Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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Now it remains for me to speak of Cersobleptes and the Phocians, as well as the other matters in which I have been slandered. For, fellow citizens, both on the first and on the second embassy I reported to you what I saw, as I saw it; what I heard, as I heard it. What was it then in either case: what was it that I saw and what was it that I heard about Cersobleptes? I, as well as all my colleagues in the embassy, saw the son of Cersobleptes a hostage at Philip's court; and this is still the case.


now it happened on the occasion of our first embassy, that at the moment when I was leaving for home with the rest of the ambassadors, Philip was setting out for Thrace; but we had his promise that while you were deliberating concerning peace, he would not set foot on the Chersonese with an armed force. Now on that day when you voted the peace, no mention was made of Cersobleptes. But after we had already been elected to receive the oaths, [Note] before we had set forth on the second embassy, an assembly was held, the presidency of which fell by lot to Demosthenes, [Note] who is now accusing me.


in that assembly Critobulus of Lampsacus came forward and said that Cersobleptes had sent him, and he demanded that he should be allowed to give his oath to the ambassadors of Philip, and that Cersobleptes be enrolled among your allies. [Note] When he had thus spoken, Aleximachus of the deme Pelex handed to the presiding officers a motion to be read, in which it was written that the representative of Cersobleptes be permitted to join the other allies in giving the oath to Philip.


When the motion had been read—I think you all remember this—Demosthenes arose from among the presiding officers and refused to put the motion to vote, saying that he would not bring to naught the peace with Philip, and that he did not recognize the sort of allies who joined only in time, as it were, to help in pouring the peace libations; for they had had their opportunity at an earlier session of the assembly. But you shouted and called the board of presidents to the platform, and so against his will the motion was put to vote.


To prove that I am speaking the truth, please call Aleximachus, the author of the motion, and the men who served with Demosthenes on the board of presidents, and read their testimony.Testimony

You see, therefore, that Demosthenes, who just now burst into tears here at mention of Cersobleptes, tried to shut him out of the alliance. Now on the adjournment of that session of the assembly, Philip's ambassadors proceeded to administer the oaths to your allies in your army-building.


and my accuser has dared to tell you that it was I who drove Critobulus, Cersobleptes' ambassador, from the ceremony—in the presence of the allies, under the eyes of the generals, after the people had voted as they did! Where did I get all that power? How could the thing have been hushed tip? If I had really dared to undertake such a thing, would you have suffered it, Demosthenes? Would you not have filled the market-place with your shouts and screams, if you had seen me, as you just now said you did, thrusting the ambassador away from the ceremony? But please let the herald call the generals and the representatives of the allies, and do you hear their testimony.Testimony


Is it not, therefore, an outrage, gentlemen, if one dares utter such lies about a man who is his own—no, I hasten to correct myself, not his own, but your—fellow citizen, when he is in peril of his life? Wisely, indeed, did our fathers prescribe that, in the trials for bloodshed which are held at the Palladion, [Note] the one who wins his case must cut in pieces the sacrificial flesh, and take a solemn oath (and the custom of your fathers is in force to this day), affirming that those jurors who have voted on his side have voted what is true and right, and that he himself has spoken no falsehood; and he calls down destruction upon himself and his household, if this be not true, and prays for many blessings for the jurors. A right provision, fellow citizens, and worthy of a democracy.


For if no one of you would willingly defile himself with justifiable bloodshed, surely he would guard against that which was unjustifiable, such as robbing a man of life or property or civil rights—such acts as have caused some men to kill themselves, others to be put to death by decree of the state. Will you then, fellow citizens, pardon me, if I call him a lewd rascal, unclean of body, even to the place whence his voice issues forth, and if I go on to prove that the rest of his accusation about Cersobleptes is false on the face of it?

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.77 Aeschin. 2.84 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.92

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