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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the same time Kotys tried to capture Sestos from the forces of Ariobarzanes by siege, and Maussolos brought a fleet of a hundred ships to blockade both Assos and Sestos. But the conflicting powers were willing to put an end to their differences, and an accommodation was reached through the good offices of Agesilaos. The fleet of Timotheos was the most formidable armed force that came to the support of Ariobarzanes in this incident. Its commander received for the Athenians Sestos and Krithote

(51.19) Surely these are the words of a man who had spoken once in public and had met with a somewhat unfavorable reception. The speech indicates thus that Demosthenes had made an unsuccessful attempt at political speaking before 359. This fact may be reflected in the late tradition which said that, when Demosthenes first addressed the assembly, people interrupted him and laughed at him.127 It is proper to ask whether he had made his attempt in association with any of his seniors. He had not

successful, and Diophantos proposed the consequent decree for sacrifices of thanks.66 But in view of the probable independence of Phokion and Diophantos, these indications do not suffice for supposing that Nausikles was an associate of Euboulos. Toward the end of the Social War, other groups besides those of Aristophon and Euboulos were becoming prominent. There were, for example, the brothers Hegesandros and Hegesippos. Hegesandros, who was probably the older brother, was treasurer to Timomachos

that he was putting a stranglehold on the demos by trying to render his accounts. Chares commanded the first force sent by the Athenians to help the Olynthians in 349/8, but later in the year, about the spring, Charidemos led a War and Peace in the North 139 further force to their aid and won some successes (see further at note 15). Perhaps, then, Chares was recalled toward the spring and Demosthenes alludes in the speech to some attempt to try him. But this reconstruction is patently

have been little hope of saving it. With Phokis they had contracted an alliance at the beginning of the Third Sacred War. They had held Thermopylai against Philip successfully in 352. The Phokians were making good progress against the Boiotians in the later stages of the Sacred War. They held three cities of Boiotia: Orchomenos (since 353), Koroneia (since 352), and Korsiai. Toward 347 they made raids into Boiotia and carried out successful skirmishes. The Thebans asked Philip for help and he

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