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Discourse 30

This webpage reproduces one of the

Dio Chrysostom

published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1940

The text is in the public domain.

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Discourse 32

(Vol. III) Dio Chrysostom

 p1  The Thirty-first Discourse:
The Rhodian Oration

Some information about the island of Rhodes and its capital city of the same name may contribute to an appreciation of this Discourse.

The island, which has an area of approximately 424 square miles, lies in the extreme eastern part of the Aegean Sea and is about ten miles south of Cape Alypo [a map marker], the ancient Cynossema Promontorium, on the coast of Asia Minor. From it one can see to the north the elevated coast of Asia Minor and in the south-west Mount Ida [a map marker] of Crete. It is still noted for its delight­ful climate and its fertile soil.

There is a legend that the earliest inhabitants of Rhodes were the Telchines, skilled workers in metal, and the Children of the Sun, who were bold navigators; yet, whatever the racial affinity of these people may have been, in historic times the population was Dorian.

In the fifth century before Christ its three cities of Lindus, Ialysus, and Camirus were enrolled in the Delian League, but in 412 B.C. they revolted from Athens. Then in 408 they united to form the new city of Rhodes on the north-east tip of the island. This city presented a very impressive appearance, laid out as it was by the architect Hippodamus in the form of an amphitheatre on a gentle slope running down to the sea.

After the founding of this city the prosperity and political importance of the island steadily increased. It threw off the yoke of Athens in the Social War, 357‑354, and although it submitted first to Mausolus of Caria and then later to Alexander the Great, it reasserted its independence after the latter's death, greatly expanded its trade, and became  p2 more power­ful than before, so that its standard of coinage and its code of maritime law became widely accepted in the Mediterranean. In 305‑4 the city successfully withstood a siege by the redoubtable Demetrius Poliorcetes, who by means of his formidable fleet and artillery attempted to force the city into an active alliance with King Antigonus. On raising the siege Demetrius presented the Rhodians with his mighty siege-engines, from the sale of which they realized enough to pay for the Colossus, the celebrated statue of the Sun-god, one hundred and five feet high, which was executed by Chares of Lindus and stood at the entrance of the harbour.

In 227 Rhodes suffered from a severe earthquake, the damages of which the other states helped to restore because they could not endure to see the state ruined. Chiefly by her fleet Rhodes supported Rome in her wars against Philip V of Macedon, Antiochus III, and Mithridates, who besieged the city unsuccessfully in 88. It assisted Pompey against the pirates and at first against Julius Caesar; but in 42 that Caius Cassius who formed the conspiracy against Caesar's life captured and ruthlessly plundered the city for refusing to submit to its exactions; and although befriended by Mark Antony after this, it never fully recovered from the blow. In the year 44 of our era, in the reign of Claudius, it lost its freedom temporarily, but recovered it at the intercession of Nero, who throughout his life remained very friendly to Rhodes. Then at the beginning of the reign of Vespasian it was reduced to a Roman province. This has been considered the end of Rhodes' freedom. Von Arnim, however (Leben und Werke, 217‑218), gives good reason for believing that Rhodes was given its freedom again for a short time under Titus. This view is accepted by Van Gelder (Geschichte der alten Rhodier, 175), who suggests that this may have occurred somewhat later under Nerva or Trajan, by Hiller von Gaertringen in his article on Rhodes in Pauly-Wissowa, Suppl. V, col. 810, and by Lemarchand in his Dion de Pruse, 84.

Rhodes was noted for its paintings and its sculpture. In Dio's time the city is said to have had 3000 statues. (See Pliny the Elder 34.7.36 and cf. § 146 of this Discourse.) Then too it was the birthplace of the philosopher Panaetius, whose pupil, the philosopher and historian Poseidonius, had his school there; Apollonius Rhodius also spent part of his  p3 life there; and in this city both Cicero and Caesar in their youth studied rhetoric under Apollonius Molo.

This Rhodian oration, by far the longest of Dio's extant Discourses, purports to have been delivered by Dio before the Rhodian Assembly. In it Dio urges the Rhodians by all possible arguments to give up their bad habit of not actually having the statue of a man made and set up when one was decreed him as an honour, but of simply having his name engraved on some statue already standing, after first chiselling out the name, if any was there, which was already on the statue.

This Discourse throws an interesting light upon the time in which Dio lived. Then it was thought one of the highest honours for a man to have a statue of himself which was erected by public decree in a city like Rhodes, so that even Romans sought this honour. No doubt it was because so many Romans whom Rhodes could not afford to offend brought pressure to bear in order to secure the honour of a statue, that this practice of 'switching inscriptions' developed. The city already had some 3000 statues in its temples and streets, and yet many others were anxious for the honour of a statue. This was all the vogue at that time. Lemarchand (op. cit., 58) quotes from Cicero, Plutarch, Philo, Favorinus, Pausanias, Pliny the Elder, and Dio Cassius to show that the practice was not unknown elsewhere. Yet perhaps it had well-nigh ceased by Dio's time, for in §§ 105‑106, 123 he says that the Thracians alone are guilty of it.

Von Arnim thinks that this address was not actually delivered, that it was merely written. The Rhodians, he says, met in Assembly to deal with matters of state, would not have been willing to listen to such a "well-disposed expectoration" on a subject not on the order of the day. He points also to the unusually careful avoidance of hiatus. Lemarchand, on the other hand, who believes that we have here at least two addresses by Dio on the same subject, which were later made into one by some editor (perhaps by Dio himself, who then carefully removed cases of hiatus), thinks that at least the first address was actually delivered. He feels that the speech is not a unit on account of the numerous repetitions and contradictions in it which he lists, and on account of two different styles and tones, the one dry and dull, the other vigorous and at times impassioned.

 p4  Von Arnim, in attempting to date this Discourse, takes into account three factors: Rhodes is a free city (see for example §§ 111‑113), Nero is dead (as may be inferred from §§ 148‑150), and the Discourse shows Dio as a sophist, yet not hostile to philosophy, as he was in early life according to Synesius . To be sure Rhodes was free until 70 or 71 of our era, but he feels that even then Dio, who would have been about twenty-four years old, he says (about thirty would be nearer the truth if Dio was born about A.D. 40), would still have been too immature to compose such a speech as this. Therefore he would put this speech in the reign of Titus, when, as he attempts to show, Rhodes regained its freedom for a time.

Lemarchand, on the other hand, with his theory of two speeches, at least, combined into one, would place the first speech in the early years of Vespasian's reign, when Rhodes had just lost its freedom. For in this first speech Dio does not one refer to the freedom of Rhodes and sections 45‑46 imply that it is not free, he says. The second speech, where Rhodes is spoken of as free, he would put in the reign of Titus; and he would accept von Arnim's contention that Rhodes then regained its freedom for a short time.

 p7  The Thirty-first Discourse:
The Rhodian Oration

It is reasonable to suppose, men of Rhodes, that the majority of you are thinking that I have come to talk to you about some private matter; consequently, when you perceive that I am attempting to set right a matter which concerns your own general interests, you will perhaps be vexed that I, who am neither a citizen nor have been invited to come here, yet venture to offer advice, and that too concerning no one of the subjects for the consideration of which you have assembled. 2 But for my part, if after hearing me you find that the topic on which I am speaking is either inappropriate or not altogether urgent, I say that I shall be rightly regarded as both foolish and officious. But if you find that my topic is really of the greatest possible importance, and, furthermore, that the situation of which I speak is very bad indeed, so that the state as such is in evil repute on that account, and that you yourselves, one and all, though you bear a good reputation in everything else, in this one matter do not enjoy the general esteem to which you are entitled, you would have good reason to be grateful to me and to regard me as a true friend of yours. For it is evident that even if any person​1 is not altogether content with you, the  p9 world at large, as you presumably know, cares not at all about those matters which may bring upon you some shame or injury. 3 Is it not, therefore, very strange that, whereas if a man, a foreigner or a resident alien, were offering you a gift of money out of his own means, you would not consider him officious just because, although under no apparent obligation to do so, he was zealous on your behalf even though you did not demand it, and yet, if a man offers you useful advice, just because he happens not to have been invited to do so or is not a citizen you are going to listen with considerable vexation to whatever he has to say? And yet as for money, perhaps you are in no pressing need of it at the present moment, and, besides, thousands can be found to whom it would be a greater benefit to have taken away from them some of the money they have; but as for good advice, there is no one who does not stand in need of it at every moment and for every circumstance of life, even the man who is regarded as most success­ful.

4 Now if I were speaking about one of the questions which are before you, you would not be so greatly benefited by me, for you would be reasonably sure to arrive at the proper conclusion by yourselves if you were once to consider the problem. But since, in discussing the matter concerning which you are not even making any attempt at all to ascertain what the situation is, I assert that I shall prove that it is being most disgracefully managed, shall I not have done you an altogether useful service — that is, if I shall, indeed, prove not to be misrepresenting the facts?​a And what I think myself is, that it is right to welcome any man who, moved by a spirit of friendliness, has anything whatever to say, and to regard no such one  p11 as a nuisance, and especially, that you, men of Rhodes, should do so. For evidently the reason that you come together to deliberate every day and not, as other people do, reluctantly and at intervals and with only a few of you who are regarded as free-born being present, is that you may have leisure to hear about all matters and may leave nothing unexamined.

5 So much it was necessary to say by way of preface in order that you might understand the situation at the very beginning; and now I shall proceed to the subject itself, after simply adding that I think it is our duty to conduct all the affairs of life justly and honourably, and especially is it the duty of those who do anything in the name of the people; not only because official acts are more readily observed than private misdeeds, but also because, while the mistakes of persons in private station do not at once put the city in a bad light, improper action in public affairs inevitably causes every individual citizen to be looked upon as a knave. 6 For in a democracy the character of the majority is obviously the character of the state, since it is their will, surely, and no one else's, that prevails. And I myself would venture to say that it is especially fitting that the majority should scrupulously observe the noblest and most sacred obligations; for in the state where such considerations are neglected, such neglect even reveals a sort of vicious defect in the body politic and no other matter can be properly administered. 7 Furthermore, if we except the honours which we owe the gods, which we must regard as first in importance, of all other actions there is nothing nobler or more just than to show honour to our good men and to keep in remembrance those who have served us well —  p13 that is my opinion and needs no argument; and yet one may most clearly see in the principle also a practical advantage. For those who take seriously their obligations toward their benefactors and mete out just treatment to those who have loved them, all men regard as worthy of their favour, and without exception each would wish to benefit them to the best of his ability; and as a result of having many who are well-disposed and who give assistance whenever there is occasion, not only the state as a whole, but also the citizen in private station lives in greater security.

8 It is in regard to these matters, men of Rhodes, that I ask you to believe that the situation here among you is very bad and unworthy of your state, your treatment, I mean, of your benefactors, and of the honours given to your good men, although originally you did not handle the matterº thus — most assuredly not! Why, on the contrary, just as a person might very emphatically approve and admire any other practice of yours, so it is my opinion that you once gave very especial attention to bestowing honour, and one might recognize this to be so by looking at the great number of your statues — but it is only that a habit in another way bad has prevailed here for some time, and that nobody any longer receives honour among you, if you care to know the truth, and that the noble men of former times who were zealous for your state, not alone those in private station, but also kings and, in certain cases, peoples, are being insulted and robbed of the honours which they had received.​2 9 For whenever you vote a statue to anyone — and the idea of doing this comes to you now quite readily because you have an  p15 abundant supply of statues on hand — though for one thing I could not possibly criticise you, I mean for letting a little time elapse and delaying action; for, on the contrary, as soon as any person is proposed for the honour by you — presto! there he stands on a pedestal, or rather, even before the vote is taken! But what occurs is quite absurd: your chief magistrate, namely, merely points his finger at the first statue that meets his eyes of those which have already been dedicated, and then, after the inscription which was previously on it has been removed and another name engraved, the business of honouring is finished; and there you are!​b The man whom you have decreed to be worthy of the honour has already got his statue, and quite easily, it seems to me, and at a good bargain, when you look at the matter from this point of view — that the abundance of supply is wonder­ful and your business a thing to envy, if you are the only people in the world who can set up in bronze any man you wish without incurring any expense, and in fact, without either yourselves or those whom you honour putting up a single drachma. 10 Who, pray, from this point of view, could help admiring the cleverness of your city?

But I imagine that many things in life which require both special effort and no little expense can be done without cost and quite easily, if one disregards propriety and sincerity. Take, for instance, the sacrifices which we duly offer to the gods: it is possible simply to say they have been offered without offering them, merely, if you please, putting on our wreaths and approaching the altar, and then touching the barley groats and performing all the other rites as we do in an act of worship. And here is an idea! We  p17 might lead the same sacrificial victim up to all the statues in turn: to that of Zeus, to that of Helius, to Athena's, and after pouring libations at each one, make believe that we have sacrificed to all the gods — would not that be easy? 11 Who is going to prevent our doing this? And if we wish now to set up an altar or a temple to some god — for even though altars of all the gods are to be found among you, I take it that it is not impossible both to build a better altar than the last one you built and also deliberately to honour the same god by a greater number of them — is it not quite feasible to dispossess one of the other gods, or to shift one that has been already consecrated? Or else simply to alter the inscription — exactly as we are now doing? Indeed, some do maintain that Apollo, Helius, and Dionysus are one and the same, and this is your view, and many people even go so far as to combine all the gods and make of them one single force and power,​3 so that it makes no difference at all whether you are honouring this one or that one. But where men are concerned the situation is not at all like that; on the contrary, whoever gives A's goods to B robs A of what is rightfully his.

12 "Yes, by Zeus," someone says, "but there is no similarity between violating our obligation towards the gods and that toward men."

