Xenophon zu den 30 Tyrannen

Projekttitel: eManual Alte Geschichte
Modul [optional]:
Autor_in: Xenophon
Lizenz: CC-BY-NC-SA

Xen. Hell. 2,3,11-2,4,1 – Original:

[11] οἱ δὲ τριάκοντα ᾑρέθησαν μὲν ἐπεὶ τάχιστα τὰ μακρὰ τείχη καὶ τὰ περὶ τὸν Πειραιᾶ καθῃρέθη: αἱρεθέντες δὲ ἐφ᾽ ᾧτε συγγράψαι νόμους, καθ᾽ οὕστινας πολιτεύσοιντο, τούτους μὲν ἀεὶ ἔμελλον συγγράφειν τε καὶ ἀποδεικνύναι, βουλὴν δὲ καὶ τὰς ἄλλας ἀρχὰς κατέστησαν ὡς ἐδόκει αὐτοῖς.
[12] ἔπειτα πρῶτον μὲν οὓς πάντες ᾔδεσαν ἐν τῇ δημοκρατίᾳ ἀπὸ συκοφαντίας ζῶντας καὶ τοῖς καλοῖς κἀγαθοῖς βαρεῖς ὄντας, συλλαμβάνοντες ὑπῆγον θανάτου: καὶ ἥ τε βουλὴ ἡδέως αὐτῶν κατεψηφίζετο οἵ τε ἄλλοι ὅσοι συνῄδεσαν ἑαυτοῖς μὴ ὄντες τοιοῦτοι οὐδὲν ἤχθοντο.
[13] ἐπεὶ δὲ ἤρξαντο βουλεύεσθαι ὅπως ἂν ἐξείη αὐτοῖς τῇ πόλει χρῆσθαι ὅπως βούλοιντο, ἐκ τούτου πρῶτον μὲν πέμψαντες εἰς Λακεδαίμονα Αἰσχίνην τε καὶ Ἀριστοτέλην ἔπεισαν Λύσανδρον φρουροὺς σφίσι συμπρᾶξαι ἐλθεῖν, ἕως δὴ τοὺς πονηροὺς ἐκποδὼν ποιησάμενοι καταστήσαιντο τὴν πολιτείαν: θρέψειν δὲ αὐτοὶ ὑπισχνοῦντο.
[14] ὁ δὲ πεισθεὶς τούς τε φρουροὺς καὶ Καλλίβιον ἁρμοστὴν συνέπραξεν αὐτοῖς πεμφθῆναι. οἱ δ᾽ ἐπεὶ τὴν φρουρὰν ἔλαβον, τὸν μὲν Καλλίβιον ἐθεράπευον πάσῃ θεραπείᾳ, ὡς πάντα ἐπαινοίη ἃ πράττοιεν, τῶν δὲ φρουρῶν τούτου συμπέμποντος αὐτοῖς οὓς ἐβούλοντο συνελάμβανον οὐκέτι τοὺς πονηρούς τε καὶ ὀλίγου ἀξίους, ἀλλ᾽ ἤδη οὓς ἐνόμιζον ἥκιστα μὲν παρωθουμένους ἀνέχεσθαι, ἀντιπράττειν δέ τι ἐπιχειροῦντας πλείστους ἂν τοὺς συνεθέλοντας λαμβάνειν.
[15] τῷ μὲν οὖν πρώτῳ χρόνῳ ὁ Κριτίας τῷ Θηραμένει ὁμογνώμων τε καὶ φίλος ἦν: ἐπεὶ δὲ αὐτὸς μὲν προπετὴς ἦν ἐπὶ τὸ πολλοὺς ἀποκτείνειν, ἅτε καὶ φυγὼν ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου, ὁ δὲ Θηραμένης ἀντέκοπτε, λέγων ὅτι οὐκ εἰκὸς εἴη θανατοῦν, εἴ τις ἐτιμᾶτο ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου, τοὺς δὲ καλοὺς κἀγαθοὺς μηδὲν κακὸν εἰργάζετο, ἐπεὶ καὶ ἐγώ, ἔφη, καὶ σὺ πολλὰ δὴ τοῦ ἀρέσκειν ἕνεκα τῇ πόλει καὶ εἴπομεν καὶ ἐπράξαμεν:
