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Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(/dɪˈmɒs.θəniːz/; Greek: Δημοσθένης Dēmosthénēs; Attic Greek: [dɛːmosˈtʰenɛːs]; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
learned rhetoric by studying the speeches of previous great orators. He delivered his first judicial speeches at the age of 20, in which he argued effectively to gain from his guardians what was left of his inheritance. For a time, Demosthenes made his living as a professional speech-writer (logographer) and a lawyer, writing speeches for use in private legal suits. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
grew interested in politics during his time as a logographer, and in 354 BC he gave his first public political speeches. He went on to devote his most productive years to opposing Macedon's expansion. He idealized his city and strove throughout his life to restore Athens' supremacy and motivate his compatriots against Philip II of Macedon. He sought to preserve his city's freedom and to establish an alliance against Macedon, in an unsuccessful attempt to impede Philip's plans to expand his influence southward by conquering all the other Greek states. After Philip's death, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
played a leading part in his city's uprising against the new king of Macedonia, Alexander the Great. However, his efforts failed and the revolt was met with a harsh Macedonian reaction. To prevent a similar revolt against his own rule, Alexander's successor in this region, Antipater, sent his men to track Demosthenes
Demosthenes
down. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
took his own life, in order to avoid being arrested by Archias of Thurii, Antipater's confidant. The Alexandrian Canon compiled by Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace
Aristarchus of Samothrace
recognised Demosthenes
Demosthenes
as one of the ten greatest Attic orators
Attic orators
and logographers. Longinus likened Demosthenes to a blazing thunderbolt, and argued that he "perfected to the utmost the tone of lofty speech, living passions, copiousness, readiness, speed".[2] Quintilian
Quintilian
extolled him as lex orandi ("the standard of oratory"), and Cicero
Cicero
said about him that inter omnis unus excellat ("he stands alone among all the orators"), and he also acclaimed him as "the perfect orator" who lacked nothing.[3]

Contents

1 Early years and personal life

1.1 Family and personal life 1.2 Education 1.3 Speech training

2 Career

2.1 Legal career 2.2 Early political activity 2.3 Confrontation with Philip II

2.3.1 First Philippic and the Olynthiacs (351–349 BC) 2.3.2 Case of Meidias (348 BC) 2.3.3 Peace of Philocrates (347–345 BC) 2.3.4 Second and Third Philippics (344–341 BC) 2.3.5 Battle of Chaeronea
Chaeronea
(338 BC)

2.4 Last political initiatives and death

2.4.1 Confrontation with Alexander 2.4.2 Delivery of On the Crown 2.4.3 Case of Harpalus and death

3 Assessments

3.1 Political career 3.2 Oratorical skill

4 Rhetorical legacy 5 Works and transmission 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Sources

9.1 Primary sources ( Greeks
Greeks
and Romans) 9.2 Secondary sources

10 Further reading 11 External links

Early years and personal life[edit] Family and personal life[edit]

Bust of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(British Museum, London), Roman copy of a Greek original sculpted by Polyeuktos.

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was born in 384 BC, during the last year of the 98th  Olympiad
Olympiad
or the first year of the 99th Olympiad.[4] His father—also named Demosthenes—who belonged to the local tribe, Pandionis, and lived in the deme of Paeania[5] in the Athenian countryside, was a wealthy sword-maker.[6] Aeschines, Demosthenes' greatest political rival, maintained that his mother Kleoboule was a Scythian by blood[7]—an allegation disputed by some modern scholars.[a] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was orphaned at the age of seven. Although his father provided well for him, his legal guardians, Aphobus, Demophon and Therippides, mishandled his inheritance.[8] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
started to learn rhetoric because he wished to take his guardians to court and because he was of "delicate physique" and couldn't receive gymnastic education which was customary. In Parallel Lives Plutarch
Plutarch
states that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
built an underground study where he practiced speaking and shaving one half of his head so that he could not go out in public. Plutarch
Plutarch
also states that he had “an inarticulate and stammering pronunciation” that he got rid of by speaking with pebbles in his mouth and by repeating verses when running or out of breath. He also practiced speaking in front of a large mirror.[9] As soon as Demosthenes
Demosthenes
came of age in 366 BC, he demanded they render an account of their management. According to Demosthenes, the account revealed the misappropriation of his property. Although his father left an estate of nearly fourteen talents, (equivalent to about 220 years of a labourer's income at standard wages, or 11 million dollars in terms of median US annual incomes)[10] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
asserted his guardians had left nothing "except the house, and fourteen slaves and thirty silver minae" (30 minae = ½ talent).[11] At the age of 20 Demosthenes
Demosthenes
sued his trustees in order to recover his patrimony and delivered five orations: three Against Aphobus during 363 and 362 BC and two Against Onetor during 362 and 361 BC. The courts fixed Demosthenes' damages at ten talents.[12] When all the trials came to an end,[b] he only succeeded in retrieving a portion of his inheritance.[13] According to Pseudo-Plutarch, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was married once. The only information about his wife, whose name is unknown, is that she was the daughter of Heliodorus, a prominent citizen.[14] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
also had a daughter, "the only one who ever called him father", according to Aeschines
Aeschines
in a trenchant remark.[15] His daughter died young and unmarried a few days before Philip II's death.[15] In his speeches, Aeschines
Aeschines
uses pederastic relations of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
as a means to attack him. In the case of Aristion, a youth from Plataea who lived for a long time in Demosthenes' house, Aeschines
Aeschines
mocks the "scandalous" and "improper" relation.[16] In another speech, Aeschines brings up the pederastic relation of his opponent with a boy called Cnosion. The slander that Demosthenes' wife also slept with the boy suggests that the relationship was contemporary with his marriage.[17] Aeschines
Aeschines
claims that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
made money out of young rich men, such as Aristarchus, the son of Moschus, whom he allegedly deceived with the pretence that he could make him a great orator. Apparently, while still under Demosthenes' tutelage, Aristarchus killed and mutilated a certain Nicodemus of Aphidna. Aeschines
Aeschines
accused Demosthenes
Demosthenes
of complicity in the murder, pointing out that Nicodemus had once pressed a lawsuit accusing Demosthenes
Demosthenes
of desertion. He also accused Demosthenes
Demosthenes
of having been such a bad erastes to Aristarchus so as not even to deserve the name. His crime, according to Aeschines, was to have betrayed his eromenos by pillaging his estate, allegedly pretending to be in love with the youth so as to get his hands on the boy's inheritance. Nevertheless, the story of Demosthenes' relations with Aristarchus is still regarded as more than doubtful, and no other pupil of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
is known by name.[18] Education[edit]

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Practising Oratory by Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouy (1842–1923). Demosthenes
Demosthenes
used to study in an underground room he constructed himself. He also used to talk with pebbles in his mouth and recited verses while running.[19] To strengthen his voice, he spoke on the seashore over the roar of the waves.

