Nice While It Lasted

I am so angry today (not that this is anything new at this point really, but…) and I am generally helpless to do anything about it. Innocent until proven guilty? Ha!

The Honest Courtesan

This essay first appeared in Cliterati on June 15th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

Emperor JulianDuring the reign of the Emperor Julian a man named Numerius, who was governor of Narbonensis (what is today southern France), was accused of embezzlement by one Delphidius; because Numerius was a high official his trial was presided over by the Emperor himself.  Numerius’ defense consisted entirely of denying his guilt, but since Delphidius had no actual evidence this was enough.  When it became clear that his attempts to trick Numerius into self-incrimination had failed, and that the charge would fail with them, Delphidius cried out, “Oh, illustrious Caesar!  If it is sufficient to deny, what hereafter will become of the guilty?”  Julian’s famous (and quotable) reply was, “If it suffices to accuse, what will become of the innocent?”

The principle was not new in 4th century…

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One thought on “Nice While It Lasted

  1. Yes i hate the “perp walks” they have on TV just because someone is accused of a crime. It’s become obvious one is now guilty until proven innocent by an expensive lawyer. I remember as a youth some guy with a used tire business up from my mum’s being accused of a crime and it was on the front page of the newspaper, but then a year later when he was proven innocent it was a small article on the back page. To this day when i drive by i think about that, and don’t even know if the guy is alive or dead or even still owns that business, but i am sure his life was destroyed going through that ordeal. There seems to have been a devolution in society back to “she’s a witch lets burn her” mentality, but the burning is of one’s reputation and freedom. Thanks for sharing this blog post.

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