Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication
→ § 17 (Dem. 18).
Craig Gibson, trans., edition of April 30, 2003
page 18 of 58
(1) In defense of the Athenians, the orator contributed a wall that was sturdier than the usual hand-built ones, goodwill toward the city, and cleverness at speaking, as he himself says: “Not with stones and bricks did I fortify Athens, but with large military forces and a great alliance, part by land and part by sea.”14 (2) This is not actually the case: he also made a quite significant contribution to the hand-built enclosure around the city. For after he had already labored over many parts of the wall for the Athenians, when it was decided to rebuild it, ten men were appointed to the job (one from each tribe), who were required to provide at their own expense simply for the supervision of the job; for the main cost was a public expense. (3) So when the orator had become one of these men, too, he did not (like the others) simply pay for the supervision as was required; rather, he completed the task in a way with which nobody could find fault, and he donated money to the city out of his own resources. (4) The Council praised this display of goodwill and repaid his zealous service with a gold crown; for the Athenians readily thanked their benefactors. (5) Ctesiphon was the man who made a proposal that Demosthenes should be crowned at a particular time and place: at the Dionysia, in the theater of Dionysus, in front of all the Greek spectators who had come together for the festival. He also said that the herald should proclaim in the presence of these people that the city is crowning Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of the deme Paeanea, on account of every virtue and display of goodwill that he has shown toward Athens. (6) The honor that then poured in from all sides was amazing. As a result jealousy became attached to the honor, and an indictment for an illegal proposal is entered <against> the decree. For Aeschines, as he was Demosthenes’ enemy, indicts Ctesiphon for an illegal proposal,15 saying that he is still liable to audit (because he had been a public official and had not yet given an account of his tenure), and that the law orders them not to crown those who are liable to audit.16 He also brings up the law which orders that, if the People of the Athenians crowns someone, the crown is to be announced publicly in the Agora, but if the Council crowns someone, it is to be announced in the Bouleuterion, and that it is not permissible to do it elsewhere.17 (7) He furthermore says that the commendations for Demosthenes are all lies.18 For the orator (he says) has not been an honorable politician; rather, he has accepted bribes and is responsible for many of the disasters that have befallen the city.19 (8) Aeschines used the following order for his accusation: first, he spoke about the law concerning those who are liable to audit; second, about the law concerning public proclamations; and third, about public policy. He expected Demosthenes, too, to make his speech in the same order. (9) But the orator begins with public policy and turns the speech back around to this subject a second time, doing so with technical skill. For one should begin and end a speech with the strongest points. He places his discussion of the laws in the middle section: to the law about those who are liable to audit, he counters with the lawgiver’s intentions; while to the law about public proclamations, he counters with the full text of the law (which differs from a mere selection from the law, according to him), in which it is also permissible to make public proclamations in the theater, if the people or the Council votes to do so.
page 18 of 58
page 18 of 58