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


When now, fellow citizens, the Dionysia were past and the assemblies took place, in the first assembly a resolution of the synod of the allies was read, [Note] the substance of which I will give briefly before having it read to you. First, they provided only that you should take counsel regarding peace, and omitted the word “alliance”—and that not inadvertently, but because they looked upon even the peace as necessary, rather than honorable; secondly, they met Demosthenes' bribery with a well-chosen remedy,


by adding in their resolution that any Greek state that wished should be permitted within the space of three months to have its name inscribed with the Athenians on the same stone, and to share the oaths and agreements. In this way they were taking two precautions, and those of the greatest importance; for first, they provided the period of three months, a sufficient time for the ambassadors of the Greek states to arrive; and secondly, they sought to secure to the city the good-will of the Greeks, by the provision for a general congress, in order that in case the agreements should be violated, we might not enter upon the war unprepared and alone—the misfortune that actually came upon us, thanks to Demosthenes. Now that what I say is true, you shall learn by hearing the resolution itselfResolution of the Allies


I acknowledge that I supported this resolution, as did all who spoke in the first of the two assemblies; and the people left the assembly with substantially this supposition, that peace would be made (that, however, it was better not to discuss an alliance, because of our summons to the Greeks), and that the peace would be shared by all the Greeks. Night intervened. We came the next day to the assembly. Then it was that Demosthenes, hastening to get possession of the platform, and leaving no other man an opportunity to speak, said that the propositions of yesterday were utterly useless unless Philip's ambassadors could be persuaded to assent to them. He further said that he could not conceive of peace without alliance.


For he said we must not—I remember the expression he used, for the word was as odious as the man—he said we must not “rip off” the alliance from the peace, nor wait for the slow decisions of the other Greeks, but we must either fight ourselves, or by ourselves make the peace. And finally he called Antipater [Note] to the platform, and proceeded to ask him a certain question—he had previously told him what he gas going to ask, and had instructed him what he was to answer, to the injury of the state. Finally this thing prevailed, Demosthenes forcing you to it by his talk, and Philocrates moving the resolution.


One thing remained now for them to do—to betray Cersobleptes and the Thracian coast. This they accomplished on the 25th of Elaphebolion, before Demosthenes set out on the second embassy, the embassy for the ratification of the oaths (for this orator of ours, this man who shouts “Down with Alexander!” and “Down with Philip!” has twice been an ambassador to Macedonia, when he need not have gone once—the man who now bids you spit on the Macedonians). Presiding over the assembly on the 25th, for he had gained a seat in the senate by intrigue, [Note] he, with the help of Philocrates, betrayed Cersobleptes;


for Philocrates unobserved slipped this clause in among the provisions of his resolution, and Demosthenes put it to the vote, that “The members of the synod of the allies do on this day give their oaths to the ambassadors from Philip.” But no representative of Cersobleptes had a seat in the synod and so in providing that those who were sitting in the synod should give oath, he excluded Cersobleptes from the oaths, for he had no place in the synod. [Note]

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.61 Aeschin. 3.70 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.78

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