Neither do I say there is. But still it is possible to violate one's obligation towards men also, when one does not deal honestly with them, when one does not even permit those who have received anything to keep what they have justly acquired, or actually gives what the giver asserts he is giving to those who have been considered worthy of the same reward, but deprives the one class of their gift and deceives and  p19 hoodwinks the other. 13 Now the essential nature of the act is the same,​4 and doing anything whatever with deceit and trickery and the extreme of niggardliness amounts to the same thing; but there is this difference, that unseemly actions in what concerns the gods are called impiety, whereas such conduct when done by men to one another is called injustice. Of these two terms let it be conceded that impiety does not attach to the practice under examination; and henceforth, unless it seems to you worth guarding against, let this matter be dropped. 14 And yet even impiety might perhaps be found to attach to such conduct — I am not speaking about you nor about your city, for you have never formally approved nor has the practice ever been officially sanctioned; I am considering the act in and of itself from the private point of view — for is it not true that wrong treatment of those who have passed away is rightly called impiety and is given this designation in our laws, no matter who those are against whom such acts are committed? But to commit an outrage against good men who have been the benefactors of the state, to annul the honours given them and to blot out their remembrance, I for my part do not see how that could be otherwise termed. 15 Why, even those who wrong living benefactors cannot reasonably be clear of this reproach. At any rate those who wrong their parents, because these were the authors of the first and greatest benefaction to us, are quite fairly held guilty of impiety. And as for the gods, you know, I presume, that whether a person makes a libation to them or merely offers incense or approaches them, so long as his spirit is right, he has done his full  p21 duty; for perhaps God requires no such thing as images or sacrifices at all.5 But in any event these acts are not ineffectual, because we thereby show our zeal and our disposition towards the gods. 16 But when we come to men, they require crowns, images, the right of precedence, and being kept in remembrance; and many in times past have even given up their lives just in order that they might get a statue and have their name announced by the herald or receive some other honour and leave to succeeding generations a fair name and remembrance of themselves. At any rate, if anyone should inquire of you, all things such as these having been taken away and no remembrance being left for future times nor commendation given for deeds well done, whether you think there would have been even the smallest fraction of men who are admired by all the world either because they had fought zealously in some war, or had slain tyrants, or had sacrificed themselves or their children in behalf of the common weal, or had undergone great labours for virtue's sake, as they say Heracles​6 did, and Theseus and the other semi-divine heroes of the past, no man here among you, I think, would answer yes. 17 For you will find that there is nothing else, at least in the case of the great majority, that incites every man to despise danger, to endure toils, and to scorn the life of pleasure and ease. This is the reason why brave men are  p23 found on the battlefield wounded in front instead of having turned and fled, though safety was often ready at hand. This is what the poet gives as Achilles' reason for refusing to grow old and die at home,​7 and for Hector's standing alone in defence of his city, ready if need be to fight against the entire host. This is what made a mere handful of Spartans stand in the narrow pass against so many myriads of Persians.​8 18 It was this which made your ancestors fill every land and sea with their monuments of victory, and when the rest of Hellas in a sense had been blotted out, to guard the national honour of the Hellenes by their unaided efforts up to the present time.​9 For this reason I think that you are justified in feeling greater pride than all the rest of them taken together. 19 For whereas the others at the beginning did win successes against the barbarians and made themselves a brilliant name, for the rest they failed by giving a display of jealousy, folly, and quarrelsomeness rather than of virtue, until, although no foreign power was troubling them, they deteriorated of themselves and finally invited anyone who wished to be their master. But you Rhodians, who have won so many wars, have settled them all no less honourably than you have gallantly waged them. 20 However, this much is clear, that neither you nor any others, whether Greeks or barbarians, who are thought to  p25 have become great, advanced to glory and power for any other reason than because fortune gave to each in succession men who were jealous of honour and regarded their fame in after times as more precious than life. For the pillar, the inscription, and being set up in bronze are regarded as a high honour by noble men, and they deem it a reward worthy of their virtue not to have their name destroyed along with their body and to be brought level with those who have never lived at all, but rather to leave an imprint and a token, so to speak, of their manly prowess.10

21 You see what hardships these athletic competitors endure while training, spending money, and finally often even choosing to die in the very midst of the games. Why is it? If we were to abolish the crown for the sake of which they strive, and the inscription which will commemorate their victory at the Olympian or the Pythian games, do you think that they would endure for even one day the heat of the sun, not to mention all the other unpleasant and arduous things which attach to their occupation? Well then, if it becomes clear to them that any statue of them which their countrymen may set up another man is going to appropriate, first removing the name of the victor who dedicated it and then putting his own name there, do you think that anyone will go there any longer even to witness the games, to say nothing of competing? It is for this reason, I think, that kings, too, claim such testimony as this.​11 22 For all men set great store by the outward tokens of high achievement, and not one man in a thousand is willing to agree that what he regards as a noble deed whole have been done for himself alone and that no other man shall have knowledge of it.

 p27  In Heaven's name, do you fail to recognize that this action of yours not only deprives those men of honour, but also leaves the city destitute of men who will be well-disposed and strenuous in her behalf?​12 For let not the thought enter the mind of any of you, that even if you do abolish that one honour, the honour of the grant of a statue, the other honours, nevertheless, cannot be taken away. For, in the first place, those who annul the greatest honour and that which every man is most anxious to gain, admit, I presume, that they are doing injury to the state in the greatest degree, since they concede that it would be injurious that all honours should have been abolished.

23 Moreover, there is this also to be considered — that wherever one part of an institution has been changed, there all parts alike have suffered change and no similar institution is secure. For those who have infringed the principle by observing which it was believed that a certain undesirable thing​13 would not happen, and because they thought the principle was of no importance, have thereby undermined every institution whose stability rested upon the same premises.​14 For instance, if a person should do away with any one whatsoever of the penalties of the law, he has not left any of the others secure either. 24 And if a man were to do away with the greatest of your punishments, banishment or death, it would necessarily be thought in the future that the lesser penalties also were not even on the statute books. Therefore, just as  p29 men who falsely stamp the currency, even if they injure only a part, are regarded as having ruined the whole by making it suspect, in like manner those who annul any of the honours or the punishments are doing away with the whole system and showing that it is worth nothing whatever. 25 Moreover, if anyone were to put this question to me: Admitted that each of the two things causes the greatest possible harm, namely, that there should be no confidence in the honours which a city bestows and that the punishment it inflicts should be ineffectual, if it is not possible to guard against both, which of them I consider more conducive to justice and characteristic of more respectable men, I should unhesitatingly say in reply, "That its punishments should be ineffectual," since this can be credited to humanity, to pity, and to other sentiments of that nature, the very qualities that characterize good men. But to let the memory of the noblest men be forgotten and to deprive them of the rewards of virtue cannot find any plausible excuse, but must be ascribed to ingratitude, envy, meanness and all the basest motives.​15 Again, whereas the former, when they relax their punishments, merely slacken their constraint upon those who are really bad, the latter are themselves committing the greatest sins against their benefactors. This is just as much worse than the other as committing a wrong yourself is worse than failing rigorously to prevent another man from committing a wrong.16

26 So, then, it cannot be said, either, that this is not the greatest of the gifts that have been given to any persons, since, apart from the fact that the truth is patent to everyone, those who deny it will be contradicting themselves. For they protest that it is  p31 necessary to honour many of the leading men at the present time, and that if it proves necessary to get statues made for them all, enormous expense will be incurred, since the other honours are not in keeping with their position, and the men themselves would not accept them, as being far too inadequate. 27 As to the matter of expense, you will see in a short time what there is in that plea. But that this is the greatest of your honours which they are taking away from the former recipients, is by this protest conceded.

Again, since it is preposterous to pass over any one of those who are worthy of honour and to offer no recompense for his benefaction, as those men above all others must admit who think it a terrible thing even to bestow a lesser honour than a person deserves; is it not an excess of wrong-doing to honour men and then, though having no fault to find with them, to deprive them of what has been given them? The one act, namely, means being ungrateful to your benefactors, but the other means insulting them; the one is a case of not honouring the good men, the other, of dishonouring them. 28 For whereas in the one case you merely fail to grant to men of excellent character what you believe is their due, in the other case you give them the treatment which is customarily accorded to men who are utterly base. If, for instance, any man who formerly was thought respectable should afterwards commit any unpardonable and grievous sin, such as plotting treason or a tyranny, the practice is to revoke this man's honours, even if previously he had received the honour of an inscription.​17 Then is it not a disgrace for you to consider that men who are admittedly the noblest deserve the same treatment as that which the laws command to be  p33 imposed on the impious and unholy, men who have not even a claim to a burial?​18 29 Consequently, I think that, great as is the desire which all men have to receive honour among other peoples, they will have just as great a desire, or even a greater, that they may never receive any such honour among you; inasmuch as everyone considers the insult and contumely to be a greater evil than he has regarded the honour a good. If, for instance, you were to invite anyone to take a seat of honour or should enroll him as a citizen with the intention of afterwards unseating him or depriving him of his citizen­ship, he would earnestly implore you to leave him alone. Take tyrants, for instance, or those kings whose statues were destroyed afterwards and whose names were blotted out by those who had been governed with violence and in defiance of law — the very thing, I am inclined to think, that has happened in your time also — I should emphatically say that, if they had foreseen that this was going to take place, they would not have permitted any city either to set up statues of themselves or to inscribe their names upon them.

30 And yet this argument shows, not only that these men are suffering injustice and outrageous treatment, but also that the argument by which some will perhaps urge that you shall continue your present practice is only an empty subterfuge, or rather, that it argues against the practice. I mean, if they shall say that it is both necessary and expedient to honour men of a later time also, is it not the very reverse of this to insult the men who in the past have received these honours? For what any man of former times would not have chosen to accept if he had known that this was going to happen, is it at all  p35 reasonable to suppose that any man of the present day is glad to accept when he sees what is being done? Consequently, even if not on account of those former benefactors, yet at any rate on account of these whom we are now honouring, it stands to reason that you should guard against the practice. 31 For all men look with suspicion on gifts which are proffered by those who to their knowledge disregard in this manner any person who formerly received public commendation and was regarded as a friend; but those men are especially suspicious who are getting the very honours of which they see that the previous recipients have been deprived. But if your motive should be that they were to receive this honour themselves, or, rather, be thought to have received it, they must at once look upon the action as downright pretence and a mockery. It would be much better to tell those who prefer to have you give yourselves very little concern about those who have previously been honoured, that there is no longer any need for honouring anybody at all, rather than, on the contrary, to bring into disrepute that practice which men say your city has the greatest need of and with respect to a greater number of persons now than ever before.

32 And yet, by Zeus and the gods, even if those who think they are now getting statues were going to feel the warmest gratitude towards you and to praise your democracy to the skies, not even so should this thing have been done. For merely to seek how one can please a person in what one does and how win his good will, and not to consider whether one will be wronging another person whom one should not wrong by so doing, or  p37 will be doing anything at all that one should not — by the gods I declare this befits neither liberal-minded men nor men of decent character. For no one, even the most wicked, chooses any base action which he does not think is to his own advantage at the time, but the essence of wickedness consists in being led by the desire of gain and profit to shrink from no base or unjust action and not to care about the nature of the act, but only whether it is profitable. 33 Therefore, the man who courts the person who is present but slights his former friend, and having forgotten the service this friend has rendered, places highest importance upon the hoped-for benefit from the other — do you not know the term that is applied to him? Is such a man not called a toady everywhere? Is he not considered ignoble, a man not to be trusted? As the case now stands, therefore, the city does not even get the advantage that sundry men are courted by her and so think they are getting a grand thing when their names are put into an inscription. For in fact the opposite is the case: they are annoyed and find fault when by themselves, even if on other occasions they are silent because they do not wish to give offence. Or if you should offer a man a counterfeit coin as a present, there is nobody who would ever willingly take it but would consider the offer an insult rather than a gift, and yet do you imagine that a counterfeit honour, a thing utterly worthless, is ever accepted by persons who have any sense? 34 Yet if any one sells another man's slave, or chattel, falsely claiming that it is his own, the man who is deceived is without exception very indignant, and it would surprise me if you would not even punish the offence with death; but if  p39 a person should be tricked into taking another man's statue to which he has no right from those who have no authority to give it — for what a person gives to another, he no longer has the authority to give to yet another — do you think that he is grateful to those who have duped him? 35 But I ask you, if my words seem rather bitter, not to be at all vexed with me; for I am by no means saying that it is you who do this, but that it happens, in a manner of speaking, against the wish of your city. Still, if the practice is of such a nature that it seems utterly shameful when subjected to examination, the more eagerly ought you to listen to the speaker, so as to be free from the shame of it for the future. For neither can our bodily troubles be healed without pain; and often the very presence of marked pain in the part treated is itself an indication that the treatment is making marked progress.

36 So what I said at the beginning I would not hesitate to say at this point also — that in every situation it is proper that good men should show themselves to be morally sound and to have in their character no equivocal or hateful trait, but, on the contrary, should be utterly free from deceit and baseness — I mean men who are like yourselves — and I think this applies especially to conferring honour and the giving of gifts. For to put any shame upon a noble practice, and to carry out unjustly that which is the most just thing in the world, is the mark of men who have no delicate sense of the nature of each act. Hence just as those who commit sacrilege are worse than those who err in respect to anything else, so too are those who prove unjust and wicked in the matter under discussion. 37 For what is more  p41 sacred than honour or gratitude? Do you not know that the majority of men regard the Graces as indeed goddesses?​19 Therefore, if anyone mutilated their statues or overturns their altars, you hold this man guilty of impiety; but if injury or ruin is done to that very grace (charis) from which these goddesses have derived their name (Charites) by anyone's performing a gracious act in a way that is not right, but in an ignoble, illiberal, and crafty manner showing rank ingratitude to his benefactors, can we say that such a man has sense and is more intelligent than his fellows? Nay, tradesmen who cheat in their measures, men whose livelihood from the very nature of the business depends upon base gain, you hate and punish; but if your city shall gain the reputation of playing the knave in connection with her commendations of good men and of making a traffic of her gifts, will you feel no shame that she makes her sacred awards equivocal and subject to repeated sale?​20 38 And do you give not even a thought to this truth — that nobody will ever again willingly have dealings with those tradesmen whose measures are dishonest?

And besides, that the practice is in essence such as I have shown, and that it is not my speech which casts reproach upon it, I ask you to see from the following consideration: If anyone were to inquire of you whether you prefer, in the case of those who receive honours from you and on whom you think you are bestowing the statues, that they should know  p43 the truth and what sort of transaction it is, or that they should be kept in ignorance, it is perfectly clear what you would say if you are in your right senses. For what was there to prevent your writing explicitly in the decree to begin with, just like its other provisions, this also: that 'their statue shall be one of those already erected' or 'shall be So-and‑so's', if you really wanted the recipients also to understand? But you will never put this in your decrees, I warrant! 39 Well, it is perfectly clear that no one tries to disguise things that are done in a straightforward fashion and have nothing irregular about them. And I think it is even more obvious that nobody would be in the least inclined to take precautions to prevent men who are receiving favours at their hands from knowing in just what manner they were getting them and anything whatsoever that was being done in connection with the honour, at least if the action taken were done in a sincere and honourable way. So what is now happening must necessarily be contemptible in every way and ill-befitting for even a man in private station. For the man who, in the very act of doing a kindness to others either because he has previously received a kindness from them, or because he is actually taking the initiative and inviting them to be his friends, then deceives and cheats — what would such a man do in an honest fashion?

So, then, you do know that no one is unaware of what is going on, nay, it is notorious and on everybody's tongue, not only now that certain cities have followed this practice to great excess and with utter lack of restraint, but because it is being done even among you. 40 For the high standing of your city and  p45 her greatness allow nothing that goes on here to remain unknown; and the greater decorum of your conduct as compared with that of any other city; and, besides, I presume, your being the most prosperous of the Greeks, all arouse dislike and jealousy, so that there are many who watch to see if you appear to be at fault in any matter. Therefore those who prefer that what they do shall remain utterly unknown thereby reveal a sign of baseness, while those who think that what nobody is ignorant of goes unnoticed show their simplicity; and you would not care to have your city held guilty of both these faults!

41 "Oh yes!" you say, "but we shall be put to expense if we do not use those we already have! And what sums will be required if we are to have new statues made for all those to whom we vote them!"

And how much better it would be to make the gift to fewer persons rather than to deceive a larger number, since you will be condemned and hated by a larger number, for they know well what you are doing!

Again, if they are not very distinctly superior men whose memorials you are now setting up in some fashion or other — and if you are wise, you will by no means say that they are — see what takes place: on account of the inferior you are wronging the excellent; for your ancestors, I dare assert, did not bestow their admiration at random or upon any undeserving person.​21 On the other hand, if you are honouring good men, then these have good reason to be indignant at your action. 42 For what fair-minded man would wish another to be ill-treated on his account and deprived of what had been justly given? How could he help being angry at such  p47 treatment, instead of feeling grateful? To take another case: no man, if he were honourable, would consent to get a wife through having committed adultery with her, because by that act he had done an injury to her former husband;​22 or rather, a man would not willingly take any woman at all away from another, her husband, although this is often done without any base motive. But an honour, which it is not possible justly to take away from another person or without inflicting an injury​23 on him — do you think that anyone cares to have, even though he is not expecting to be subjected to any such treatment himself? Nay, a man who is buying a slave inquires if he ever ran away, and if he would not stay with his first master; but a gift or a favour which a man believes was not given in good faith and which he knows well enough has no permanence in it at all — would he willingly accept that?

43 "Yes," you say, "for the majority of them are Romans and who would think of touching​24 them? But those who stand beside them here are Macedonians, while these over here are Spartans, and by heavens, it is these we touch."

