Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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2.172

In former days, after the battle of Salamis, our city stood in high repute, and although our walls had been thrown down by the barbarians, yet so long as we had peace with the Lacedaemonians we preserved our democratic form of government. [Note] But when certain men had stirred up trouble and finally caused us to become involved in war with the Lacedaemonians, then, after we had suffered and inflicted many losses, Miltiades, the son of Cimon, who was proxenus [Note] of the Lacedaemonians, negotiated with them, and we made a truce for fifty years, and kept it thirteen years. [Note]

2.173

During this period we fortified the Peiraeus and built the north wall; we added one hundred new triremes to our fleet; we also equipped three hundred cavalrymen and bought three hundred Scythians; [Note] and we held the democratic constitution unshaken.

But meanwhile men who were neither free by birth nor of fit character had intruded into our body politic, and finally we became involved in war again with the Lacedaemonians, this time because of the Aeginetans. [Note]

2.174

In this war we received no small injury, and became desirous of peace. We therefore sent Andocides and other ambassadors to the Lacedaemonians and negotiated a peace, which we kept for thirty years. [Note] This peace brought the democracy to the height of its prosperity. For we deposited on the Acropolis a thousand talents of coined money we built one hundred additional triremes, and constructed dockyards; we formed a corps of twelve hundred cavalry and a new force of as many bowmen, and the southern long wall was built; and no man undertook to overthrow the democratic constitution.

2.175

But again we were persuaded to go to war, now because of the Megarians. [Note] Having given up our land to be ravaged, and suffering great privations, we longed for peace, and finally concluded it through Nicias, the son of Niceratus. [Note] In the period that followed we again deposited treasure in the Acropolis, seven thousand talents, thanks to this peace, and we acquired triremes, seaworthy and fully equipped, no fewer than three hundred in number; a yearly tribute of more than twelve hundred talents came in to us; we held the Chersonese, Naxos, and Euboea, and in these years we sent out a host of colonies.

2.176

Though the blessings we were enjoying were so great, we again brought war against the Lacedaemonians, persuaded by the Argives; [Note] and at last, in consequence of the eagerness of our public men for war, we sank so low as to see a Spartan garrison in our city, and the Four Hundred, and the impious Thirty; [Note] and it was not the making of peace that caused this, [Note] but we were forced by orders laid upon us. But when again a moderate government had been established, and the exiled democracy had come back from Phyle, [Note] with Archinus and Thrasybulus as the leaders of the popular party, we took the solemn oath with one another “to forgive and forget” an act which, in the judgment of all men, won for our state the reputation of the highest wisdom.

2.177

The democracy then took on new life and vigour. But now men who have been illegally registered as citizens, constantly attaching to themselves what ever element in the city is corrupt, and following a policy of war after war, in peace ever prophesying danger, and so working on ambitious and over excitable minds, yet when war comes never touching arms themselves, but getting into office as auditors and naval commissioners—men whose mistresses are the mothers of their offspring, and whose slanderous tongues ought to disfranchise them—these men are bringing the state into extreme peril, fostering the name of democracy, not by their character, but by their flatteries, trying to put an end to the peace, wherein lies the safety of the democracy, and in every way fomenting war, the destroyer of popular government.

2.178

These are the men who now are making a concerted attack on me; they say that Philip bought the peace, that he overreached us at every point in the articles of agreement, and that the peace which he contrived for his own interests, he himself has violated. And they put me on trial, not as an ambassador, but as a surety for Philip and the peace; the man who had nothing but words under his control they call to account for deeds—deeds that existed only in their own imagination. And the very man whom I exhibit to you as my eulogist in the public decrees, I have found as my accuser in the court-room. And although I was but one of ten ambassadors, I alone am made to give account.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.167 Aeschin. 2.175 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.183

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