Born about 440 B.C., died in 380; fled from the Thirty Tyrants In 404 after they had put his brother to death; returned to Athens after the restoration of the Democracy, and won great reputation as an orator, but only 34 of his 160 known speeches have survived.
The time has now indeed come, Athenians, when, insensible to pity and tenderness, you must be armed with just severity against Eratos-
It is an easy matter, O Athenians, to begin this accusation. But to end it without doing injustice to the cause will be attended with no small difficulty. For the crimes of Eratosthenes are not only too atrocious to describe, but too many to enumerate. No exaggeration can exceed, and within the time assigned for this discourse it is impossible fully to represent them. This trial, too, is attended with another singularity. In other causes it is usual to ask the accusers: 'What is your resentment against the defendants?' But here you must ask the defendant: 'What was your resentment against your country? What malice did you bear your fellow citizens? Why did you rage with unbridled fury against the state itself?'
- Delivered in Athens in 403 B.C., and 'the most splendid of his extant speeches,' says R. C. Jebb. Eratosthenes, as one of the Tyrants, was responsible for the death of the brother of Lysias. Abridged.