Lysias' On the murder of Eratosthenes 11-18

Tom Petty /
  • Created on 2019-09-09 18:17:30
  • Modified on 2019-12-16 20:19:13
  • Translated by Faulkner 2001 - Lamb and Hienemann 1930
  • Aligned by Tom Petty
[ 11 ] Time passed , gentlemen , and I came home unexpectedly from the farm . After dinner the child started to cry and become restless . It was being deliberately provoked by our slave girl into behaving like this because that individual was in the house ; I found out all about this later .

[ 12 ] So , I told my wife to go away and nurse the child to stop it crying . To begin with , she did not want to go , claiming that she was glad to see me home after so long . When I got annoyed and ordered her to leave she said , " Yes , so you can have a go at the young slave here . You made a grab at her before when you were drunk . "

[ 13 ] I laughed , and she got up , closed the door as she left , pretending it was a joke , and drew the bolt across . Thinking there was nothing serious in this , and not suspecting a thing , I happily settled down to sleep as I had come back from my farm work .

[ 14 ] About dawn my wife returned and opened the door . When I asked why the doors had made a noise in the night , she claimed that the lamp near the baby had gone out , and so she had gone to get a light from the neighbours . I said nothing , as I believed this was the truth . I noticed though , gentlemen , that her face was made up , although her brother had died not thirty days earlier . Still , I said nothing at all about it , and I left without a word .

[ 15 ] Later , gentlemen , after some time had passed during which I remained quite ignorant of the terrible way I was being treated , an old woman came up to me . She had been sent in secret by a woman with whom that individual was having an affair , as I later heard . The woman was angry , thinking herself badly treated because he no longer visited her as he had , and so she waited until she found out the cause .

[ 16 ] Well , the old woman , who had been watching for me near my house , came up to me and said , " Euphiletos , do not suppose that I have approached you from any desire to interfere in your business . The person who is disgracing you and your wife happens to be our mutual enemy . If you catch your slave , the one who goes to market for you and waits on you , and if you torture her , you will find out everything . It is , " she said , " Eratosthenes from the deme of Oëa who is responsible for this ; he has not only seduced your wife but many other women , too . It ' s his specialty . "

[ 17 ] So saying , gentlemen , she went away , while I was immediately confused as everything began to come back to me . I was full of suspicion as I reflected on how I was locked in my room , and I remembered that on that night the inner and outer doors made a noise -- this had never happened before -- and I thought my wife was wearing make up . Every detail came to my mind , and I was full of suspicion .

[ 18 ] I went home and told the slave- girl to come with me to the market . I took her to a friend ' s home , and said that I knew about everything that was going on in my house . " So you , " I said , " can have your choice , either to be beaten and thrown into the mill and suffer endless torture , or to confess the whole truth , receive no punishment , but instead be pardoned by me for the wrongs you have done . Tell me no lies , but speak the whole truth . "
προϊόντος δὲ τοῦ χρόνου , ἄνδρες , ἧκον μὲν ἀπροσδοκήτως ἐξ ἀγροῦ , μετὰ δὲ τὸ δεῖπνον τὸ παιδίον ἐβόα καὶ ἐδυσκόλαινεν ὑπὸ τῆς θεραπαίνης ἐπίτηδες λυπούμενον , ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῇ · γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἔνδον ἦν ·

ὕστερον γὰρ ἅπαντα ἐπυθόμην . καὶ ἐγὼ τὴν γυναῖκα ἀπιέναι ἐκέλευον καὶ δοῦναι τῷ παιδίῳ τὸν τιτθόν , ἵνα παύσηται κλᾶον . δὲ τὸ μὲν πρῶτον οὐκ ἤθελεν , ὡς ἂν ἀσμένη με ἑωρακυῖα ἥκοντα διὰ χρόνου · ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἐγὼ ὠργιζόμην καὶ ἐκέλευον αὐτὴν ἀπιέναι , ἵνα σύ γε ἔφη πειρᾷς ἐνταῦθα τὴν παιδίσκην · καὶ πρότερον δὲ μεθύων εἷλκες αὐτήν . κἀγὼ μὲν ἐγέλων ,

ἐκείνη δὲ ἀναστᾶσα καὶ ἀπιοῦσα προστίθησι τὴν θύραν , προσποιουμένη παίζειν , καὶ τὴν κλεῖν ἐφέλκεται . κἀγὼ τούτων οὐδὲν ἐνθυμούμενος οὐδʼ ὑπονοῶν ἐκάθευδον ἄσμενος , ἥκων ἐξ ἀγροῦ .

ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἦν πρὸς ἡμέραν , ἧκεν ἐκείνη καὶ τὴν θύραν ἀνέῳξεν . ἐρομένου δέ μου τί αἱ θύραι νύκτωρ ψοφοῖεν , ἔφασκε τὸν λύχνον ἀποσβεσθῆναι τὸν παρὰ τῷ παιδίῳ , εἶτα ἐκ τῶν γειτόνων ἐνάψασθαι . ἐσιώπων ἐγὼ καὶ ταῦτα οὕτως ἔχειν ἡγούμην . ἔδοξε δέ μοι , ἄνδρες , τὸ πρόσωπον ἐψιμυθιῶσθαι , τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τεθνεῶτος οὔπω τριάκονθʼ ἡμέρας · ὅμως δʼ οὐδʼ οὕτως οὐδὲν εἰπὼν περὶ τοῦ πράγματος ἐξελθὼν ᾠχόμην ἔξω σιωπῇ .

μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα , ἄνδρες , χρόνου μεταξὺ διαγενομένου καὶ ἐμοῦ πολὺ ἀπολελειμμένου τῶν ἐμαυτοῦ κακῶν , προσέρχεταί μοί τις πρεσβῦτις ἄνθρωπος , ὑπὸ γυναικὸς ὑποπεμφθεῖσα ἣν ἐκεῖνος ἐμοίχευεν , ὡς ἐγὼ ὕστερον ἤκουον · αὕτη δὲ ὀργιζομένη καὶ ἀδικεῖσθαι νομίζουσα , ὅτι οὐκέτι ὁμοίως ἐφοίτα παρʼ αὐτήν , ἐφύλαττεν ἕως ἐξηῦρεν τι εἴη τὸ αἴτιον . προσελθοῦσα οὖν μοι ἐγγὺς ἄνθρωπος τῆς οἰκίας τῆς ἐμῆς ἐπιτηροῦσα , εὐφίλητε ἔφη μηδεμιᾷ πολυπραγμοσύνῃ προσεληλυθέναι με νόμιζε πρὸς σέ ·

γὰρ ἀνὴρ ὑβρίζων εἰς σὲ καὶ τὴν σὴν γυναῖκα ἐχθρὸς ὢν ἡμῖν τυγχάνει . ἐὰν οὖν λάβῃς τὴν θεράπαιναν τὴν εἰς ἀγορὰν βαδίζουσαν καὶ διακονοῦσαν ὑμῖν καὶ βασανίσῃς , ἅπαντα πεύσῃ . ἔστι δʼ ἔφη Ἐρατοσθένης Ὀῆθεν ταῦτα πράττων , ὃς οὐ μόνον τὴν σὴν γυναῖκα διέφθαρκεν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἄλλας πολλάς · ταύτην γὰρ τὴν [ * ] τέχνην ἔχει .

ταῦτα εἰποῦσα , ἄνδρες , ἐκείνη μὲν ἀπηλλάγη , ἐγὼ δʼ εὐθέως ἐταραττόμην , καὶ πάντα μου εἰς τὴν γνώμην εἰσῄει , καὶ μεστὸς ὑποψίας , ἐνθυμούμενος μὲν ὡς ἀπεκλῄσθην ἐν τῷ δωματίῳ , ἀναμιμνῃσκόμενος δὲ ὅτι ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ νυκτὶ ἐψόφει μέταυλος θύρα καὶ αὔλειος , οὐδέποτε ἐγένετο , ἔδοξέ τέ μοι γυνὴ ἐψιμυθιῶσθαι . ταῦτά μου πάντα εἰς τὴν γνώμην εἰσῄει , καὶ μεστὸς ὑποψίας .