Between his coming of age in 366 BC and the trials that took place in 364 BC, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and his guardians negotiated acrimoniously but were unable to reach an agreement, for neither side was willing to make concessions.[20] At the same time, Demosthenes prepared himself for the trials and improved his oratory skill. According to a story repeated by Plutarch, when Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was an adolescent, his curiosity was noticed by the orator Callistratus, who was then at the height of his reputation, having just won a case of considerable importance.[21] According to Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philologist and philosopher, and Constantine Paparrigopoulos, a major modern Greek historian, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was a student of Isocrates;[22] according to Cicero, Quintillian
Quintillian
and the Roman biographer Hermippus, he was a student of Plato.[23] Lucian, a Roman-Syrian rhetorician and satirist, lists the philosophers Aristotle, Theophrastus
Theophrastus
and Xenocrates
Xenocrates
among his teachers.[24] These claims are nowadays disputed.[c] According to Plutarch, Demosthenes employed Isaeus as his master in rhetoric, even though Isocrates
Isocrates
was then teaching this subject, either because he could not pay Isocrates the prescribed fee or because Demosthenes
Demosthenes
believed Isaeus's style better suited a vigorous and astute orator such as himself .[25] Curtius, a German archaeologist and historian, likened the relation between Isaeus and Demosthenes
Demosthenes
to "an intellectual armed alliance".[26] It has also been said that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
paid Isaeus 10,000 drachmae (somewhat over 1.5 talents) on the condition that Isaeus should withdraw from a school of rhetoric which he had opened, and should devote himself wholly to Demosthenes, his new pupil.[26] Another version credits Isaeus with having taught Demosthenes
Demosthenes
without charge.[27] According to Sir Richard C. Jebb, a British classical scholar, "the intercourse between Isaeus and Demosthenes
Demosthenes
as teacher and learner can scarcely have been either very intimate or of very long duration".[26] Konstantinos Tsatsos, a Greek professor and academician, believes that Isaeus helped Demosthenes edit his initial judicial orations against his guardians.[28] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
is also said to have admired the historian Thucydides. In the Illiterate Book-Fancier, Lucian
Lucian
mentions eight beautiful copies of Thucydides
Thucydides
made by Demosthenes, all in Demosthenes' own handwriting.[29] These references hint at his respect for a historian he must have assiduously studied.[30] Speech training[edit] According to Plutarch, when Demosthenes
Demosthenes
first addressed himself to the people, he was derided for his strange and uncouth style, "which was cumbered with long sentences and tortured with formal arguments to a most harsh and disagreeable excess".[31] Some citizens, however, discerned his talent. When he first left the ecclesia (the Athenian Assembly) disheartened, an old man named Eunomus encouraged him, saying his diction was very much like that of Pericles.[32] Another time, after the ecclesia had refused to hear him and he was going home dejected, an actor named Satyrus followed him and entered into a friendly conversation with him.[33] As a boy Demosthenes
Demosthenes
had a speech impediment: Plutarch
Plutarch
refers to a weakness in his voice of "a perplexed and indistinct utterance and a shortness of breath, which, by breaking and disjointing his sentences much obscured the sense and meaning of what he spoke."[31] There are problems in Plutarch's account, however, and it is probable that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
actually suffered rhotacism, mispronouncing ρ (r) as λ (l).[34] Aeschines
Aeschines
taunted him and referred to him in his speeches by the nickname "Batalus",[d] apparently invented by Demosthenes' pedagogues or by the little boys with whom he was playing[35] and corresponding to the way in which a person with that variety of rhotacism would pronounce Battaros, the name of a legendary Libyan king who spoke quickly and in a disordered fashion. Demosthenes undertook a disciplined programme to overcome his weaknesses and improve his delivery, including diction, voice and gestures.[36] According to one story, when he was asked to name the three most important elements in oratory, he replied "Delivery, delivery and delivery!"[37] It is unknown whether such vignettes are factual accounts of events in Demosthenes' life or merely anecdotes used to illustrate his perseverance and determination.[38] Career[edit]

Illustration by Walter Crane
Walter Crane
of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
leaving the Assembly in shame after his first failure at public speaking, as described by Plutarch
Plutarch
in his Life of Demosthenes

Legal career[edit] To make his living, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
became a professional litigant, both as a "logographer", writing speeches for use in private legal suits, and advocate ("synegoros") speaking on another's behalf. He seems to have been able to manage any kind of case, adapting his skills to almost any client, including wealthy and powerful men. It is not unlikely that he became a teacher of rhetoric and that he brought pupils into court with him. However, though he probably continued writing speeches throughout his career,[e] he stopped working as an advocate once he entered the political arena.[39]

"If you feel bound to act in the spirit of that dignity, whenever you come into court to give judgement on public causes, you must bethink yourselves that with his staff and his badge every one of you receives in trust the ancient pride of Athens."

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(On the Crown, 210)—The orator's defence of the honour of the courts was in contrast to the improper actions of which Aeschines
Aeschines
accused him.

Judicial oratory had become a significant literary genre by the second half of the fifth century, as represented in the speeches of Demosthenes' predecessors, Antiphon and Andocides. Logographers were a unique aspect of the Athenian justice system: evidence for a case was compiled by a magistrate in a preliminary hearing and litigants could present it as they pleased within set speeches; however, witnesses and documents were popularly mistrusted (since they could be secured by force or bribery), there was little cross-examination during the trial, there were no instructions to the jury from a judge, no conferencing between jurists before voting, the juries were huge (typically between 201 and 501 members), cases depended largely on questions of probable motive, and notions of natural justice were felt to take precedence over written law—conditions that favoured artfully constructed speeches.[40] Since Athenian politicians were often indicted by their opponents, there was not always a clear distinction between "private" and "public" cases, and thus a career as a logographer opened the way for Demosthenes
Demosthenes
to embark on his political career.[41] An Athenian logographer could remain anonymous, which enabled him to serve personal interests, even if it prejudiced the client. It also left him open to allegations of malpractice. Thus for example Aeschines
Aeschines
accused Demosthenes
Demosthenes
of unethically disclosing his clients' arguments to their opponents; in particular, that he wrote a speech for Phormion (350 BC), a wealthy banker, and then communicated it to Apollodorus, who was bringing a capital charge against Phormion.[42] Plutarch
Plutarch
much later supported this accusation, stating that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
"was thought to have acted dishonorably"[43] and he also accused Demosthenes
Demosthenes
of writing speeches for both sides. It has often been argued that the deception, if there was one, involved a political quid pro quo, whereby Apollodorus secretly pledged support for unpopular reforms that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was pursuing in the greater, public interest[44] (i.e. the diversion of Theoric Funds to military purposes). Early political activity[edit] See also: On the Navy Boards, For the Megalopolitans, and On the Liberty of the Rhodians Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was admitted to his deme as a citizen with full rights probably in 366 BC, and he soon demonstrated an interest in politics.[38] In 363 and 359 BC, he assumed the office of the trierarch, being responsible for the outfitting and maintenance of a trireme.[45] He was among the first ever volunteer trierarchs in 357 BC, sharing the expenses of a ship called Dawn, for which the public inscription still survives.[46] In 348 BC, he became a choregos, paying the expenses of a theatrical production.[47]

"While the vessel is safe, whether it be a large or a small one, then is the time for sailor and helmsman and everyone in his turn to show his zeal and to take care that it is not capsized by anyone's malice or inadvertence; but when the sea has overwhelmed it, zeal is useless."

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(Third Philippic, 69)—The orator warned his countrymen of the disasters Athens
Athens
would suffer, if they continued to remain idle and indifferent to the challenges of their times.

Between 355 and 351 BC, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
continued practising law privately while he was becoming increasingly interested in public affairs. During this period, he wrote Against Androtion and Against Leptines, two fierce attacks on individuals who attempted to repeal certain tax exemptions.[48] In Against Timocrates and Against Aristocrates, he advocated eliminating corruption.[49] All these speeches, which offer early glimpses of his general principles on foreign policy, such as the importance of the navy, of alliances and of national honour,[50] are prosecutions (graphē paranómōn) against individuals accused of illegally proposing legislative texts.[51] In Demosthenes' time, different political goals developed around personalities. Instead of electioneering, Athenian politicians used litigation and defamation to remove rivals from government processes. Often they indicted each other for breaches of the statute laws (graphē paranómōn), but accusations of bribery and corruption were ubiquitous in all cases, being part of the political dialogue. The orators often resorted to "character assassination" (diabolē, loidoria) tactics, both in the courts and in the Assembly. The rancorous and often hilariously exaggerated accusations, satirised by Old Comedy, were sustained by innuendo, inferences about motives, and a complete absence of proof; as J. H. Vince states "there was no room for chivalry in Athenian political life".[52] Such rivalry enabled the "demos" or citizen-body to reign supreme as judge, jury and executioner.[53] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was to become fully engaged in this kind of litigation and he was also to be instrumental in developing the power of the Areopagus
Areopagus
to indict individuals for treason, invoked in the ecclesia by a process called "ἀπόφασις".[54] In 354 BC, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
delivered his first political oration, On the Navy, in which he espoused moderation and proposed the reform of the symmoriai (boards) as a source of funding for the Athenian fleet.[55] In 352 BC, he delivered For the Megalopolitans and, in 351 BC, On the Liberty of the Rhodians. In both speeches he opposed Eubulus, the most powerful Athenian statesman of the period 355 to 342 BC. The latter was no pacifist but came to eschew a policy of aggressive interventionism in the internal affairs of the other Greek cities.[56] Contrary to Eubulus's policy, Demosthenes called for an alliance with Megalopolis against Sparta
Sparta
or Thebes, and for supporting the democratic faction of the Rhodians in their internal strife.[57] His arguments revealed his desire to articulate Athens's needs and interests through a more activist foreign policy, wherever opportunity might provide.[58] Although his early orations were unsuccessful and reveal a lack of real conviction and of coherent strategic and political prioritisation,[59] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
established himself as an important political personality and broke with Eubulus's faction, a prominent member of which was Aeschines.[60] He thus laid the foundations for his future political successes and for becoming the leader of his own "party" (the issue of whether the modern concept of political parties can be applied in the Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy
is hotly disputed among modern scholars).[61] Confrontation with Philip II[edit] First Philippic and the Olynthiacs (351–349 BC)[edit]

For more details on this topic, see First Philippic and Olynthiacs

Philip II of Macedon: victory medal (niketerion) struck in Tarsus, c. 2nd century BC (Cabinet des Médailles, Paris).

