Demosthenes and His Time: A Study in Defeat

Demosthenes and His Time: A Study in Defeat

Raphael Sealey

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0195079280

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book draws on a wide range of evidence to study the history of Athens from 386 to 322 B.C. Taking a sympathetic view of the Second Athenian League, Sealey focuses on the career of Demosthenes to provide important insights into Athenian politics and policies. Demosthenes experienced repeated setbacks in his early attempts at public activity, but found his mission as a statesman in the conflict with Macedon and subsequently became the leading man in Athens. Sealey rejects theories that assume programmatic divisions among Athenian statesmen into pro- and anti-Macedonians, and argues that all Athenians active in politics resented Macedonian ascendancy but recognized the necessity of accommodation to superior power. His account concludes with the defeat of Athens and its allies and the suicide of Demosthenes, presenting new insights not only into the life of Demosthenes and the turbulent years of his political career, but also the social and international factors bearing on Athenian political activity in general.

















kept talking about epanorthosis. He answered with an offer that challenged them to play their best cards. At the same time in undertaking to listen to proposals he did not commit himself to making any material concession. "Better jaw-jaw than war-war" is a device favored by those statesmen who do not wish to face difficulties. The Athenians replied by playing their best cards. They proposed two amendments to the peace of Philokrates and embodied these in a decree.35 One amendment tried to expand

within which ambitious Greek cities operated. The Spartans had learned this lesson during the Corinthian War. The Athenians, being concerned for the grain route through the straits, took note of changes occurring on the Asiatic shore of the waterway. Excellent studies of Persia and of some of its western satrapies have appeared in the past twenty years. A modest digression will draw results together. Ancient empires did not have uniform organization or tidy frontiers. Power, concentrated in one

was not a relative. Demosthenes I assigned legacies to the three guardians to induce them to fulfill the trust. His widow was to be given in marriage to Aphobos with a dowry of eighty minai and with the dwelling house. The daughter, when she became old enough, was to be given in marriage to Demophon with a dowry of two talents. Therippides was to have the use of a sum of seventy minai until Demosthenes II came of age.107 On coming of age Demosthenes II sued his guardians for maladministration of

captured and destroyed Olynthos. The Athenians were horrified and so for a time they had no further desire to negotiate peace with him. Something more, but not much, is known of public activity by Demosthenes in 348/7. He may have applied himself during much of the year to private practice in the courts. His speech Against Boiotos concerning the Name (39) was composed in this year. It arose from the lengthy dispute between the three sons whom two women had born to Mantias. They had divided most

features, but it should be believed in what it presupposes as matter of common knowledge. That is, when the first embassy set off from Athens for Macedon early in Anthesterion, Proxenos had not yet sailed on his expedition. Therefore he had not yet been rebuffed by Phalaikos.85 Consequently it is possible to reconstruct developments in a way that answers the historical and biographical questions posed at the beginning of this section. In 347 the revolution in Phokis deposed Phalaikos and

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