And yet all that stood here formerly, or the most of them at any rate, you will admit were erected in acknowledgement of a benefaction, whereas of those now receiving honour many are being courted owing to their political power. Now the question which of the two classes has the greater right to be held in higher regard I will pass over; but this further question, which of the two classes — assuming  p49 that the honours granted are not to belong rightfully to all — can more reasonably be expected to take them on the basis of so uncertain a title, this question, I say, even these men themselves know well how to answer. For all know how much more permanent a benefaction is than power, for there is no strength which time does not destroy, but it destroys no benefaction. 44 Assuming, therefore, that we may reject that extreme view, which in a sense is true, that those who are seeking to be honoured in this way are quite displeased with your city and take what is done as an insult and affront to themselves, yet at least I assert positively that they feel no gratitude whatever to you and do not think that they are getting anything, knowing as they do what is taking place and the unscrupulousness displayed in it. In heaven's name, when even if the men in question do accept from us honours which we should have no right to take away from their former recipients, are we, then, to take them away from whoever possesses them, even though we do not really 'give' them to another set of men?

45 Furthermore, if in cases where the city is thought to need anything, we shall consider the expense alone and how the thing can be done most easily, examining into no other aspects of the matter, what is to prevent our having not only this gift ready at hand, but any other favour you may wish to bestow upon any one, such as land, money, or a house, by simply taking them away from those who have them? Or what need is there to seek ways and means and to expend the public money when occasion arises to repair either a wall or ships, instead of merely taking So-and‑so's property, either that of some citizen or  p51 of one of the strangers who are sojourning among you?​c

"Never, by Zeus," you say, "they will raise an outcry and say that it is an outrage."

46 Then it will be possible, presumably, to pay no attention to them. For even if there are now those​25 to whom they can appeal when you act this way, in the old days, at any rate, there was no person who had greater authority than the people.

"Can it be that the men of that time treated individuals in that way?"

What nonsense! Why, they considered it to be the worst thing imaginable, and prayed the gods that the time might never come in which it would be necessary that each individual citizen should ever be obliged to pay a tax out of his own private means; and it is said that so extreme a measure has only rarely been taken among you in spite of all your wars, except at a time when your city was in extreme peril.26

47 Now perhaps some one will say that the statues belong to the city. Yes, and the land also belongs to the city, but none the less every one who possesses any has full authority over what is his own. Speaking in a political sense, if anyone inquires who owns the Island​27 or who owns Caria, he will be told that the Rhodians own it. But if you ask in a different sense about this specific estate here or this field, it is clear that you will learn the name of the private owner. So also with the statues; in a general  p53 sense men say that they belong to the people of Rhodes, but in the particular or special sense they say that this or that statue belongs to So-and‑so or to So-and‑so, naming whatever man it has been given to. And yet, whereas in the case of estates, houses, and other possessions, you cannot learn who owns them unless you inquire, the statue has an inscription on it and preserves not only the name but also the lineaments of the man to whom it was first given, so that it is possible to step near and at once know whose it is. I refer to those on which the truth is still given.28

48 Moreover, the plea that they stand on public property is most absurd, if this is really held to be an indication that they do not belong to those who received them, but to the city. Why, if that be true, it will be possible to say that also the things which are on sale in the centre of the market-place belong to the commonwealth, and that the boats, no doubt, do belong, not to their possessors, but to the city, just because they are lying in the harbours.

Then, too, an argument which I heard a man advance, as a very strong one in support of that position, I am not disposed to conceal from you: he said that you have made an official list of your statues. What, pray, is the significance of that? Why, the country lying opposite us,​29 Carpathos yonder,​30 the mainland,​31 the other islands, and in general many possessions can be found which the city has listed in its public records, but they have been parcelled out among individuals. 49 And in fine,  p55 even if each man who has been honoured does not in this sense 'possess' his statue as he would possess anything else he has acquired, it cannot for that reason be said that it belongs to him any the less or that he suffers no wrong when you give his statue to another. For you will find countless senses in which we say that a thing 'belongs' to an individual and very different senses too, for instance, a priesthood, a public office, a wife, citizen­ship, none of which their possessors are at liberty either to sell or to use in any way they like. 50 But certainly a common principle of justice is laid down in regard to them all, to the effect that anything whatsoever which any one has received justly — whether he happens to have got it once for all​32 or for a specified time, just as, for instance, he obtains public offices — that is his secure possession and nobody can deprive him of it. How, then, is it possible to have anything more justly, than when a man who has proved himself good and worthy of gratitude receives honour in return for many noble deeds? Or from whom could he receive it that has fuller authority and is greater than the democracy of Rhodes and your city? For it is no trifling consideration that it was not the Calymnians​33 who gave it, or those ill-advised Caunians;​34 just as in private business the better and more trustworthy you prove the man to be from whom you obtain any possession, the stronger your title to it is, and by so much more no one can dispute it. Yet any  p57 city which one might mention is in every way better and more trustworthy than one private citizen, even if he has the highest standing,​35 and arrangements made by the state are more binding than those which are negotiated privately.

51 Then consider, further, that all men regard those agreements as having greater validity which are made with the sanction of the state and are entered in the city's records; and it is impossible for anything thus administered to be annulled, either in case one buys a piece of land from another, a boat or a slave, or if a man makes a loan to another, or frees a slave, or makes gift to any one. How in the world, then, has it come to pass that these transactions carry a greater security than any other? It is because the man who has handled any affair of his in this way has made the city a witness to the transaction. 52 In heaven's name, will it then be true that, while anything a person may get from a private citizen by acting through the state cannot possibly be taken from him, yet what one has received, not only by a state decree, but also as a gift of the people, shall not be inalienable?​36 And whereas an action taken in this way by anybody else will never be annulled by the authority of the state, yet shall the state, in the offhand way we observe here, cancel what it has itself done? — and that too, not by taking it away in the same manner in which it was originally given, that is, by the commonwealth officially, but by letting one man, if he happens to be your chief magistrate,​37 have the power to do so? 53 And besides, there are official records of those transactions of which I have spoken; for the decrees by which honours are given are recorded, I take it, and  p59 remain on public record for all time. For though repaying a favour is so strictly guarded among you, yet taking it back from the recipients is practised with no formality at all. Then, while the one action cannot be taken except by a decree passed by you as a body, yet the other comes to pass by a sort of custom, even though it is the will of only one person. Note, however, that, as I said, these matters have been recorded officially, not only in the decrees, but also upon the statues themselves, on which we find both the name of the man who received the honour and the statement that the assembly has bestowed it, and, again, that these statues are set up on public property.

54 Well then, that there is nothing in the official list,​38 or in the fact that these memorials stand on public property, which tends to show that they do not belong to those who have received them, has perhaps long been evident; but in order that nobody may even attempt to dispute it, let me mention this: You know about the Ephesians, of course, and that large sums of money are in their hands, some of it belonging to private citizens and deposited in the temple of Artemis, not alone money of the Ephesians but also of aliens and of persons from all parts of the world, and in some cases of commonwealths and kings, money which all deposit there in order that it may be safe, since no one has ever yet dared to violate that place, although countless wars have occurred in the past and the city has often been captured. Well, that the money is deposited on state property is indeed evident, but it also is evident, as the lists show, that it is the custom of the Ephesians to have these deposits  p61 officially recorded.​39 55 Well then, do they go on and take any of these monies when any need arises, or do they 'borrow' them at any rate — an act which, perhaps, will not seem at all shocking?​40 No; on the contrary, they would sooner, I imagine, strip off the adornment of the goddess than touch this money. Yet you would not say that the Ephesians are wealthier than yourselves. The very opposite is the case, for not only were you the richest of the Greeks in former times, but now you are still richer; whereas the Ephesians, one can see, are less prosperous than many.

56 Pray do not say this: "The people who deposited that money have the privilege of withdrawing it, but no one has in this way the disposal of his own statue," and do not consider the cases dissimilar. For in my desire to show that not all things deposited in a public place and recorded officially belong forthwith to the city, I used this case as an illustration. The fact, however, that no one has a statue for any other purpose than to stand in your midst — the one respect in which these men differ from those who deposit their money there​41 — speaks still more in their behalf. For when it is not lawful for even the recipients of gifts to annul them, can it possibly be right that the donors should have the power to do so?

57 However, I seem to be arguing quite needlessly against the man who asserts that all the statues belong to the city; for this is no indication that  p63 what is being done is not an outrage. For instance, consider the votive offerings in the sacred places: the city made them at its own expense and dedicated them. No one would dispute that they are the property of the people. Then will it not be an outrage if we misappropriate them for some other purpose?

"Yes, by heaven," you rejoin, "for these are dedications, but the statues are marks of honour; the former have been given to the gods, the latter to good men, who, to be sure, are nearest of kin to them."

58 "And yet," I reply, "all men of highest virtue are both said to be and in fact are beloved of the gods.​42 Can it be, then, that while not he who deprives us of any of our possessions, but whoever does an injury to our friends, is guilty of an altogether greater wrong, yet we are to say of the gods, as it seems we are doing, that they are more inclined to slight their friends than they are their possessions?

Nay, on the contrary, it is right that in regard to all sorts of possessions those who have acquired them should be secure in their tenure, especially in a democracy and among a people like yourselves, who take the greatest pride in having matters in your state handled in accordance with law and justice, and above all, I should imagine, your honours and expressions of gratitude; not only because even a man of no account might have all other things, such as money, houses, slaves, lands, whereas those two are possessions enjoyed by virtuous men alone, but also for the reason that these things can be acquired through some other means, such as inheritance or purchase, whereas such things  p65 as honours and grateful recognition are acquired through virtue alone.

59 Furthermore, those things for which a man has paid the price to their owners nobody even thinks of maintaining, I presume, that he cannot justly be permitted to keep for himself, and the more so, the greater price he has paid. Well, each and every one of these men has paid a price for his statue and no moderate price either; some of them brilliant service as generals in defence of the city, others as ambassadors, while others have given trophies won from the enemy, and certain others money as well, perhaps — not, by heavens, a mere matter of a thousand or five hundred drachmas, sums for which it is possible to erect statues.

60 Well, what then? Is it not the established usage, at any rate among men who are not utterly lacking in sense of justice, that whoever is dispossessed of any piece of property should recover at least what he paid from those who have seized it? Would you, then, be willing to give back the favours in return for which you voted those honoured men their statues? It is to your advantage, at any rate, to make payment — since there are those who think a man ought to look out for his own advantage from whatever source.​43 61 Therefore, if a man has carried through a war successfully, a war so threatening that, had he not had the good fortune to win it for the people of his day, we who now live would not have our city, or if he has won back our freedom for us, or is one of the Restorers​44 of our city — for we cannot state specifically what persons have enjoyed  p67 this good fortune, or will enjoy it, since that comes as it will and only by caprice, so to speak — I am afraid the conclusion may be unpleasant to state, namely, that if we wish to do the right thing, we shall actually have to cede to him the city herself! But if there should be any man who has indeed made such a splendid offering that even with the best of intentions we are unable to repay him — and countless are those who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of the city and at the price of life itself have bought their statue and the inscription — are they not, as I asked before, being treated shamefully?

62 And what is more, we cannot say that it is not ourselves who have received these benefits. For, in the first place, all the obligations incurred by our ancestors are debts which are owed, no less than they were owed by the ancestors themselves, by all those to whom their blood has descended. For you will not say that you withdraw from the succession! In the second place, all the benefits, valuable and great as they are, which have accrued from the services which certain men rendered to your ancestors in their time, and from what they gladly suffered or did in their behalf, are now yours: the glory of your city, its greatness, its pre-eminence over all other cities save one.​45 63 If, therefore, simply because these benefactors did not receive their gifts from you directly, you think you are committing a lesser wrong than if you take away from a man a piece of property that came into his hands in some other way, you are blind to truths most patent: first, that all those who deprive anybody of anything whatsoever do just as great a wrong to the man from whom he once happens to have received it; for instance,  p69 those who demolish any public building which some individual benefactor built as an expression of his gratitude to you, would seem to wrong the builder more than the city. Therefore, when it is the city that has given something to one of its own citizens, the same argument applies to the man who would deprive him of this. For this reason, in addition to wronging the persons whose statues you have set up, you are also, in my opinion, wronging the city which gave them, that is, your own selves. 64 But whereas he who sins against another man and thereby benefits himself is guilty of wrongdoing only, in the eyes of the majority, he who wrongs his own self while wronging another man shows an exceeding measure of depravity and is looked upon as needlessly a fool also.

Besides this, one might consider another point also. The man who simply takes away from any one that which is justly in his possession, no matter how he got it, errs in this very act, since he is doing a thing which is by its very nature unseemly; but the man who deprives any one of what he himself has given in the way of honour and gratitude, not only violates that universal principle which says that we should injure no one, but also does wrong to a good man, and that, too, the man whom he ought least of all to wrong. For in no case do you see honours being given to worthless men or to those from whom no benefit has been received. 65 How very much worse it is to rob good men of honours bestowed than to rob anybody else, and to injure your benefactors than to injure any chance person, is something that nobody fails to see.

Moreover, let us take the case of the Ephesians:  p71 Leaving aside scruples having to do with the goddess,​46 one would say that they commit a misdeed if they take from the deposits to which I have referred, so far as the act itself is concerned;​47 but that people who treat the statues in this way do an injustice, not merely, to be sure, for the reasons already given — that they would be wronging persons in no wise related to themselves, the majority of whom they did not even know — but also on account of the ill repute which arises from their act. For to those who have not taken good care of a deposit entrusted to them nobody would thereafter entrust any of his own property; but those who insult their benefactors will by nobody be esteemed to deserve a favour. Consequently, the danger for you is that you will no longer receive benefactions at the hands of anybody at all, while the danger to the Ephesians is merely that they will no longer have other persons' property to take care of.

66 I wish, moreover, to mention a deed of yours which took place not very long ago, and yet is commended by everyone no less than are the deeds of the men of old, in order that you may know by making comparison whether on principle it is seemly for people like you to be guilty of such behaviour as this. After that continuous and protracted civil war among the Romans,​48 during which it was your misfortune to suffer a reverse on account of your  p73 sympathy with the democracy,​49 when, finally, the terrible scenes came to an end, and all felt they were safe at last, just as in a severe illness there is often need of some heroic remedy, so then, too, the situation seemed to require a similar corrective measure. Consequently all the provinces were granted a remission of their debts.​50 67 Now the others accepted it gladly, and saw in the measure a welcome gift; but you Rhodians alone of all rejected it, although the capture of your city had recently occurred, as I have said, and the enemy had spared nothing in the city except your dwellings. But nevertheless, you thought it would be a shame to violate any principle of justice in any crisis whatsoever and on account of the disasters that had befallen you to destroy your credit to boot; and while deferring to the Romans in everything else, you did not think it right to yield to them in this one respect — of choosing a dishonourable course for the sake of gain.​51 68 For the things, methinks, which you saw that Rome did not lack because of its high character at once and of its good fortune, these you demonstrated that your city did not lack, because of its high character alone. Certainly you will not say, men of Rhodes, that gratitude is owing less to those who have done a service than to those who were ready to contribute the amount of your debt.52

After that, though you thought it a scandal not to pay your debts willingly, yet is it an equitable  p75 act, having discharged an obligation, then to rob the recipient of his requital?​53 For surely you have not supposed that it is more shameful to act dishonourably in common with all the world than to be alone in so doing! And yet when that great revolution occurred at the time I have mentioned and there was repudiation of every kind, the gifts which had been made remained undisturbed in the possession of those who had received them previously, and no one was so bold as to try to exact a return from those who already had anything.​54 You, however, are at this present time not leaving undisturbed even what you were so prompt to pay to your benefactors, but although at that time you would not consent to follow in any respect the same course as all the others took, and that too, in spite of the reverses you had suffered, now when you are prosperous you do what not a single one of the peoples in that crisis did!