Most of Demosthenes' major orations were directed against the growing power of King Philip II of Macedon. Since 357 BC, when Philip seized Amphipolis
Amphipolis
and Pydna, Athens
Athens
had been formally at war with the Macedonians.[62] In 352 BC, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
characterised Philip as the very worst enemy of his city; his speech presaged the fierce attacks that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
would launch against the Macedonian king over the ensuing years.[63] A year later he criticised those dismissing Philip as a person of no account and warned that he was as dangerous as the king of Persia.[64] In 352 BC, Athenian troops successfully opposed Philip at Thermopylae,[65] but the Macedonian victory over the Phocians
Phocians
at the Battle of Crocus Field
Battle of Crocus Field
shook Demosthenes. In 351 BC, Demosthenes felt strong enough to express his view concerning the most important foreign policy issue facing Athens
Athens
at that time: the stance his city should take towards Philip. According to Jacqueline de Romilly, a French philologist and member of the Académie française, the threat of Philip would give Demosthenes' stances a focus and a raison d'être (reason for existence).[50] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
saw the king of Macedon
Macedon
as a menace to the autonomy of all Greek cities and yet he presented him as a monster of Athens's own creation; in the First Philippic he reprimanded his fellow citizens as follows: "Even if something happens to him, you will soon raise up a second Philip [...]".[66] The theme of the First Philippic (351–350 BC) was preparedness and the reform of the theoric fund,[f] a mainstay of Eubulus's policy.[50] In his rousing call for resistance, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
asked his countrymen to take the necessary action and asserted that "for a free people there can be no greater compulsion than shame for their position".[67] He thus provided for the first time a plan and specific recommendations for the strategy to be adopted against Philip in the north.[68] Among other things, the plan called for the creation of a rapid-response force, to be created cheaply with each hoplite to be paid only ten drachmas per month (two obols per day), which was less than the average pay for unskilled labourers in Athens – implying that the hoplite was expected to make up the deficiency in pay by looting.[69]

"We need money, for sure, Athenians, and without money nothing can be done that ought to be done."

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(First Olynthiac, 20)—The orator took great pains to convince his countrymen that the reform of the theoric fund was necessary to finance the city's military preparations.

From this moment until 341 BC, all of Demosthenes' speeches referred to the same issue, the struggle against Philip. In 349 BC, Philip attacked Olynthus, an ally of Athens. In the three Olynthiacs, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
criticised his compatriots for being idle and urged Athens
Athens
to help Olynthus.[70] He also insulted Philip by calling him a "barbarian".[g] Despite Demosthenes' strong advocacy, the Athenians would not manage to prevent the falling of the city to the Macedonians. Almost simultaneously, probably on Eubulus's recommendation, they engaged in a war in Euboea
Euboea
against Philip, which ended in stalemate.[71] Case of Meidias (348 BC)[edit] Further information: Against Meidias In 348 BC a peculiar event occurred: Meidias, a wealthy Athenian, publicly slapped Demosthenes, who was at the time a choregos at the Greater Dionysia, a large religious festival in honour of the god Dionysus.[47] Meidias was a friend of Eubulus and supporter of the unsuccessful excursion in Euboea.[72] He also was an old enemy of Demosthenes; in 361 BC he had broken violently into his house, with his brother Thrasylochus, to take possession of it.[73]

"Just think. The instant this court rises, each of you will walk home, one quicker, another more leisurely, not anxious, not glancing behind him, not fearing whether he is going to run up against a friend or an enemy, a big man or a little one, a strong man or a weak one, or anything of that sort. And why? Because in his heart he knows, and is confident, and has learned to trust the State, that no one shall seize or insult or strike him."

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(Against Meidias, 221)—The orator asked the Athenians to defend their legal system, by making an example of the defendant for the instruction of others.[74]

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
decided to prosecute his wealthy opponent and wrote the judicial oration Against Meidias. This speech gives valuable information about Athenian law at the time and especially about the Greek concept of hybris (aggravated assault), which was regarded as a crime not only against the city but against society as a whole.[75] He stated that a democratic state perishes if the rule of law is undermined by wealthy and unscrupulous men, and that the citizens acquire power and authority in all state affairs due "to the strength of the laws".[76] There is no consensus among scholars either on whether Demosthenes
Demosthenes
finally delivered Against Meidias or on the veracity of Aeschines' accusation that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was bribed to drop the charges.[h] Peace of Philocrates (347–345 BC)[edit] Further information: Peace of Philocrates In 348 BC, Philip conquered Olynthus
Olynthus
and razed it to the ground; then conquered the entire Chalcidice and all the states of the Chalcidic federation that Olynthus
Olynthus
had once led.[77] After these Macedonian victories, Athens
Athens
sued for peace with Macedon. Demosthenes was among those who favoured compromise. In 347 BC, an Athenian delegation, comprising Demosthenes, Aeschines
Aeschines
and Philocrates, was officially sent to Pella
Pella
to negotiate a peace treaty. In his first encounter with Philip, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
is said to have collapsed from fright.[78] The ecclesia officially accepted Philip's harsh terms, including the renouncement of their claim to Amphipolis. However, when an Athenian delegation arrived at Pella
Pella
to put Phillip under oath, which was required to conclude the treaty, he was campaigning abroad.[79] He expected that he would hold safely any Athenian possessions which he might seize before the ratification.[80] Being very anxious about the delay, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
insisted that the embassy should travel to the place where they would find Philip and swear him in without delay.[80] Despite his suggestions, the Athenian envoys, including himself and Aeschines, remained in Pella, until Philip successfully concluded his campaign in Thrace.[81] Philip swore to the treaty, but he delayed the departure of the Athenian envoys, who had yet to receive the oaths from Macedon's allies in Thessaly
Thessaly
and elsewhere. Finally, peace was sworn at Pherae, where Philip accompanied the Athenian delegation, after he had completed his military preparations to move south. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
accused the other envoys of venality and of facilitating Philip's plans with their stance.[82] Just after the conclusion of the Peace of Philocrates, Philip passed Thermopylae, and subdued Phocis; Athens made no move to support the Phocians.[83] Supported by Thebes and Thessaly, Macedon
Macedon
took control of Phocis's votes in the Amphictyonic League, a Greek religious organisation formed to support the greater temples of Apollo
Apollo
and Demeter.[84] Despite some reluctance on the part of the Athenian leaders, Athens
Athens
finally accepted Philip's entry into the Council of the League.[85] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was among those who adopted a pragmatic approach, and recommended this stance in his oration On the Peace. For Edmund M. Burke, this speech landmarks a moment of maturation in Demosthenes' career: after Philip's successful campaign in 346 BC, the Athenian statesman realised that, if he was to lead his city against the Macedonians, he had "to adjust his voice, to become less partisan in tone".[86] Second and Third Philippics (344–341 BC)[edit]

Satellite image of the Thracian Chersonese
Thracian Chersonese
and the surrounding area. The Chersonese became the focus of a bitter territorial dispute between Athens
Athens
and Macedon. It was eventually ceded to Philip in 338 BC.

