Saving the State With A Single Body

Cicero, De Domo Sua 63-64

“Leaders, this violence, this crime, this rage was what I defended from the necks of all good people with my body—I met with my skin the full force of civil strife, the explosive savagery of criminals which was just now bursting out because it had found such daring leaders after it had grown for so long as hatred suppressed.

Against me alone the consular firebrands fell, thrown by the tribunes’ hands; all the criminal points of conspiracy which I had broken before struck me. But if I had done what many of the bravest men found pleasing and had decided to face this force in open arms, I would have been victorious with the death of so many criminals who were still citizens or I would have fallen with the Republic following the death of so many good people, something those criminals wished for most.”

Hanc ego vim, pontifices, hoc scelus, hunc furorem meo corpore opposito ab omnium bonorum cervicibus depuli omnemque impetum discordiarum, omnem diu collectam vim improborum, quae inveterata compresso odio atque tacito iam erumpebat nancta tam audaces duces, excepi meo corpore. In me uno consulares faces, iactae manibus tribuniciis, in me omnia, quae ego quondam rettuderam, coniurationis nefaria tela adhaeserunt. Quod si, ut multis fortissimis viris placuit, vi et armis contra vim decertare voluissem, aut vicissem cum magna internicione improborum, sed tamen civium, aut interfectis bonis omnibus, quod illis optatissimum erat, una cum re publica concidissem

Officer Eugene Goodman at the Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021. Image taken from The Hill

Warring Parts of the Soul: Some Fragments on Insurrection

Dio Chrysostom, The 24th Discourse

“If you think that they are harming you and started the insurrection and the chaos, you need to get rid of them completely and not allow them into the assemblies.”

οὓς εἰ μὲν οἴεσθε βλάπτειν ὑμᾶς καὶ στάσεως ἄρχειν καὶ ταραχῆς, ὅλως ἐχρῆν ἀπελάσαι καὶ μὴ παραδέχεσθαι ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις·


Pausanias, Corinth 33

“When everyone was a total insurrection in the city, people say that these women were killed by the opposing rebels and that today they have a festival for them called the Stoning.”

 στασιασάντων δὲ ὁμοίως τῶν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἁπάντων καὶ ταύτας φασὶν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀντιστασιωτῶν καταλευσθῆναι, καὶ ἑορτὴν ἄγουσί σφισι Λιθοβόλια ὀνομάζοντες

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 4.64

“I’ll try to explain in brief who the leaders of the insurrection were and how they came to this point of affairs.”

οἵτινες δ᾿ ἦσαν οἱ τῆς ἐπαναστάσεως ἄρξαντες καὶ δι᾿ οἵων τρόπων ἦλθον ἐπὶ τὰ πράγματα, δι᾿ ὀλίγων πειράσομαι διελθεῖν.

Plato, Republic 4 444b

“I said—so be it, after that we need to examine injustice, I think.”


“[Injustice], then, must be a kind of civil strife of those three pre-existing things: doing too much, overreaching into other people’s business, and insurrection of some part against the whole of the soul in order to take power that doesn’t belong to it even those that part’s nature is to serve the whole. Yeah, we would say these kinds of things I think and that when there is confusion or wandering in them we get injustice, loss of control, wickedness, ignorance, and, to put it briefly, every evil.”

Ἔστω δή, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ· μετὰ γὰρ τοῦτο σκεπτέον οἶμαι ἀδικίαν. |


Οὐκοῦν στάσιν τινὰ αὖ τριῶν ὄντων τούτων δεῖ αὐτὴν εἶναι καὶ πολυπραγμοσύνην καὶ ἀλλοτριοπραγμοσύνην καὶ ἐπανάστασιν μέρους τινὸς τῷ ὅλῳ τῆς ψυχῆς, ἵν’ ἄρχῃ ἐν αὐτῇ οὐ προσῆκον, ἀλλὰ τοιούτου ὄντος φύσει οἵου πρέπειν αὐτῷ δουλεύειν, †τοῦ δ’ αὖ δουλεύειν ἀρχικοῦ γένους ὄντι†;6 | τοιαῦτ’ ἄττα οἶμαι φήσομεν καὶ τὴν τούτων ταραχὴν καὶ πλάνην εἶναι τήν τε ἀδικίαν καὶ ἀκολασίαν καὶ δειλίαν καὶ ἀμαθίαν καὶ συλλήβδην πᾶσαν κακίαν.