69 And yet the action taken in regard to the debts you will find was taken at other times as well; Solon, for instance, is said to have taken it once at Athens.​55 For apart from the fact that this measure often becomes necessary in view of the insolvency of those who have contracted loans, there are times also when it is even justifiable on account of the high rate of interest, on occasions when lenders have got back in interest their principal many times over. But to deprive the recipients of the tokens of gratitude which they have received in return for their benefactions can find no plausible excuse, nor has anyone ever yet formally proposed the adoption of this procedure; no, this is almost the only thing in the world for which there has never yet been found any occasion.

 p77  70 Furthermore, the following two practices have alike been considered worthy of being most carefully guarded against in our laws and as deserving of execration and the most extreme penalties, namely, a proposal that debts be cancelled, or that the land ought to be redistributed. Well, of these two measures, the former has never been adopted in your city; the latter, however, of which we have not the slightest knowledge that it ever has been taken, please consider by comparing it with the practice under examination. If the land were being parcelled out anew, the very worst consequence would be that the original holder should be put on an equality with the man who possessed no land at all; but where a man's statue has been given to another, the one who has been robbed is by no means on an equality with the man who received it. For the latter has gained the honour, if you can really call it such, whereas the other has nothing left.

71 Come, then, if any one were to question the magistrate who is set over you, who commands that the inscription be erased and another man's name engraved in its place, asking: "What does this mean? Ye gods, has this man been found guilty of having done the city some terrible wrong so many years after the deed?" In heaven's name, do you not think that he would be deterred, surely if he is a man of common decency? For my part I think that even the mason will blush for shame. And then if children or kinsmen of the great man should happen to appear, what floods of tears do you think they will shed when some one begins to obliterate the name? 72 No, not they merely, but everybody will protest, coming before you, in your assembly, creating  p79 an uproar. Let me ask you, then: Even if such a demonstration does occur, will you refrain from trying to prevent the deed, and take no notice at all? I for my part cannot conceive of your taking such a course, but rather maintain that even now you do not know that this is going on, but that you will not permit it, now that you have learned of it; anyhow you know it all now at any rate, I imagine, so that it is your duty to put a stop to the practice once for all.

"Oh! but assuredly your illustration is not apposite," someone may object, "since many of them are persons who have no surviving relative and the practice is not followed in the case of any person who is well known."

73 Well, for my part, I will pass over the point that even if some are unaware, as is likely, that some of these honoured men are related to them, yet none the less on this account they suffer an injustice if their ancestors are dishonoured. But far more grievous at all events, it seems to me, is the wrong done to those honoured men who have not one single surviving relative. For in the case of the living it seems a greater indignity to wrong those who have not even one person left to help them. For on that principle you might as well say that it is not cruel to injure orphans either, children utterly alone in the world, who cannot protect themselves and have no one else to care for them. But you, on the contrary, look upon such conduct with even greater displeasure, and through the state appoint guardians to protect them from any possible wrong.

74 But, speaking in general terms, while none of the pleas that these people intend to urge has any  p81 equitable basis whatever, the most absurd plea of all is to say that after all they are not molesting any of the statues of well-known persons, nor those whose owners any one knows, but that they take liberties with sundry insignificant and very ancient ones. It is as if a person should say that he did not wrong any prominent citizen, but only those of the common crowd, persons whom nobody knows! And yet, by heavens, I maintain that the two cases are not alike. For in the case of the living one person is more prominent than another owing to his good birth or his good character, and it may also be on account of his wealth or for other good reasons; but in the case of the statues, on the contrary, one cannot point to one group and say 'These are statues of better men.' For it is not due to their humble birth or any baseness that we do not know them, seeing that they have received the same honours as the most famous men, but our ignorance has come about through lapse of time.

75 Moreover, insofar as the men of the past were, as all believe, always superior by nature to those of the succeeding generations,​56 and as in ancient times it was a rarer thing for any men to receive this honour, just in so far were those better men and the authors of greater blessings against whom it is acknowledged we are sinning. And that both these statements are true is clear, for we know that the exceedingly ancient men were demi-gods and that those who followed them were not much inferior to them; in  p83 the second place, we understand that their successors steadily deteriorated in the course of time, and finally, we know that the men of to‑day are no better than ourselves. Indeed formerly even those who gave their lives for the state were not set up in bronze,​57 but only the occasional man who performed extraordinary and wonder­ful exploits; but now we honour those that land at our ports,​58 so that we should transfer to new owners, if transfer we must, rather the later statues and those which have been set up nearest the present time. 76 For you are not unaware, I presume, that all persons of good sense love their old friends more and esteem them more highly than those who have become their friends but recently, and that they honour their ancestral family friends altogether more than they do those whose acquaintance they themselves have made. For any who transgress the rights of these letter wrong them alone, but those who annul any of the rights of the former must also despise the men who accept their friendship.​59 77 And, to state a general principle, just as when any man now living whom you do not know very well personally or not at all is being subjected to a judicial examination in your courts, you listen to those who do know him and cast your vote according to what the witnesses say, especially if they are not knaves; so do the same thing now also. Since we too are speaking concerning men whom they say that no one now alive knows anything about,​60 learn from those who did know them.​61 Well then, those who lived in their time, who knew them perfectly, regarded them as benefactors of the city and considered them worthy  p85 of the highest honours. These are witnesses whom you have no right to disbelieve, being indeed your own forefathers — nor yet to declare that they were knaves.62

78 Furthermore, you cannot advance any such argument, either, as to say that those who were honoured long ago have held their honours for a long time. For it will not be possible for you to prove that those men have been honoured for a longer time by the city than the city has been the recipient of their benefactions. Hence, just as a man who incurred a debt long ago and long ago repaid it has done not a whit more than the man who pays back now what he has just received, so does a similar statement apply if it was very long ago indeed that a man requited another for a benefit received from him at that time. 79 But the case would be different if you had given exemption from taxes, money, land, or some other such thing and were now taking it away — then perhaps those who would have received such an exemption afterwards would indeed suffer a greater wrong; for the man who has held such things for any length of time has received benefit and advantage therefrom already. But in the case of an honour conferred there is nothing like this. For whereas the former are better off for the future as well, since what they acquired then is the source of wealth which they enjoy now; the others, on the contrary, find that they have suffered an actual diminution of their honours. For in the one case the loss is less because the men have enjoyed the usufruct for a long time, but in the other case the dishonour is greater, since the victims are being deprived of a very ancient honour.

 p87  80 And that the present practice is not free from impiety either, especially in view of the way these men describe it, I shall now prove, even if some will think that I speak with intent to exaggerate — not, as I said before,​63 because offences committed with reference to the dead are all without exception acts of impiety, but also because it is generally believed that the men of very ancient times were semi-divine, even if they have no exceptional attribute, simply, I presume, on account of their remoteness in time. And those who are so highly revered and have been held worthy of the highest honours, some of whom actually enjoy the mystic rites given to heroes, men who have lain buried so many years that even the memory of them has disappeared — how can they possibly be designated in the same way​64 as those who have died in our own time or only a little earlier, especially when these latter have not shown themselves worthy of any honour? 81 And assuredly, acts of impiety toward the heroes everyone would agree without demur should be put in the same class as impiety toward the gods. Well then, is it not a wrongful act to blot out their memory? To take away their honour? To chisel out their names? Yes, it is a shame and an outrage, by Zeus. 82 But if anyone removes a crown that will last perhaps one or two days, or if one puts a stain on the bronze, you will regard this man guilty of impiety; and yet will you think that the man who utterly blots out and changes and destroys another's glory is doing nothing out of the way? Why, if anyone takes a spear out of a statue's hand, or breaks the crest off his helmet, or the shield off his arm or a bridle off his horse, you will straightway hand this man over to the executioner, and he  p89 will suffer the same punishment as temple-robbers — just as many undoubtedly have already been put to death for such reasons — and they give them no more consideration because it is one of the nameless and very old statues they have mutilated. Then shall the city in its official capacity prove altogether worse and more contemptible in the treatment of its heroes?

83 Again, if a person comes in and says that some stranger or even citizen has stolen either a hand or a finger that he has taken from a statue, you will raise an outcry and bid him be put to the torture forthwith. Yet, even though the statue has been deprived of a hand or a spear, or a goblet if it happens to be holding one, the honour remains and the man who received the honour retains the symbol of his merits; it is the bronze alone that has suffered a loss. But when the inscription is destroyed, obviously its testimony has also been destroyed that the person in question is "considered to have shown himself worthy of approbation."

84 And so I now wish to tell you of a practice which I know is followed at Athens, and here too, I imagine, in accordance with a most excellent law. In Athens, for instance, whenever any citizen has to suffer death at the hands of the state for a crime, his name is erased​65 first. Why is this done? One reason is that he may no longer be considered a citizen when he undergoes such a punishment but, so far as that is possible, as having become an alien. 85 Then, too, I presume that it is looked upon as not the least part of the punishment itself, that even the appellation​66 should no longer be seen of the man who had gone so far in wickedness, but should be utterly blotted out, just as, I believe, traitors are denied  p91 burial, so that in the future there may be no trace whatever of a wicked man. Come, therefore, if anyone says that in the case of benefactors the same course is followed in your city as is customary among many peoples in the case of evil-doers, will you not be exceedingly offended? Then do not be vexed at the man who seems to have given expression to this criticism on the present occasion, for you may find that he is to be thanked for its not being said again in the future or even always.

86 Again, if any one chisels out only one word from any official tablet, you will put him to death without stopping to investigate what the word was or to what it referred; and if anyone should go to the building where your public records are kept and erase one jot of any law, or one single syllable of a decree of the people, you will treat this man just as you would any person who should remove a part of the Chariot.​67 Well then, does the man who erases the inscription on a statue commit a less serious offence than the man who chisels something off the official tablet? Indeed the fact is that he erases the entire decree by virtue of which that man received his honour, or rather he annuls the record of it. But if anyone who for any offence whatever is condemned to some punishment erases his own name secretly or by intrigue, he will be thought to be destroying the constitution. Accordingly, you think it a more serious matter for a person to free himself from punishment than to deprive another man of his honour!

 p93  87 Neither can I, furthermore, pass over another thing, inasmuch as I have based my argument on the assumption of an act of impiety. For you Rhodians are perfectly aware that, while the whole city is sacred, yet you will find that many of the statues which stand within your very sanctuaries have been subjected to this indignity. For it so happened that these are very ancient; and whenever one of your chief magistrates wants to flatter any person, he is always eager, carrying out the idea that you are giving the honour, to have him set up in bronze in the finest possible place. What need is there of words? For I suppose that no one would deny that even of the statues so placed, even though the facts do not exactly accord with the statement I made a moment ago, the greater number have had the names on them changed, and some, I believe, that stand very close indeed to the statues of the gods.​68 88 What then? Is it not outrageous if we shall be found to be wronging our benefactors in the very place where it is not the custom to wrong even those who have committed some evil deed, if they flee there for refuge? And are such places to be unable, as seems to be the case, to afford to good men alone the sanctuary they afford to worthless men? Nay, if anyone merely shifts from its position a censer or a goblet belonging to the treasures dedicated inside a temple, he will be regarded as guilty of sacrilege just as much as those who filch those sacred things; 89 but if it is a statue and an honour that he shifts, does he do nothing out of the way? And yet any of us could say that the statues too are just as much votive offerings belonging to the gods, that is, the statues which stand in gods' sanctuaries; and one may see  p95 many of them inscribed to that effect; for instance, "So-and‑so set up a statue of himself (or of his father, or of his son) as dedicate to a god" (whatever god it might be). Hence, if one removes the name of the person so honoured from any of the other dedications​69 and inscribes the name of a different person, are we to say that the person now in question is alone not guilty of impiety? Apollo would not allow, as you know, the man of Cymê​70 to remove the nestlings from his precinct, saying that they were his suppliants.

90 Moreover, the arguments by which some persons will attempt to make the practice appear more consistent with honour will prove it to be in every way less creditable: for instance, when they say that itº is the very old statues that they misuse and that some of them also bear no inscriptions. Well, if one were inclined to concede to them that this is the case, I should not make the obvious retort, that, after all, I am at present speaking about those which do bear inscriptions; on the contrary, I maintain that they have no right to touch those others either. As for my reasons, just consider, men of Rhodes, what the motive was which in all probability led to the statues being set up uninscribed. For it is not reasonable to suppose that the man who set them up merely over­looked this matter, or hesitated to inscribe the names, or wanted to save the expense of an inscription; for there was no expense. 91 There remains, consequently, one of two possible reasons: in the case of some, since they were very great men indeed and in very truth heroes, it was considered unnecessary to add an inscription, in the thought that the statues would be recognized by everybody and because it was believed that, on  p97 account of the surpassing glory then​71 attaching to these men, their names would remain for all future time; or else because the persons honoured, being the sons of certain demi-gods or even of gods, had later through lapse of time been forgotten. For it is not the custom to put inscriptions on the statues of the gods, so that I rather expect that some of the others, too, are in this class. 92 In Thebes, for example, a certain Alcaeus​72 has a statue which they say is a Heracles and was formerly so called; and among the Athenians there is an image of a boy who was an initiate in the mysteries at Eleusis and it bears no inscription; he, too, they say, is a Heracles. And in various other places I know of many statues, some of which represent demi-gods and others heroes, as, for example, Achilles, Sarpedon,​73 Theseus, which for this reason had not been inscribed from the first; and they say there is in Egypt a colossal statue of Memnon similarly uninscribed.​74 But in the case of some of them their glory has remained and time has guarded their fame; but for some reason this did not happen in the case of all of them. 93 Therefore, among you also it is not impossible that there are some like these. So you might, for instance, be giving a statue of Heracles, or, let us say, of Tlepolemus,​75 or of one of the children of Helius,​76 to So-and‑so, no doubt an excellent man and deserving of honour. For even supposing all are such whose favour the city seeks to win — and  p99 we may well pray that they may all be good men, and especially your rulers — yet they are not the equals of those great men of the past. How could they be? Not even the men themselves would maintain that they are only a little inferior to them; nay, they would actually be afraid to make any such claim. Does it seem to you from the arguments which have been advanced that you should choose to begin with those statues — I mean with those which have no inscription — and extend the practice to all, or that you should very decidedly spare all of that kind?

94 And yet, after all, this plea of ignorance and of antiquity is about the same as if a person should say that those who rifle the very old tombs do no wrong, on the ground that no one of the dead is related to them and we do not even know who they are. No, the tomb is rather an indication, not of its occupant's excellence, but of his affluence; nor can we say of those who rest in sepulchres that they were good men, except where there is evidence in a particular case that the person had received burial by the state,​77 just as I suppose happened to those men in a sense. But the statue is given for distinguished achievement and because a man was in his day regarded as noble. For that no one of these men was given a statue who had been convicted of theft or adultery is perfectly clear; nor was the award made for ordinary performances, but for the very greatest possible deeds.

95 Again, because men such as these also share in a sort of divine power and purpose, one might say, I wish to tell of an incident that happened in the case  p101 of a statue. Theagenes was a Thasian athlete.​78 He was thought to surpass in physical strength the men of his own day, and in addition to many other triumphs had won the victor's crown three times at Olympia. And when he gave up competing and returned to his native city, thenceforth, though his body was past its prime, he was a man inferior to none in the affairs of his country, but was, so far as a man may be, a most excellent citizen. For that reason, probably, he incurred the enmity of one of the politicians. 96 And although while he lived, the other man merely envied him, yet after the death of Theagenes the other committed a most senseless and impious act; for under cover of night he would scourge the man's statue, which had been erected in the centre of the city. Consequently, whether by accident​79 or because some divinity was incensed at him, the statue at one time moved from its base and, following the lash back, slew the man. And since there was a law which required, in case any inanimate object should fall upon a person and cause his death, that they should first give it a trial and then sink it in the sea,​80 the relatives of the dead man got judgment against the statue and sank it in the sea. 97 And then, when a most grievous pestilence broke out, so they say, and the people of Thasos, being unable in any way to get rid of the plague, finally consulted the oracle, the god announced to  p103 them that they should "restore the exiles." When all who were in exile had returned and no improvement came, and the Thasians consulted the god again, the story is that the Pythian priestess gave them the following reply:

"Him that did fall in the ocean's deep sands you now have forgotten,

Even Theagenes staunch, victor in myriad games."​81

These lines make it evident both that the oracle was not delivered in the first place for the exiles' sake but for Theagenes', and also that what afterwards happened​82 had been due to no other cause.