For more details on this topic, see Second Philippic, On the Chersonese, Third Philippic

In 344 BC Demosthenes
Demosthenes
travelled to the Peloponnese, in order to detach as many cities as possible from Macedon's influence, but his efforts were generally unsuccessful.[87] Most of the Peloponnesians saw Philip as the guarantor of their freedom and sent a joint embassy to Athens
Athens
to express their grievances against Demosthenes' activities.[88] In response, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
delivered the Second Philippic, a vehement attack against Philip. In 343 BC Demosthenes
Demosthenes
delivered On the False Embassy against Aeschines, who was facing a charge of high treason. Nonetheless, Aeschines
Aeschines
was acquitted by the narrow margin of thirty votes by a jury which may have numbered as many as 1,501.[89] In 343 BC, Macedonian forces were conducting campaigns in Epirus and, in 342 BC, Philip campaigned in Thrace.[90] He also negotiated with the Athenians an amendment to the Peace of Philocrates.[91] When the Macedonian army approached Chersonese (now known as the Gallipoli Peninsula), an Athenian general named Diopeithes ravaged the maritime district of Thrace, thereby inciting Philip's rage. Because of this turbulence, the Athenian Assembly convened. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
delivered On the Chersonese and convinced the Athenians not to recall Diopeithes. Also in 342 BC, he delivered the Third Philippic, which is considered to be the best of his political orations.[92] Using all the power of his eloquence, he demanded resolute action against Philip and called for a burst of energy from the Athenian people. He told them that it would be "better to die a thousand times than pay court to Philip".[93] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
now dominated Athenian politics and was able to considerably weaken the pro-Macedonian faction of Aeschines. Battle of Chaeronea
Chaeronea
(338 BC)[edit] Further information: Battle of Chaeronea
Chaeronea
(338 BC)

The battle of Chaeronea
Chaeronea
took place in the autumn of 338 BC and resulted in a significant victory for Philip, who established Macedon's supremacy over the Greek cities.

In 341 BC Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was sent to Byzantium, where he sought to renew its alliance with Athens. Thanks to Demosthenes' diplomatic manoeuvres, Abydos also entered into an alliance with Athens. These developments worried Philip and increased his anger at Demosthenes. The Assembly, however, laid aside Philip's grievances against Demosthenes' conduct and denounced the peace treaty; so doing, in effect, amounted to an official declaration of war. In 339 BC Philip made his last and most effective bid to conquer southern Greece, assisted by Aeschines' stance in the Amphictyonic Council. During a meeting of the Council, Philip accused the Amfissian Locrians of intruding on consecrated ground. The presiding officer of the Council, a Thessalian named Cottyphus, proposed the convocation of an Amphictyonic Congress to inflict a harsh punishment upon the Locrians. Aeschines
Aeschines
agreed with this proposition and maintained that the Athenians should participate in the Congress.[94] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
however reversed Aeschines' initiatives and Athens
Athens
finally abstained.[95] After the failure of a first military excursion against the Locrians, the summer session of the Amphictyonic Council gave command of the league's forces to Philip and asked him to lead a second excursion. Philip decided to act at once; in the winter of 339–338 BC, he passed through Thermopylae, entered Amfissa
Amfissa
and defeated the Locrians. After this significant victory, Philip swiftly entered Phocis
Phocis
in 338 BC. He then turned south-east down the Cephissus valley, seized Elateia, and restored the fortifications of the city.[96] At the same time, Athens
Athens
orchestrated the creation of an alliance with Euboea, Megara, Achaea, Corinth, Acarnania
Acarnania
and other states in the Peloponnese. However the most desirable ally for Athens
Athens
was Thebes. To secure their allegiance, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was sent, by Athens, to the Boeotian city; Philip also sent a deputation, but Demosthenes succeeded in securing Thebes's allegiance.[97] Demosthenes' oration before the Theban people is not extant and, therefore, the arguments he used to convince the Thebans remain unknown. In any case, the alliance came at a price: Thebes's control of Boeotia was recognised, Thebes was to command solely on land and jointly at sea, and Athens was to pay two thirds of the campaign's cost.[98] While the Athenians and the Thebans were preparing themselves for war, Philip made a final attempt to appease his enemies, proposing in vain a new peace treaty.[99] After a few trivial encounters between the two sides, which resulted in minor Athenian victories, Philip drew the phalanx of the Athenian and Theban confederates into a plain near Chaeronea, where he defeated them. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
fought as a mere hoplite.[i] Such was Philip's hatred for Demosthenes
Demosthenes
that, according to Diodorus Siculus, the king after his victory sneered at the misfortunes of the Athenian statesman. However, the Athenian orator and statesman Demades is said to have remarked: "O King, when Fortune has cast you in the role of Agamemnon, are you not ashamed to act the part of Thersites? [an obscene soldier of the Greek army during the Trojan War]" Stung by these words, Philip immediately altered his demeanour.[100] Last political initiatives and death[edit] Confrontation with Alexander[edit]

Alexander Mosaic
Alexander Mosaic
from Pompeii, from a 3rd-century BC original Greek painting, now lost. In 336–335 BC, the king of Macedon crippled any attempt of the Greek cities at resistance and shattered Demosthenes's hopes for Athenian independence.

After Chaeronea, Philip inflicted a harsh punishment upon Thebes, but made peace with Athens
Athens
on very lenient terms. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
encouraged the fortification of Athens
Athens
and was chosen by the ecclesia to deliver the Funeral Oration.[101] In 337 BC, Philip created the League of Corinth, a confederation of Greek states under his leadership, and returned to Pella.[102] In 336 BC, Philip was assassinated at the wedding of his daughter, Cleopatra of Macedon, to King Alexander of Epirus. The Macedonian army swiftly proclaimed Alexander III of Macedon, then twenty years old, as the new king of Macedon. Greek cities like Athens
Athens
and Thebes saw in this change of leadership an opportunity to regain their full independence. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
celebrated Philip's assassination and played a leading part in his city's uprising. According to Aeschines, "it was but the seventh day after the death of his daughter, and though the ceremonies of mourning were not yet completed, he put a garland on his head and white raiment on his body, and there he stood making thank-offerings, violating all decency."[15] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
also sent envoys to Attalus, whom he considered to be an internal opponent of Alexander.[103] Nonetheless, Alexander moved swiftly to Thebes, which submitted shortly after his appearance at its gates. When the Athenians learned that Alexander had moved quickly to Boeotia, they panicked and begged the new king of Macedon
Macedon
for mercy. Alexander admonished them but imposed no punishment. In 335 BC Alexander felt free to engage the Thracians
Thracians
and the Illyrians, but, while he was campaigning in the north, Demosthenes spread a rumour—even producing a bloodstained messenger—that Alexander and all of his expeditionary force had been slaughtered by the Triballians.[104] The Thebans and the Athenians rebelled once again, financed by Darius III of Persia, and Demosthenes
Demosthenes
is said to have received about 300 talents on behalf of Athens
Athens
and to have faced accusations of embezzlement.[j] Alexander reacted immediately and razed Thebes to the ground. He did not attack Athens, but demanded the exile of all anti-Macedonian politicians, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
first of all. According to Plutarch, a special Athenian embassy led by Phocion, an opponent of the anti-Macedonian faction, was able to persuade Alexander to relent.[105] Delivery of On the Crown[edit] See also: On the Crown

"You stand revealed in your life and conduct, in your public performances and also in your public abstinences. A project approved by the people is going forward. Aeschines
Aeschines
is speechless. A regrettable incident is reported. Aeschines
Aeschines
is in evidence. He reminds one of an old sprain or fracture: the moment you are out of health it begins to be active."

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(On the Crown, 198)—In On the Crown
On the Crown
Demosthenes
Demosthenes
fiercely assaulted and finally neutralised Aeschines, his formidable political opponent.

Despite the unsuccessful ventures against Philip and Alexander, the Athenians still respected Demosthenes. In 336 BC, the orator Ctesiphon proposed that Athens
Athens
honour Demosthenes
Demosthenes
for his services to the city by presenting him, according to custom, with a golden crown. This proposal became a political issue and, in 330 BC, Aeschines prosecuted Ctesiphon on charges of legal irregularities. In his most brilliant speech,[106] On the Crown, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
effectively defended Ctesiphon and vehemently attacked those who would have preferred peace with Macedon. He was unrepentant about his past actions and policies and insisted that, when in power, the constant aim of his policies was the honour and the ascendancy of his country; and on every occasion and in all business he preserved his loyalty to Athens.[107] He finally defeated Aeschines, although his enemy's objections to the crowning were arguably valid from a legal point of view.[108] Case of Harpalus and death[edit] Further information: Harpalus

The site of the temple of Poseidon, Kalaureia, where Demosthenes committed suicide.