Will Eyewitnesses to Injustice Spare This Man?

Dinarchus, Against Philocles 110 14-15

“Citizens, you need to remember these things and not take lightly all the information made public by the council—act here as you have in cases judged before. It is shameful to tire of punishing people who have proved themselves traitors to the state and shameful that any insurrectionists and wicked people should be left out there when the gods have clearly shown their true nature and handed them over to you to be punished.

You have seen that the whole electorate accuses this man and now they have given him to you before all the others to get what he deserves.

Sweet Zeus, Savior! I am ashamed that you need us to force you, to push you on to bring punishment to this person who has already been judged. Aren’t you all eyewitnesses of the injustices he committed? Because all the people believe he is neither just nor safe to be trusted with children they rejected him as guardian of the youth. Will you very protectors of the democracy and the laws—those people chance and fortune have given the power of justice over our people—will you spare a man who has attempted these kinds of things?”

ὧν ἀναμιμνησκομένους ὑμᾶς, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, δεῖ μὴ παρέργως ἔχειν πρὸς τὰς ὑπὸ τῆς βουλῆς γεγενημένας ἀποφάσεις, ἀλλ᾿ ἀκολούθως ταῖς πρότερον κεκριμέναις· αἰσχρὸν γὰρ ἀπειπεῖν τιμωρουμένους ἐστὶ τοὺς προδότας τῆς πόλεως γεγενημένους, καὶ ὑπολείπεσθαί τινας τῶν ἀδίκων καὶ πονηρῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὅτε οἱ θεοὶ φανεροὺς ὑμῖν ποιήσαντες παρέδοσαν τιμωρήσασθαι, ἑορακότες τὸν δῆμον ἅπαντα κατήγορον τούτου γεγενημένον καὶ προκεχειρικότα πρῶτον τῶν ἄλλων ἐπὶ τὸ τὴν τιμωρίαν ἐν ὑμῖν δοῦναι.

Ἀλλ᾿ ἔγωγε, νὴ τὸν Δία τὸν σωτῆρα, αἰσχύνομαι, εἰ προτραπέντας ὑμᾶς δεῖ4 καὶ παροξυνθέντας ὑφ᾿ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ τὴν τοῦ νῦν εἰσεληλυθότος τὴν κρίσιν τιμωρίαν ἐλθεῖν. [καὶ] οὐκ αὐτόπται ἐστὲ τῶν ὑπὸ τούτου γεγενημένων ἀδικημάτων; καὶ ὁ μὲν δῆμος ἅπας οὔτ᾿ ἀσφαλὲς οὔτε δίκαιον νομίζων εἶναι παρακαταθέσθαι τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ παῖδας ἀπεχειροτόνησεν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῆς τῶν ἐφήβων ἐπιμελείας,  ὑμεῖς δ᾿ οἱ τῆς δημοκρατίας καὶ τῶν νόμων φύλακες, οἷς ἡ τύχη καὶ ὁ κλῆρος . . . ὑπὲρ τοῦ δήμου δικάσοντας ἐπέτρεψεν;

A Failsafe for Democracy

Lycurgus, Against Leocrates 124    

“These examples are enough I think to understand the opinion your forefathers had against those who broke the laws. I still want to remind you of the monument in the Senate house which recalls traitors and those who destroy the democracy. For I make your judgement easy if I provide you with many examples.

After the reign of the Thirty, your fathers, who had suffered the kinds of things from fellow citizens no Greek ever would have considered and who barely made it back to their own land, blocked every avenue to crime because they learned from experience and knew which offices and approaches were open to those who would dissolve the democracy.

They decreed by vote and by oath that anyone who came upon someone trying to establish a tyranny, betraying the state or overthrowing democracy would not be considered guilty for killing them because it seemed better to them that people who were pursuing these actions should die than they should suffer being enslaved to them. For they believed foremost that citizens should live in such away as to never come into suspicion for these crimes.”

Ἱκανὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ ταῦτα τὴν τῶν προγόνων γνῶναι διάνοιαν, ὡς εἶχον πρὸς τοὺς παρανομοῦντας εἰς τὴν πόλιν· οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾿ ἔτι βούλομαι τῆς στήλης ἀκοῦσαι ὑμᾶς τῆς ἐν τῷ βουλευτηρίῳ περὶ τῶν προδοτῶν καὶ τῶν τὸν δῆμον καταλυόντων· τὸ γὰρ μετὰ πολλῶν παραδειγμάτων διδάσκειν ῥᾳδίαν ὑμῖν τὴν κρίσιν καθίστησι. μετὰ γὰρ τοὺς τριάκοντα οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν, πεπονθότες ὑπὸ τῶν πολιτῶν οἷα οὐδεὶς πώποτε τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἠξίωσε,1 καὶ μόλις εἰς τὴν ἑαυτῶν κατεληλυθότες, ἁπάσας τὰς ὁδοὺς τῶν ἀδικημάτων ἐνέφραξαν, πεπειραμένοι καὶ εἰδότες τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐφόδους τῶν τὸν δῆμον προδιδόντων. ἐψηφίσαντο γὰρ καὶ ὤμοσαν, ἐάν τις τυραννίδι ἐπιτιθῆται ἢ τὴν πόλιν προδιδῷ ἢ τὸν δῆμον καταλύῃ, τὸν αἰσθανόμενον καθαρὸν εἶναι ἀποκτείναντα, καὶ κρεῖττον ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς τοὺς τὴν αἰτίαν ἔχοντας τεθνάναι μᾶλλον ἢ πειραθέντας μετὰ ἀληθείας αὐτοὺς δουλεύειν· ἀρχὴν γὰρ οὕτως ᾤοντο δεῖν ζῆν τοὺς πολίτας, ὥστε μηδ᾿ εἰς ὑποψίαν ἐλθεῖν μηδένα τούτων τῶν ἀδικημάτων.

Senators, Do Not Fail the Republic!

Cicero Philippic 3.14

“For this reason, Senators—by the gods almighty—take this opportunity offered to you and finally remember that you are the leaders of the most powerful council in the world. Give a sign to the Roman people that your response will not fail the Republic since they do insist that their own dedication will not fail you. You don’t need my warning!

No person is so foolish that they don’t understand that if we remain asleep at this moment we will have to live through a rule that is not only cruel and arrogant but ignoble and disgraceful too. You know this man’s arrogance, his friends, and his whole household. To serve shameful lusts, bullies, disgusting and irreverent thieves, those drunkards—well, that is the worst suffering married to the greatest dishonor.

But if—and the gods forbid this—if the final story of our Republic is being told, may we face it like noble gladiators when they fall with honor. Let us who were the leaders of the whole world and model for every people act so that we die with dignity rather than serve in disgrace. Nothing is more hateful than dishonor; nothing is more despicable than servitude. We were born into honor and freedom: let us keep them or die with dignity.

For too long we have hidden our thoughts. Now it is out in the open. Everyone is making what they think, what they want for each side clear. There are traitorous citizens—too many given the value of our Republic—but they are a mere few in comparison to those who know what’s right…”

14] Hanc igitur occasionem oblatam tenete, per deos immortalis, patres conscripti, et amplissimi orbis terrae consili principes vos esse aliquando recordamini! Signum date populo Romano consilium vestrum non deesse rei publicae, quoniam ille virtutem suam non defuturam esse profitetur. Nihil est quod moneam vos.

Nemo est tam stultus qui non intellegat, si indormierimus huic tempori, non modo crudelem superbamque dominationem nobis sed ignominiosam etiam et flagitiosam ferendam. Nostis insolentiam Antoni, nostis amicos, nostis totam domum. Libidinosis, petulantibus, impuris, impudicis, aleatoribus, ebriis servire, ea summa miseria est summo dedecore coniuncta.

Quod si iam—quod di omen avertant!—fatum extremum rei publicae venit, quod gladiatores nobiles faciunt, ut honeste decumbant, faciamus nos, principes orbis terrarum gentiumque omnium, ut cum dignitate potius cadamus quam cum ignominia serviamus. Nihil est detestabilius dedecore, nihil foedius servitute. Ad decus et ad libertatem nati sumus: aut haec teneamus aut cum dignitate moriamur.

Nimium diu teximus quid sentiremus; nunc iam apertum est. Omnes patefaciunt in utramque partem quid sentiant, quid velint. Sunt impii cives—pro caritate rei publicae nimium multi, sed contra multitudinem bene sentientium admodum pauci…

Oil painting on canvas, An Ideal Classical Landscape with Cicero and Friends, by Jacob More (Edinburgh 1740 ? Rome 1793), signed and dated: Rome, 1780.