98 And let no one interrupt and say:

"What of it? Do we make away with our statues or throw them aside?"

No, but you are dishonouring the men whose statues they are and you are robbing their rightful owners, just as the god felt on the occasion to which we refer, since it is not reasonable to suppose that it was the image of bronze about which he was troubled. Do not, therefore, think that, although the god was so indignant at the insult shown to the Thasian, no one of those who have been honoured in your city is dear to Heaven or that none is a hero.

99 Neither can we be so sure, moreover, that such treatment might not be brought about by some persons through hatred, I mean if it so happens that one of your chief magistrates has a grudge against any of his predecessors. You have heard how the Theagenes incident, at any rate, grew out of political envy and jealousy. For even if they urge that now they  p105 follow this practice only in the case of the old statues, yet as time goes on, just as ever happens in the case of all bad habits, this one too will of necessity grow worse and worse.​83 The reason is that it is utterly impossible to call the culprit to account because the whole business from first to last lies in his​84 hands.

"Yes, by heavens," you say, "but the kinsmen will certainly put a stop to it."

Well then, if the kinsmen happen to be absent or to have had no knowledge of the matter, what do we propose to do when they do learn of it? Will it be necessary to chisel out again the man's name which someone has been in a hurry to insert?

100 Again, since this practice is quite improper, or impious rather, it would be less of an outrage if it were not done under the pretext which some offer by way of excusing the city. For everybody considers it a greater disgrace to do for money anything whatsoever that is in other respects disgraceful, than to do it for any other reason. So when they put forward as a plea the cost and the necessity of going to heavy expense if you shall ever undertake to make another lot of statues, and thus seek to condone the practice, it is clear that they make the reproach all the worse, since men are going to think that you are doing a wrong thing for the sake of money, and that too although you are rich, richer than the people of any other Hellenic state.

101 And yet why, pray, did not something like this happen in the time of your ancestors, seeing that they had no more wealth than you now possess? For you must not suppose that anyone is unaware that your island has not deteriorated, that you draw revenue from Caria and a part of Lycia and possess  p107 tribute-paying cities, that large sums of money are continually being entrusted to your commonwealth by many men, and that none of the earlier depositors has withdrawn anything.

102 Furthermore, you will not claim that you have heavier expenses than had the men of those earlier times, since in that period there were expenditures for every purpose for which they are made now — for their national assemblies, sacred processions, religious rites, fortifications, jury service, and for the council. But in these days the heaviest outlays of those borne in earlier times do not exist. For instance, their expenditures for war, seeing that they were almost continually at war and rarely, if ever, had a respite, are, in my opinion, not to be brought into comparison with those which are made in times of peace. 103 Indeed, it was not the same thing at all to send out an expedition of one hundred ships or even more, and again, one of seventy and then a third of thirty others,​85 and then sometimes not to disband this expedition for three or four years; or for warships to sail continuously, not merely across to Cyprus and Cilicia, but sometimes to Egypt and at other times to the Black Sea and finally on the Ocean itself, or the keep mercenary soldiers to garrison the forts and the country — it is not possible to compare all that with what may now be seen in our time, when you appear with merely one or two undecked ships every year at Corinth. 104 I say all this, not by way of reproaching you, nor to show that you are inferior to your ancestors; for it is not because you are unable to match their deeds, but because the  p109 occasion for such things is past, that you live in uninterrupted peace. For it is clear that they too would have preferred to keep out of danger, and that their object in exerting themselves was in order to win security in the end. The point I am making, however, is that their scale of expenditures was not on as low a level as yours. To pass over the other items, such as your shipyards, the arms and armour, the war engines, the mere upkeep of the walls, to which I just made reference, as they are now kept up in your time, is assuredly not comparable. For if one does suppose that there is no difference in the care given to them, yet, you see, they are kept in shape in a leisurely fashion, a little at a time, and whenever a magistrate so desires; but in former times they had to be kept standing. And while now they are built to be tested by yourselves, then they were to be tested by the enemy. 105 So much for that. Well then, neither can it be said that the persons you honour are more numerous; for the mere number of the statues standing which date from that time reveals the truth. And apart from that, who would say that those who are zealous to serve the state are now more numerous than then?

Oh yes! you may say, "but we simply must honour the commanders​86 who rule over us, one and all."

What of it? Do not also the Athenians, Spartans, Byzantines, and Mytilenaeans pay court to these same? But nevertheless, whenever they decide to set up in bronze one of these, they do so, and they manage to find the cost. 106 Indeed I once heard a certain Rhodian remark — "The position of those people is not comparable to ours. For all that they,  p111 the Athenians excepted, possess is liberty and the Athenians have no great possessions either; but our city is the envy of all because it is the most prosperous, and consequently it needs a greater number of loyal friends. Furthermore, none of the Romans particularly cares to have a statue among those peoples, but they do not despise that honour here."

107 All this is true, and that is all the more reason why you should give up that practice. For we may reasonably assume that those who put any value upon having this honour in your city do not overlook the manner in which they get it, but at the same time take into consideration also the spirit in which you give it; and on the other hand, it would not be reasonable to assume that those who acknowledge that the wealth of their city arouses envy should take into account the matter of the expense. For assuredly you do not because of that consideration honour a greater number than do the other states in proportion to the relatively greater wealth which you possess.

And besides, even at this moment you are having statues made of the emperors and other men also who are of high rank. For even you must have noticed that to be set up in your present way means nothing!​87 Whom, then, do you think of honouring in the future that you continue a practice so shameful and so unworthy of your own selves? 108 I ask this because, if you were treating everybody alike with the exception of the emperors, you would not be shown up as you are being at present. But as it is, there are persons for whom you do set up statues of themselves; consequently from these cases you make it evident to all the others that you are not really  p113 honouring them. And if these persons are commoners and could have rendered no service at all, what motive have you for this unseemly conduct? What is your object in courting the favour of those persons, and that too when it is possible for you to show your solicitude for them in other ways? For the fact is that for the commoner several gifts of friendship and lavish entertainment were sufficient; and if a person is of higher rank a simple decree in addition was enough, whether indeed he was invited to dine in the city hall or to take a seat of honour. For as things are, you give the impression that you are doing what ship-captains do whose vessels are heavily laden and consequently in danger of foundering — jettisoning your statues!

109 But come, consider: if anyone told you that it was better after all to sell the most of them in order to be well supplied with funds, you could not possibly help considering the speaker a base slavish sort of man. Yet this is just what you are doing now; for what a statue would cost to make is just so much gain for you; except that you are selling them to yourselves and not for export, just as you deport to foreign parts, I presume, your vilest slaves. But in general, you well know that there is nothing great or valuable in such gifts anyhow, except as it is in the givers — if they give it for what it is. But if a man makes a present from his own property of whatever any person wants, giving it carelessly and to any person that comes along, soon the gift will be looked upon as utterly valueless. 110 For this reason it is a matter of greater pride to the recipient to be invited to a seat of honour just once in your city than to get a statue elsewhere. And a  p115 resolution of commendation voted by you from your seats in the assembly is a splendid distinction; but other peoples, even if they burst their lungs with cheering, seem not to show honour enough.

You doubtless know that the Olympian crown is olive leaves, and yet this honour many people have preferred to life itself, not because there is anything wonder­ful about the olive that grows there, but because it is not given carelessly or for slight achievement. This explains why very recently, in our own time, one of the emperors, as you know, was so taken with this practice and was so eager to win the victory that he actually competed at the Elean festival and considered this the height of happiness.​88 But if it had been their custom to crown all the potentates that came to the spectacle, what emulation would the crown any longer have aroused and what sort of glory would it have won? On the contrary, they say that the Eleans do not even open the letters 111 written by those who would recommend a particular athlete,​89 until he has competed. And this has never brought upon them any risk of harm, but, on the contrary, honour and applause, because they are considered worthy to supervise the games. For you must not suppose that the Romans are so stupid and ignorant as to choose that none of their subjects should be independent or honourable but would rather rule over slaves.

112 Then again, whereas the Eleans, who are not superior in other respects to any of the other Peloponnesians, put so high a value upon their own position, are you Rhodians so afraid of all your  p117 casual visitors that you think if you fail to set up some one person in bronze, you will lose your freedom?​90 But if your freedom is in so precarious a state that it can be stripped from you on any petty pretext, it would in every way be better for you to be slaves forthwith. So too when men's bodies are so dangerously ill that there is no longer hope for their recovery, death is better than life. 113 Why, if your long-standing loyalty and good will​91 toward that people, and your having shared with them every fortune, are unable to give your state security, nor yet the subjugation of Mithridates or of Antiochus, nor the command of the sea which you have delivered over to them at the cost of so many dangers and hardships, nor the vows of friendship taken so many years ago, nor the tablets​92 which up to the present time have stood at the very side of your statue of Zeus, nor your mighty​93 fleet, which has shared in their battles as far as the Ocean's edge, nor finally, the capture of your city​94 endured for their sake, yet if you omit to flatter ignobly this man and that man, all these things have come to naught — if this is your condition, so that you are always expecting some outbreak of wrath or hatred, then your position is extremely wretched and rests upon no firm foundation. And I, for my part, would say, even at the risk of angering you, that slaves in the interior of Phrygia, and those in Egypt and Libya, fare better than yourselves. 114 For it is less  p119 shameful that a man who is unknown and thought to be utterly without desert should resort to any and every expedient; but that a people so distinguished as yourselves and so admired throughout the world should be constrained like low-bred curs to fawn upon every passer‑by, is scandalous.

Come then, tell me this: Suppose that it should be necessary to honour all the world in this fashion and that we should assume the city to be in desperate financial straits, how much better it would be to send the simple decree in which the statue is voted to each man so honoured, in order that, if he chooses, he may set it up at his own expense!

115 "Good heavens!" you exclaim, "but it would be a disgrace if we are to admit such straightenedº circumstances, and beneath the dignity of the people of Rhodes!"

And yet what person in his right mind would not prefer to be thought poor rather than unprincipled? Or does the present situation seem to you in a less degree disgraceful than any other — that a person is able to describe your statues in the same way as your houses, saying that this one used to belong to So-and‑so but that now it has come into the hands of So-and‑so; and when the present owner dies it will in turn belong to whoever has inherited it — or who buys it? And yet it is not possible for any right-minded man to transfer the owner­ship of a statue as he does that of a house.

116 Well, I once heard a man make an off-hand remark to the effect that there are other peoples also where one can see this practice being carried on; and again, another man, who said that even in Athens many things are done now which any one, not without  p121 justice, could censure, these being not confined to ordinary matters, but having to do even with the conferring of honours. "Why, they have conferred the title of 'Olympian,' "​95 he alleged, upon a certain person he named, "though he was not an Athenian by birth, but a Phoenician fellow who came, not from Tyre or Sidon, but from some obscure village or from the interior, a man, what is more, who has his arms depilated and wears stays";​d and he added that another, whom he also named, that very slovenly​96 poet, who once gave a recital here in Rhodes too, they not only have set up in bronze, but even placed his statue next to that of Menander.​97 Those who disparage their city and the inscription on the statue of Nicanor are accustomed to say that it actually bought Salamis for them.​98 117 But I, for my part, if any one makes these statements either to reproach the Athenians and to show that its present inhabitants are not worthy of it or of the glory which the Athenians of old bequeathed to them, or to express in a general way a feeling of commiseration for Hellas, that she has fallen to so low an estate, when such acts are committed by a people who for a time were regarded as the foremost of the race, I believe he is right; but if it is his thought that you also should be lacking in pride  p123 and should be no better than they, then I am unable to characterize the utter lack of fine feeling shown by the speaker. 118 For as it is the custom of all men to recount the admirable institutions and practices which are found among other peoples for the purpose of encouraging eager emulation of them, we should not in the same way mention any bad practice that is current elsewhere for the sake of encouraging imitation of it, but, on the contrary, only in order that one's people may be on their guard against it and may not fall unawares into that sort of thing. Indeed if a man were in fact reciting any such things by way of praising that other people and of showing that they enjoyed a reputation no whit worse one that account, he must surely be reckoned a simple, or rather a reckless, person; but yet according to his own opinion he was not offering any incentive to those wishing to do wrong. But if all men cite these practices as a shame and a reproach and not one of those who eulogize the city​99 would mention any such thing, but only a person who wanted either to slander or in some other way to criticize and assail it, that man is an utter simpleton who thinks that by such means he could induce you to abandon your own customs. 119 It is just as if a person, in trying to persuade an athlete to give up and forego the crown for the price of a piece of silver, should say to him: "Do you not see yonder man, the one who is being scourged, just in front of you, because he dropped out of the contest?"​100 Or, by heavens, just as if a man should point out to one of the actors several who were being hissed off the stage, and should offer this sort of encouragement: "See to it that you also pay no  p125 attention to your part, but go through the performance the way they did." And now those whom we have just described are to all intents and purposes saying to you: "Do you not see how the Athenians are disgracing themselves, how they are getting a bad name, how they are an example to all the world of baseness and of the kind of insolence with which they outrage their own country?"

120 And yet, let me ask, shall anyone class the Athenians as your rivals, as these persons demand, or rather — and this is in every way better and fairer — hold both them and the Spartans and all others like them to be your co‑partners, or you theirs? But it is not sensible to imitate your rivals when they err, but on the contrary to endeavour so much the more to do right yourselves, in order that you may be found superior to them in every respect and ever win credit, not only on account of their demerits, but also on account of your own virtue; nor should you copy your friends and relatives, but should try to check them if possible, or, if you do copy them, should by the merit of your own conduct try to minimize their shortcomings.

121 Moreover, if you were no whit superior to the Athenians in other respects, perhaps you would not find it necessary to feel any jealousy of them in this one matter and to consider how you might have a reputation better than theirs. But as matters now stand, there is no practice current in Athens which would not cause any man to feel ashamed. For instance, in regard to the gladiatorial shows the Athenians have so zealously emulated the Corinthians, or rather,  p127 have so surpassed both them and all others in their mad infatuation, that whereas the Corinthians watch these combats outside the city in a glen, a place that is able to hold a crowd but otherwise is dirty and such that no one would even bury there any freeborn citizen,​101 the Athenians look on at this fine spectacle in their theatre under the very walls of the Acropolis, in the place where they bring their Dionysus into the orchestra and stand him up,​102 so that often a fighter is slaughtered among the very seats in which the Hierophant and the other priests must sit. 122 And the philosopher​103 who spoke about this matter and rebuked them they refused to obey and did not even applaud; on the contrary, they were so incensed that, although in blood he was inferior to no Roman, but enjoyed a reputation greater than any one man has attained for generations, and was admittedly the only man who since the time of the ancients had lived most nearly in conformity with reason, this man was forced to leave the city and preferred to go and live somewhere else in Greece. But you, O men of Rhodes, would not tolerate any such thing as that, since among you there is a law which  p129 prescribes that the executioner must never enter the city.