[16] ὁ δέ (ἔτι γὰρ οἰκείως ἐχρῆτο τῷ Θηραμένει) ἀντέλεγεν ὅτι οὐκ ἐγχωροίη τοῖς πλεονεκτεῖν βουλομένοις μὴ οὐκ ἐκποδὼν ποιεῖσθαι τοὺς ἱκανωτάτους διακωλύειν: εἰ δέ, ὅτι τριάκοντά ἐσμεν καὶ οὐχ εἷς, ἧττόν τι οἴει ὥσπερ τυραννίδος ταύτης τῆς ἀρχῆς χρῆναι ἐπιμελεῖσθαι, εὐήθης εἶ.
[17] ἐπεὶ δέ, ἀποθνῃσκόντων πολλῶν καὶ ἀδίκως, πολλοὶ δῆλοι ἦσαν συνιστάμενοί τε καὶ θαυμάζοντες τί ἔσοιτο ἡ πολιτεία, πάλιν ἔλεγεν ὁ Θηραμένης ὅτι εἰ μή τις κοινωνοὺς ἱκανοὺς λήψοιτο τῶν πραγμάτων, ἀδύνατον ἔσοιτο τὴν ὀλιγαρχίαν διαμένειν.
[18] ἐκ τούτου μέντοι Κριτίας καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι τριάκοντα, ἤδη φοβούμενοι καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα τὸν Θηραμένην, μὴ συρρυείησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ πολῖται, καταλέγουσι τρισχιλίους τοὺς μεθέξοντας δὴ τῶν πραγμάτων:
[19] ὁ δ᾽ αὖ Θηραμένης καὶ πρὸς ταῦτα ἔλεγεν ὅτι ἄτοπον δοκοίη ἑαυτῷ γε εἶναι τὸ πρῶτον μὲν βουλομένους τοὺς βελτίστους τῶν πολιτῶν κοινωνοὺς ποιήσασθαι τρισχιλίους, ὥσπερ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦτον ἔχοντά τινα ἀνάγκην καλοὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς εἶναι, καὶ οὔτ᾽ ἔξω τούτων σπουδαίους οὔτ᾽ ἐντὸς τούτων πονηροὺς οἷόν τε εἴη γενέσθαι: ἔπειτα δ᾽, ἔφη, ὁρῶ ἔγωγε δύο ἡμᾶς τὰ ἐναντιώτατα πράττοντας, βιαίαν τε τὴν ἀρχὴν καὶ ἥττονα τῶν ἀρχομένων κατασκευαζομένους.
[20] ὁ μὲν ταῦτ᾽ ἔλεγεν. οἱ δ᾽ ἐξέτασιν ποιήσαντες τῶν μὲν τρισχιλίων ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ, τῶν δ᾽ ἔξω τοῦ καταλόγου ἄλλων ἀλλαχοῦ, ἔπειτα κελεύσαντες ἐπὶ τὰ ὅπλα, ἐν ᾧ ἐκεῖνοι ἀπεληλύθεσαν πέμψαντες τοὺς φρουροὺς καὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τοὺς ὁμογνώμονας αὑτοῖς τὰ ὅπλα πάντων πλὴν τῶν τρισχιλίων παρείλοντο, καὶ ἀνακομίσαντες ταῦτα εἰς τὴν ἀκρόπολιν συνέθηκαν ἐν τῷ ναῷ.
[21] τούτων δὲ γενομένων, ὡς ἐξὸν ἤδη ποιεῖν αὐτοῖς ὅ τι βούλοιντο, πολλοὺς μὲν ἔχθρας ἕνεκα ἀπέκτεινον, πολλοὺς δὲ χρημάτων. ἔδοξε δ᾽ αὐτοῖς, ὅπως ἔχοιεν καὶ τοῖς φρουροῖς χρήματα διδόναι, καὶ τῶν μετοίκων ἕνα ἕκαστον λαβεῖν, καὶ αὐτοὺς μὲν ἀποκτεῖναι, τὰ δὲ χρήματα αὐτῶν ἀποσημήνασθαι.
