c. 450-380 BCE (2,400 years ago)
Post-Peloponnesian War (5th/4th c. Athens)
Περὶ πολλοῦ ἂν ποιησαίμην, ὦ ἄνδρες, τὸ τοιούτους ὑμᾶς ἐμοὶ δικαστὰς περὶ τούτου τοῦ πράγματος γενέσθαι, οἷοίπερ ἂν ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς εἴητε τοιαῦτα πεπονθότες·
(I should be very thankful, o jurymen, that such great men as you have appeared to be judges for me in this case, when you judge these matters as though they concerned yourselves;)
εὖ γὰρ οἶδ᾽ ὅτι, εἰ τὴν αὐτὴν γνώμην περὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἔχοιτε, ἥνπερ περὶ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν, οὐκ ἂν εἴη ὅστις οὐκ ἐπὶ τοῖς γεγενημένοις ἀγανακτοίη, ἀλλὰ πάντες ἂν περὶ τῶν τὰ τοιαῦτα ἐπιτηδευόντων τὰς ζημίας μικρὰς ἡγοῖσθε.
(For I know well that, if you should have the same opinion concerning the matters of other men, as you do for yourselves, there would be no man who would not be troubled by the things that have happened, but you all would think the penalties to be trifles for culprits of such weighty matters of this type;)
καὶ ταῦτα οὐκ ἂν εἴη μόνον παρ᾽ ὑμῖν οὕτως ἐγνωσμένα, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἁπάσηι τῆι Ἑλλάδι·
(And this would not only be the predicament among yourselves, but among all the men in Greece;)
περὶ τούτου γὰρ μόνου τοῦ ἀδικήματος καὶ ἐν δημοκρατίαι καὶ ὀλιγαρχίαι ἡ αὐτὴ τιμωρία τοῖς ἀσθενεστάτοις πρὸς τοὺς τὰ μέγιστα δυναμένους ἀποδέδοται, ὥστε τὸν χείριστον τῶν αὐτῶν τυγχάνειν τῶι βελτίστωι·
(For, concerning this same misdeed, in both a democracy and oligarchy, the same penalty is doled out to men of the weakest class compared to the most powerful classes, just as the worst of the these same penalties happen to the most powerful ones;)
οὕτως, ὦ ἄνδρες, ταύτην τὴν ὕβριν ἅπαντες ἄνθρωποι δεινοτάτην ἡγοῦνται.
(So, o jurymen, all men think that this unnatural crime is the most terrible one;)
περὶ μὲν οὖν τοῦ μεγέθους τῆς ζημίας ἅπαντας ὑμᾶς νομίζω τὴν αὐτὴν διάνοιαν ἔχειν, καὶ οὐδένα οὕτως ὀλιγώρως διακεῖσθαι, ὅστις οἴεται δεῖν συγγνώμης τυγχάνειν ἢ μικρᾶς ζημίας ἀξίους ἡγεῖται τοὺς τῶν τοιούτων ἔργων αἰτίους·
(Therefore, I think that you all have the same opinion concerning the punishment of this great crime and never to be disposed to anything trivially, so that either a someone be in agreement with me or otherwise think the causes of such momentous acts worthy of meager punishment;)
ἡγοῦμαι δέ, ὦ ἄνδρες, τοῦτό με δεῖν ἐπιδεῖξαι, ὡς ἐμοίχευεν Ἐρατοσθένης τὴν γυναῖκα τὴν ἐμὴν καὶ ἐκείνην τε διέφθειρε καὶ τοὺς παῖδας τοὺς ἐμοὺς ἤισχυνε καὶ ἐμὲ αὐτὸν ὕβρισεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τὴν ἐμὴν εἰσιών, καὶ οὔτε ἔχθρα ἐμοὶ καὶ ἐκείνωι οὐδεμία ἦν πλὴν ταύτης, οὔτε χρημάτων ἕνεκα ἔπραξα ταῦτα, ἵνα πλούσιος ἐκ πένητος γένωμαι, οὔτε ἄλλου κέρδους οὐδενὸς πλὴν τῆς κατὰ νόμους τιμωρίας.
(And I think, jurymen, that I need to explain this fact, that Eratosthenes committed adultery with my own wife and corrupted her and shamed my own children and committed unnatural sin, coming into my own house, and there was not even any grudge between me and that man, except for this one now, nor did I commit these acts of mine for the sake of profit, so that I might become rich from some bribe, nor any other motive except for justice according to the laws;)
ἐγὼ τοίνυν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ὑμῖν ἅπαντα ἐπιδείξω τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ πράγματα, οὐδὲν παραλείπων, ἀλλὰ λέγων τἀληθῆ·
(Now, I shall explain all my affairs to you from the beginning, omitting nothing, instead simply telling the truth;)
ταύτην γὰρ ἐμαυτῶι μόνην ἡγοῦμαι σωτηρίαν, ἐὰν ὑμῖν εἰπεῖν ἅπαντα δυνηθῶ τὰ πεπραγμένα.
