Aeschines (The Oratory of Classical Greece, Vol. 3; Michael Gagarin,
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This is the third volume in the Oratory of Classical Greece series. Planned for publication over several years, the series will present all of the surviving speeches from the late fifth and fourth centuries B.C. in new translations prepared by classical scholars who are at the forefront of the discipline. These translations are especially designed for the needs and interests of today's undergraduates, Greekless scholars in other disciplines, and the general public.
Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have been largely ignored: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few.
This volume contains the three surviving speeches of Aeschines (390-? B.C.). His speeches all revolve around political developments in Athens during the second half of the fourth century B.C. and reflect the internal political rivalries in an Athens overshadowed by the growing power of Macedonia in the north. The first speech was delivered when Aeschines successfully prosecuted Timarchus, a political opponent, for having allegedly prostituted himself as a young man. The other two speeches were delivered in the context of Aeschines' long-running political feud with Demosthenes. As a group, the speeches provide important information on Athenian law and politics, Demosthenes and his career, sexuality and social history, and the historical rivalry between Athens and Macedonia.
rejected. A second embassy was sent to receive the oaths of Philip and his For the power struggle within Phocis that led to this reversal, see 2.130n, 2.133n. 2 6 aeschines allies. Philip was at this time in Thrace on a campaign that reduced Cersobleptes’ kingdom to the position of a Macedonian dependency. On arriving at Pella, the Macedonian capital, the Athenian envoys found representatives from all over Greece, all seeking to influence Philip; it was clear that he was preparing a major
(Oxford, 1972), pp. 14ff. 125 The present passage is our most substantial piece of information on the disciplinary powers and procedures of the Council against its own members. There appears to have been an informal vote (I translate ‘‘straw vote,’’ but the Greek verb ekphyllophorein suggests the use of leaves, phylla, though it is not known whether this is a literal indicator of practice in the fourth century) followed by a formal hearing. 121 122 62 aeschines they did not hand him over to a
him full of false hopes that he would very soon be a leading public speaker; and he showed him a list of names.181  And he encouraged and taught him to commit acts of a sort that the young man is now in exile from his fatherland, while this man, having got hold of the money that was to support Aristarchus in his exile, has robbed him of three talents; and Nicodemus of Aphidna has been violently murdered by Aristarchus, with both his eyes gouged out, poor wretch, and the tongue cut out with
specialized prosecution was apago¯ge¯ (‘‘summary arrest’’), in which someone could arrest a common criminal (kakourgos, lit. ‘‘evil-doer’’), or have him arrested, on the spot. The reliance on private initiative meant that Athenians never developed a system of public prosecution; rather, they presumed that everyone would keep an eye on the behavior of his political enemies and bring suit as soon as he suspected a crime, both to harm his opponents and to advance his own career. In this way all
from its own instability. The legal system was capricious and depended entirely on the rhetorical ability of litigants with no regard for truth or justice. These criticisms have often been echoed by modern scholars, who particularly complain that law was much too closely interwoven with politics and did not have the autonomous status it achieved in Roman law and continues to have, at least in theory, in modern legal systems. Plato’s judgments are valid if one accepts the underlying