Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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2.111

He alluded also to the special attention he had shown them: the placing of cushions, and certain watchings and vigils of the night, caused by men who were jealous of him and wished to bring insult upon his honourable name! And that utterly absurd story, whereat his colleagues covered their faces for shame, how he gave a dinner to the ambassadors of Philip; and how when they set out for home he hired for them some teams of mules, and escorted them on horseback. For he did not hide in the dark, as certain others do, but made an exhibition of his fawning conduct.

2.112

And finally he carefully corrected those other statements: [Note]“I did not say that you are beautiful, for a woman is the most beautiful of all beings; nor that you are a wonderful drinker, for that is a compliment for a sponge, in my opinion; nor that you have a remarkable memory, for I think such praise belongs to the professional sophist.” But not to prolong the story, he said such things in the presence of the ambassadors from almost the whole of Hellas, that laughter arose such as you seldom hear.

2.113

But when at last he stopped and there was silence, I was forced to speak—after such an exhibition of ill-breeding and such excess of shameful flattery. Necessarily, by way of preface, I made a brief reply to his insinuations against his colleagues, saying that the Athenians had sent us as ambassadors, not to offer apologies in Macedonia for ourselves, but as men adjudged by our life at home to be worthy of our city.

2.114

Then after speaking briefly on the subject of the oaths for which we had come, I reviewed the other matters that you had entrusted to us. For the eminent Demosthenes, for all his exceeding eloquence, had not mentioned a single essential point. And in particular I spoke about the expedition to Thermopylae, and about the holy places, and Delphi, and the Amphictyons. I called on Philip to settle matters there, preferably not with arms, but with vote and verdict; but if that should be impossible (it was already evident that it was, for the army was collected and on the spot), I said that he who was on the point of deciding the fate of the holy places of our nation ought to give careful thought to the question of piety, and to give attention to those who undertook to give instruction as to our traditions.

2.115

At the same time I reviewed from the beginning the story of the founding of the shrine, and of the first synod of the Amphictyons that was ever held; and I read their oaths, in which the men of ancient times swore that they would raze no city of the Amphictyonic states, nor shut them off from flowing water either in war or in peace; that if anyone should violate this oath, they would march against such an one and raze his cities; [Note] and if any one should violate the shrine of the god or be accessory to such violation, or make any plot against the holy places, they would punish him with hand and foot and voice, and all their power. To the oath was added a mighty curse.

2.116

When I had read all this, I solemnly declared that in my opinion it was not right that we should overlook the fact that the cities in Boeotia were lying in ruins. [Note] To prove that they were Amphictyonic cities and thus protected by the oaths, I enumerated twelve tribes which shared the shrine: the Thessalians, Boeotians (not the Thebans only), Dorians, Ionians, Perrhaebi, Magnetes, Dolopians, Locrians, Oetaeans, Phthiotians, Malians, and Phocians. And I showed that each of these tribes has an equal vote, the greatest equal to the least: that the delegate from Dorion and Cytinion has equal authority with the Lacedaemonian delegates, for each tribe casts two votes; again, that of the Ionian delegates those from Eretria and Priene have equal authority with those from Athens and the rest in the same way.

2.117

Now I showed that the motive of this expedition was righteous and just; but I said that the Amphictyonic Council ought to be convened at the temple, receiving protection and freedom to vote, [Note] and that those individuals who were originally responsible for the seizure of the shrine ought to be punished—not their cities, but the individuals who had plotted and carried out the deed; and that those cities which surrendered the wrongdoers for trial ought to be held guiltless. “But if you take the field and with your forces confirm the wrongdoing of the Thebans, [Note] you will receive no gratitude from those whom you help, for you could not possibly do them so great a service as the Athenians once did, and they have no memory for that; while you will be wronging those whom you leave in the lurch, and will find them, not your friends in the future, but all the more your enemies.”



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.105 Aeschin. 2.114 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.121

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