123 What, then, was my object in mentioning this? Not, I assure you, any desire to abuse the Athenians; for, on the contrary, all decent men instinctively feel pity for them; it was rather in order that you might know that from this time on your reckoning is not with them but your own selves and with all others who are sober-minded. And yet everything that might be said in criticism of the Athenians or of the Spartans or any other peoples among whom are found other practices which are bad and due to gross carelessness, will reinforce my argument; for in the matter of statues you can find no such abuse among them as prevails here; must we not, therefore, of necessity conclude that this particular form of wrongdoing, which is not practiced even among those we have mentioned who are utterly lost to shame, is beyond all exaggeration monstrous?104

124 And this characterization becomes still more convincing if some few details of what happens in connection with the honours you grant are brought into comparison by themselves. If, for instance, it is considered an outrage to place any man of the present day beside any of the ancients, how much more of an outrage is it to deprive, as you are doing, an ancient of his honour for the purpose of bestowing it upon another? And if the inscribing of one person's name over that of another and a much inferior person brings so great condemnation, completely to erase and remove the name of the better man, if it so happens — in what sort of light do you think this act appears?

 p131  Moreover, if anyone says that you are no better than the Caunians​105 or Myndians,​106 you will be very angry and think that he is slandering your city; how, then, could any man any longer bring forward before you in defence of any practice prevalent among you the argument that that very thing is done by those other peoples also? 125 It is just as if a person thought that you ought to demolish your own walls, or let them lie when they fall, simply because they lie fallen in the other cities, or rather, in practically all the others. Yet with them the walls are neglected because of their condition of peace and servitude, one of which everybody welcomes, to wit, peace, whereas the other is no longer a sign of baseness; but when people treat in this way their benefactors of long ago, the reason is ingratitude. But I for my part venture to assert that even among your neighbours yonder wrong is not done to benefactors! For who among the Caunians has ever proved himself a noble man?​107 Or who has ever conferred any benefaction upon them? Why, they are in a state of abject slavery, not alone to you but also to the Romans, on account of their excessive folly and wickedness having made their slavery a double one. And this one might also say about others who have the same reputation.

126 But, speaking generally, I think that a people who take such pride in themselves as you justly do should not, in shaping their conduct, keep their eyes on these  p133 others, especially on those who are so much their inferiors, but rather upon their own reputation and the proud position of their city.​108 It would have been absurd if one of your own citizens, that famous Dorieus,​109 or Leonidas,​110 men who are said to have won so many victories at Olympia, had done his training with his eye on some other athlete, and him a man who had never been crowned. However, if you wish to measure yourselves against the Spartans or the Athenians, I concede the point in regard to the Athenians of the olden days,​111 when any people similar to yourselves might with good reason have tried to be comparable to them. 127 Take, for instance, the athlete: If he is still eager for honours and is not yet declining in bodily vigour, it is not sensible for him to challenge the famous prize-winners of his own time who are sick, nor yet the dead, nay rather, if there are any who are at the top of their strength, he should select these and strive with them for the victory; but if none such are available, he should aim to achieve an exploit of such a kind as will show that he is no whit inferior in strength to any athlete of former times.​112 That is sound reasoning about such matters. But if after all it is necessary to make some concession, do not test the question by making a comparison with the peoples who in former times were the strongest, nor yet with those of the present day who are no better than any people of the most worthless sort, but measure yourselves against those who are in between, or against those who are still lower in the scale than they.

 p135  128 Well then, among the Athenians of the time of Philip, and at very near the time when they had given up the primacy among the Greeks and their liberty was the only thing to which they still clung, there was a certain Leptines who proposed a law to the effect that all should be deprived of the privileges of exemption from public duties​113 who had received it from the people, with the exception of the descendants of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, and that for the future it will be no longer permissible to grant to any one this gift. Well, what happened? Did they by any chance accept that law? They did not, but the law's proposer was convicted on an indictment for introducing an illegal measure. 129 Come then, compare this custom with that law, and if it seems to you in any way better, retain it and make it stronger for the future — which is bound to happen if it is not abolished now — but if after considering it on all sides you find it to be inferior, then imitate the Athenians of that early period and abolish now that practice which is more monstrous than the one abolished formerly by them.

130 However, as to any attempt to show that the city is insincere, is faithless in its gifts, and that it wrongs its benefactors by robbing them of their rewards — such reproaches apply in all respects equally to both Athens and Rhodes. But whereas at Athens those who had formerly received exemption from public burdens could not possibly have received no benefit at all — for whatever they had previously acquired  p137 from the immunity remained theirs in every respect for the future as for the past, and they could not fail to be better off on account of it; those, on the other hand, who have had their statues taken away from them have nothing left over from the honour they had formerly enjoyed — except the insult and the dishonour. 131 And, in addition, the Athenian who, on the occasion I have mentioned, proposed the law attacked a considerable number of those who had received exemption from public duties and tried to show that the majority of them were knaves, not merely unworthy of any favour, so that the unfairness of it was that, while not accusing all, he was proposing to deprive all of their gifts. But in Rhodes here it is utterly impossible for those who have deprived men of their statues to say anything against them; for when they do not even know who the original recipients were, as they admit,​114 how is it possible to bring a charge against them? 132 Furthermore, that law proposed to make an exception in favour of those who were regarded as having conferred the greatest benefactions upon the city, to wit, the descendants of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, but here no exception is made. For since the practice is carried on without any record being kept and is not regulated by either law or decree, absolutely no concession is made for anyone, and this indignity may happen to anyone at the pleasure of the chief magistrate at any time. 133 Again, the Athenian law was thought to be committing an outrage in depriving the people of their authority in the matter, so that not even in the future would it be possible for them to vote  p139 this gift.​115 Yet how much better to prevent the people from granting any honour or any privilege than, while leaving the right to confer a favour, to place the power of taking it away in the hands of one man! For while it is disgraceful, as no man would deny, to take any gift away from those who have received it, according to that Athenian law this was happening just once, but according to this Rhodian custom it takes place all the time!

134 Besides, if it appears vexatious that your city should be deprived of any power, it is you your own selves who are depriving it of the power to guarantee for the recipients the security of its gifts. For whenever you confer this honour upon a man, it is no longer in your power to allow him to keep it; on the contrary, one official always has this in his control, namely, the chief magistrate. And yet, it is worse for you to lack this power owing to custom than to be estopped by law. For in the one case men in a certain sense have not been deprived of the control of that which they have by law renounced their right willingly because of the advantage thereby gained. 135 But when we have to deal with a custom, one cannot even say that men have deprived themselves — if deprived they have been — of a thing on which they have neither passed judgment nor deliberated.

And although in Athens the people had some consolation — in that the measure was impartial and general, since all alike were being deprived of their exemption from public burdens — here it is only the recipient of the statue who has been deprived of it,  p141 and often he is the better man. Moreover, in Athens it was not in order that another person might receive the exemption that the law proposed to take it away from the possessor, but in your city that is precisely why it is done, a thing that is altogether more distressing than merely to be dispossessed. 136 Furthermore, no one, I presume, is unaware how much more grievous it seems to suffer any harsh treatment on account of another than it is to suffer it on your own account. So, whereas it was the intention of the Athenian law to divest all others of their privilege of exemption in order to prevent certain men, whom it designated as undeserving, from retaining theirs, the result of your custom is that the owners of statues are robbed of them in order that others may receive them; 137 and this treatment is altogether more grievous to those affected.

If, further, any one wishes, confining his consideration of the matter strictly to those cases in which the loss suffered is most nearly irreparable, to ask who are being wronged by this custom of yours and who were bound to be hurt by that Athenian law, let him disregard, not only those who were enjoying exemption from public burdens there, but also those who have received a statue here, and then let him consider those who are not in either class.​116 Since those who had been honoured at Athens were in a sense not suffering any loss at all, for it was only what they would have received  p143 by way of a supplement​117 that they were losing, whereas the greater gift continued to be theirs; but as regards the other gifts, the reckoning would come out the same for both classes.​118 But, I think, the case is quite self-evident: For in proportion as the grant of a statue is a greater honour than the exemption, in just that degree those who receive the former are superior men. The argument can be made still clearer, though, if stated thus: 138 Whereas the exemption from public burdens makes the recipients of it wealthier, and those men are especially eager for it who are interested in money-making, the statue implies only dignity and honour; so just in proportion as those are superior men, as we would all agree, who choose to confer benefits upon others without remuneration and rather for reputation's sake than those who set a price upon it and are moved by desire for gain, by just so much, as I at least would assert, are not only they better men whom this custom of yours wrongs, but also by just so much are those persons whom you are preventing from conferring benefits upon yourselves superior to those whom the Athenian laws prevented from benefitting the Athenians.

139 But for my part I am at a loss to understand why on earth you do not pass a law on this matter to regulate it for the future, if such is your pleasure.

"Good heavens!" you exclaim, "Why, the existence of a law like that in a city brings no little shame."

And so it is not disgraceful to do what you  p145 think it is disgraceful to enact in writing? And yet how much better it is to refrain from following any written laws which are badly conceived than to do bad things! Or what class of men would you call the better, those who are so disposed toward improper things that they refrain from doing them even when they are authorized, or those who do them even though they are not allowed? 140 But as for me, I would say that, while it is agreed that one should by no means do any unjust or unseemly act, yet among peoples where such acts are under the control of law there would be less cause for reproach than among people where they are regulated by custom. For, in the first place, the law is explicit and can never become worse, since it is not possible either to take away from or add to its written terms; whereas the custom, if it is a bad one, must necessarily become steadily worse because it is not clearly apprehended or defined.​119 141 I mean, for instance, the case we now have before us: they tell us that this practice began with the statues that were broken and not even standing on their pedestals; it was these that the chief magistrates used after repairing them and in a way making them altogether different; then the next step was that those which were well preserved but bore no inscriptions were inscribed; and at last came the taking of some statues which did have inscriptions on them, provided they were very old. Well, let us assume that their statement of the case is true. In the future there will necessarily be no distinction made at all — for this is the way it is with all other evils, such as extravagance, disorderly conduct, luxury — 142 you will never find any really bad custom halting or remaining stationary until it  p147 is utterly suppressed. For because it continually receives some accretion and because a gradual process is almost impossible to detect and does not readily become perceptible to anyone, inasmuch as the present state is worse than the former it goes on to extremes as, I believe, is the case with some ulcers and all those diseases whose nature it is inevitably to get worse.120

Then there is this further consideration — that those who do anything which the law makes wrong, do it, not as being such, but under a misconception, whereas with those who do things which custom regards as base, would one and all admit that they sin deliberately, those acts being of such a kind that even the perpetrators themselves think they are not fit to be forbidden by an enactment.

143 Moreover, just because the practice began some while ago and considerable time has elapsed, do not for this reason consider that it is any the less your duty to get rid of it; for those people who perpetuate such practices as this incur no less disgrace than those who first allowed them; nay, on the contrary, they are more exposed to the attack of any who wish to censure. When the thing was done first, it may well have even escaped the notice of the people of that time, particularly as those who practised it were still cautious about it; but when a thing has been going on for a long time, nobody can be unaware of it; and, besides, that excuse has been completely taken away from you, because you are sitting here passing judgment on this very matter. Therefore, just as if you felt it to be necessary to initiate some honourable usage, you would not hesitate on that  p149 account,​121 so you have every reason now to act with equal readiness if it is desirable to abolish some unworthy practice. 144 Therefore, do not let its antiquity support the custom if it is really a vicious one, as I think I have long since made clear. For I do not think that just because a thing has injured you for a long time it ought never to cease injuring you. For instance, if you take into custody a man who has been wicked for a long time, you will not release him on account of the length of time which he has spent in being a bad man. Nor yet if a person should be able to cure a disease that had long been harassing him, would he count the cost of enjoying good health all over again. 145 And you, in my opinion, if some god should reveal to you a thing that your city was sure to regret some time in the future, would by all means take measures to prevent it, if it lay in your power to do so. Then, while you will of course not neglect guarding against anything that will harm others simply because the injury will be in the future, are you going to give free rein to that which is now doing the greatest injury to yourselves, because it originated in the past? Nay, it is utterly foolish for a man to think that he should never check a practice which, while customary, is nevertheless shocking.

146 I ask you to bear in mind, rather, that, although there are many things about your city on all of which you have a good right to pride yourselves — your laws in the first place, and orderliness of your government (things of which you are wont to boast most), and, in the second place, I imagine, such things also as temples, theatres, shipyards, fortifications, and harbours, some of which give evidence of your wealth and high aspirations and the greatness  p151 of your former power, others of your piety toward the gods​122 — you rejoice no less in the multitude of your statues,​123 and rightly; 147 for not only do such things do you credit just as any of your other dedicated monuments do, but they also more than anything reveal the strength of your city and its character. For it is no ordinary people that receives benefactions from many or that wishes or perhaps has the means to honour many. And note this also — that it is not only because the statues you have here are very great in number that the practice in question has arisen, but also, I think, because the Romans, who have often seized from every land the furnishings of sacred places and of palaces, have never disturbed any of those which you possess. 148 Why, even Nero, who had so great a craving and enthusiasm in that business that he did not keep his hands off of even the treasures of Olympia or of Delphi — although he honoured those sanctuaries above all others — but went still farther and removed most​124 of the statues on the Acropolis of Athens and many of those at Pergamum,​125 although that precinct was his very own (for what need is there to speak of those in other places?), left undisturbed only those in your city and showed towards you such signal goodwill and honour that he esteemed your entire city more sacred than the foremost  p153 sanctuaries. 149 You remember the notorious Acratus,​126 who visited practically the whole inhabited world in this quest and passed by no village even​127 — you recall how he came here likewise, and when you were, quite naturally, distressed, he said he had come to see the sights, for he had no authority to touch anything here. Therefore, apart from the beautiful sight which all the world may enjoy, the great number of your statues brings you a renown of another sort! For these things are manifestly a proof of your friendship for your rulers and of their respect for you. 150 So then, when the Romans and Nero guarded your possessions so scrupulously and esteemed them inviolate, shall you yourselves fail to protect them? Nero, that most immoderate of emperors, who took the most liberties and considered everything subject to his own unlimited power, took away the statue of no one of those who had received honour from the people of Rhodes, and from them only. And do you, your own selves, rob these men? Yet how much better it would have been, had the same thing happened here also! I mean that whereas elsewhere the names of the men who have been honoured are left and no one would think of erasing the inscriptions, you chisel them out just as if the men had done you some wrong. 151 And yet, one might say even if your statues were being carried off by the emperors, the men were not being so grievously wronged as at present; for the emperors were engaged in removing such things, not  p155 with the intention of giving them to others, but because they wanted objects of embellishment, so that none of them would think of removing the name, nor would persons be any the worse off because, instead of being set up as offerings at Megara or Epidaurus or in the market-place of Andros or of Myconos, they were set up in the sacred places of the Romans. But dismissing these considerations, it would have been better, so far as you are concerned, had these men's tokens of honour been thus obliterated. For then there would have been no fault on your part, nor would you yourselves be wronging your own benefactors and your heroes, but, if there were any wrong at all, you would be suffering it in common with them.

