Isocrates. Isocrates with an English Translation in three volumes, by Larue Van Hook, Ph.D., LL.D. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1945-1968.

This trial, men of the jury, is an important one for me. For I have at stake, not only a large sum of money, but also my reputation—for I risk being thought to covet what justly belongs to another; and that is what gives me the greatest concern. For sufficient property will be left to me even if I am defrauded of this sum; but if I should be thought to be laying claim to so large a sum of money without just cause, I should have an evil reputation as long as I live.[*](The plea that the litigant's reputation is at stake is commonplace in the forensic orations; cf. the speeches of Lysias.)

The greatest difficulty of all, men of the jury, is that I have adversaries of the character of the defendants here. For contracts with the managers of banks are entered into without witnesses, and any who are wronged by them are obliged to bring suit against men who have many friends, handle much money, and have a reputation for honesty because of their profession. In spite of these considerations I think I shall make it clear to all that I have been defrauded of my money by Pasion.

I shall relate the facts to you from the beginning as well as I can. My father, men of the jury, is Sopaeus; all who sail to the Pontus know that his relations with Satyrus[*](Satyrus was king of Bosporus (407-393 B.C.); cf. Lys. 16.4.) are so intimate that he is ruler of an extensive territory and has charge of that ruler's entire forces.

Having heard reports both of this state and of the other lands where Greeks live, I desired to travel abroad. And so my father loaded two ships with grain,[*](Athens imported great quantities of grain from the Pontus; cf. Dem. 20.31-35.) gave me money, and sent me off on a trading expedition and at the same time to see the world.[*](Cf. Hdt. 1.29 where Solon leaves Athens “to see the world” ( KATA\ QEWRI/AN).) Pythodorus, the Phoenician, introduced Pasion to me and I opened an account at his bank.

Later on, as a result of slander which reached Satyrus to the effect that my father was plotting against the throne and that I was associating with the exiles, Satyrus arrested my father and sent orders to citizens of Pontus in residence here in Athens to take possession of my money and to bid me to return and, if I refused to obey, to demand of you my extradition.

When I found myself in difficulties so embarrassing, men of the jury, I related my troubles to Pasion; for I was on such intimate terms with him that I had the greatest confidence in him, not only in matters of money, but in everything else as well. I thought that, if I should yield control of all my money, I should run the risk, in case my father met with misfortune, after having been deprived of my money both here in Athens and at home, of becoming utterly destitute; and that, if I should acknowledge the existence of money here, yet fail to surrender it at Satyrus' command, I should create the most serious grounds of complaint against myself and my father in the mind of Satyrus.

On deliberation we decided that it would be best to agree to comply with all of Satyrus' demands and to surrender the money whose existence was known, but with respect to the funds on deposit with Pasion we should not only deny their existence but also make it appear that I had borrowed at interest both from Pasion and from others,[*](e.g., Stratocles, cf. Isoc. 17.35-36.) and to do everything which was likely to make them believe that I had no money.

At that time, men of the jury, I thought that Pasion was giving me all this advice because of goodwill toward me; but when I had arranged matters with the representatives of Satyrus, I perceived that he had designs on my property. For when I wished to recover my money and sail to Byzantium, Pasion thought a most favorable opportunity had come his way; for the sum of money on deposit with him was large and of sufficient value to warrant a shameless act, and I, in the presence of many listeners, had denied that I possessed anything, and everybody had seen that money was being demanded of me and that I was acknowledging that I was indebted to others also.

Besides this, men of the jury, he was of opinion that if I attempted to remain here, I should be handed over by Athens to Satyrus, and if I should go anywhere else, he would be indifferent to my complaints, and if I should sail to the Pontus, I should be put to death along with my father; it was on the strength of these calculations that Pasion decided to defraud me of my money. And although to me he pretended that for the moment he was short of funds and would not be able to repay me, yet when I, wishing to ascertain exactly the truth, sent Philomelus and Menexenus to him to demand my property, he denied to them that he had anything belonging to me.

Thus beset on every side by misfortunes so dire, what, think you, was my state of mind? If I kept silent I should be defrauded of my money by Pasion here; if I should make this complaint, I was none the more likely to recover it and I should bring myself and my father into the greatest disrepute with Satyrus. The wisest course, therefore, as I thought, was to keep silent.

After this, men of the jury, messengers arrived with the news that my father had been released and that Satyrus was so repentant of all that had occurred that he had bestowed upon my father pledges of his confidence of the most sweeping kind, and had given him authority even greater than he formerly possessed and had chosen my sister as his son's wife. When Pasion learned this and understood that I would now bring action openly about my property, he spirited away his slave Cittus, who had knowledge of our financial transactions.