[22] ἐκέλευον δὲ καὶ τὸν Θηραμένην λαβεῖν ὅντινα βούλοιτο. ὁ δ᾽ ἀπεκρίνατο: ἀλλ᾽ οὐ δοκεῖ μοι, ἔφη, καλὸν εἶναι φάσκοντας βελτίστους εἶναι ἀδικώτερα τῶν συκοφαντῶν ποιεῖν. ἐκεῖνοι μὲν γὰρ παρ᾽ ὧν χρήματα λαμβάνοιεν ζῆν εἴων, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἀποκτενοῦμεν μηδὲν ἀδικοῦντας, ἵνα χρήματα λαμβάνωμεν;
[23] πῶς οὐ ταῦτα τῷ παντὶ ἐκείνων ἀδικώτερα; οἱ δ᾽ ἐμποδὼν νομίζοντες αὐτὸν εἶναι τῷ ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλοιντο, ἐπιβουλεύουσιν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἰδίᾳ πρὸς τοὺς βουλευτὰς ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον διέβαλλον ὡς λυμαινόμενον τὴν πολιτείαν. καὶ παραγγείλαντες νεανίσκοις οἳ ἐδόκουν αὐτοῖς θρασύτατοι εἶναι ξιφίδια ὑπὸ μάλης ἔχοντας παραγενέσθαι, συνέλεξαν τὴν βουλήν.
[…] [50] ὡς δ᾽ εἰπὼν ταῦτα ἐπαύσατο, καὶ ἡ βουλὴ δήλη ἐγένετο εὐμενῶς ἐπιθορυβήσασα, γνοὺς ὁ Κριτίας ὅτι εἰ ἐπιτρέψοι τῇ βουλῇ διαψηφίζεσθαι περὶ αὐτοῦ, ἀναφεύξοιτο, καὶ τοῦτο οὐ βιωτὸν ἡγησάμενος, προσελθὼν καὶ διαλεχθείς τι τοῖς τριάκοντα ἐξῆλθε, καὶ ἐπιστῆναι ἐκέλευσε τοὺς τὰ ἐγχειρίδια ἔχοντας φανερῶς τῇ βουλῇ ἐπὶ τοῖς δρυφάκτοις.
[51] πάλιν δὲ εἰσελθὼν εἶπεν: ἐγώ, ὦ βουλή, νομίζω προστάτου ἔργον εἶναι οἵου δεῖ, ὃς ἂν ὁρῶν τοὺς φίλους ἐξαπατωμένους μὴ ἐπιτρέπῃ. καὶ ἐγὼ οὖν τοῦτο ποιήσω. καὶ γὰρ οἵδε οἱ ἐφεστηκότες οὔ φασιν ἡμῖν ἐπιτρέψειν, εἰ ἀνήσομεν ἄνδρα τὸν φανερῶς τὴν ὀλιγαρχίαν λυμαινόμενον. ἔστι δὲ ἐν τοῖς καινοῖς νόμοις τῶν μὲν ἐν τοῖς τρισχιλίοις ὄντων μηδένα ἀποθνῄσκειν ἄνευ τῆς ὑμετέρας ψήφου, τῶν δ᾽ ἔξω τοῦ καταλόγου κυρίους εἶναι τοὺς τριάκοντα θανατοῦν. ἐγὼ οὖν, ἔφη, Θηραμένην τουτονὶ ἐξαλείφω ἐκ τοῦ καταλόγου, συνδοκοῦν ἅπασιν ἡμῖν. καὶ τοῦτον, ἔφη, ἡμεῖς θανατοῦμεν.
[52] ἀκούσας ταῦτα ὁ Θηραμένης ἀνεπήδησεν ἐπὶ τὴν ἑστίαν καὶ εἶπεν: ἐγὼ δ᾽, ἔφη, ὦ ἄνδρες, ἱκετεύω τὰ πάντων ἐννομώτατα, μὴ ἐπὶ Κριτίᾳ εἶναι ἐξαλείφειν μήτε ἐμὲ μήτε ὑμῶν ὃν ἂν βούληται, ἀλλ᾽ ὅνπερ νόμον οὗτοι ἔγραψαν περὶ τῶν ἐν τῷ καταλόγῳ, κατὰ τοῦτον καὶ ὑμῖν καὶ ἐμοὶ τὴν κρίσιν εἶναι.