In 324 BC Harpalus, to whom Alexander had entrusted huge treasures, absconded and sought refuge in Athens.[k] The Assembly had initially refused to accept him, following Demosthenes's advice, but finally Harpalus entered Athens. He was imprisoned after a proposal of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and Phocion, despite the dissent of Hypereides, an anti-Macedonian statesman and former ally of Demosthenes. Additionally, the ecclesia decided to take control of Harpalus's money, which was entrusted to a committee presided over by Demosthenes. When the committee counted the treasure, they found they only had half the money Harpalus had declared he possessed. Nevertheless, they decided not to disclose the deficit. When Harpalus escaped, the Areopagus
Areopagus
conducted an inquiry and charged Demosthenes with mishandling twenty talents. During the trial, Hypereides
Hypereides
argued that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
did not disclose the huge deficit, because he was bribed by Harpalus. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was fined and imprisoned, but he soon escaped.[109] It remains unclear whether the accusations against him were just or not.[l] In any case, the Athenians soon repealed the sentence.[110]

"For a house, I take it, or a ship or anything of that sort must have its chief strength in its substructure; and so too in affairs of state the principles and the foundations must be truth and justice."

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(Second Olynthiac, 10)—The orator faced serious accusations more than once, but he never admitted to any improper actions and insisted that it is impossible "to gain permanent power by injustice, perjury, and falsehood".

After Alexander's death in 323 BC, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
again urged the Athenians to seek independence from Macedon
Macedon
in what became known as the Lamian War. However, Antipater, Alexander's successor, quelled all opposition and demanded that the Athenians turn over Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and Hypereides, among others. Following his request, the ecclesia adopted a decree condemning the most prominent anti-Macedonian agitators to death. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
escaped to a sanctuary on the island of Kalaureia (modern-day Poros), where he was later discovered by Archias, a confidant of Antipater. He committed suicide before his capture by taking poison out of a reed, pretending he wanted to write a letter to his family.[111] When Demosthenes
Demosthenes
felt that the poison was working on his body, he said to Archias: "Now, as soon as you please you may commence the part of Creon in the tragedy, and cast out this body of mine unburied. But, O gracious Neptune, I, for my part, while I am yet alive, arise up and depart out of this sacred place; though Antipater and the Macedonians have not left so much as the temple unpolluted." After saying these words, he passed by the altar, fell down and died.[111] Years after Demosthenes's suicide, the Athenians erected a statue to honour him and decreed that the state should provide meals to his descendants in the Prytaneum.[112] Assessments[edit] Political career[edit] Plutarch
Plutarch
lauds Demosthenes
Demosthenes
for not being of a fickle disposition. Rebutting historian Theopompus, the biographer insists that for "the same party and post in politics which he held from the beginning, to these he kept constant to the end; and was so far from leaving them while he lived, that he chose rather to forsake his life than his purpose".[113] On the other hand, Polybius, a Greek historian of the Mediterranean world, was highly critical of Demosthenes's policies. Polybius
Polybius
accused him of having launched unjustified verbal attacks on great men of other cities, branding them unjustly as traitors to the Greeks. The historian maintains that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
measured everything by the interests of his own city, imagining that all the Greeks
Greeks
ought to have their eyes fixed upon Athens. According to Polybius, the only thing the Athenians eventually got by their opposition to Philip was the defeat at Chaeronea. "And had it not been for the king's magnanimity and regard for his own reputation, their misfortunes would have gone even further, thanks to the policy of Demosthenes".[114]

"Two characteristics, men of Athens, a citizen of a respectable character...must be able to show: when he enjoys authority, he must maintain to the end the policy whose aims are noble action and the pre-eminence of his country: and at all times and in every phase of fortune he must remain loyal. For this depends upon his own nature; while his power and his influence are determined by external causes. And in me, you will find, this loyalty has persisted unalloyed...For from the very first, I chose the straight and honest path in public life: I chose to foster the honour, the supremacy, the good name of my country, to seek to enhance them, and to stand or fall with them."

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(On the Crown, 321–322)—Faced with the practical defeat of his policies, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
assessed them by the ideals they embodied rather than by their utility.

Paparrigopoulos extols Demosthenes's patriotism, but criticises him as being short-sighted. According to this critique, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
should have understood that the ancient Greek states could only survive unified under the leadership of Macedon.[115] Therefore, Demosthenes is accused of misjudging events, opponents and opportunities and of being unable to foresee Philip's inevitable triumph.[116] He is criticised for having overrated Athens's capacity to revive and challenge Macedon.[117] His city had lost most of its Aegean allies, whereas Philip had consolidated his hold over Macedonia and was master of enormous mineral wealth. Chris Carey, a professor of Greek in UCL, concludes that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was a better orator and political operator than strategist.[116] Nevertheless, the same scholar underscores that "pragmatists" like Aeschines
Aeschines
or Phocion
Phocion
had no inspiring vision to rival that of Demosthenes. The orator asked the Athenians to choose that which is just and honourable, before their own safety and preservation.[113] The people preferred Demosthenes's activism and even the bitter defeat at Chaeronea
Chaeronea
was regarded as a price worth paying in the attempt to retain freedom and influence.[116] According to Professor of Greek Arthur Wallace Pickarde, success may be a poor criterion for judging the actions of people like Demosthenes, who were motivated by the ideal of political liberty.[118] Athens
Athens
was asked by Philip to sacrifice its freedom and its democracy, while Demosthenes longed for the city's brilliance.[117] He endeavoured to revive its imperilled values and, thus, he became an "educator of the people" (in the words of Werner Jaeger).[119] The fact that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
fought at the battle of Chaeronea
Chaeronea
as a hoplite indicates that he lacked any military skills. According to historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, in his time the division between political and military offices was beginning to be strongly marked.[120] Almost no politician, with the exception of Phocion, was at the same time an apt orator and a competent general. Demosthenes dealt in policies and ideas, and war was not his business.[120] This contrast between Demosthenes's intellectual prowess and his deficiencies in terms of vigour, stamina, military skill and strategic vision is illustrated by the inscription his countrymen engraved on the base of his statue:[121]

Had you for Greece been strong, as wise you were, The Macedonian would not have conquered her.

Oratorical skill[edit]

Herma
Herma
of Demosthenes: the head is a copy of the bronze posthumous commemorative statue in the Ancient Agora
Agora
of Athens
Athens
by Polyeuctus (ca. 280 BC); this herm was found in the Circus of Maxentius in 1825 (Glyptothek, Munich).

In Demosthenes's initial judicial orations, the influence of both Lysias
Lysias
and Isaeus is obvious, but his marked, original style is already revealed.[26] Most of his extant speeches for private cases—written early in his career—show glimpses of talent: a powerful intellectual drive, masterly selection (and omission) of facts, and a confident assertion of the justice of his case, all ensuring the dominance of his viewpoint over his rival. However, at this early stage of his career, his writing was not yet remarkable for its subtlety, verbal precision and variety of effects.[122] According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
represented the final stage in the development of Attic prose. Both Dionysius and Cicero
Cicero
assert that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
brought together the best features of the basic types of style; he used the middle or normal type style ordinarily and applied the archaic type and the type of plain elegance where they were fitting. In each one of the three types he was better than its special masters.[123] He is, therefore, regarded as a consummate orator, adept in the techniques of oratory, which are brought together in his work.[119] According to the classical scholar Harry Thurston Peck, Demosthenes "affects no learning; he aims at no elegance; he seeks no glaring ornaments; he rarely touches the heart with a soft or melting appeal, and when he does, it is only with an effect in which a third-rate speaker would have surpassed him. He had no wit, no humour, no vivacity, in our acceptance of these terms. The secret of his power is simple, for it lies essentially in the fact that his political principles were interwoven with his very spirit."[124] In this judgement, Peck agrees with Jaeger, who said that the imminent political decision imbued Demosthenes's speech with a fascinating artistic power.[125] From his part, George A. Kennedy believes that his political speeches in the ecclesia were to become "the artistic exposition of reasoned views".[126] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was apt at combining abruptness with the extended period, brevity with breadth. Hence, his style harmonises with his fervent commitment.[119] His language is simple and natural, never far-fetched or artificial. According to Jebb, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was a true artist who could make his art obey him.[26] For his part, Aeschines
Aeschines
stigmatised his intensity, attributing to his rival strings of absurd and incoherent images.[127] Dionysius stated that Demosthenes's only shortcoming is the lack of humour, although Quintilian
Quintilian
regards this deficiency as a virtue.[128] In a now lost letter, Cicero, though an admirer of the Athenian orator, claimed that occasionally Demosthenes "nods", and elsewhere Cicero
Cicero
also argued that, although he is pre-eminent, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
sometimes fails to satisfy his ears.[129] The main criticism of Demosthenes's art, however, seems to have rested chiefly on his known reluctance to speak extempore;[130] he often declined to comment on subjects he had not studied beforehand.[124] However, he gave the most elaborate preparation to all his speeches and, therefore, his arguments were the products of careful study. He was also famous for his caustic wit.[131] Besides his style, Cicero
Cicero
also admired other aspects of Demosthenes's works, such as the good prose rhythm, and the way he structured and arranged the material in his orations.[132] According to the Roman statesman, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
regarded "delivery" (gestures, voice etc.) as more important than style.[133] Although he lacked Aeschines's charming voice and Demades's skill at improvisation, he made efficient use of his body to accentuate his words.[134] Thus he managed to project his ideas and arguments much more forcefully. However, the use of physical gestures wasn't an integral or developed part of rhetorical training in his day.[135] Moreover, his delivery was not accepted by everybody in antiquity: Demetrius Phalereus
Demetrius Phalereus
and the comedians ridiculed Demosthenes's "theatricality", whilst Aeschines regarded Leodamas of Acharnae as superior to him.[136] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
relied heavily on the difference aspects of ethos, especially phronesis. When presenting himself to the Assembly, he had to depict himself as a credible and wise statesman and adviser in order to be persuasive. One tactic that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
used during his philippics was foresight. He pleaded with his audience to predict the potential of being defeated, and to prepare. He appealed to pathos through patriotism and introducing the atrocities that would befall Athens
Athens
if it was taken over by Philip. He was a master at “self-fashioning” by referring to his previous accomplishments, and renewing his credibility. He would also slyly undermine his audience by claiming that they had been wrong to not listen before, however they could redeem themselves if they listened and acted with him presently.[137] Demosthenes
Demosthenes
tailored his style to be very audience-specific. He took pride in not relying on attractive words but rather simple, effective prose. He was mindful of his arrangement, he used clauses to create patterns that would make seemingly complex sentences easy for the hearer to follow. His tendency to focus on delivery promoted him to use repetition, this would ingrain the importance into the audience's minds; he also relied on speed and delay to create suspense and interest among the audience when presenting to most important aspects of his speech. One of his most effective skills was his ability to strike a balance: his works were complex so that the audience would not be offended by any elementary language, but the most important parts were clear and easily understood.[138] Rhetorical legacy[edit]