Using the Past as a Guide for the Future

Andocides, On the Peace with Sparta 1-2

“You all seem to me to understand, Athenians, that it is better to make a just peace than to keep going to war. That politicians agree to peace in name but they oppose the acts that foster peace, you do not all perceive this. For they claim that, once peace is achieved, there is the greatest peril for the people that the current regime may be dissolved.

Therefore, if the people of the Athenians had never made peace before with the Lakedaimonians, we might rightly fear this because of inexperience of the process or distrust for them. Since you have often made peace with them previously when you were already ruled as a democracy, how would it not be right for you to first examine the things that happened before. For, it is right, Athenians, to use prior events as a guide about what will happen in the future.”

Ὅτι μὲν εἰρήνην ποιεῖσθαι δικαίαν ἄμεινόν ἐστιν ἢ πολεμεῖν, δοκεῖτέ μοι, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, πάντες γιγνώσκειν· ὅτι δὲ οἱ ῥήτορες τῷ μὲν ὀνόματι τῆς εἰρήνης συγχωροῦσι, τοῖς δ᾿ ἔργοις ἀφ᾿ ὧν ἂν ἡ εἰρήνη γένοιτο ἐναντιοῦνται, τοῦτο δὲ οὐ πάντες αἰσθάνεσθε. λέγουσι γὰρ ὡς ἔστι δεινότατον τῷ δήμῳ, γενομένης εἰρήνης, ἡ νῦν οὖσα πολιτεία μὴ καταλυθῇ.

Εἰ μὲν οὖν μηδεπώποτε πρότερον ὁ δῆμος ὁ [τῶν]2Ἀθηναίων εἰρήνην ἐποιήσατο πρὸς Λακεδαιμονίους, εἰκότως ἂν ἐφοβούμεθα αὐτὸ διά τε τὴν ἀπειρίαν τοῦ ἔργου διά τε τὴν ἐκείνων ἀπιστίαν· ὅπου δὲ πολλάκις ἤδη πρότερον εἰρήνην ἐποιήσασθε δημοκρατούμενοι, πῶς οὐκ εἰκὸς ὑμᾶς πρῶτον ἐκεῖνα σκέψασθαι τὰ τότε γενόμενα; χρὴ γάρ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, τεκμηρίοις χρῆσθαι τοῖς πρότερον γενομένοις περὶ τῶν μελλόντων ἔσεσθαι.

ὡς ἔστι δεινότατον… Smyth §2224 δεινός εἰμι functions grammatically as an expression of fear, triggering the fear clause postponed to the end of the sentence (μὴ καταλυθῇ)


Image result for Athens treaty with sparta inscription
Segment of the Gortyn Legal inscription

Making the Rich Do Right and Helping the Poor

In this beautiful periodic sentence from Demosthenes,  he articulates the importance of leveling off income inequality.

De Corona, 103

“Right now, I want to take you back through the things I did when in power in order. And you, examine them again, anew, for what was best for the state. When I saw, Athenian men, that your navy was in disarray, and that some of the wealthy citizens were essentially untaxed because of the limited expenditures while other citizens of moderate or little wealth were losing what they had, and that the city was falling behind its opportunities because of these circumstances, I made a law through which I forced the wealthy to do what was right and I prevented the poor from suffering injustice—and this was most useful to the city: I ensured that her preparations happened at the necessary time.”

Βούλομαι τοίνυν ἐπανελθεῖν ἐφ’ ἃ τούτων ἑξῆς ἐπολιτευόμην· καὶ σκοπεῖτ’ ἐν τούτοις πάλιν αὖ, τί τὸ τῇ πόλει βέλτιστον ἦν. ὁρῶν γάρ, ὦ ἄνδρες ᾿Αθηναῖοι, τὸ ναυτικὸν ὑμῶν καταλυόμενον καὶ τοὺς μὲν πλουσίους ἀτελεῖς ἀπὸ μικρῶν ἀναλωμάτων γιγνομένους, τοὺς δὲ μέτρι’ ἢ μικρὰ κεκτημένους τῶν πολιτῶν τὰ ὄντ’ ἀπολλύοντας, ἔτι δ’ ὑστερίζουσαν ἐκ τούτων τὴν πόλιν τῶν καιρῶν, ἔθηκα νόμον καθ’ ὃν τοὺς μὲν τὰ δίκαια ποιεῖν ἠνάγκασα, τοὺς πλουσίους, τοὺς δὲ πένητας ἔπαυσ’ ἀδικουμένους, τῇ πόλει δ’ ὅπερ ἦν χρησιμώτατον, ἐν καιρῷ γίγνεσθαι τὰς παρασκευὰς ἐποίησα.