[53] καὶ τοῦτο μέν, ἔφη, μὰ τοὺς θεοὺς οὐκ ἀγνοῶ, ὅτι οὐδέν μοι ἀρκέσει ὅδε ὁ βωμός, ἀλλὰ βούλομαι καὶ τοῦτο ἐπιδεῖξαι, ὅτι οὗτοι οὐ μόνον εἰσὶ περὶ ἀνθρώπους ἀδικώτατοι, ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ θεοὺς ἀσεβέστατοι. ὑμῶν μέντοι, ἔφη, ὦ ἄνδρες καλοὶ κἀγαθοί, θαυμάζω, εἰ μὴ βοηθήσετε ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ταῦτα γιγνώσκοντες ὅτι οὐδὲν τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα εὐεξαλειπτότερον ἢ τὸ ὑμῶν ἑκάστου.
[54] ἐκ δὲ τούτου ἐκέλευσε μὲν ὁ τῶν τριάκοντα κῆρυξ τοὺς ἕνδεκα ἐπὶ τὸν Θηραμένην: ἐκεῖνοι δὲ
εἰσελθόντες σὺν τοῖς ὑπηρέταις, ἡγουμένου αὐτῶν Σατύρου τοῦ θρασυτάτου τε καὶ ἀναιδεστάτου, εἶπε μὲν ὁ Κριτίας: παραδίδομεν ὑμῖν, ἔφη, Θηραμένην τουτονὶ κατακεκριμένον κατὰ τὸν νόμον:
[55] ὑμεῖς δὲ λαβόντες καὶ ἀπαγαγόντες οἱ ἕνδεκα οὗ δεῖ τὰ ἐκ τούτων πράττετε. ὡς δὲ ταῦτα εἶπεν, εἷλκε μὲν ἀπὸ τοῦ βωμοῦ ὁ Σάτυρος, εἷλκον δὲ οἱ ὑπηρέται. ὁ δὲ Θηραμένης ὥσπερ εἰκὸς καὶ θεοὺς ἐπεκαλεῖτο καὶ ἀνθρώπους καθορᾶν τὰ γιγνόμενα. ἡ δὲ βουλὴ ἡσυχίαν εἶχεν, ὁρῶσα καὶ τοὺς ἐπὶ τοῖς δρυφάκτοις ὁμοίους Σατύρῳ καὶ τὸ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ βουλευτηρίου πλῆρες τῶν φρουρῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἀγνοοῦντες ὅτι ἐγχειρίδια ἔχοντες παρῆσαν.
[56] οἱ δ᾽ ἀπήγαγον τὸν ἄνδρα διὰ τῆς ἀγορᾶς μάλα μεγάλῃ τῇ φωνῇ δηλοῦντα οἷα ἔπασχε. λέγεται δ᾽ ἓν ῥῆμα καὶ τοῦτο αὐτοῦ. ὡς εἶπεν ὁ Σάτυρος ὅτι οἰμώξοιτο, εἰ μὴ σιωπήσειεν, ἐπήρετο: ἂν δὲ σιωπῶ, οὐκ ἄρ᾽, ἔφη, οἰμώξομαι; καὶ ἐπεί γε ἀποθνῄσκειν ἀναγκαζόμενος τὸ κώνειον ἔπιε, τὸ λειπόμενον ἔφασαν ἀποκοτταβίσαντα εἰπεῖν αὐτόν: Κριτίᾳ τοῦτ᾽ ἔστω τῷ καλῷ. καὶ τοῦτο μὲν οὐκ ἀγνοῶ, ὅτι ταῦτα ἀποφθέγματα οὐκ ἀξιόλογα, ἐκεῖνο δὲ κρίνω τοῦ ἀνδρὸς ἀγαστόν, τὸ τοῦ θανάτου παρεστηκότος μήτε τὸ φρόνιμον μήτε τὸ παιγνιῶδες ἀπολιπεῖν ἐκ τῆς ψυχῆς.
Θηραμένης μὲν δὴ οὕτως ἀπέθανεν: οἱ δὲ τριάκοντα, ὡς ἐξὸν ἤδη αὐτοῖς τυραννεῖν ἀδεῶς, προεῖπον μὲν τοῖς ἔξω τοῦ καταλόγου μὴ εἰσιέναι εἰς τὸ ἄστυ, ἦγον δὲ ἐκ τῶν χωρίων, ἵν᾽ αὐτοὶ καὶ οἱ φίλοι τοὺς τούτων ἀγροὺς ἔχοιεν. φευγόντων δὲ εἰς τὸν Πειραιᾶ καὶ ἐντεῦθεν πολλοὺς ἄγοντες ἐνέπλησαν καὶ τὰ Μέγαρα καὶ τὰς Θήβας τῶν ὑποχωρούντων.
Text zum downloaden

