Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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I ask you to give a similar hearing now. If some of you have come from home with the opinion, formed in the past, that of course Demosthenes has never in conspiracy with Philocrates said a word in Philip's interest—if any man of you is under such impression, let him decide nothing either way, aye or no, until he has heard; for that would not be fair. But if, as I briefly recall the dates, and cite the resolutions which Demosthenes moved in cooperation with Philocrates, the truthful audit of the facts shall convict Demosthenes of having moved more resolutions than Philocrates concerning the original peace and alliance,


and of having flattered Philip and his ambassadors with a shamelessness which was beyond measure, and of being responsible to the people for the failure to secure the concurrence of a general congress of the Greek states in the making of the peace, and of having betrayed to Philip Cersobleptes, king of Thrace, a friend and ally of our city—if I shall clearly demonstrate all this to you, I shall make of you this modest request: in God's name agree with me, that in the first of his four periods his policies have not been those of a good citizen. I will speak in a way that will enable you to follow me most easily.


Philocrates made a motion [Note] that we permit Philip to send to us a herald and ambassadors to treat concerning peace. This motion was attacked in the courts as illegal. The time of the trial came. Lycinus, who had indicted him, spoke for the prosecution; Philocrates made answer for himself, and Demosthenes spoke in his behalf; [Note] Philocrates was cleared. After this came the archonship of Themistocles. [Note] Now Demosthenes came in as senator, not drawn by the lot either as a member of the senate or as a substitute, but through intrigue and bribery; the purpose of it was to enable him to support Philocrates in every way, by word and deed, as the event itself made evident.


For now Philocrates carries a second resolution, providing for the election of ten ambassadors, who shall go to Philip and ask him to send hither plenipotentiaries to negotiate peace. Of these ambassadors one was Demosthenes. On his return, Demosthenes was a eulogist of the peace, he agreed with the other ambassadors in their report, and he alone of the senators moved to give safe-conduct to Philip's herald and ambassadors; and in this motion he was in accord with Philocrates, for the one had given permission to send a herald and ambassadors hither, the other gave safe-conduct to the embassy.


As to what followed, I beg you now to pay especial attention. For negotiations were entered into—not with the other ambassadors, who were slandered again and again by Demosthenes after he had changed face, but with Philocrates and Demosthenes (naturally, for they were at once ambassadors and authors of the motions)—first, that you should not wait for the ambassadors whom you had sent out with your summons against Philip, for they wished you to make the peace, not together with the Greeks, but by yourselves;


secondly, that you should vote, not only for peace, but also for alliance with Philip, in order that any states which were taking note of what the Athenian democracy was doing might fall into utter discouragement on seeing that, while you were summoning them to war, you had at home voted to make both peace and an alliance; and thirdly, that Cersobleptes, king of Thrace, should not be included in the oaths, nor share the alliance and peace—indeed, an expedition was already being levied against him.


Now the man who was buying such services was doing no wrong, for before the oaths had been taken and the agreements entered into, he could not be blamed for negotiating to his own advantage; but the men who sold, who admitted Philip into partnership in the control of the strongholds of the state, were deserving of your great indignation. For the man who now shouts, “Down with Alexander!” and in those days, “Down with Philip!” the man who throws in my face the friendship of Alexander, this man Demosthenes,


stole away the opportunities of the city by making the motion that the prytanes call an assembly for the eighth day of Elaphebolion, the day of the sacrifice to Asclepius, and the introductory day of the festival [Note]—the sacred day—a thing that no man remembers ever to have been done before. And what was his pretext? “In order,” he says, “that if Philip's ambassadors shall by that time have arrived, the people may most speedily deliberate on their relations with Philip.” He thus appropriates the assembly for the ambassadors in advance, before their arrival, cutting short your time, and hurrying on the whole business; and this was in order that you might make the peace, not in cooperation with the other Greeks, on the return of your ambassadors, [Note] but alone.


After this, fellow citizens, Philip's ambassadors arrived [Note] but yours were absent, summoning the Greeks against Philip. Thereupon Demosthenes carries another resolution, in which he provides that we take counsel, not only regarding peace, but on the subject of an alliance also; and that we should do this without waiting for your ambassadors to return, but immediately after the City Dionysia, on the 18th and 19th of the month. As proof of the truth of what I say, hear the resolutions.Resolutions

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.55 Aeschin. 3.63 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.72

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