(For I think that this is my only security, if I am able to tell you the things that have happened;)
Ἐγὼ γάρ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, ἐπειδὴ ἔδοξέ μοι γῆμαι καὶ γυναῖκα ἠγαγόμην εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, τὸν μὲν ἄλλον χρόνον οὕτω διεκείμην ὥστε μήτε λυπεῖν μήτε λίαν ἐπ᾽ ἐκείνηι εἶναι ὅ τι ἂν ἐθέληι ποιεῖν, ἐφύλαττόν τε ὡς οἷόν τε ἦν, καὶ προσεῖχον τὸν νοῦν ὥσπερ εἰκὸς ἦν.
(For I, o Athenian men, when it seemed right for me to get married, led a wife into my house, and meanwhile I passed the time, such that I never allowed her too much or be the kind of wife to do anything she wishes, and I was watchful as much as was proper, and I paid attention as it was the dutiful thing to do;)
ἐπειδὴ δέ μοι παιδίον γίγνεται, ἐπίστευον ἤδη καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐκείνηι παρέδωκα, ἡγούμενος ταύτην οἰκειότητα μεγίστην εἶναι·
(Then, when my son was born, I began to trust enough to share all my things to that woman, thinking that she was the best of housekeepers;)
ἐν μὲν οὖν τῶι πρώτωι χρόνωι, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, πασῶν ἦν βελτίστη·
(So at first, o Athenians, she was the best wife of all;)
καὶ γὰρ οἰκονόμος δεινὴ καὶ φειδωλὸς [ἀγαθὴ] καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα διοικοῦσα·
(For she was a clever and efficient enough housekeeper and performed all her duties accurately;)
ἐπειδὴ δέ μοι ἡ μήτηρ ἐτελεύτησε, πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἀποθανοῦσα αἰτία μοι γεγένηται.
(But when my mother passed away, her death became a cause for all my troubles;)
ἐπ᾽ ἐκφορὰν γὰρ αὐτῆι ἀκολουθήσασα ἡ ἐμὴ γυνὴ ὑπὸ τούτου τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὀφθεῖσα χρόνωι διαφθείρεται· ἐπιτηρῶν γὰρ τὴν θεράπαιναν τὴν εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν βαδίζουσαν καὶ λόγους προσφέρων ἀπώλεσεν αὐτήν.
(For, my wife, having gone to the funeral, was soon destroyed when she was seen by this man, Eratosthenes; for, he, sending his handmaiden to walk into the agora, convinced her when he carried forth his persuasions;)
Πρῶτον μὲν οὖν, ὦ ἄνδρες, (δεῖ γὰρ καὶ ταῦθ᾽ ὑμῖν διηγήσασθαι) οἰκίδιον ἔστι μοι διπλοῦν, ἴσα ἔχον τὰ ἄνω τοῖς κάτω κατὰ τὴν γυναικωνῖτιν καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἀνδρωνῖτιν.
(So firstly, jurymen, for I really need to divulge these details to you, there belongs to me a small two-story house, whose women's quarters had the same dimensions as to the men's quarters;)
ἐπειδὴ δὲ τὸ παιδίον ἐγένετο ἡμῖν, ἡ μήτηρ αὐτὸ ἐθήλαζεν·
(So, when my son was born to us, his mother nursed him;)
ἵνα δὲ μή, ὁπότε λοῦσθαι δέοι, κινδυνεύηι κατὰ τῆς κλίμακος καταβαίνουσα, ἐγὼ μὲν ἄνω διηιτώμην, αἱ δὲ γυναῖκες κάτω.
(And, when he should need be washed, so that she would not have to go downstairs riskily, I used to live on the story above, while the women lived below;)
καὶ οὕτως ἤδη συνειθισμένον ἦν, ὥστε πολλάκις ἡ γυνὴ ἀπήιει κάτω καθευδήσουσα ὡς τὸ παιδίον, ἵνα τὸν τιτθὸν αὐτῶι διδῶι καὶ μὴ βοᾶι.
