Demosthenes and His Time: A Study in Defeat

Demosthenes and His Time: A Study in Defeat

Raphael Sealey

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0195079280

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book draws on a wide range of evidence to study the history of Athens from 386 to 322 B.C. Taking a sympathetic view of the Second Athenian League, Sealey focuses on the career of Demosthenes to provide important insights into Athenian politics and policies. Demosthenes experienced repeated setbacks in his early attempts at public activity, but found his mission as a statesman in the conflict with Macedon and subsequently became the leading man in Athens. Sealey rejects theories that assume programmatic divisions among Athenian statesmen into pro- and anti-Macedonians, and argues that all Athenians active in politics resented Macedonian ascendancy but recognized the necessity of accommodation to superior power. His account concludes with the defeat of Athens and its allies and the suicide of Demosthenes, presenting new insights not only into the life of Demosthenes and the turbulent years of his political career, but also the social and international factors bearing on Athenian political activity in general.

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On the journey thither Nikolochos raided the island of Tenedos at the approach to the Hellespont and took booty. Athenian squadrons from Samothrake, 7 8 Demosthenes and His Time Thasos, and other places in the neighborhood came to the aid of the Tenedians and then based themselves in the Chersonese. From there they blockaded Nikolochos in Abydos by sea, but Nikolochos was able to keep his land communications open.3 Antalkidas saw that the war could be won in the Hellespont and that he would

Peloponnesian ships there. Nikolochos in Abydos was still blockaded on the seaward side by Athenian ships under Iphikrates and Diotimos. They could rely on places in the Chersonese for anchorage. At Tenedos there was a further Athenian squadron commanded by no less then four officers, Demainetos, Dionysios, Leontichos, and Phanias. When Antalkidas heard that Iphikrates had sailed away through the Propontis against Chalkedon, he seized his opportunity. He set sail by night in a northeasterly

and viii Preface 6. One or two stock remarks may be added. The dates in the book are B.C. The translations are mine. But now the book keeps glancing toward Vertumnus and Janus. Berkeley, Calif. 17 June 1992 R. S. Contents Introduction: The Subject, 3 1. The Crisis of 387/6, 7 2. The Athenians and Their Environment, 19 3. Athens and the New League, 50 4. Destabilization in the North, 74 5. Before and After the Social War, 102 6. War and Peace in the North, 137 7. The Athenians

meaning of the word agogimos. Perhaps he could assume that the listeners knew what the word meant. Perhaps he did not wish to remind them. For in the middle of the argument he betrays the truth. After mentioning involuntary homicide, he says114: In consequence of your decree anyone to whom an involuntary killer has been surrendered can, if he wishes, take him off by force to the fatherland of the victim. The decree of Aristokrates did not allow immediate execution of a captive suspected of

arises because the three speeches are relatively vague; they do not come to grips with the detail of an immediate situation. In this they differ markedly from 140 Demosthenes and His Time the speech On the Peace (5) and the speeches delivered later by Demosthenes in the assembly. In 330, when Aischines gave a critical review of the public life of Demosthenes, he began with the steps taken by his rival in 348-346 to bring about peace with Philip (3.54,62). At the time of the Olynthian War

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