εἰς τὴν ταφήν, ἀλλὰ τῶν φίλων ὁ μὲν ἱμάτιον ὁ δὲ προσκεφάλαιον ὁ δὲ ὅ τι ἕκαστος ἔτυχεν ἔδωκεν εἰς τὴν ἐκείνου ταφήν.
(Lysias, Or. 12.12-18)

As we were leaving the house, Peison and I ran into Melobius and Mnesitheides coming out of the slave workshop. They met us just at the doors of the house and asked where we were going. Peison said to my brother’s, to examine the contents of that house as well. They told him to carry on but ordered me to accompany them to Damnippus’ house. Peison came near me, and told me to stay quiet and keep my spirits up, because he would join us there. At Damnippus’, we found Theognis keeping guard over various others. They handed me over to him and left. It seemed to me that the situation was so dangerous that death was already staring me in the face. So I called Damnippus and said, “You are a close friend of mine, and I am in your house. I have done nothing wrong but am being killed for my wealth. Please help me in my suffering, and use your power to rescue me.” He promised me to do this, but he felt that it would be best to have a word with Theognis, who he thought would do anything for money. While he was talking to Theognis—as it happened, I was familiar with the house and knew it had two doors—I decided to try and save myself. I reckoned that if I was unnoticed I would be safe, and if I got caught, nothing worse would happen to me if Theognis had yielded to Damnippus’ persuasion to accept money, whereas otherwise I would die anyway. With this in mind, I began my escape while the others were engaged in guarding the outer door; the three doors I had to get through all happened to be open. I went to the house of Archeneus the shipowner and sent him to the town to find out about my brother. He came back an told me that Eratosthenes had caught him in the street and dragged him off to prison. After hearing this, I sailed the following night to Megara. As for Polemarchus, the Thirty sent him their customary instruction to drink hemlock, without telling him why he was to die. He did not even get a hearing and a chance to defend himself. His body was brought back from the prison, but they would not allow us to conduct the funeral from any of our three houses. Instead, we had to hire a shed in which to lay him out. We owned plenty of cloaks, but when we asked, they would not give us a single one for the burial. Instead, one of our friends gave us the cloak for the burial, another the pillow, and others what each one happened to have. (tr. Stephen C. Todd)

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