 

Projekttitel: eManual Alte Geschichte
Modul [optional]:
Übersetzung: Carleton l. Brownson
Lizenz: CC-BY-NC-SA

Übersetzung

[11] Now at Athens the Thirty had been chosen as soon as the long walls and the walls round Piraeus were demolished; although chosen, however, for the purpose of framing a constitution under which to conduct the government, they continually delayed framing and publishing this constitution, but they appointed a Senate and the other magistrates as they saw fit.
[12] Then, as a first step, they arrested and brought to trial for their lives those persons who, by common knowledge, had made a living in the time of the democracy by acting as informers and had been offensive to the aristocrats; and the Senate was glad to pronounce these people guilty, and the rest of the citizens—at least all who were conscious that they were not of the same sort themselves—were not at all displeased.
[13] When, however, the Thirty began to consider how they might become free to do just as they pleased with the state, their first act was to send Aeschines and Aristoteles to Lacedaemon and persuade Lysander to help them to secure the sending of a Lacedaemonian garrison, to remain until, as they said, they could put “the scoundrels” out of the way and establish their government; and they promised to maintain this garrison at their own charges.
[14] Lysander consented, and helped them to secure the dispatch of the troops and of Callibius as governor. But when they had got the garrison, they paid court to Callibius in every way, in order that he might approve of everything they did, and as he detailed guardsmen to go with them, they arrested the people whom they wished to reach,—not now “the scoundrels” and persons of little account, but from this time forth the men who, they thought, were least likely to submit to being ignored, and who, if they undertook to offer any opposition, would obtain supporters in the greatest numbers.
[15] Now in the beginning Critias and Theramenes were agreed in their policy and friendly; but when Critias showed himself eager to put many to death, because, for one thing, he had been banished by the democracy, Theramenes opposed him, saying that it1 was not reasonable to put a man to death because he was honoured by the commons, provided he was doing no harm to the aristocrats. “For,” said he, “you and I also have said and done many things for the sake of winning the favour of the city.”
[16] Then Critias (for he still treated Theramenes as a friend) replied that it was impossible for people who wanted to gain power not to put out of the way those who were best able to thwart them. “But if,” he said, “merely because we are thirty and not one, you imagine that it is any the less necessary for us to keep a close watch over this government, just as one would if it were an absolute monarchy, you are foolish.”
[17] But when, on account of the great numbers continually—and unjustly—put to death, it was evident that many were banding together and wondering what the state was coming to, Theramenes spoke again, saying that unless they admitted an adequate number of citizens into partnership with them in the management of affairs, it would be impossible for the oligarchy to endure.
[18] Accordingly Critias and the rest of the Thirty, who were by this time alarmed and feared above all that the citizens would flock to the support of Theramenes, enrolled a body of three thousand, who were to share, as they said, in the government.
[19] Theramenes, however, objected to this move also, saying that, in the first place, it seemed to him absurd that, when they wanted to make the best of the citizens their associates, they should limit themselves to three thousand, as though this number must somehow be good men and true and there could neither be excellent men outside this body nor rascals within1 it. “Besides,” he said, “we are undertaking, in my opinion, two absolutely inconsistent things,—to rig up our government on the basis of force and at the same time to make it weaker than its subjects.”
[20] This was what Theramenes said. As for the Thirty, they held a review, the Three Thousand assembling in the market-place and those who were not on “the roll” in various places here and there; then they gave the order to pile arms, and while the men were off duty and away, they sent their Lacedaemonian guardsmen and such citizens as were in sympathy with them, seized the arms of all except the Three Thousand, carried them up to the Acropolis, and deposited them in the temple.
[21] And now, when this had been accomplished, thinking that they were at length free to do whatever they pleased, they put many people to death out of personal enmity, and many also for the sake of securing their property. One measure that they resolved upon, in order to get money to pay their guardsmen, was that each of their number should seize one of the aliens residing in the city, and that they should put these men to death and confiscate their property.