Phryne
Phryne
Going to the Public Baths as Venus and Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Taunted by Aeschines
Aeschines
by J. M. W. Turner
J. M. W. Turner
(1838).

Demosthenes's fame has continued down the ages. Authors and scholars who flourished at Rome, such as Longinus and Caecilius, regarded his oratory as sublime.[139] Juvenal
Juvenal
acclaimed him as "largus et exundans ingenii fons" (a large and overflowing fountain of genius),[140] and he inspired Cicero's speeches against Mark Antony, also called the Philippics. According to Professor of Classics
Classics
Cecil Wooten, Cicero ended his career by trying to imitate Demosthenes's political role.[141] Plutarch
Plutarch
drew attention in his Life of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
to the strong similarities between the personalities and careers of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and Marcus Tullius Cicero:[142]

The divine power seems originally to have designed Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and Cicero
Cicero
upon the same plan, giving them many similarities in their natural characters, as their passion for distinction and their love of liberty in civil life, and their want of courage in dangers and war, and at the same time also to have added many accidental resemblances. I think there can hardly be found two other orators, who, from small and obscure beginnings, became so great and mighty; who both contested with kings and tyrants; both lost their daughters, were driven out of their country, and returned with honor; who, flying from thence again, were both seized upon by their enemies, and at last ended their lives with the liberty of their countrymen.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and Renaissance, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
had a reputation for eloquence.[143] He was read more than any other ancient orator; only Cicero
Cicero
offered any real competition.[144] French author and lawyer Guillaume du Vair
Guillaume du Vair
praised his speeches for their artful arrangement and elegant style; John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, and Jacques Amyot, a French Renaissance
Renaissance
writer and translator, regarded Demosthenes
Demosthenes
as a great or even the "supreme" orator.[145] For Thomas Wilson, who first published translation of his speeches into English, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was not only an eloquent orator, but, mainly, an authoritative statesman, "a source of wisdom".[146] In modern history, orators such as Henry Clay
Henry Clay
would mimic Demosthenes's technique. His ideas and principles survived, influencing prominent politicians and movements of our times. Hence, he constituted a source of inspiration for the authors of The Federalist Papers (a series of 85 essays arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution) and for the major orators of the French Revolution.[147] French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau
was among those who idealised Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and wrote a book about him.[148] For his part, Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
often composed his sentences according to the paradigms of Demosthenes, whose style he admired.[149] Works and transmission[edit] Further information: Works of Demosthenes The "publication" and distribution of prose texts was common practice in Athens
Athens
by the latter half of the fourth century BC and Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was among the Athenian politicians who set the trend, publishing many or even all of his orations.[150] After his death, texts of his speeches survived in Athens
Athens
(possibly forming part of the library of Cicero's friend, Atticus, though their fate is otherwise unknown), and in the Library of Alexandria. However, the speeches that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
"published" might have differed from the original speeches that were actually delivered (there are indications that he rewrote them with readers in mind) and therefore it is possible also that he "published" different versions of any one speech, differences that could have impacted on the Alexandrian edition of his works and thus on all subsequent editions down to the present day.[151] The Alexandrian texts were incorporated into the body of classical Greek literature that was preserved, catalogued and studied by scholars of the Hellenistic period. From then until the fourth century AD, copies of his orations multiplied and they were in a relatively good position to survive the tense period from the sixth until the ninth century AD.[152] In the end, sixty-one orations attributed to Demosthenes
Demosthenes
survived till the present day (some however are pseudonymous). Friedrich Blass, a German classical scholar, believes that nine more speeches were recorded by the orator, but they are not extant.[153] Modern editions of these speeches are based on four manuscripts of the tenth and eleventh centuries AD.[154] Some of the speeches that comprise the "Demosthenic corpus" are known to have been written by other authors, though scholars differ over which speeches these are.[m] Irrespective of their status, the speeches attributed to Demosthenes
Demosthenes
are often grouped in three genres first defined by Aristotle:[155]

Symbouleutic or political, considering the expediency of future actions—sixteen such speeches are included in the Demosthenic corpus;[m] Dicanic or judicial, assessing the justice of past actions—only about ten of these are cases in which Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was personally involved, the rest were written for other speakers;[156] Epideictic or sophistic display, attributing praise or blame, often delivered at public ceremonies—only two speeches have been included in the Demosthenic corpus, one a funeral speech that has been dismissed as a "rather poor" example of his work, and the other probably spurious.[157]

In addition to the speeches, there are fifty-six prologues (openings of speeches). They were collected for the Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
by Callimachus, who believed them genuine.[158] Modern scholars are divided: some reject them, while others, such as Blass, believe they are authentic.[159] Finally, six letters also survive under Demosthenes's name and their authorship too is hotly debated.[n] See also[edit]

Pseudo-Demosthenes

Notes[edit]

Timeline of Demosthenes's life (384 BC–322 BC)

