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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: January 2010

10 - Declamation 9 [XXXV]:




A tyrant demanded a beautiful girl from a neighboring city with a view to marriage. She was the daughter of a man who was a leader among the inhabitants, who had other children as well as her. The tyrant demanded her, threatening war if he did not get her. They chose to accept the onset of war rather than to give the appearance of a cowardly attitude by subservience to a tyrant's order. When they were besieged and concern was mounting, the father took the girl up on to the city wall and killed her in full view of the enemy. When the tyrant saw this, he withdrew in failure, without either winning the girl he loved or sacking the city. However, a young citizen who was madly in love with this young woman was unable to bear his grief and committed suicide. The young man's father is prosecuting the girl's father as guilty with his own hand of his daughter's murder and of causing the young man's death. Let us take the role of the girl's father.


[1] Even a father is often constrained by concern for the public interest to neglect his children. This is what killed the daughters of Leos; this handed Agamemnon's child over to slaughter in Aulis. [2] So no one should think that the girl's father was unloving.

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