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Headword: κάτωθεν νόμος
Adler number: omicron,104
Translated headword: the law below
Vetting Status: high
Demosthenes in the [speech] Against Aristokrates [sc. uses the phrase].[1] Either he is speaking of the Heliaia, because some of the lawcourts were called "above" and others "below", or, because the character of the writing written on the axones was boustrophedon[2], Demosthenes is calling the law which began on the left "below";[3] for Euphorion in the Apollodoros, he[4] says, has shown that the axones and the kyrbeis were written boustrophedon.[5] Alternatively, he says, it is because Ephialtes moved the axones and the kyrbeis from above, from the acropolis, into the council-house and the agora, as Anaximenes says in [his] Philippic [treatise].[6]
[Note][7] that Demosthenes in the [speech] Against Neaira is wrong to say that [the] Plataians were depicted in the Painted Stoa[8]; for nobody has said this.
[Note] that the valuation of Attica was six thousand talents. Demosthenes in the [speech] On the Symmories speaks thus: "he will hear that our resources consist of a valuation of the territory, eight thousand talents".[9] So either this is a scribal error or perhaps the orator is carrying [us] away, in order that the city may seem to have greater resources for the war against the King.
Greek Original:
Ὁ κάτωθεν νόμος: Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷ κατὰ Ἀριστοκράτους ἢ τὴν Ἡλιαίαν λέγει διὰ τὸ τῶν δικαστηρίων τὰ μὲν ἄνω, τὰ δὲ κάτω ὀνομάζεσθαι, ἢ διὰ τὸ σχῆμα τῆς ἐν τοῖς ἄξοσι γραφῆς βουστροφηδὸν γεγραμμένης, ἢ ἀπὸ τῶν εὐωνύμων ἀρχόμενον νόμον κάτωθεν ὀνομάζει ὁ Δημοσθένης: ὅτι γάρ, φησί, βουστροφηδὸν ἦσαν οἱ ἄξονες καὶ οἱ κύρβεις γεγραμμένοι, δεδήλωκεν Εὐφορίων ἐν τῷ Ἀπολλοδώρῳ: ἢ ἐπεί, φησί, τοὺς ἄξονας καὶ τοὺς κύρβεις ἄνωθεν ἐκ τῆς ἀκροπόλεως εἰς τὸ βουλευτήριον καὶ τὴν ἀγορὰν μετέστησεν Ἐφιάλτης, ὥς φησιν Ἀναξιμένης ἐν Φιλιππικῷ. ὅτι διαμαρτάνει Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷ κατὰ Νεαίρας λέγων, Πλαταιέας γεγράφθαι ἐν τῇ Ποικίλῃ στοᾷ: οὐδεὶς γὰρ τοῦτο εἴρηκεν. ὅτι ἑξακισχίλια ἦν τάλαντα τὸ τίμημα τῆς Ἀττικῆς. Δημοσθένης δὲ ἐν τῷ Περὶ τῶν συμμοριῶν φησιν οὕτως: ἡμῖν δὲ τῆς χώρας τίμημα ὑπάρχειν ἀφορμὴν τὰ ὀκτακισχίλια τάλαντα ἀκούσεται. ἤτοι οὖν γραφικόν ἐστιν ἁμάρτημα, ἢ ἴσως ὁ ῥήτωρ συναρπάζει, ἵνα δοκῇ πλεῖον τὴν ἀφορμὴν ἔχειν ἡ πόλις τοῦ εἰς τὸν πρὸς βασιλέα πολέμου.
[1] Demosthenes 23.28 (web address 1).
[2] Literally, as the ox ploughs: alternate lines right-to-left (a.k.a. retrograde) and left-to-right.
[3] These explanations are cited by Harpokration s.v. (from which this part of the entry derives) from Didymus, and it is clear that in this sentence there are only two of them, not the three of the transmitted text here, which I have ignored. (The monosyllabic word after γεγραμμένης should be "is" - and part of the preceding clause - not a third "or".)
[4] Sc. Didymus.
[5] Euphorion (epsilon 3801) fr.6 Powell.
[6] Anaximenes FGrH 72 F13.
[7] The entry here switches to two other omicron-led topics; Harpokration has them, more coherently, under two separate lemmata (one before and one after the present one).
[8] [Demosthenes] 59.94 (web address 2).
[9] Demosthenes 14.30 (web address 3).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: art history; biography; definition; economics; historiography; history; law; military affairs; poetry; rhetoric
Translated by: David Whitehead on 12 December 2000@03:54:56.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links, set status) on 30 December 2003@00:26:22.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 30 December 2003@05:23:25.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 17 January 2007@06:16:06.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 13 July 2011@04:33:58.
Catharine Roth (supplemented notes) on 20 September 2013@22:54:42.


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