From Peithô's Web
Lives of the Ten Orators, tr. Bancroft

Decrees

I.

DEMOCHARES, the son of Laches of Leuconoe, requires that a statue of brass be set up for Demosthenes, the son of Demosthenes the Paeanian, in the market-place, as likewise that provision of diet be made in the Prytaneum for himself and the eldest of his progeny successively, and the chief seat in all public shows; for that he had done many good offices for the Athenians, had on most occasions been a good counsellor, and had spent his patrimony in the commonwealth; had expended eight talents for the fitting out and maintenance of one galley, when they delivered Euboea, another, when Cephisodorus sailed into the Hellespont, and a third, when Chares and Phocion were commissioned by the people to go captains to Byzantium; that he at his own charge had redeemed many who had been taken prisoners by Philip at Pydna, Methone, and Olynthus; that himself had maintained a choir of men, when no provision had been made therefor through the neglect of the tribe Pandionis; that he had furnished many indigent citizens with arms; that being chosen by the people to oversee the city works, he had laid out three talents of his own stock towards the repairing of the walls, besides all that he gave for making two trenches about the Piraeus; that after the battle of Chaeronea he deposited one talent for the use of the public, and after that, another to buy corn in time of scarcity and want; that by his beneficence, wholesome counsels and effectual persuasions, he allured the Thebans, Euboeans, Corinthians, Megarians, Achaeans, Locrians, Byzantines, and Messenians to a league with the Athenians; that he raised an army of ten thousand foot and a thousand horse, and contracted plenty to the people and their allies; that being ambassador, he had persuaded the allies to the contribution of above five hundred talents; that in the same quality, by his influence and the free gift of money, he obtained of the Peloponnesians that they should not send aid to Alexander against the Thebans; and in consideration of many other good offices performed by him, either as to his counsels, or his personal administration of affairs in the commonwealth, in which, and in defending the rights and liberties of the people, no man in his time had done more or deserved better; and in regard of his sufferings when the commonwealth was ruined, being banished by the insolence of the oligarchy, and at last dying at Calauria for his good-will to the public, there being soldiers sent from Antipater to apprehend him; and that notwithstanding his being in the hands of his enemies, in so great and imminent danger, his hearty affection to his countrymen was still the same, insomuch that he never to the last offered any unworthy thing to the injury of his people.


II.

IN the magistracy of Pytharatus,(1) Laches, the son of Demochares of Leuconoe requires of the Athenian senate that a statue of brass be set up for Demochares, the son of Laches of Leuconoe, in the market-place, and table and diet in the Prytaneum for himself and the eldest of his progeny successively, and the first seat at all public shows; for that he had always been a benefactor and good counsellor to the people, and had done these and the like good offices to the public: he had gone in embassies in his own person; had proposed and carried in bills relating to his embassage; had been chief manager of public matters; had repaired the walls, prepared arms and machines; had fortified the city in the time of the four years' war, and composed a peace, truce, and alliance with the Boeotians; for which things he was banished by those who overturned and usurped the government;--and being called home again by a decree of the people, in the year of Diocles, he had contracted the administration, sparing the public funds; and going in embassage to Lysimachus, he had at one time gained thirty, and at another time a hundred talents of silver, for the use of the public; he had moved the people to send an embassage to Ptolemy, by which means the people got fifty talents; he went ambassador to Antipater, and by that got twenty talents, and brought it to Eleusis to the people,--all which measures he persuaded the people to adopt while he himself carried them out; furthermore, he was banished for his love for the commonwealth, and would never take part with usurpers against the popular government; neither did he, after the overthrow of that government, bear any public office in the state; he was the only man, of all that had to do in the public administration of affairs in his time, who never promoted or consented to any other form of government but the popular; by his prudence and conduct, all the judgments and decrees, the laws, courts, and all things else belonging to the Athenians, were preserved safe and inviolate; and, in a word, he never said or did any thing to the prejudice of the popular government.


III.

LYCOPHRON, the son of Lycurgus of Butadae, requires that he may have diet in the Prytaneum, according to a donation of the people to Lycurgus. In the year of Anaxicrates,(2) in the sixth prytany,--which was that of the tribe Antiochis,--Stratocles, the son of Euthydemus of Diomea, proposed; that,--since Lycurgus, the son of Lycophron of Butadae, had (as it were) an ingenerated good-will in him towards the people of Athens; and since his ancestors Diomedes and Lycurgus lived in honor and esteem of all people, and when they died were honored for their virtue so far as to be buried at the public charge in the Ceramicus; and since Lycurgus himself, while he had the management of public affairs, was the author of many good and wholesome laws, and was the city treasurer for twelve years together, during which time there passed through his own hands eighteen thousand and nine hundred talents, besides other great sums of money that he was entrusted with by private citizens for the public good, to the sum of six hundred and fifty talents; in all which concerns he behaved himself so justly, that he was often crowned by the city for his fidelity; besides, being chosen by the people to that purpose, he brought much money into the Citadel, and provided ornaments, golden images of victory, and vessels of gold and silver for the Goddess Minerva, and gold ornaments for a hundred Canephoroe;(3) since, being commissary-general, he brought into the stores a great number of arms and at least fifty thousand shot of darts, and set out four hundred galleys, some new built, and others only repaired; since, finding many buildings half finished, as the dock-yards, the arsenal, and the theatre of Bacchus, he completed them; and finished the Panathenaic race, and the court for public exercises at the Lyceum, and adorned the city with many fair new buildings; since, when Alexander, having conquered Asia, and assuming the empire of all Greece, demanded Lycurgus as the principal man that confronted and opposed him in his affairs, the people refused to deliver him up, notwithstanding the terror inspired by Alexander; and since, being often called to account for his management of affairs in so free a city, which was wholly governed by the people, he never was found faulty or corrupt in any particular;--that all people, therefore, may know, not only that the people do highly esteem all such as act in defence of their liberties and rights while they live, but likewise that they pay them honors after death, in the name of Good Fortune it is decreed by the people, that such honors be paid to Lycurgus, the son of Lycophron of Butadae, for his justice and magnanimity, as that a statue of brass be erected in memory of him in any part of the market which the laws do not prohibit; as likewise that there be provision for diet in the Prytaneum for every eldest son of his progeny, successively for ever. Also, that all his decrees be ratified, and engrossed by the public notary, and engraven on pillars of stone, and set up in the Citadel just by the gifts consecrated to Minerva; and that the city treasurer shall deposit fifty drachms for the engraving of them, out of the money set apart for such uses.

1. B.C. 269.

2. B.C. 307.

3. Persons who carried baskets, or panniers, on their heads of sacred things.




Scanned by Agathon (RSB) from the University of Washington's copy of Plutarchs Lives and Writings, ed. by A.H. Clough and William W. Goodwin, with an introd. by Ralph Waldo Emerson. London, Simpkin, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd. [1914?], vol. 5.



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