The Family Neaira: A former courtesan, now concubine of Stephanos. Stephanos: Neaira’s partner and her defender Phano: Allegedly a daughter of Neaira Phrastor and Theogenes: the first and second husband of Phano. Antidorides, Ariston, Proxenos: Allegedly sons of Neaira and Stephanos Thratta and Kokkaline: two slave girls of Neaira
Other Characters Apollodoros: the prosecutor Theomnestos: the person who brought the lawsuit Eukrates and Timanoridas: lovers of Neaira Phrynion: Lover of Neaira Epainetos: Lover of Neaira and Phano
The prosecution Theomnestos, acting for Apollodoros prosecuted Neaira for immigration offences (pretence of lawful marriage to a citizen). He argues that the children of Stephanos and Neaira are citizens, while they should not be on account of the status of their mother who is an alien, and thus could not be a citizen’s lawful wife. To prove his case he will present many unsavory details about the past of Neaira and her alleged daughter Phano.
The defense Stephanos agrees that Neaira is an alien ex-courtesan, but argues that she was only his concubine. The children were his from another citizen woman. If Stephanos could present witnesses to that, the legal case of the prosecution would be demolished. Thus the contentious point really is not whether Neaira was a prostitute, but whether the children are hers.
Phano To prove his point Apollodoros leaves the three boys alone. By the time of this trial they were adult registered citizens, and he would need very serious proof to dispute their status which he did not have. Instead he focuses on the easier target, Phano. He argues that her first husband divorced her because she was an alien He also argues that her second husband divorced her for the same reason.
The defense Phanos’s first marriage failed because of character differences, but the son born to that marriage was legitimate at the time of this trial and maybe a young adult, registered as a citizen, which assumes that his mother was a citizen Phano’s second marriage failed because she married the archon basileus, who by law had to marry a virgin. His wife played a significant role in religious festivals, and for that reason her status also mattered to the state.
The case Other than allegations Apollodoros has nothing concrete. The defense could bring witnesses for the first marriage of Stephanos, and all the children of the marriages were citizens. This arguably proved that they were not Neaira’s children. Apollodoros tries to throw sensational stories and mud to cover up the weakness of his case. He also addresses a challenge which was a very weak form of evidence, if any at all. We do not know the outcome of the case.