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Compensazione del danno (timoria) e giustizia come reciprocità nella demostenica Contro Midia, sul pugno

Elisabetta Poddighe


This article offers an analysis of the legal arguments that Demosthenes uses in his speech Against Meidias, concerning the punch to prove that Meidias, who had struck Demosthenes as he exercised his public functions as a choregos, is guilty of hybris, and that he (Demosthenes) deserves adequate (i.e. public) reparation for the outrage suffered. Demosthenes claims his right to a punishment (timoria) capable of repairing the collective, more than individual, damage. This claim appears to allow him, on the one hand, to legitimise, with effective legal argumentation, all the choices made in the aftermath of the episode of the punch, and on the other, to give a strong legal basis for requesting the death penalty for Meidias. The paragraphs 2-3 of the article deal with the choices Demosthenes made after the episode of the punch. Here I intend to show that Demosthenes is able to demonstrate to the judges the relevance of the procedural choices and to qualify them as ‘choices’ precisely because they were motivated and considered at length. In the following paragraphs of the article I discuss the legal argumentation that Demosthenes uses with regard to the ‘measure’ of the penalty required (the death penalty). The aim is to understand what roles the principle according to which Meidias’s hybristic conduct must be assessed from an overall view and the principle of justice as reciprocity play in this argument. The latter must take into account the merit of the epieikes Demosthenes as compared to the hybristes Meidias.


Demostene; Etica Nicomachea; epieikeia; giustizia come reciprocità; graphe hybreos; hybris; Midia; probole; Retorica di Aristotele; timoria – Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics; Aristotle’s Rhetoric; Demosthenes; epieikeia; graphe hybreos; hybris; justice as

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/erga-2021-002-podd

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