Introduction Aeschines and Demosthenes had served together on the embassy which had been sent to Macedon 1 to receive from Philip and his allies their ratification of the Peace of Philocrates. Soon after their return Demosthenes, supported by Timarchus, a prominent politician, who had served with Demosthenes in the senate the previous year, brought formal charge of treason against Aeschines. As a counter attack, intended to delay the impending trial, to prejudice the case of the prosecution, and to rid himself of one of his prosecutors, Aeschines brought indictment against Timarchus, declaring that in his earlier life he had been addicted to personal vices which by law should for ever exclude him from the platform of the Athenian assembly. A conviction under this law would not technically exclude Timarchus from prosecuting a case in the courts, but it would so discredit him in popular opinion that it would be fatal to any case to have him as an advocate. In the case of Timarchus, conviction under the first law would be a virtual, though not a technical, conviction under the second.

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Against Timarchus. Perseus under Philologic. University of Chicago. See especially dokimasia rhetoron , below. Does that apply to our times as much as to any other time or place? Or is it a cultural construction? Outcome: Aeschines won. Study Guide The procedure is an "examination as to fitness to participate in public life," the dokimasia rhetoron.

Aeschines alleges that the defendant, Timarchus, has in the past engaged in a practice, self-prostitution, disqualifying him from speaking in the assembly. The rather large jury would then vote. Majority vote decided the verdict. The main puzzles of the piece are two: The connection, if any but the speech seems to suggest there must have been one between classical Athenian democratic ideology and the dokimasia described just below. The relationship if any! Been a prostitute. That kind of conduct could also disqualify one from holding political or religious office in a different procedure not the one in Against Timarchus.

Returing to the dokimasia, if found "guilty," i. Thus the Against Timarchus is a rich source for the connections between political and sexual 4, above ideology.

As regards the sexual side, what the dokimasia addressed was not being or having been a prostitute; it was being a prostitute or former prostitute yet still exercising full male-citizen rights. As for prostitition itself, while it was OK in classical Athens for non-citizens or slaves to be so employed, it was not OK for a citizen male: To enter public life after having hired himself out for sex.

To pimp or "pander" for a free i. To commit "outrage" hubris, which can include rape against any man, boy, or woman, free or slave. Note that in ancient Athenian court trials, procedure consisted mostly of speeches delivered by plaintiff, defendant, and, at times, their supporters.

Contrast the modern court trial: motions, presentation of evidence, examination of witnesses, minimal speechifying. The present speech was delivered in BCE at Athens. The political background is not of great interest to us except insofar as the speech is clearly intended as a tactical move: an attempt by Aeschines to discredit political enemies, not just Timarchus, but Demosthenes, too.

Aeschines, a member of the pro-Macedonian faction at Athens, faced prosecution by a team of anti-Macedonians including the statesman and orator Demosthenes. Macedonia was a kingdom threatening Greek city-states to its south. The prosecution of Timarchus therefore stands as a preemptive attack against opponents. Aeschines won acquittal, though just barely. Later, Aeschines would try another supporter of Demosthenes. Aeschines lost that case and left public life. In addition to the procedure of dokimsia rhetoron, this speech involves other, very important concepts, also discussed on the terms page :.


The Speeches of Aeschines

Unlike Plato, whose views were highly distinctive and not necessarily shared by his fellow Athenians, Aeschines was appealing directly to the members of an Athenian jury, and so it may be expected that he was appealing to current popular opinion. It is by far the longest text addressing homosexual behavior we have from the Classical Greek world. The circumstance of the speech are complex. The beleaguered envoys, facing death, responded by prosecuting Timarchus, charging that under Athenian law he could hold not public office. The prosecution was successful.


Sex, Politics, and Disgust in Aeschines’ Against Timarchus

Statue of Aeschines, from Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum. National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Photo by Paolo Monti , Although it is known he was born in Athens , the records regarding his parentage and early life are conflicting; but it seems probable that his parents, though poor, were respectable. His mother Glaukothea assisted in the religious rites of initiation for the poor.




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