[22] So they bade Theramenes also to seize anyone he pleased; and he replied: “But it is not honourable, as it seems to me,” he said, “for people who style themselves the best citizens to commit acts of greater injustice than the informers used to do. For they allowed those from whom they got money, to live; but shall we, in order to get money, put to death men who are guilty of no wrong-doing? Are not such acts altogether more unjust than theirs were?”
[23] Then the Thirty, thinking that Theramenes was an obstacle to their doing whatever they pleased, plotted against him, and kept accusing him to individual senators, one to one man and another to another, of injuring the government. And after passing the word to some young men, who seemed to them most audacious, to be in attendance with daggers hidden under their arms, they convened the Senate.
[24-34] (Kritias hält eine Anklagerede gegen Theramenes. Dieser sei ein notorischer Opportunist, Verräter und Fahnenwechsler. Er habe bereits eine Oligarchie verraten und plane dies nun erneut. Ferner habe er die Polis schon bei anderen Gelegenheiten verraten, so bei der Seeschlacht an den Arginusen. Kritias schließt damit, dass ein solcher Verräter in Sparta, das ja die beste Verfassung habe, sofort hingerichtet würde. Dies solle hier nun auch geschehen.] [35-49] (Theramenes verteidigt sich mit einer Rede. Er habe niemanden verraten, außerdem sei auch Kritias ein Opportunist, da er für die Demokratie gearbeitet habe. Er, Theramenes, sei Feind der 30 geworden, als sie verdiente Bürger aus Gier töten ließen und die Polis durch die Entwaffnung der Bürger schwächten. Ferner sei er selbst ein Freund aller Klassen, Kritias ein Feind aller – extreme Oligarchien wie Demokratien lehnt Theramenes ab.] [50] When with these words he ceased speaking and the Senate had shown its good will by applause, Critias, realizing that if he should allow the Senate to pass judgment on the case, Theramenes would escape, and thinking that this would be unendurable, went and held a brief consultation with the Thirty, and then went out and ordered the men with the daggers to take their stand at the railing in plain sight of the Senate.
[51] Then he came in again and said: “Senators, I deem it the duty of a leader who is what he ought to be, in case he sees that his friends are being deceived, not to permit it. I, therefore, shall follow that course. Besides, these men who have taken their stand here say that if we propose to let a man go who is manifestly injuring the oligarchy, they will not suffer us to do so. Now it is provided in the new laws that while no one of those who are on the roll of the Three Thousand may be put to death without your vote, the Thirty shall have power of life or death over those outside the roll. I, therefore,” he said, “strike off this man Theramenes from the roll, with the approval of all the Thirty. That being done,” he added, “we now condemn him to death.”
[52] When Theramenes heard this, he sprang to the altar and said: “And I, sirs,” said he, “beg only bare justice,—that it be not within the power of Critias to strike off either me or whomsoever of you he may wish, but rather that both in your case and in mine the judgment may be rendered strictly in accordance with that law which these men have made regarding those on the roll.
[53] To be sure,” said he, “I know, I swear by the gods, only too well, that this altar will avail me nothing, but I wish to show that these Thirty are not only most unjust toward men, but also most impious toward the gods. But I am surprised at you,” he said, “gentlemen of the aristocracy, that you are not going to defend your own rights, especially when you know that my name is not a whit easier to strike off than the name of each of you.”
[54] At this moment the herald of the Thirty ordered the Eleven to seize Theramenes; and when they came in, attended by their servants and with Satyrus, the most audacious and shameless of them, at their head, Critias said: “We hand over to you,” said he, “this man Theramenes, condemned according to the law. Do you, the Eleven, take him and lead him to the proper place and do that which follows.”
[55] When Critias had spoken these words, Satyrus dragged Theramenes away from the altar, and his servants lent their aid. And Theramenes, as was natural, called upon gods and men to witness what was going on. But the senators kept quiet, seeing that the men at the rail were of the same sort as Satyrus and that the space in front of the senate-house was filled with the guardsmen, and being well aware that the former had come armed with daggers.
[56] So they led the man away through the market-place, while he proclaimed in a very loud voice the wrongs he was suffering. One saying of his that is reported was this: when Satyrus told him that if he did not keep quiet, he would suffer for it, he asked: “Then if I do keep quiet, shall I not suffer?” And when, being compelled to die, he had drunk the hemlock, they said that he threw out the last drops, like a man playing kottabos, and exclaimed: “Here’s to the health of my beloved Critias.” Now I am not unaware of this, that these are not sayings worthy of record; still, I deem it admirable in the man that when death was close at hand, neither self-possession nor the spirit of playfulness departed from his soul.
Text zum downloaden

