Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.170 Aeschin. 2.177 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.184

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.

2.179

To plead with you in my behalf are present my father, whom I beg of you not to rob of the hopes of his old age; my brothers, who would have no desire for life if I should be torn from them; my connections by marriage; and these little children, who do not yet realize their danger, but are to be pitied if disaster fall on us. For them I beg and beseech you to take earnest thought, and not to give them over into the hands of our enemies, or of a creature who is no man—no better in spirit than a woman.

2.180

And first of all I pray and beseech the gods to save me, and then I beseech you, who hold the verdict in your hands, before whom I have defended myself against every one of the accusations, to the best of my recollection; I beg you to save me, and not give me over to the hands of the rhetorician and the Scythian. You who are fathers of children or have younger brother's whom you hold dear, remember that to me they are indebted for a warning which they will not forget, admonished to live chastely through my prosecution of Timarchus.

2.181

And all the rest of you, toward whom I have conducted myself without offence, in fortune a plain citizen, a decent man like any one of you, and the only man who in the strife of politics has refused to join in conspiracy against you, upon you I call to save me. With all loyalty I have served the city as her ambassador, alone subjected to the clamour of the slanderers, which before now many a man conspicuously brave in war has not had the courage to face; for it is not death that men dread, but a dishonoured end.

2.182

Is he not indeed to be pitied who must look into the sneering face of an enemy, and hear with his ears his insults? But nevertheless I have taken the risk, I have exposed my body to the peril. Among you I grew up, your ways have been my ways. No home of yours is the worse for my pleasures; no man has been deprived of his fatherland by accusation of mine at any revision of the citizen-lists, nor has come into peril when rendering account of his administration of an office.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.170 Aeschin. 2.177 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.184

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