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ment, p. 113.
attacked at all, but preserved to the Court in its full extent; because, as we have seen, it was the part least injurious to, and most impregnable against, the rapid advances of democracy. 72. At the same time, it seems very unlikely that actions for impiety, which belonged to the senatorial authority of the Areopagus, were still left to its decision. Thirlwall's opinion is in direct opposition to this idea. “ There was nothing," he says, in the same chapter, “ which Pericles and his friends had more cause to fear (as the event proved) than a charge of impiety, which now came under the .cognizance of the Areopagus, but at a later period in the life of Pericles, seems to have been no longer subject to it.” An opinion which may at least be accounted as valuable per se, as that of Müller.
73. The third argument, which is rather hastily despatched Third Argu, by Müller, but which forms the very basis and stronghold of Meier and Boeckh's theory, is taken from the following passage of Lysias, De Cæde Eratosth. c. 30:-Tộ dikao tnpią to é 'Αρείου Πάγου, ώ και πάτριόν εστι και εφ' υμών αποδέδοται του φόνου τας δίκας δικάζειν, διαρρήδην είρηται τούτον μη καταγινώσκειν φόνου. Judging from a prima facie view of this passage, one would certainly understand with Müller “ that in the time of the Judges to whom Lysias's oration was addressed, the Areopagus was reinstated in its hereditary right of decision in cases of homicide, and that it was still in possession of the privilege.” The words é ' 'uw can certainly bear no other meaning than “in your time.” But neither Müller nor Boeckh tells us that these very two words, on which the whole argument rests, are an emendation of Taylor's for the MS. reading és úpiv, and adopted without remark by Bekker. 74. We shall not stop to inquire whether the words εφ' υμίν αποδέδοται will bear the interpretation given them by Forchhammer (p. 24): “Areopago,cui et patrium est, et vobis traditum, (i.e. a quo ad vos translatum est,) de cæde judicare-expressis verbis imperatum est," &c. The reader should examine the passages he quotes in illustration of this meaning of αποδέδοται and έφ' υμίν, and judge for himself. But even assuming the emendation d' úpôv, "in your
time," to be correct, it certainly does not prove, as Meier and Boeckh suppose, that Ephialtes took away the cognizance of homicide from the Areopagus, and that it was only restored to them after the expulsion of the Thirty Tyrants.
75. Mr. Grote argues this point with very conclusive effect :“ This restoration of functions to the Areopagus, refers naturally to the restored democracy after the violent interruption occasioned by the Thirty. Considering how many persons the Thirty caused to be put to death arbitrarily, and how complete a subversion of all laws they introduced, the Areopagus could not have held its sittings, nor tried cases of wilful murder under them. 76. Were the supposition of Boeckh true, and the Areopagus lost its jurisdiction in cases of homicide also, for the fiftyfive years that elapsed between the decree of Ephialtes and the expulsion of the Thirty, it must have had no functions at all during that long interval, and for all practical purposes might have been considered as non-existent. Had that been the case, the citizens would have lost all respect for it, as an obsolete power; (but Lysias (Cæd. Erat. c. ii. p. 126) expressly tells us that they did respect it, just before the establishment of the Thirty ;) nor would it have been revived after their expulsion. Whereas, if we suppose that it preserved its authority as a tribunal for murder during the above-mentioned period, without those extended privileges which had made it so obnoxious, we shall readily understand how the ancient traditional respect for it was kept alive, and how it came to be revived after the fall of the Thirty, as a venerable part of the old Democracy."