 

Projekttitel: eManual Alte Geschichte
Modul [optional]:
Autor_in: Tobias Nowitzki
Lizenz: CC-BY-NC-SA

 

Xen. Hell. 2,3,11-2,4,1

Leitfragen

1) In welchen Schritten entwickelt sich die Tyrannis der 30 in Athen laut Xenophon?

2) Wieso wird gerade der Tod des Theramenes so ausführlich beschrieben, ganz im Gegensatz zu anderen, nur kurz erwähnten Fällen?

3) Welche Rückschlüsse können aus dieser Quelle über die Stabilität der Herrschaft der 30 gewonnen werden?

 

Kommentar

Xenophon hat uns in seiner Hellenika, seinem großen Geschichtswerk, eine Beschreibung der Herrschaft der dreißig Tyrannen in Athen überliefert. Die dreißig Tyrannen hat Xenophon in seiner Jugend selbst erlebt, er schreibt also aus seiner Sicht Zeitgeschichte.

Nach der Niederlage im Peloponnesischen Krieg gegen Sparta wurde Athen gezwungen, seine langen Mauern, die den Hafen mit der Stadt verbanden, abzureißen und eine oligarchische Verfassung anzunehmen. Zuständig dafür sollten die dreißig Tyrannen sein, hochrangige Athener, die als Gruppe den Staat übernahmen und eine oligarchische Tyrannis errichteten. In einem ersten Schritt verzögerten sie die Veröffentlichung einer Verfassung und setzten stattdessen einen Rat nach eigenem Gutdünken ein, der mit Sicherheit handverlesen war. Dass sich viele Athener bereitfanden, den Tyrannen als Ratsleute zu dienen, lässt sich im Wesentlichen durch zwei Dinge erklären: Zum Einen gab es in Athen schon lange starke oligarisch-antidemokratische Strömungen in der Oberschicht und zum Anderen waren die ersten Opfer der Dreißig den anderen Oberschichtmitgliedern wohl recht willkommen. In einem zweiten Schritt holten die Dreißig eine spartanische Garnison in die Stadt, die sie als eine Art Privatarmee nutzten – Sparta hatte ein großes Interesse daran, dass Athen nicht wieder zu einer Demokratie wurde. Nachdem die Dreißig ihre Macht so militärisch abgesichert hatten, legten sie fest, dass die Anzahl an Bürgern auf 3000 begrenzt sein sollte und zwangen alle anderen, ihre Waffen abzugeben. Gleichzeitig begannen sie, sich selbst zu bereichern, indem sie reiche Metöken und Bürger hinrichteten und deren Vermögen beschlagnahmten. Dies brachte ihnen jedoch Widerspruch von Theramenes ein, einem eigentlich auch oligarchisch gesinnten Oberschichtmitglied, der die Radikalität dieser Maßnahmen allerdings kritisierte. 3000 Bürger seien zu wenig, um die Stadt zu verteidigen, und es sei eine Katastrophe, verdiente Bürger zu töten, um sich selbst zu bereichern. Als Reaktion darauf ließen Kritias und die Dreißig den Rat zusammenkommen, um ihn zum Tode verurteilen zu lassen. Als sie merkten, dass ihre Forderung keine Mehrheit finden würde, verurteilten sie ihn kurzerhand selbst zum Tode. Er suchte zwar noch am Altar Zuflucht, wurde aber davon weggezerrt und hingerichtet.