a. ^ According to Edward Cohen, professor of Classics
Classics
at the University of Pennsylvania, Cleoboule was the daughter of a Scythian woman and of an Athenian father, Gylon, although other scholars insist on the genealogical purity of Demosthenes.[160] There is an agreement among scholars that Cleoboule was a Crimean and not an Athenian citizen.[161] Gylon had suffered banishment at the end of the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
for allegedly betraying Nymphaeum in Crimaea.[162] According to Aeschines, Gylon received as a gift from the Bosporan rulers a place called "the Gardens" in the colony of Kepoi in present-day Russia
Russia
(located within two miles (3 km) of Phanagoria).[5] Nevertheless, the accuracy of these allegations is disputed, since more than seventy years had elapsed between Gylon's possible treachery and Aeschines' speech, and, therefore, the orator could be confident that his audience would have no direct knowledge of events at Nymphaeum.[163] b. ^ According to Tsatsos, the trials against the guardians lasted until Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was twenty four.[164] Nietzsche reduces the time of the judicial disputes to five years.[165] c. ^ According to the tenth century encyclopedia Suda, Demosthenes studied with Eubulides and Plato.[166] Cicero
Cicero
and Quintilian
Quintilian
argue that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was Plato's disciple.[167] Tsatsos and the philologist Henri Weil
Henri Weil
believe that there is no indication that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was a pupil of Plato
Plato
or Isocrates.[168] As far as Isaeus is concerned, according to Jebb "the school of Isaeus is nowhere else mentioned, nor is the name of any other pupil recorded".[26] Peck believes that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
continued to study under Isaeus for the space of four years after he had reached his majority.[124] d. ^ "Batalus" or "Batalos" meant "stammerer" in ancient Greek, but it was also the name of a flute-player (in ridicule of whom Antiphanes wrote a play) and of a songwriter.[169] The word "batalus" was also used by the Athenians to describe the anus.[170] In fact the word actually defining his speech defect was "Battalos", signifying someone with rhotacism, but it was crudely misrepresented as "Batalos" by the enemies of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and by Plutarch's time the original word had already lost currency.[171] Another nickname of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was "Argas." According to Plutarch, this name was given him either for his savage and spiteful behaviour or for his disagreeable way of speaking. "Argas" was a poetical word for a snake, but also the name of a poet.[172] e. ^ Both Tsatsos and Weil maintain that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
never abandoned the profession of the logographer, but, after delivering his first political orations, he wanted to be regarded as a statesman. According to James J. Murphy, Professor emeritus of Rhetoric
Rhetoric
and Communication at the University of California, Davis, his lifelong career as a logographer continued even during his most intense involvement in the political struggle against Philip.[173] f. ^ "Theorika" were allowances paid by the state to poor Athenians to enable them to watch dramatic festivals. According to Libanius, Eubulus passed a law making it difficult to divert public funds, including "theorika," for minor military operations.[50] E. M. Burke argues that, if this was indeed a law of Eubulus, it would have served "as a means to check a too-aggressive and expensive interventionism [...] allowing for the controlled expenditures on other items, including construction for defense". Thus Burke believes that in the Eubulan period, the Theoric Fund was used not only as allowances for public entertainment but also for a variety of projects, including public works.[174] As Burke also points out, in his later and more "mature" political career, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
no longer criticised "theorika"; in fact, in his Fourth Philippic (341–340 BC), he defended theoric spending.[175] g. ^ In the Third Olynthiac and in the Third Philippic, Demosthenes characterised Philip as a "barbarian", one of the various abusive terms applied by the orator to the king of Macedon.[176] According to Konstantinos Tsatsos
Konstantinos Tsatsos
and Douglas M. MacDowell, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
regarded as Greeks
Greeks
only those who had reached the cultural standards of south Greece and he did not take into consideration ethnological criteria.[177] His contempt for Philip is forcefully expressed in the Third Philippic 31 in these terms: "...he is not only no Greek, nor related to the Greeks, but not even a barbarian from any place that can be named with honour, but a pestilent knave from Macedonia, whence it was never yet possible to buy a decent slave." The wording is even more telling in Greek, ending with an accumulation of plosive pi sounds: οὐ μόνον οὐχ Ἕλληνος ὄντος οὐδὲ προσήκοντος οὐδὲν τοῖς Ἕλλησιν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲ βαρβάρου ἐντεῦθεν ὅθεν καλὸν εἰπεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ ὀλέθρου Μακεδόνος, ὅθεν οὐδ᾽ ἀνδράποδον σπουδαῖον οὐδὲν ἦν πρότερον πρίασθαι.[178] h. ^ Aeschines
Aeschines
maintained that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was bribed to drop his charges against Meidias in return for a payment of thirty mnai. Plutarch
Plutarch
argued that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
accepted the bribe out of fear of Meidias's power.[179] Philipp August Böckh
Philipp August Böckh
also accepted Aeschines's account for an out-of-court settlement, and concluded that the speech was never delivered. Böckh's position was soon endorsed by Arnold Schaefer and Blass. Weil agreed that Demosthenes
Demosthenes
never delivered Against Meidias, but believed that he dropped the charges for political reasons. In 1956, Hartmut Erbse partly challenged Böckh's conclusions, when he argued that Against Meidias was a finished speech that could have been delivered in court, but Erbse then sided with George Grote, by accepting that, after Demosthenes
Demosthenes
secured a judgment in his favour, he reached some kind of settlement with Meidias. Kenneth Dover
Kenneth Dover
also endorsed Aeschines's account, and argued that, although the speech was never delivered in court, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
put into circulation an attack on Meidias. Dover's arguments were refuted by Edward M. Harris, who concluded that, although we cannot be sure about the outcome of the trial, the speech was delivered in court, and that Aeschines' story was a lie.[180] i. ^ According to Plutarch, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
deserted his colours and "did nothing honorable, nor was his performance answerable to his speeches".[181] j. ^ Aeschines
Aeschines
reproached Demosthenes
Demosthenes
for being silent as to the seventy talents of the king's gold which he allegedly seized and embezzled. Aeschines
Aeschines
and Dinarchus also maintained that when the Arcadians offered their services for ten talents, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
refused to furnish the money to the Thebans, who were conducting the negotiations, and so the Arcadians sold out to the Macedonians.[182] k. ^ The exact chronology of Harpalus's entrance into Athens
Athens
and of all the related events remains a debated topic among modern scholars, who have proposed different, and sometimes conflicting, chronological schemes.[183] l. ^ According to Pausanias, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
himself and others had declared that the orator had taken no part of the money that Harpalus brought from Asia. He also narrates the following story: Shortly after Harpalus ran away from Athens, he was put to death by the servants who were attending him, though some assert that he was assassinated. The steward of his money fled to Rhodes, and was arrested by a Macedonian officer, Philoxenus. Philoxenus proceeded to examine the slave, "until he learned everything about such as had allowed themselves to accept a bribe from Harpalus." He then sent a dispatch to Athens, in which he gave a list of the persons who had taken a bribe from Harpalus. "Demosthenes, however, he never mentioned at all, although Alexander held him in bitter hatred, and he himself had a private quarrel with him."[184] On the other hand, Plutarch
Plutarch
believes that Harpalus sent Demosthenes
Demosthenes
a cup with twenty talents and that " Demosthenes
Demosthenes
could not resist the temptation, but admitting the present, ... he surrendered himself up to the interest of Harpalus."[185] Tsatsos defends Demosthenes's innocence, but Irkos Apostolidis underlines the problematic character of the primary sources on this issue— Hypereides
Hypereides
and Dinarchus were at the time Demosthenes's political opponents and accusers—and states that, despite the rich bibliography on Harpalus's case, modern scholarship has not yet managed to reach a safe conclusion on whether Demosthenes
Demosthenes
was bribed or not.[186] m. ^ Blass disputes the authorship of the following speeches: Fourth Philippic, Funeral Oration, Erotic Essay, Against Stephanus 2 and Against Evergus and Mnesibulus,[187] while Schaefer recognises as genuine only twenty-nine orations.[188] Of Demosthenes's corpus political speeches, J. H. Vince singles out five as spurious: On Halonnesus, Fourth Phillipic, Answer to Philip's Letter, On Organization and On the Treaty with Alexander.[189] n. ^ In this discussion the work of Jonathan A. Goldstein, Professor of History and Classics
Classics
at the University of Iowa, is regarded as paramount.[190] Goldstein regards Demosthenes's letters as authentic apologetic letters that were addressed to the Athenian Assembly.[191]

References[edit]

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Sources[edit] Primary sources ( Greeks
Greeks
and Romans)[edit]

Aeschines, Against Ctesiphon. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Aeschines, Against Timarchus. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Aeschines, The Speech on the Embassy. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae. Translated into English by Charles Duke Yonge. Cicero, Brutus. See the original text in the Latin Library Cicero, De Oratore. See original text in Perseus Digital Library. Cicero, Orator. See the original text in the Latin Library. Demades, On the Twelve Years. See original text in Perseus program. Demosthenes, Against Aphobus 1. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Demosthenes, Against Aphobus 3. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Demosthenes, Against Aristocrates. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Demosthenes, Against Meidias. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Demosthenes, Against Zenothemis. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Demosthenes, First Olynthiac. Demosthenes, First Philippic. Demosthenes, For the Freedom of the Rhodians Demosthenes, Fourth Philippic. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(or Hegesippus), On Halonnesus. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Demosthenes, On the Crown. Demosthenes, On the False Embassy. Demosthenes, On the Peace. Demosthenes, Second Olynthiac. Demosthenes, Second Philippic. Demosthenes, Third Olynthiac. Demosthenes, Third Philippic. Dinarchus, Against Demosthenes. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Diodorus Siculus, Library. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On the Admirable Style of Demosthenes. Hypereides,Against Demosthenes. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library Juvenal, Saturae. See original text in the Latin Library. Translated into English by M. Madan Longinus, On the Sublime. Translated by W. Rhys Roberts Lucian, Demosthenes, An Encomium. Translated in Sacred Texts Lucian, The Illiterate Book-Fancier. Translated in Sacred Texts Pausanias, Description of Greece. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Plutarch, Cicero. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Plutarch, Demosthenes. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Plutarch, Phocion. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library. Polybius, Histories. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library Pseudo-Plutarch, Aeschines. See Charles Barcroft's translation. Pseudo-Plutarch, Demosthenes. See Charles Barcroft's translation. Quintilian, Institutiones. See the original text in Perseus Digital Library and the Latin Library.