And when I went to him and demanded the surrender of Cittus, because I believed that this slave could furnish the clearest proof of my claim, Pasion made the most outrageous charge, that I and Menexenus had bribed and corrupted Cittus as he sat at his banking-table and received six talents of silver from him. And that there might be neither examination nor testimony under torture on these matters, he asserted that it was we who had spirited away the slave and had brought a counter-charge against himself with a demand that this slave, whom we ourselves had spirited away, be produced. And while he was making this plea and protesting and weeping, he dragged me before the Polemarch[*](The Polemarch was one of the nine archons of Athens. He had supervision of the affairs of foreigners and resident-aliens.) with a demand for bondsmen, and he did not release me until I had furnished bondsmen in the sum of six talents. Please summon for me witnesses to these facts.


You have heard the witnesses, men of the jury; and I, who had already lost part of my money and with regard to the rest was under the most infamous charges, left Athens for the Peloponnesus to investigate for myself. But Menexenus found the slave here in the city, and having seized him demanded that he give testimony under torture[*](The evidence of slaves could only be given under torture; cf. §54.) about both the deposit and the charge brought by his master.

Pasion, however, reached such a pitch of audacity that he secured the release of the slave on the ground that he was a freeman and, utterly devoid of shame and of fear, he claimed as a freeman and prevented the torture of a person who, as he alleged, had been stolen from him by us and had given us all that money. But the crowning impudence of all was this—that when Menexenus compelled Pasion to give security for the slave before the Polemarch, he gave bond for him in the sum of seven talents. Let witnesses to these facts take the stand.

After he had acted in this way, men of the jury, Pasion, believing that his past conduct had clearly been in error and thinking he could rectify the situation by his subsequent acts, came to us and asserted that he was ready to surrender the slave for torture. We chose questioners and met in the temple of Hephaestus.[*](The Hephaisteion, in Athens, which has long been popularly but erroneously called the Theseum.) And I demanded that they flog and rack the slave, who had been surrendered, until they were of opinion that he was telling the truth. But Pasion here asserted that they had not been chosen as torturers, and bade them make oral interrogation of the slave if they wished any information.

Because of our disagreement the examiners refused to put the slave to torture themselves, but decreed that Pasion should surrender him to me. But Pasion was so anxious to avoid the employment of torture that he refused to obey them in respect to the surrender of the slave, but declared that he was ready to restore to me the money if they should pronounce judgement against him. Please call for me witnesses to these facts.

When, as a result of these meetings, men of the jury, all declared that Pasion was guilty of wrong-doing and of scandalous conduct (since, in the first place, it was Pasion himself who had spirited away the slave who, so I had asserted, had knowledge of the money-dealings, although he accused us of having concealed him, and next, when the slave was arrested, had prevented him from giving testimony under torture on the ground that he was a freeman, and finally, after this, having surrendered him as a slave and having chosen questioners, he nominally gave orders that he be tortured but in point of fact forbade it), Pasion, I say, understanding that there was no possibility of escape for himself if he came before you, sent a messenger to beg me to meet him in a sanctuary.

And when we had come to the Acropolis, he covered his head and wept, saying that he had been compelled to deny the debt because of lack of funds, but that he would try to repay me in a short time. He begged me to forgive him and to keep his misfortune secret, in order that he, as a receiver of deposits, might not be shown to have been culpable in such matters. In the belief that he repented of his past conduct I yielded, and bade him to devise a method, of any kind he wished, that his affairs might be in order and I receive back my money.

Two days later we met again and solemnly pledged each other to keep the affair secret, a pledge which he failed to keep, as you yourselves will learn as my story proceeds, and he agreed to sail with me to the Pontus and there pay me back the gold, in order that he might settle our contract at as great a distance as possible from Athens, and that no one here might know the nature of our settlement, and also that on his return from the Pontus he might say anything he pleased; but in the event that he should not fulfil these obligations, he proposed to entrust to Satyrus an arbitration on stated terms[*](For arbitration under terms or on certain conditions cf. also Isoc. 18.10 and Dem. 49, Against Spudias, fn. 1. In such cases the arbitrator had no discretionary power. Cf. Jebb's Attic Orators ii. p. 234.) which would permit Satyrus to condemn Pasion to pay the original sum, and half as much in addition.

When he had drawn up this agreement in writing we brought to the Acropolis Pyron, of Pherae,[*](In Thessaly.) who frequently sailed to the Pontus, and placed the agreement in his custody, stipulating that if we should come to a satisfactory settlement with each other, he should burn the memorandum; otherwise, he was to deliver it to Satyrus.