In dieser letzten Szene wird auch der Grund deutlich, aus dem Xenophon diese Episode in solcher Länge beschreibt. Dies ist erklärungsbedürftig, da auch andere Widerstand gegen die Dreißig leisteten und hingerichtet wurden. Aber das Ende des Theramenes war für Xenophon aus zwei Gründen besonders interessant. Zum Einen weil der Rat den Dreißig nicht zustimmt, wie sie es wollten, was einiges über die Stabilität ihrer Herrschaft aussagt. Und zum Anderen weil Theramenes Schutz am Altar sucht und dennoch hingerichtet wird, ein klarer Frevel gegen die Götter. Xenophon bezieht damit Position gegen diese extreme Form der Oligarchie; inwieweit er gemäßigte Oligarchien guthieß, ist umstritten. Sicher ist, dass viele Schriftsteller demokratiefeindlich waren, darunter auch Platon, dessen „Mitschüler“ bei Sokrates Kritias war.

Die Herrschaft der Dreißig stellt sich hier als instabil dar. Zwar haben sie die Macht, mittels ihrer bewaffneten Leibwächter Theramenes selbst vom Altar zu reißen und hinrichten zu lassen. Aber es gelingt ihnen nicht, den Rat, und damit die Masse der einflussreichen Athener, auf ihre Seite zu ziehen. Wahrscheinlich haben viele von ihnen mit Theramenes‘ Vision einer gemäßigten Oligarchie geliebäugelt – in dieser Episode werden sie nur durch Gewaltandrohung in Schach gehalten.

Text zum downloaden

Podcast-Hinweise
Sehen Sie zu dieser Quelle auch den Podcast „Die athenische Demokratie“. Um einen breiteren Einblick in die griechische Klassik  zu erhalten, sehen Sie auch die Podcastreihe „Griechische Geschichte II – Klassik“.
Hier geht’s zum Podcast

 

Zur Herrschaft der Dreißig siehe auch den entsprechenden Bericht aus der Athenaion Politeia des Aristoteles (http://emanualaltegeschichte.blogs.uni-hamburg.de/30-tyrannen/). Zum Verhältnis der athenischen Oberschicht zur Demokratie siehe auch den Bericht zum Ostrakismos (http://emanualaltegeschichte.blogs.uni-hamburg.de/ostrakismus-des-themistokles/), zu den Liturgien (http://emanualaltegeschichte.blogs.uni-hamburg.de/liturgie/) und den kleisthenischen Reformen (http://emanualaltegeschichte.blogs.uni-hamburg.de/kleisthenische-reformen/).