77. Müller then proceeds to use his own theory about the objects of the Eumenides, as an argument on the same side. · Lastly,” he says, “ (and this is evidence quite as conclusive and convincing as any historical datum,) it is palpably the design of Æschylus to support the Areopagus in its authority in actions for bloodshed. Consequently, it must have been in this
quarter that its rights were attacked.” 78. To maintain this Chronologi inference he finds it necessary to alter the chronology, and tells cal difficulty.
us that Ephialtes' motion was not carried until after the repre
Müller's own theory.
sentation of the Eumenides, viz. in Olymp. 80, 3; whereas Diodorus, xi. 77, expressly informs us that it was carried in the year but one before the Eumenides was acted, viz. in Olymp. 80, 1. There is no evidence sufficient to contradict this statement, nor are we justified in departing from Diodorus’ chronology.
79. But independently of this, there is nothing in Æschylus Hermann's to prove that “it was in this quarter the rights of the Areopagus were attacked.” On the contrary, he everywhere seems to take it for granted that these rights were in perfect safety, and not likely to be disturbed. Had they been in danger, he would have mentioned the fact very explicitly. Wherefore Hermann (Opusc. vol. vi. p. 136) argues that the total silence of Æschylus on this point proves that the penal judicature was not attacked ;—exactly the reverse of Müller's deduction. On the other hand, Pallas clearly alludes to the withdrawal of other rights, viz. the senatorial, in the significant lines addressed to the Athenian people, Eum. 666–676.
80. “ All that we can safely infer from the very indistinct Real object allusions in the Eumenides of Æschylus,” says Mr. Grote, “ is that he himself was full of reverence for the Areopagus, and that the season was one in which party bitterness ran so high as to render civil war (eupúdcov "Apn, Eum. v. 864) a result to be dreaded by the moderate citizens. Probably he may have been averse to the diminution of privileges carried by Ephialtes; but even this is not quite certain, for he puts forward the Areopagus prominently and specially as a tribunal for homicide, exercising this jurisdiction by inherent prescription, and confirmed in it by the Eumenides themselves. Now, when we consider that this was precisely the power which Ephialtes left untouched, we may plausibly argue that Æschylus, by enhancing the solemnity and predicting the perpetuity of the remaining privilege, intended to conciliate those who resented the recent innovations, and to soften the hatred of the opposite factions.” (Vol. v. p. 495, note.) 81. That this view of Mr. Grote's with regard to the real political Argive Alliobjects of Æschylus is correct, is further confirmed by the high 80, 2.
and 734, 899.
terms in which the Argive Alliance is spoken of, Eum. vv. 280
Had the poet intended to make a decisive stand against Ephialtes and his party,—had it been his object to excite the popular feeling against them by the Eumenides,-he never would have eulogised this alliance so openly and entirely; for it was the very point on which Cimon and the oligarchs were most at issue with Pericles and the advocates of democracy. 82. As a moderate man, we may suppose that Æschylus desired rather to reconcile the opposite factions, and, consequently, he acquiesces cheerfully in this newly-made treaty with the Argives, knowing that it had been entered into in conformity with the wishes of the citizens in general, and could not now be retracted. He might moreover have no reason to suppose it likely to prejudice the real interests of Athens, tending, as it necessarily would, to increase and consolidate her maritime power.
83. Thus we have examined, step by step, the erroneous theory of Boeckh, Meier, and Müller, concerning the Areopagus. But if any doubt still remains in the reader's mind, there is a passage in Demosthenes (cont. Aristocr. p. 741, 28), which we have reserved as the finishing argument in this disputed question : Τούτο μόνον το δικαστήριον (το εν 'Αρείω πάγω) ουχί τύραννος, ουκ ολιγαρχία, ου δημοκρατία της φονικάς δίκας αφελέσθαι τετόλμηκεν. It is in vain that Boeckh and Schoemann endeavour to explain this away as a mere oratorical exaggeration : it is an explicit statement of a fact which must have been well known to all the Athenians at the time, and had it been untrue, every one of Demosthenes' audience could have easily contradicted him. Nothing could ever set aside the distinct and positive proof which this passage contains, were volumes to be written on the opposite side: and with it we shall conclude this chapter, trusting that so prolonged a discussion has not exhausted the reader's patience.