ἐλθὼν δὲ οἴκαδε ἐκέλευον ἀκολουθεῖν μοι τὴν θεράπαιναν εἰς τὴν ἀγοράν , ἀγαγὼν δʼ αὐτὴν ὡς τῶν ἐπιτηδείων τινὰ ἔλεγον ὅτι ἐγὼ πάντα εἴην πεπυσμένος τὰ γιγνόμενα ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ · σοὶ οὖν ἔφην ἔξεστι δυοῖν ὁπότερον βούλει ἑλέσθαι , μαστιγωθεῖσαν εἰς μύλωνα ἐμπεσεῖν καὶ μηδέποτε παύσασθαι κακοῖς τοιούτοις συνεχομένην , κατειποῦσαν ἅπαντα τἀληθῆ μηδὲν παθεῖν κακόν , ἀλλὰ συγγνώμης παρʼ ἐμοῦ τυχεῖν τῶν ἡμαρτημένων . ψεύσῃ δὲ μηδέν , ἀλλὰ πάντα τἀληθῆ λέγε .
[ 11 ] Time went on , sirs ; I came home unexpectedly from the country , and after dinner the child started crying in a peevish way , as the servant-girl was annoying it on purpose to make it so behave ; for the man was in the house— [ 12 ] I learnt it all later . So I bade my wife go and give the child her breast , to stop its howling . At first she refused , as though delighted to see me home again after so long ; but when I began to be angry and bade her go , " Yes , so that you , " she said , " may have a try here at the little maid . Once before , too , when you were drunk , you pulled her about . " [ 13 ] At that I laughed , while she got up , went out of the room , and closed the door , feigning to make fun , and she took the key away with her . I , without giving a thought to the matter , or having any suspicion , went to sleep in all content after my return from the country . [ 14 ] Towards daytime she came and opened the door . I asked why the doors made a noise in the night ; she told me that the child ' s lamp had gone out , and she had lit it again at our neighbor ' s . I was silent and believed it was so . But it struck me , sirs , that she had powdered her face , 2 though her brother had died not thirty days before ; even so , however , I made no remark on the fact , but left the house in silence . [ 15 ] After this , sirs , an interval occurred in which I was left quite unaware of my own injuries ; I was then accosted by a certain old female , who was secretly sent by a woman with whom that man was having an intrigue , as I heard later . This woman was angry with him and felt herself wronged , because he no longer visited her so regularly , and she was keeping a watch on him until she should discover what was the cause . [ 16 ] So the old creature accosted me where she was on the look-out , near my house , and said , " Euphiletus , do not think it is from any meddlesomeness that I have approached you ; for the man who is working both your and your wife ' s dishonor happens to be our enemy . If , therefore , you take the servant-girl who goes to market and waits on you , and torture her , you will learn all . It is , " she said , " Eratosthenes of Oe who is doing this ; he has debauched not only your wife , but many others besides ; he makes an art of it . " [ 17 ] With these words , sirs , she took herself off ; I was at once perturbed ; all that had happened came into my mind , and I was filled with suspicion , —reflecting first how I was shut up in my chamber , and then remembering how on that night the inner and outer doors made a noise , which had never occurred before , and how it struck me that my wife had put on powder . All these things came into my mind , and I was filled with suspicion . [ 18 ] Returning home , I bade the servant-girl follow me to the market , and taking her to the house of an intimate friend , I told her I was fully informed of what was going on in my house : " So it is open to you , " I said , " to choose as you please between two things , —either to be whipped and thrown into a mill , and to be irrevocably immersed in that sort of misery , or else to speak out the whole truth and , instead of suffering any harm , obtain my pardon for your transgressions . Tell no lies , but speak the whole truth . "

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