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A LITIGANT IN ATHENS: DEMOSTHENES 56

  • Kent J. Rigsby (a1)
Extract

The speaker of Demosthenes 56 had lent money to a ship-owner Dionysodorus for a commercial voyage, and now is prosecuting him for breach of contract. The prosecutor is usually thought to be a metic. In the course of the speech he does not identify himself; but Libanius in his Argumenta of Demosthenes supplies a name, Darius: Arg. 54.1 Δαρεῖος καὶ Πάμφιλος Διονυσοδώρῳ δανείζουσι and 2 ὡς δὲ Δαρεῖος λέγει. The manuscripts of the Argumenta, which begin in the tenth century, are numerous; Foerster (VIII 677) and Dindorf/Blass (III xlviii) cite no variant for the name. Libanius’ source for this information is unrecoverable.

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krigsby@duke.edu
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1 No one in Athens seems to be named Xerxes or Mardonius.

2 J. Curbera (IG) kindly examined the Berlin squeeze for me: the mason has corrected ΔΑΡΙΟY to ΔΑΡΕΙΟY.

3 Whence the earliest Latin translation, 12:7 dario and 12:20 honiarex rex: D. de Bruyne, Les anciennes traductions latines des Machabées (Bruges, 1932), 74 (his L).

4 E. Bickerman, Studies in Jewish and Christian History (Leiden, 1976), 1.151, of the copyists of Scripture: ‘They were particularly prone, as Origen stressed, to amend the proper names in a manuscript at their own sweet will.’

5 Cf. Ael. VH 2.36: the MSS are unanimous, Σωκράτης, where, as urged by N.G. Wilson, Claudio Eliano, Storie Varie (Milan, 1996), ad loc., the true subject was Ἰσοκράτης.

6 The debt of this note to the labours of M.J. Osborne and S.G. Byrne, Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, vol. 2 (Oxford, 1994), and J.S. Traill, Persons of Ancient Athens 1- (Toronto, 1994- ), will be obvious.

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The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
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