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and Oratory. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23515-9.  Hamilton, J. R. (1974). Alexander the Great. University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 0-8229-6084-2.  Hansen, Mogens Herman (1999). The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes. University of Oklahoma State. ISBN 0-8061-3143-8.  Harris, Edward M. (1989). "Demosthenes' Speech against Meidias". Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. Department of the Classics, Harvard University. 92: 117–136. JSTOR 311355.  Hawhee, Debra (2005). Bodily Arts: Rhetoric
Rhetoric
and Athletics in Ancient Greece. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70584-0.  Innes, D. C. (2002). "Longinus and Caecilius: Models of the Sublime". Mnemosyne, Fourth Series. BRILL. 55 (3): 259–284. doi:10.1163/156852502760185261. JSTOR 4433333.  Jaeger, Werner (1938). Demosthenes. Walter de Gruyter Company. ISBN 3-11-002527-2.  Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse (1876). The Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeos. Macmillan and Co.  Kapparis, Konstantinos A. (1999). Apollodoros Against Neaira. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-016390-X.  Kennedy, George A. (1985). "Oratory". The Cambridge History of Classical Literature: Greek Literature. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521210423. ISBN 0-521-21042-9.  Long, Fredrick J. (2004). Ancient Rhetoric
Rhetoric
and Paul's Apology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-84233-6.  Macaulay, Thomas Babington (2004). "On Mitford's History of Greece". The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay Volume I. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1-4191-7417-7.  MacDowell, Douglas M. (2009). Demosthenes
Demosthenes
the Orator (digital ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-160873-4.  Marcu, Valeru (2005). Men and Forces of Our Time. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1-4179-9529-7.  Murphy, James J. (2002). "Demosthenes". Encyclopædia Britannica.  Nietzsche, Friedrich (1909–1913). Beyond Good and Evil. The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche.  Nietzsche, Friedrich (1975). Lessons of Rhetoric. Plethron (from the Greek translation).  Paparrigopoulos, Constantine (1925). Karolidis, Pavlos, ed. History of the Hellenic Nation (in Greek). Ab. Eleftheroudakis.  Peck, Harry Thurston (1898). Harper's Dictionary Of Classical Literature And Antiquities.  Phillips, David (2004). "Philip and Athens". Athenian Political Oratory: 16 Key Speeches. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-96609-4.  Pickard, A. W. (2003). Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and the Last Days of Greek Freedom 384–322 B.C. Gorgias
Gorgias
Press LLC. ISBN 1-59333-030-8.  Phillips, David (2004). Athenian Political Oratory. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-96609-4.  Romilly de, Jacqueline (1996). A Short History of Greek Literature. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-8014-8206-2.  Romilly de, Jacqueline (2001). Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
against Violence (translated in Greek). To Asty. ISBN 960-86331-5-X.  Rebhorn, Wayne A. (1999). Renaissance
Renaissance
Debates on Rhetoric. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-226-14312-0.  Rhodes, P. J. (2005). "Philip II of Macedon". A History of the Classical Greek World. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-22564-1.  Rose, M. L. (2003). The Staff of Oedipus. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-11339-9.  Schaefer, Arnold (1885). Demosthenes
Demosthenes
und seine Zeit (in German). Third Volume. B. G. Teubner.  Slusser, G. (1999). "Ender's Game". Nursery Realms edited by G. Westfahl. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0-8203-2144-3.  Thomsen, Ole (1998). "The Looting of the Estate of the Elder Demosthenes". Classica et Mediaevalia – Revue Danoise De Philologie et D'Histoire. Museum Tusculanum Press. 49: 45–66. ISBN 978-87-7289-535-2. Retrieved 2006-10-08.  Trapp, Michael (2003). Greek and Latin Letters. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-49943-7.  Tritle, Lawrence A. (1997). The Greek World in the Fourth Century. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-10583-8.  Tsatsos, Konstantinos (1975). Demosthenes. Estia (in Greek).  Usher, Stephen (1999). " Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Symboulos". Greek Oratory: Tradition and Originality. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-815074-1.  Van Tongeren, Paul J. M. (1999). Reinterpreting Modern Culture: An Introduction to Friedrich Nietzsche's Philosophy. Purdue University Press. ISBN 1-55753-156-0.  Vince, J. H. (1930). "Preface". Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Orations Vol. 1. Loeb Classical Library.  Weil, Henri (1975). Biography of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
in "Demosthenes' Orations". Papyros (from the Greek translation).  Whitehead, David (2000). Hypereides: the Forensic Speeches. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-815218-3.  Wooten, Cecil (October–November 1977). "Cicero's Reactions to Demosthenes: A Clarification". The Classical Journal. The Classical Association of the Middle West and South. 73 (1): 37–43. JSTOR 3296953.  Worman, Nancy (Spring 2004). "Insult and Oral Excess in the Disputes between Aeschines
Aeschines
and Demosthenes". The American Journal of Philology. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 125 (1): 1–25. doi:10.1353/ajp.2004.0011. JSTOR 1562208.  Worthington, Ian (2003). Alexander the Great: A Reader. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-29187-9.  Worthington, Ian (2004). "Oral Performance in the Athenian Assembly and the Demosthenic Prooemia". Oral Performance and its Context edited by C.J. MacKie. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-13680-0.  Worthington, Ian (1986). "The Chronology of the Harpalus Affair". Symbolae Osloenses. Taylor & Francis. 61 (1): 63–76. doi:10.1080/00397678608590798. Retrieved 2011-11-08.  Yunis, Harvey (2001). Demosthenes: On the Crown. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62930-6.  Yunis, Harvey (2005). "The Rhetoric
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Ancient Greek
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Library resources about Demosthenes

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

Further reading[edit]

Adams, Charles Darwin (1927). Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and His Influence. New York: Longmans.  Brodribb, William Jackson (1877). Demosthenes. J. B. Lippincott & co.  Bryan, William Jennings (1906). The world's famous orations (Volume 1). New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company.  Butcher, Samuel Henry (1888). Demosthenes. Macmillan & co.  Clemenceau, Georges (1926). Demosthène. Plon.  Easterling P. E., Knox Bernard M. W. (1985). The Cambridge History of Classical Literature. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-21042-9.  Kennedy, George A. (1963). Art of Persuasion in Greece. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University press.  Murphy, James J., ed. (1967). Demosthenes' "On the Crown": A Critical Case Study of a Masterpiece of Ancient Oratory. New York: Random House.  Pearson, Lionel (1981). The art of Demosthenes. Chico, CA: Scholars press. ISBN 0-89130-551-3.  Renault, Mary (1975). The nature of Alexander.  Here and in her fiction, Renault portrays Demosthenes
Demosthenes
as corrupt, cowardly and cruel.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Demosthenes.

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has original works written by or about: Demosthenes

Art of Speech Britannica, 11th Edition Britannica online Lendering, Jona Pickard A. W. Works by and about Demosthenes
Demosthenes
at Perseus Digital Library Works by Demosthenes
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at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Demosthenes
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His era

Beck, Sanderson: Philip, Demosthenes, and Alexander Blackwell, Christopher W.: The Assembly during Demosthenes' era Britannica online: Macedonian supremacy in Greece Smith, William: A Smaller History of Ancient Greece-Philip of Macedon

Miscellaneous

SORGLL: Demosthenes, On the Crown
On the Crown
199–208; read by Stephen Daitz Libanius, Hypotheses to the Orations of Demosthenes

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 268302412 LCCN: n79063465 ISNI: 0000 0001 2103 286X GND: 118524658 SELIBR: 183659 SUDOC: 026823586 BNF: cb11899538s (data) BIBSYS: 90053739 NLA: 35034822 NDL: 00795029 NKC: jn19981000928 BNE: XX1722

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