Antiphon: The Prosecution of the Choregus Speech

Paul Andreas Fischer
Brian Walsh

Antiphon: The Prosecution of the Choregus Speech

Excuse me, if I should seem distraught. The death of my brother weighs upon me heavily. The air was not yet filled with his ashes, but I look already to the populace for vengeance in a matter of death not metered by the gods. Indeed, rather than waiting any time, on the day of the funeral I saw fit to announce the proceedings that had to be made against the violator. It is known, that to be trained for the chorus is grueling, but when the competition drives one son of Athens to death, it is only pious that swift and just retribution is sought.
To begin, the character of the chorus leader must be known. For the jury to vote with confidence in a most intricate and high matter, witnesses will be needed from this current incident as well as from the chorus leader’s past. From his character, corrupted with greed and avarice, a motive will need not be inferred but the chorus leader will stand out clearly as the most malicious of offenders. His intention was to see my brother dead, and if not him than any son of Athens. Should he be allowed to continue it is clear that such an incident will necessarily repeat. Merely exiling him, while protecting ourselves, would be too light a punishment for such a crime; he must be executed to stop his own plotting and to set an example to others with such devious plots.
From the earliest time this chorus leader has interfered with the pious and upright lives of Athenians. Now in the hubris of searching higher and higher performance, a brother is dead and his death is a call that must be answered lest it spread as death, unchecked, is wont to do. What surprises me more than this man shirking his fate and punishment, is the unqualified and unabashed denial of all responsibility. Today in fact he stands as a true murderer, pathologically without remorse or need to make amends or understanding of the need for just retribution. With the witnesses brought today I will show the jury that this chorus leader ought to beg for the harshest penalty, while it is only the community that talks him down. Instead he mutters of plots and paranoid ideations. Well today you will see and hear the voices yourself that show incontrovertibly this man’s guilt, his knowledge that methods at his school were dangerous, and his complicity as supervisor in the death of my brother.
I hope from these witnesses’ evidence given there can be no doubt as to the malicious intent of this choral driver, who makes such intention to present himself as a positive influence on this society. There is little to commend him even in matters of public affairs or state. His stories of prosecuting common criminals no doubt only served his own selfish interests! Forgive me if I speak passionately in the defense of the sanctity of my brother’s life and the prosecution of this monster.
He does not collect dues or levy fines for the support, but he also does not provide support forthe defense of Athens or for public works, with the exception of the theatre. And how outrageous! This sole act of public should he pervert into the morbid murder of a child. My own family sent a bright young man, excelled in all the classical arts and educated to gain glory and confidence through training in the chorus. Returned, we have only a corpse.
The witnesses have made it clear that the defendant was not present at the time of the poisoning, or had any knowledge of the drought provided. However, those responsible did answer to him, and felt such pressure to ensure the performance of my brother from the defendant that they were willing to risk the child’s life. Finally, the  awful reality occurred and his voice is now only heard in the chorus of the afterlife.
In order to prove guilt, the evidence is overwhelming. The defence is guilty of having abused the trust of parents and of the lives in his care. Taking one’s child to a bush of poisoned berries and failing to instruct him of their nature is infanticide. In the same way putting another’s child in a situation where he is forced to drink poison, without knowledge of its effects or lethality is justly classified as homicide. To ask for the full application of the law is not overbearing or overreaching, but is simply the only course of action available. This end should now be seen in evidence from witnesses.
As a final argument, it might be anticipated that the defence will reply that there are many professions and positions of leadership in which it is necessary to place subordinates and even children in harm’s way. This is, however, quite simply preposterous. To please the gods with acts of artistic endeavour is truly important, but to sacrifice the life of a child is barbaric. In protecting the city from crime, war, or in exploration, it might be satisfactory to argue that such an incident comes as an occupational hazard. I implore the jury to leave all such notions at the antidome and when stepping from the stories of comedy and now tragedy the defendant weaves, into the harsh facts of the world, in this hearing to understand that my brother, this child, was killed for a trivial end.
There is a blatant disrespect for life implied and proven in this court that exists in the Choregus, if he deserves such a title. His lack of presence in the actual committing of the crime is only the more indicting, what public service might he prove when children entrusted to his care are left alone? And when in order to meet impossible expectations set by this leader, my brother has been killed?
Without remorse now, even the gods have abandoned him and will not grant him the ability to beg for proper justice to be carried out. Instead he must die as the lowest of creatures, as one who has not demonstrated an ability to accept responsibility for the full extent of his actions. Indeed he will not even admit to the tragedy of my brother’s death, and without witness to provide a single other perpetrator or broken cog in the system, we can only conclude that this is his system, working in full order. Here is one so impious that he would have a poisoning, a clear case of homicide, be only counted as an accident. Failing to punish him fully for the charge of homicide will only implicate Athens, as a polis, as endorsing the murder and sacrifice of our young to feed this decrepit man’s vanity, greed and avarice.

Paul Andreas Fischer
Legal Receipts

For a donkey in City of Ur belonging to Ali, son of Mo, the son of Ali, filed a claim against Jurizima, son of Dak, whereupon the judges in the Temple of Ur put Ali to oath to god. When Ali swore he renounced his claim. On no account shall Jurizima ever again file claim for that donkey, by the gods he swore.
The judgement of the temple of Ur
Receipt of furniture to home
17 accessories and three large furniture pieces belonging to Paul Fischer, the the student, received from Ikea, the department store, to home. Should a piece be lost, he shall make it good. By the United States Consumer Protection Agency he swore.
(The names of seven persons as witnesses, each preceded by the witness-sign.)
The seal of Paul Andreas Fischer
The month of October, when the US Federal Government shut down.
(sealed in six places with the seal of Paul Andreas Fischer, son of Andreas Dieter Fischer)

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