152 And further, if anyone should inquire of you, absurd though it may seem, why on earth do neither you nor anyone else make of clay the statues of those who have been adjudged worthy of this gift, since that, no doubt, is easier to manage and involves very little or no expense, you would reply, I suppose: "Not only to avoid giving insult but also in order that the honours which are given to good men may abide forever if that is possible." Yes, but as the case stands, I would have you know that all your statues are less permanent than waxen ones. For it is not a question of whether they can endure the sun, since it is the desire to flatter another group of men which ruins them; and if it seems good to this or that magistrate for any reason whatsoever, the honoured men of former times are no more!128  p157 153 And this sort of distinction is much worse; for in the old days the fragility of the material would be blamed, but now men think it is the city's moral weakness that is being brought to light. And so you go on handing out your statues very much as parents do who buy for their children these cheap dolls. For they too are so casual about their gifts that very soon there is sorrow — when the gifts have fallen to pieces!129

Can it be that you are unaware of the shame which attaches to this practice, and how ridiculous you make yourselves by this deception practised by your state, and that too so openly? 154 For instance, in your decrees you propose 'to erect a statue of So-and‑so.' "But just how," someone might ask you, "do you propose, men of Rhodes, to 'erect' the statue that has been erected possibly for the last five hundred years?" After doing that, can you adjudge those women who palm off other women's children as their own​130 to be wicked and regard their deception as a horrible thing, while you yourselves are not ashamed of doing the same thing with your images by saying that the statues belong to those to whom they do not belong, and that too when you cannot help hearing of the jests with which your city is reviled? 155 For instance, many people assert that the statues of the Rhodians are like actors. For just as every actor makes his entrance as one character at one time and at another as another, so likewise your statues assume different rôles at different times and stand almost as if they were acting a part. For instance, one and the same statue, they say, is at  p159 one time a Greek, at another time a Roman, and later on, if it so happens, a Macedonian or a Persian; and what is more, with some statues the deception is so obvious that the beholder at once is aware of the deceit. For in fact, clothing, foot-gear, and everything else of that kind expose the fraud. 156 And I pass over countless instances of what happens, such as that often the name of some young man is inscribed on the statue of a very old man — a most wonder­ful gift, methinks, you have discovered, if along with the honour you can also make a present of youth; and again, we hear of a statue of a certain athlete which stands here, that it represents an utter weakling of a man, quite ordinary of body. For while we admit that there is perhaps no incongruity in your having before everybody's eyes in your city the figure of So-and‑so mounted upon a horse in the act either of grappling with a foeman or of marshalling an army, even though he was a fellow who never touched the earth with his own feet or descended from the shoulders of the carriers who bore him; but what can one say of So-and‑so, who stands in your midst in the pose of a boxer!131

157 Now I say all this, I assure you, with no desire to incur your hatred or to disparage your city, but in order to prevent its being found doing anything unworthy of itself or alien to the general decorum of its public life. And it seems to me that anyone would have good reason for being moved, by his good will toward all the Hellenes, and not alone toward you, if in fact there should be any practice here in Rhodes that is not as it should be, to mention it and  p161 make it known to you. For in the past, indeed, many elements contributed to the high standing in which we all share, and many peoples exalted Hellas — you, the Athenians, the Spartans, the Thebans, the Corinthians for a while, and in ancient times the Argives; 158 but at the present time all the rest count for naught.​132 For while some of them have been utterly destroyed and have perished, others disgrace themselves by doing the sort of things of which you hear and in every way blotting out their ancient glory, thinking that they are having an easy life, fools that they are, and counting it gain that there is no one to keep them from erring. But you are left, for you alone still are believed to have proved yourselves to be in truth a people of consequence and not utterly despised. In fact, because of those who treat as they do their native countries, there was nothing to prevent the Hellenic race from having become long since — as some men are saying with perfect truth — more despised than the Phrygians or Thracians. 159 Therefore, just as, when a prosperous and great family has been left desolate and only one male descendant survives, everything depends upon him, and if he errs in any way and bears a bad name, he destroys all the glory of his family and puts shame upon all who preceded him, so too is your position now in respect to Hellas. For you must not take it for granted, Rhodians, that you hold first place in Hellas, nay you must not. For it is only those Hellenes who still live and are sensible of the difference between honour and dishonour of whom it is possible for any to be first. But all the former are past and gone, have perished in an utterly shameful  p163 and pitiable way; and as to the rest,​133 it is no longer possible to form a conception of the pre-eminence and splendour of their deeds and, as well, their sufferings, by looking at the men of the present time. 160 Nay, it is rather the stones which reveal the grandeur and the greatness of Hellas, and the ruins of her buildings; her inhabitants themselves and those who conduct her governments would not be called descendants of even the Mysians.​134 So to me, at least, it seems that the cities which have been utterly destroyed have come off better than those which are inhabited as they are now. For the memory of those men remains unimpaired, and the fame of those noble men of the past suffers insult for naught; just as it is true, methinks, with the bodies of the dead — it is in every way better that they should have been utterly destroyed and that no man should see them any more, than that they should rot in the sight of all!

161 And although these thoughts, which have come to me as I have portrayed the situation as a whole, have perhaps been more numerous than is usual, yet it was my wish to make this point clear to you — that you alone are left of the Hellenic peoples to  p165 whom advice could be offered and regarding whom it is still possible to grieve when they seem to err.

It would, therefore, be reasonable to expect you to give heed to yourselves and to examine all such matters as these more carefully than did your ancestors. For whereas they had many other ways in which to display their virtues — in assuming the leader­ship over the others, in lending succour to the victims of injustice, in gaining allies, founding cities, winning wars — for you it is not possible to do any of these things.​135 162 But there is left for you, I think, the privilege of assuming the leader­ship over yourselves, of administering your city, of honouring and supporting by your cheers a distinguished man unlike that of the majority, of deliberating in council, of sitting in judgement, of offering sacrifice to the gods, and of holding high festival — in all these matters it is possible for you to show yourselves better than the rest of the world. That indeed is the reason why you are admired for such characteristics as I shall mention — and they are regarded by all the world as no trifling matters — your gait, the way you trim your hair, that no one struts pompously through your city's streets, but that even foreigners sojourning here are forced by your conventional manners to walk sedately;​136 just as, I fancy, one may see even the country clowns, when they enter a wrestling-school or a gymnasium, move their limbs less clumsily than is their wont. 163 Then again, take the mode you affect in dress — which perhaps toº some appears ridiculous — the width of the purple stripe; we come now to things still more noticeable — your remaining silent as you watch the games,  p167 your applauding by making a clucking sound with your lips​137 — all these manners lend your city dignity, they all cause you to be looked upon as superior to the others, for all these customs you are admired, you are loved; more than by your harbours, your fortifications, your shipyards are you honoured by that strain in your customs which is antique​138 and Hellenic, so that when anybody comes among you he recognizes instantly on disembarking, even if he happens to be of barbarian race, that he has not come to some city of Syria or of Cilicia. But in other cities, unless the stranger hears some one mention the name of the place he sees, that it is called, let us say, 'Lyceum' or 'Academy,' they are all alike to him!

164 What is my object, then, in mentioning these matters when I am about to conclude, and what do I wish to make clear? It is that you ought to be all the more jealous about your city and to be indifferent to nothing that takes place here. And if you have this spirit in everything you do, perhaps men will think that you are no whit worse than your ancestors. For that you do preserve your character in your present situation, and hold fast to your rôle of moral excellence is, in my opinion at least, an admirable thing. 165 An apt illustration is found, I think, in the conduct of men on board a ship at sea: when a storm strikes them or a hurricane, not even the most wanton of them is to be seen doing anything base; but they are all giving undivided attention to the sailing; whereas in fair weather recklessness prevails among both the sailors and the passengers, even if they do not indulge in licentiousness.​139 In  p169 the same way I believe that war is wont to arouse and to sway even the meaner souls;​140 but in such peaceful and quiet times as these, it is the part of the best men not to drift into any shameful or disorderly practices.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 The application is obviously to Dio himself.

2 For this practice elsewhere cf. Cicero, Ad Atticum 6.1.26, Equidem valde ipsas Athenas amo. volo esse aliquod monumentum. odi falsas inscriptiones statuarum alienarum. See also Plutarch, Life of Antony 60; Favorinus in Dio 37.40; Pausanias 2.17.3; Dio Cassius 59.28; 63.11; Philo, Legatio in Gaium 20; Pliny the Elder H. N. 35.2.4.

3 For this view see Antisthenes Φυσικός, Frag. 1, Winkelmann.

Thayer's Note: More accessibly, and at great length, Macrobius, Sat. I.17.

4 i.e. whether it affects gods or men.

5 For the same thought cf. Seneca, De Beneficiis 1.6.3; Poseidonius in Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2.28.71; Xenophon, Memorabilia 1.3.3; Agesilaüs 11.2; Epictetus, Encheiridion 31; Dio Chrysostom 3.52; 4.76; 13.35; 33.28; Horace, Odes, 3.23; The Old Testament, Isaiah 1.11 ff.; Psalm 51.16‑17.

6 Heracles, the pattern of the Cynic, according to them pursued virtue for its own sake, and Dio usually so represents him.

7 Achilles' mother, Thetis, told him that it was his fate either to gain glory and die young, or to live a long but inglorious life. Achilles chose the former.

8 Leonidas with his three hundred Spartans was slain in 480 B.C. while trying to hold the western end of the pass of Thermopylae against the vast army of Xerxes. See Herodotus 7.209‑233.

9 Cf. Demosthenes 20 (Against Leptines) 64 f.

10 For the thought of §§ 16‑22 cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 64; 23.136; Aeschines In Ctes. 245 f.; Lycurgus, In Leocr. 46; Cicero, Pro Archia 11.26.

11 Cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 41.

12 Cf. Demosthenes, In Lept. 22: "And no one will be willing to do us a service if he sees that those who did so in the past have been wronged"; also ibid. 7.17, 50, 155.

13 The 'principle' in this case being that all citizens should have all possible incentives for serving the state and enhancing its glory, and the 'certain thing' (evidently undesirable since it was to be prevented from happening) being the annulling of the chief incentive, the public bestowal of honours like statues.

14 Cf. Demosthenes, In Lept. 120: "Whenever you take away any of the gifts which you once gave to anybody, you will destroy the confidence which the recipients have had in all your other gifts."

15 Cf. Demosthenes, In Lept. 154; In Tim. 215.

16 Cf. Demosthenes, In Lept. 5 ff.; 39.

17 For the view that the honour should be left see Favorinus in Dio 37.31.

18 On the thought of §§ 27‑28 cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 97 and 117.

19 The Graces were usually described as the daughters of Zeus and as being three in number. To the Greek they were the personification of all the qualities expressed by χάρις, of which 'gratitude' was one and 'grace' another. Here follows a play upon these two meanings of the word χάρις. Cf. Plato, Laws 11, 912B‑C. This allegorizing theory is said to come from the Stoic Chrysippus. Cf. Seneca, De Beneficiis 1.44 and see Charly Clerc, Les Théories relatives au Culte des Images, page 197, note 3.

20 For this sentence cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 9.

21 Cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 39 and 47.

22 On the principle involved cf. § 64 and § 94 ad fin.

23 Among other uses ὕβρις was a legal term. Aristotle (Rhetoric II.2.5, 1378B) defines it as "doing or saying anything to cause the complainant shame." At Athens an indictment could be brought before the thesmothetes against anyone guilty of this. See Demosthenes In Mid. 47. The punishment was a fine or imprisonment. Taking a man's statue from him would cause him shame.

24 This is, of giving their statues to others.

25 Apparently he means the Romans.

26 Greek cities as a rule had no regular direct taxation. At Athens a special levy was made in emergencies. For cases see Demosthenes 18.66; 20.10; 22.76. In 428 such a special tax was levied to enable Athens to continue the war against Sparta, when all except the reserve funds had been exhausted by the siege of Potidaea. Those with a capital of less than one-sixth of a talent were exempt.

27 He means the island of Rhodes, upon the north-eastern tip of which the city of Rhodes was situated.

28 That is, those on which the inscription still matches the person represented.

29 He means the tongue of land jutting out towards Rhodes from Caria. Its promontory was about ten miles distant from the city of Rhodes. Hence ἤπειρον is not objectionable, as some have thought.

30 Carpathos, the modern Scarpanto, is an island about thirty-five miles south-west of Rhodes and half-way between it and Crete.

31 As a reward for assisting the Romans in the war against Antiochus, Rhodes was given control of South Caria, where the Rhodians had had settlements from an early period.

32 i.e., in perpetuity.

33 Calymna, a small island near Cos and about 65 miles north-west of Rhodes. It was a colony of Epidaurus.

34 Caunus was a city on the coast of Caria and north-east of Rhodes. See § 124, where it is coupled with Myndus, and § 125, where it is said to be doubly enslaved.

Probably the Caunians are here called foolish because in 88 B.C. they helped carry out, and with especial fury, Mithridates' orders to massacre all Italians in Asia Minor (see Appian 23). As a punishment for this Sulla made them once more subject to the Rhodians, from whom the Romans had freed them. Cicero (ad Quintum fratrem refers to this and says that they appealed to the Roman senate — probably in vain — to be freed once more. See p130, note 1.

35 For the thought see Demosthenes In Lept. 15 and 36.

36 Cf. Discourse 38.29 at the end and Dem. ibid. 136.

37 στρατηγός was the general title of the chief magistrate of independent or semi-independent Greek communities and leagues under Roman domination.

38 Of statues; cf. §§ 48 and 53.

39 From this passage, taken together with others such as CIG II, No. 2953b; Plautus, Bacchides 312; Caesar, Civil War 3.33, we conclude that in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus there was a treasure-house or bank under official control. According to Nicolaus of Damascus, fragment 65, money was lent. Aristides (Oration 42.522) calls Ephesus 'the common treasury and the refuge for necessity': ταμιεῖον κοινὸν καὶ χρείας καταφυγή. See p70, note.

40 Athens borrowed from her own temple-treasuries during the Peloponnesian War, and paid interest.

Thayer's Note: Dio is not fond of the Romans, and it is also possible to read into this mild-sounding passage an allusion to Pompey's readiness to pillage the temple of Ephesus, just barely prevented by the arrival on scene of Caesar (Bell. Civ. III.105) — which inevitably calls to mind the notorious theft by Caesar himself of the money deposited in the Capitol at Rome, as well as his pillaging of other temples elsewhere (Suet. Jul. 54). We Greeks don't do that kind of thing.

41 At Ephesus; see § 54.

42 That God loves the good is a Stoic idea. Cf. Discourses 1.16; 3.5153; 33.28; 39.2 and see H. Binder, Dio Chrysostom and Poseidonius, pp81, 83.

43 cf. Sophocles, Ant. 312: οὐκ ἐξ ἅπαντος δεῖ τὸ κερδαίνειν φιλεῖν.

44 See also § 77. οἰκιστής, like κτίστης ('restorer,' or primarily, 'founder'), was evidently an honorary title at Rhodes. It seems about equivalent to the Latin 'pater patriae', applied to Cicero after he suppressed the Catilinarian conspiracy. Plutarch (Life of Cicero 22.3) uses the expression, "Saviour and Restorer of his Country," σωτῆρα καὶ κτίστην τῆς πατρίδος, as its Greek equivalent.

45 Rome.

46 In the plain outside the walls of Ephesus was the famous temple of Artemis, or Diana, which was regarded as one of the wonders of the world. It contained an image of the goddess which was believed to have fallen down from Zeus. See Acts of the Apostles 19.23‑28 and 35, and § 54 supra.

47 Even if the acts were not a sacrilege, a sin against the goddess, cf. §§ 54 ff.

48 He refers to the battles between the leaders of the aristocratic and the popular party at Rome which began with the fighting between Marius and Sulla and ended with the victory of Augustus over Mark Antony at Actium in 31 B.C.

49 Rhodes espoused the cause of Julius Caesar, in punishment for which Cassius captured and plundered the city in 42 B.C. See page 2, and page 106, note 1.

50 Perhaps he refers to the relief which Augustus afforded the various provinces on his visits to them.

51 In 30 B.C. Augustus allowed the cities of Asia Minor, which was ruined financially, to declare bankruptcy, but, as we read here, Rhodes refused to avail herself of this concession.

52 Cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 12.

53 Cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 12.

54 There seems to be no reference to any particular event in this passage; at any rate no light is thrown by anything that is known from other sources upon just what τὰ δοθέντα in line 4 of the text means. But the words would seem to refer to 'gifts' of some sort rather than, for instance, to advances or loans of money.

55 Solon relieved Athenian debtors of a part of their debts, chiefly by a depreciation of the coinage. This disburdening measure was called the σεισάχθεια or 'shaking off of burdens.'

