The murder of Eratosthenes by Lysias: Did Euphiletos have the right to kill Eratosthenes?

  • We will present you the story of a man in ancient Athens, Euphiletos, as Euphiletos narrates it at the court. Euphiletos killed a young man Eratosthenes, because Eratosthenes had an affair with Euphiletos' wife. Euphiletos is trying to defend himself against the accusations of Eratosthenes' relatives. What we know about this case comes from what Euphiletos says. We have just the side of the person who commited the crime. Our story is a crime story but we are not going to look for the murderer. We know him from the beginning. What we are going to find out is if, according to the Athenian law, the homicide is justifiable or not.

    Actually, Euphiletos hasn't written his speech himself. Lysias, a famous ancient Greek orator, wrote the speech for him. That's what happened in ancient Athens. You had to pay a logographos as we know pay our lawyers to defend us at the court. However, Euphiletos had to learn the speech by heard and talk for his own behalf before the judges.

    Let's see the details and let's find out if the murder was justified or not! You can find an English translation of Lysias' speech "On the murder of Eratosthenes" here! You can find our presentation of the speech here!

    Sorry, no videos from the 4th century BC Athenian court! But, in case you're interested, have a look at this ( or click here to read about it: