Against Leptines

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Against Leptines was a speech give by Demosthenes in which he called for the repeal of a law sponsored by Leptines which denied anyone a special exemption from paying public charges (leitourgiai). It was probably delivered in the year 355/354 BC.[1] Unusually for Athenian law courts, though Demosthenes wrote the speech for Ktesippos, the son of Chabrias, he probably delivered it himself.[2] It is thus the first speech which Demosthenes delivered in a public case.[3]

History[edit]

This law had been proposed by a man named Leptines, so the speech came to be known as Against Leptines. Although Dio Chrysostom (31.128-9) says that Demosthenes won the case, his account has been dismissed as inaccurate. West says that "we do not know the verdict".[4]

An inscription shows that Ctesippus, son of Chabrias (whose inheritable exemption Demosthenes was arguing to preserve), performed a liturgy that "is unlikely to have been voluntary," and there is no evidence of any grants of exemption after the trial.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ West, William C. (1995). "The Decrees of Demosthenes' "Against Leptines"". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. 107: 238. 
  2. ^ West, William C. (1995). "The Decrees of Demosthenes' "Against Leptines"". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. 107: 239. 
  3. ^ Dorjahn, Alfred P. (1955). "A Fourth Study on Demosthenes' Ability to Speak Extemporaneously". Classical Philology. 50 (3): 191. 
  4. ^ West, William C. (1995). "The Decrees of Demosthenes' "Against Leptines"". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. 107: 245. 
  5. ^ Ernst Badian. "The road to prominence," in Ian Worthington (ed.), Demosthenes: Statesman and Orator (Routledge, 2000), p. 28.

External links[edit]