This is the first commentary in any language on Aeschines' Against Timarchos, the prosecution speech in the politically crucial trial of 346/5BC. The case was that Timarchos was forbidden to hold public office and disenfranchised because he had engaged in improper homosexual relationships in the past and had wasted his inheritance on debauchery. The speech is our most important source for Athenian legal sanctions and moral attitudes concerning same-sex relations, and has been the focus of intense recent debates on the nature of Greek sexualities and on the relationship between sex, politics, and cultural life. It illuminates Athenian politics at the time when Athens faced the challenge to her independence from Philip of Macedon. It is a rhetorical masterpiece of misrepresentation, which persuaded the jury to convict Timarchos despite the fact that Aeschines had virtually no evidence of his misdeeds.
This book provides a new translation, a full introduction, and a commentary, all accessible to those without knowledge of Greek. The introduction explores the main issues of the case, including Aeschines' career, Athenian laws and attitudes relating to homosexual relations, and the reasons for Aeschines' success: it is suggested that the verdict reflects the same moral and cultural unease in Athens which was shortly to produce the attempts at political, social, and cultural renewal associated with the age of Lycurgus. The fully documented commentary pays attention to the rhetorical strategy of the speech, explores important aspects of the language used, especially in relation to the moral denunciation of Timarchos' sexual and other malpractices, and explains all references to historical events and people.
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