No Politics and Religion at Dinner? Try Love Instead

In one topics for “Table-Talk”, Plutarch suggests the effects of love on a poet as a starting point…Of course, if you want debates about Love, the Symposia of Plato and Xenophon are good inspirations too…

Plutarch: “Table-Talk” Moralia 622 Why Do We Say that Eros Teaches a Poet? (Full text on LacusCurtius)

“The question “how it can be said truthful that “Love teaches the poet” even though he was songless before, was considered at Sossius’ house after some Sapphic verses were performed. Philoxenos claims that the Kyklops “cured love with well-voiced songs.”

Love is said to be clever at every kind of audacity and at furnishing ingenuity, just as Plato calls love “speedy” and “prepared for everything”. Indeed, love makes a quiet man talkative and the withdrawn man solicitous; it makes the carefree and easygoing person serious and sedulous. And what is especially wondrous, a cheap and miserly man, after he falls in love, becomes soft, compliant, and persuadable just as iron in fire.  Thus what seems like a joke is not completely absurd in the proverb “a lover’s purse is locked by an onion leaf”.

It has also been said that being in love is like being drunk. For it makes people hot, happy, and troubled–after they come into this state, they fall into speech that sounds like songs or verse. People claim Aeschylus wrote his tragedies while drinking, even completely drunk. My grandfather Lamprias was himself most innovative and insightful when he was drinking. He was in the habit of saying that just as with incense, he too was activated by warmth.

 In addition, people see the ones they want most sweetly—and are no less moved to praise them than to see them. In praise, love, voluble in everything, is the most effusive. When people are in love they want to persuade everyone how beautiful and good are the ones they love, because they believe it themselves.”

Image result for Ancient Greek Zephyrus and Hyacinthus vase

Πῶς εἴρηται τὸ “ποιητὴν δ᾿ ἄρα Ἔρως διδάσκει”

Πῶς εἴρηται τὸ ποιητὴν δ᾿ ἄραἜρως διδάσκει, κἂν ἄμουσος ᾖ τὸ πρίν ἐζητεῖτο παρὰ Σοσσίῳ Σαπφικῶν τινων ᾀσθέντων, ὅπου καὶ τὸν Κύκλωπα “μούσαις εὐφώνοις ἰᾶσθαι” φησὶ “τὸν ἔρωτα” Φιλόξενος. ἐλέχθη μὲν οὖν ὅτι πρὸς πάντα τόλμαν ὁ ἔρως καὶ καινοτομίαν συγχορηγῆσαι δεινός ἐστιν, ὥσπερ καὶ Πλάτων “ἴτην” αὐτὸν καὶ “παντὸς ἐπιχειρητὴν” ὠνόμασεν· καὶ γὰρ λάλον ποιεῖ τὸν σιωπηλὸν καὶ θεραπευτικὸν τὸν αἰσχυντηλόν, ἐπιμελῆ δὲ καὶ φιλόπονον τὸν ἀμελῆ καὶ ῥᾴθυμον· ὃ δ᾿ ἄν τις μάλιστα θαυμάσειεν, φειδωλὸς ἀνήρ τε καὶ μικρολόγος ἐμπεσὼν εἰς ἔρωτα καθάπερ εἰς πῦρ σίδηρος ἀνεθεὶς καὶ μαλαχθεὶς ἁπαλὸς καὶ ὑγρὸς καὶ ἡδίων, ὥστε τουτὶ τὸ παιζόμενον μὴ πάνυ φαίνεσθαι γελοῖον ὅτι “πράσου φύλλῳ τὸ τῶν ἐρώντων δέδεται βαλλάντιον.”