56 Cf. §§ 80, 124, 126, 163; Discourse 21.1 ff. and Discourse 15. This is a Stoic doctrine said to be due to Chrysippus. Cf. Lucian, Rhetorum Praeceptor 9; Themistius, Oration 22, p281A; Plato, Laws 10, p886C; Lucretius, 2.1157 ff.; Seneca, Epistle 90.44: "Still I cannot deny that in the past there existed men of lofty spirit and, if I may say so, fresh from the gods. For there is no doubt whatever that the world, before it was worn out, produced better things." — Non tamen negaverim fuisse alti spiritus viros et, ut ita dicam, a dis recentes. neque enim dubium est quin meliora mundus nondum effetus ediderit.

57 For instance, in the Athens of Demosthenes in this class were the statues of only Solon, Harmodius, Aristogeiton, Conon, Iphicrates, and Chabrias. See Wenkebach, Quaestiones Dioneae, p59.

58 See Friedländer, Sittengeschichte Roms, Vol. 3, pp226 and 230.

59 That is, their own forefathers.

60 Cf. § 131.

61 Cf. § 61.

62 Cf. Demosthenes In Lept. 47 and 119.

63 Cf. § 75.

64 As heroes.

65 From the list of citizens; cf. Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.51.

66 The full form of the appellation would give the man's name and the country of his origin, e.g. 'Solon of Athens.'

67 This probably refers to a work of sculpture by Lysippus which represented the Sun-god standing in a four-horse chariot. The people of Rhodes, who highly honoured the Sun-god, were very proud of this sculpture. See also note on Helius in § 93, and cf. Dio Cassius (47.33): "Cassius appropriated their ships, their money, and their sacred treasures except the chariot of the Sun" — τὰς δὲ ναῦς καὶ τὰ χρήματα καὶ τὰ ἱερὰ πλὴν τοº ἅρματος τοῦ Ἡλίου παρεσπάσατο <ὁ Κάσσιος>.

68 And hence share somewhat in their sanctity.

69 I.e., the private ones as contrasted with those set up by the state.

70 On the coast of Asia Minor north-west of Smyrna. The man of Cymê was Aristodicus, the nestlings were sparrows; cf. Herodotus 1.159.

71 That is, at the time when the statues were set up.

72 Perhaps the Heracles-Alcaeus of Diodorus Siculus, 1.24.º

73 See Vol. II, page 371, note 1.

74 Pausanias (1.42.3) refers to it. He says that at Thebes in Egypt there was a seated statue which most people called a Memnon, but the Thebans themselves maintained that it represented Phamenophes, a Theban. Others said it represented Sesostris. After Cambyses cut the statue in two, the lower part, which remained on its base, emitted a musical sound at sunrise.

75 Son of Heracles and King of Argos. Slain by Sarpedon.

76 The Sun-god, the son of Hyperion and Thea, worshipped in many parts of Greece and especially in Rhodes; see § 86, note 1. One of his sons was Phaethon.

77 For example, in Athens graves which lay in a circumscribed portion of the Outer Ceramicus could be assumed to hold the bones of soldiers who had died in war or of statesmen who had been honoured by the state; cf. Thucydides 2.34.5 and Judeich, Topographie von Athen2, pages 400 ff.

78 Pausanias (6.11) says that Theagenes showed quite unusual strength even as a boy, for when he was only nine years old, on his way home from school one day he took the bronze statue of one of the gods which was standing in the market-place and carried it home on his shoulder. As an athlete he was said to have won 1,400 crowns in all.

79 Apparently the last became entwined about the statue so that when the man jerked to free it, he pulled the statue over.

80 Like Draco's law in Athens, according to Pausanias, l.c. Cf. Eusebius (Praeparatio Evangelica 5.34) who quotes the exact words from Oenomaus, who probably got them from Callimachus' Περὶ ἀγώνων (On Contests); Favorinus in Dio 37.20 ff.; Lucian, Assembly of the Gods 12.

81 See Pausanias 6.11.8, where only the following verse is credited to the oracle,

"Ye have cast out forgotten Theagenes, your great one."

Θεαγένην δ’ ἄμνηστον ἀφήκατε τὸν μέγαν ὑμέων.

Pausanias goes on to say that certain fishermen caught the statue in their net while fishing.

82 The outbreak of the plague.

83 Cf. §§ 140‑142.

84 That is, of the στρατηγός; cf. § 133.

85 According to Kromayer (Philologus N.F., X, p479 f.) the first two numbers are too high. In the year 42 B.C. the Rhodians could find only 33 ships with which to meet Cassius' 80. He says that they never sent more than 20 ships to help the Romans. See also § 113.

86 The Roman provincial governors.

87 That is, to the really important Romans whom the Rhodians wish to honour.

88 This emperor was Nero. See Dio Cassius 63.14; Suetonius, Life of Nero 24.

89 Casaubon thinks that some of the emperors would at times recommend an athlete, while Reiske thinks that other Romans in high position also did it.

90 At the time when Dio was speaking, whenever that was, Rhodes seems to have been a civitas libera et foederata, but in danger of losing that position.

91 IG XII, No. 58, says that Hermagoras, son of Phaenippus, as a prytanist gave expression to the εὔνοια (good will) and πίστις (loyalty) of the state of Rhodes to Titus and his house, and to the senate and Roman people.

92 On these the treaty between Rome and Rhodes would be recorded.

93 See § 103 and note.

94 By Cassius in 42 B.C. See note on the Chariot § 86.

95 Cf. Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 8.7: τοὺς Ὀλυμπίους καὶ τὰς τοιάσδε ἐπωνυμίας ἔθεντο (Ἀθηναῖοι).

96 On this meaning of εὐχερής, the opposite of δυσχερὴς 'finical', 'fastidious', 'particular', see Shorey Classical Philology XV (1917), p308, and cf. Arist. Eth. Eud. 1221 B2 and Hist. Anim. 595 A18: ὗς εὐχερέστατον πρὸς πᾶσαν τροφὴν ἐστιν. The glutton and the pig are typical of this quality, and Dio obviously so characterizes this poet.

97 Pausanias (1.21.1) says: "The Athenians have statues of their writers of Tragedy and of Comedy set up in their theatre, mostly mediocrities, for except Menander, there is no writer of Comedy of outstanding ability." The inscribed basis of Menander's statue, found in the theatre, is extant: IG II2, 3777. Friedländer (Sittengeschichte Roms, Vol. 3, p224) says that this poet may have been Q. Pompeius Capito, who also appeared as an improvisator.

98 Pausanias (2.8.6) says that Aratus of Sicyon (not Nicanor) persuaded Diogenes, Macedonian commandant of the Peiraeus, Munychia, Salamis, and Sunium, to surrender them for 150 talents, and that of this sum he himself contributed one sixth for the Athenians. Nicanor of Stageira, a friend of Cassander, captured the Peiraeus in 319 B.C.

99 Referring again to Athens.

100 It's scourging for you too if you drop out.

101 According to Curtius (Peloponnesus 2.527) Dio is here referring to a rock depression at the foot of a hill east of the new town. This depression was enlarged by the Corinthians to form an amphitheatre, which one could not see until he came to the very crest. Friedländer, however, thinks that Dio refers here to the natural depression before it was made into an amphitheatre. Otherwise he would have described it differently because it is called a splendid structure in the 4th century A.D. See Harold North Fowler, Vol. I of the American School at Athens Corinth series, chapter "Topography".

102 At the City Dionysia a statue of the god was escorted by the ἔφηβοι from the Dipylon Gate and placed in the orchestra of the theatre. See IG II2, 1.11.

103 In a note on Philostratus, op. cit. 4.32, where Apollonius is represented as saying σὺ δέ, Διόνυσε, μετὰ τοιοῦτον αἷμα ἐς τὸ θέατρον φοιτᾷς; Valesius offered reasons for believing that the philosopher here referred to was Apollonius of Tyana. The description given above fits Apollonius except that he appears to be a Roman. Consequently it is now generally believed that this philosopher was Musonius Rufus, whom Dio, owing to his admiration of the man whom he knew personally, praised so highly. Did not Musonius Rufus convert Dio to a belief in philosophy?

104 Cf. § 75 and note.

105 At some period between 70 and 60 B.C. the Caunians, who had been made tributary to Rhodes by Sulla in punishment for their part in the massacre of Italians in Asia Minor in 88 on orders by Mithridates, appealed to the Roman senate to be allowed to pay tribute to Rome rather than to Rhodes; see Cicero, Ad Quintum fratrem This passage in Dio leads us to infer that their petition was rejected and that they were required to pay tribute to both Rhodes and Rome. See also page 54, note 3.

106 Myndus was a city of Caria near Halicarnassus.

107 And hence entitled to a mark of honour by some state.

108 Cf. Demosthenes 20.10, 142, 165; 22.76.

109 The Rhodian athlete Diagoras had three sons, all athletes, of whom Dorieus was the youngest and most famous. He was victor in the pancratium at three successive Olympiads. The second of these victories is mentioned in Thucydides 3.8. He also had eight victories in the Isthmian games and seven in the Nemean, while he is said to have won in the Pythian games without a contest. Cf. Pindar Ol. 7.

110 Leonidas, also a Rhodian, was twelve times victor in the foot-race. See Pausanias 6.13.4.

111 Cf. § 117.

112 Cf. for a similar sentiment Demosthenes 18.319, Aeschines 3.189.

113 This was in 356 B.C., and the speech of Demosthenes Against Leptines was delivered in 355 in an action challenging the legality (γραφὴ παρανόμων) of the proposal. The present passage is the only direct testimony that Leptines lost his case. On the λειτουργίαι see Vol. II, page 276, note 2.

114 Cf. supra § 77.

115 This is Demosthenes' chief argument against the proposal of Leptines; in § 4 he asks: "Shall we, then, make a law that hereafter neither Council nor Assembly shall be permitted to deliberate or to vote on a similar subject?"

116 That is, (1) those who had not had the tax-exemption privilege at Athens and (2) those who have not been honoured with a statue in Rhodes.

117 He means that the law would have deprived them of the continued benefit of the exemption (the 'supplement'), but would have taken from them neither the material benefits they had already enjoyed nor the honour conferred by the original grant. This honour he calls 'the greater gift,' as the sequel shows.

118 'The other gifts' being such honours as the front-seat privilege (proedria), dinner in the prytaneion, a golden crown, and the like. Those who had lost the tax-exemption at Athens and those who had never been honoured by a statue at Rhodes were on a parity as regards the other, the prospective, honours.

119 Cf. page 105, § 99.

120 The text here has caused considerable trouble to editors, but with the changes suggested in the critical notes it yields at least a logical sense.

121 That is, because of its being an innovation.

122 Cf. Demosthenes 24.210; Lycurgus, Against Leocrates 75, 17, 150; Lysias 12.99.

123 3000 in number according to Pliny the Elder, 34.7.36.

124 An exaggeration probably. See Pliny the Elder, N. H. 34.7.36.

125 Pergamum was famous for its sculptures. Among the most notable was the colossal frieze illustrating the battle of the gods and the giants, now in Berlin. See the Introduction to the Twelfth Discourse.

126 Freedman of Nero, of unscrupulous character, who in A.D. 64 plundered the art treasures of Greece and Rome at the command of Nero. See Tacitus, Annals 15.45; 16.23; CIL 6.9741.

127 Cf. Cicero, Against Verres 2.4.13 for a similar instance.

128 Lucian (Charon, § 23 f.) represents Hermes as saying that not only the great men of the past but even famous cities and rivers are no more.

129 The dolls are supposed to be of baked clay, and if they also had jointed limbs they were very fragile.

130 For this practice see Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazousai 502 ff.

131 Dio seems to be giving examples of especially ridiculous substitutions of distinguished names placed on statues of earlier men of a character wholly incongruous with that of the present owner. By way of a climax he probably, as von Arnim thought, used the proper names of the two effeminate persons who in the manuscripts are referred to as 'So-and‑so.'

132 Cf. Dio 34.51; 38.28 ff. and 40.

133 The contrast seems to be between the unworthy Hellenes who have perished and those of the survivors who have held fast to principles of honour.

The tone of this passage is that of the Greek panegyrists, who dwell as much upon the hardships the forefathers endured (τὰ πάθη) as upon their achievements — e.g. the fate of Leonidas and his men at Thermopylae, of the Athenians when they left their city, to be burned and sacked by the Persians, etc. The critical notes, however, should be consulted; for the text without supplements is far from satisfactory and no conjectures have a claim to certainty.

134 The Mysians were regarded with contempt by the Mediterranean peoples, a feeling expressed by the proverb "the lowest of the Mysians" (Μυσῶν τὸν ἔσχατον); cf. Plato Theaetetus 209B, Cicero Pro Flacco 27: "Quid in Graeco sermone tam tritum et celebratum quam si quis despicatui ducitur ut 'Mysorum ultimus' esse dicatur?"

135 The hegemony in political matters having passed to the Romans.

136 Cf. the advice given to the people of Alexandria in Discourse 32.74 ff. Cf. also Demosthenes In Mid. 158.

137 Cf. § 75.

138 On this use of archaion, about our "classic," cf. Plutarch, Pericles xiii.3: "each one of them (the buildings of Pericles), in its beauty, was even then and at once antique."

139 For the same illustration see Xenophon, Memorabilia 3.5.6.

140 Cf. Plato, Politicus 6, p488.

Thayer's Notes:

a As elsewhere in Dio and in the sophists generally, the writer is counting on us to be carried away by the movement of the speech. But, on a moment's reflexion, this is hardly convincing! Having been told that the mere mention of a problem is enough to lead to a solution out of the assembly — a word to the wise is sufficient — I would expect him to state his beef and go away: but apparently he doesn't trust us after all to arrive at the solution, and we get eighty pages of print instead.

b Transcribing this, I was instantly reminded of something I hadn't thought of in years. As a teenager, I used to write poetry and dedicate the verses to various girls in my class; a curious sort of demand having arisen, I soon found myself besieged by girls wanting something dedicated to them: you guessed it, I finally obliged them by dedicating to them the works of other poets; although I did meet Dio's objection (§ 38), telling them exactly what they were getting! I distinctly remember having dedicated the Odyssey to one particular girl.

c This is the principle of much of what we currently see in the U. S. Congress, and very likely in similar bodies elsewhere; whether we call it taxing one group of people to give to another much larger group who have more votes, or just pork — using other people's money to get yourself reëlected. And lest anyone think this might be mere venting on my part, notice that what follows is precisely a discussion of the income tax, and on lawmakers ignoring the will of the people.

d The word here translated "stays" is an unusual one; in all of Greek literature, apparently, this is its only occurrence. Περιδήματα, plural of περιδήμα, are literally "things that bind". The connection Dio makes with effeminacy and depilation has a strong suggestion of transvestism to it — but we may not need to exercise our imaginations in this direction, and here are two possible alternatives.

a) Macrobius, an admittedly late author, pillories as a fop a man who adjusted his toga in front of a mirror before leaving the house, to make sure the folds fell pleasingly (Sat. III.13) — which would be pointless unless he were using fastenings of some kind; and although Tertullian (de Pallio 5.1) suggests pins or hooks, Quintilian suggests quite the contrary in his directions to an orator for the management of his toga while speaking (XI.144‑149). Thus, these περιδήματα might be such overly fastidious fastening devices; but it can be objected first that Dio is likely writing not of Roman but of Greek clothing, and second that the verb means "to bind" rather than say, "to pin" or "to hook".

b) Quintilian in the same passage (§ 144) mentions focalia, probably a kind of scarf, but maybe a sort of bandage — more usually fasciae — for the legs; he says that only ill-health can excuse the wearing of them. Leaving aside their name, however, see the sources cited in the article Fascia of Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, where the connection of the things themselves with effeminacy is clear. Since these cloths were wrapped, they're a better fit for περιδήματα.

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