(And so, this became the accustomed situation, wherefore my wife would often go and sleep downstairs with the baby, so that she could nurse him and stop his crying;)
καὶ ταῦτα πολὺν χρόνον οὕτως ἐγίγνετο, καὶ ἐγὼ οὐδέποτε ὑπώπτευσα, ἀλλ᾽ οὕτως ἠλιθίως διεκείμην, ὥστε ὤιμην τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ γυναῖκα πασῶν σωφρονεστάτην εἶναι τῶν ἐν τῆι πόλει.
(And therefore these matters occurred over a long period of time, and I never once suspected, but instead I was so happily disposed that I used to think that my wife alone was the greatest blessing of all the wives in the city;)
Προϊόντος δὲ τοῦ χρόνου, ὦ ἄνδρες, ἧκον μὲν ἀπροσδοκήτως ἐξ ἀγροῦ, μετὰ δὲ τὸ δεῖπνον τὸ παιδίον ἐβόα καὶ ἐδυσκόλαινεν ὑπὸ τῆς θεραπαίνης ἐπίτηδες λυπούμενον, ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῆι·
(But, as the very beginning of this period of time passed, jurymen, I was coming home, returning from the field, when I found the child crying for his dinner and being terribly disturbed by the handmaiden on purpose, so she could do the following:)
ὁ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἔνδον ἦν· ὕστερον γὰρ ἅπαντα ἐπυθόμην.
(This is because a man was inside the house: for I learned about everything later on;)
καὶ ἐγὼ τὴν γυναῖκα ἀπιέναι ἐκέλευον καὶ δοῦναι τῶι παιδίωι τὸν τιτθόν, ἵνα παύσηται κλᾶον.
(And I order my wife to go away and suckle the boy, so that he could stop crying;)
ἡ δὲ τὸ μὲν πρῶτον οὐκ ἤθελεν, ὡς ἂν ἀσμένη με ἑωρακυῖα ἥκοντα διὰ χρόνου·
(But, at first, she did not wish to do this, because as if she was eager to have me stalled for a long time;)
ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἐγὼ ὠργιζόμην καὶ ἐκέλευον αὐτίκα ἀπιέναι, «ἵνα σύ γε» ἔφη «πειρᾶις ἐνταῦθα τὴν παιδίσκην· καὶ πρότερον δὲ μεθύων εἷλκες αὐτήν».
(And when I began to become angry and ordered her to go inside immediately, she said, "Oh really, so that you can have your way with the girl-slave out here; no, you dragged her around before when you were drunk")
κἀγὼ μὲν ἐγέλων, ἐκείνη δὲ ἀναστᾶσα καὶ ἀπιοῦσα προστίθησι τὴν θύραν, προσποιουμένη παίζειν, καὶ τὴν κλεῖν ἐφέλκεται.
(And I even began to laugh, and then, getting up and leaving, she closed the door, pretending to be playing, and she locked the bolt;)
κἀγὼ τούτων οὐδὲν ἐνθυμούμενος οὐδ᾽ ὑπονοῶν ἐκάθευδον ἄσμενος, ἥκων ἐξ ἀγροῦ.
(And I, neither suspicious of these things nor troubled, went to sleep peacefully, having coming from the field;)
 ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἦν πρὸς ἡμέραν,
[But when it got close to daytime,]
ἧκεν ἐκείνη καὶ τὴν θύραν ἀνέωιξεν.
[this woman came, and opened the door.]
ἐρομένου δέ μου τί αἱ θύραι νύκτωρ ψοφοῖεν,
[But when I asked why the doors were dimmed at night,]
ἔφασκε τὸν λύχνον ἀποσβεσθῆναι τὸν παρὰ τῶι παιδίωι,
[she said that the lamp next to our child had been extinguished,]
εἶτα ἐκ τῶν γειτόνων ἐνάψασθαι.
[and so she had to go fetch another from our neighbors.]
ἐσιώπων ἐγὼ καὶ ταῦτα οὕτως ἔχειν ἡγούμην.
[I can tell you that I, gazing upon her, think that following is exactly what took place.]
ἔδοξε δέ μοι, ὦ ἄνδρες, τὸ πρόσωπον ἐψιμυθιῶσθαι,
[You see, my comprades, that her face had been painted with rouge,]
τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τεθνεῶτος οὔπω τριάκονθ᾽ ἡμέρας·
[even though her brother had died only thirty days before:]
ὅμως δ᾽ οὐδ᾽ οὕτως οὐδὲν εἰπὼν περὶ τοῦ πράγματος ἐξελθὼν ὠιχόμην ἔξω σιωπῆι.
[But, I, not saying anything about the matter, and after leaving her side, went outside in silence.]