Ἐλέχθη δὲ καὶ ὅτι τῷ μεθύειν τὸ ἐρᾶν ὅμοιόν ἐστιν· ποιεῖ γὰρ θερμοὺς καὶ ἱλαροὺς καὶ διακεχυμένους, γενόμενοι δὲ τοιοῦτοι πρὸς τὰς ἐπῳδοὺς καὶ ἐμμέτρους μάλιστα φωνὰς ἐκφέρονται· καὶ τὸν Αἰσχύλον φασὶ τὰς τραγῳδίας πίνοντα ποιεῖν καὶ διαθερμαινόμενον. ἦν δὲ Λαμπρίας ὁ ἡμέτερος πάππος ἐν τῷ πίνειν εὑρετικώτατος αὐτὸς αὑτοῦ καὶ λογιώτατος· εἰώθει δὲ λέγειν ὅτι τῷ λιβανωτῷ παραπλησίως ὑπὸ θερμότητος ἀναθυμιᾶται. καὶ μὴν ἥδιστα τοὺς ἐρωμένους ὁρῶντες οὐχ ἧττον ἡδέως ἐγκωμιάζουσιν ἢ ὁρῶσιν, καὶ πρὸς πάντα λάλος ὢν ἔρως λαλίστατός ἐστιν ἐν τοῖς ἐπαίνοις. αὐτοί τε γὰρ οὕτως πεπεισμένοι τυγχάνουσιν καὶ βούλονται πεπεῖσθαι πάντας ὡς καλῶν καὶ ἀγαθῶν ἐρῶντες.

No Hope of Escape for a Tyrant

Dio Chrysostom, Discourse 6: Diogenes, or, On a Tyrant

“All human terrors have as a solace that they might come to an end. A man in chains can imagine being freed someday; it is not impossible for an exile to get home; and the sick may hope for health right up to death. But it is not possible for a tyrant to escape his state; indeed, he cannot pray for it, unless he prays for something different.

People who have lost friends to death know that they will eventually stop grieving. But problems grow harder for tyrants in contrast. It is not easy for a tyrant to grow old, unlike that proverbial horse [who has less to do]. For those he has hurt and those who despise him grow in number, while he is incapable of helping himself because of his aged body.”

…ὅσα δεινὰ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις παραμυθίαν ἔχει, τὸ τυχὸν ἂν παύσασθαι αὐτῶν. καὶ γὰρ ὅστις ὑπὸ δεσμῶν ἔχεται, προσδοκᾷ ποτε λυθῆναι, καὶ τῷ τὴν πατρίδα φεύγοντι οὐκ ἀδύνατον κατελθεῖν, καὶ τῷ νοσοῦντι μέχρι τῆς τελευτῆς ἔστιν ἐλπίζειν τὴν ὑγίειαν· τῷ δὲ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀπαλλαγῆναι τοῦ πράγματος, ἀλλ᾿ οὐδ᾿ εὔξασθαι γοῦν, εἰ μή τι ἕτερον. ὅσοις δὲ ἀνιᾶσθαι συμβέβηκε τῶν φίλων τινὸς ἀποθανόντος, σαφῶς ἐπίστανται ὅτι παύσονταί ποτε λυπούμενοι τῷ χρόνῳ· τοῖς δὲ τοὐναντίον ἐπιτείνεταιμᾶλλον τὰ χαλεπά. οὐ ῥᾴδιον μὲν γὰρ ἄνδρα γηρᾶσαι τύραννον, χαλεπὸν δὲ τυράννου γῆρας, οὐχ οἷον ἵππου φασίν. οἵ τε γὰρ πεπονθότες κακῶς πλείους οἵ τε καταφρονοῦντες· αὐτὸς δὲ τῷ σώματι βοηθεῖν ἀδύνατος αὑτῷ.

Four Years of Presidential Memory: Police and the Unjust State

Demosthenes, Against Timocrates 164 (See the Scaife Viewer for the full text)

“These men have committed so much horror beyond their own criminal behavior that even while running a so-called democracy they turned each person’s house into a prison and put the police in our homes.”

οὗτοι τοίνυν τοσαύτην ὑπερβολὴν ἐποιήσαντο ἐκείνων τῆς αὑτῶν πονηρίας ὥστ᾿ ἐν δημοκρατίᾳ πολιτευόμενοι τὴν ἰδίαν οἰκίαν ἑκάστῳ δεσμωτήριον καθίστασαν, τοὺς ἕνδεκ᾿ ἄγοντες ἐπὶ τὰς οἰκίας.


W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk 9

“For such dealing with criminals, white or black, the South had no machinery, no adequate jails or reformatories; its police system was arranged to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso facto a member of that police. Thus grew up a double system of justice, which erred on the white side by undue leniency and the practical immunity of red-handed criminals, and erred on the black side by undue severity, injustice, and lack of discrimination.”


Juvenal, Satires

“Who will police the police?”

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?