The Glory That Was Greece

consist largely of oratorical claptrap. That, on the contrary, they are for the most part severely logical, that purple passages are carefully eschewed and references to national feeling kept within limits is the clearest possible proof of the high intellectual standard of the average Athenian citizen who sat upon the jury. It is true that defendants did dress in mourning and produce wives and families in rags and tears to move the sympathies of their judges, but their arguments must be sensible and must include copious reference to the letter of the law. From the so-called “Private Orations” of Demosthenes we obtain rare glimpses of social life at Athens in the fourth century, the banker Phormio who rises to affluence from slavery, who is liberated and marries his master’s daughter, the elegant hooliganism of rich young men who quarrel in camp and assault one another in the Athenian market-place, the extraordinary luxury of Meidias, who rode on a silver-plated saddle, or

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