Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication
→ § 6 (Dem. 6).
Craig Gibson, trans., edition of April 30, 2003
page 7 of 58
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Demosthenes (Dem. 19).
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Argos (in text as “Argives”).
Messenia (in text as “Messenians”).
Phocis (in text as “Phocians”).
Thebes (in text as “Thebans”).
(1) In this speech, the orator exhorts the Athenians to suspect Philip of being their enemy and not to trust in the peace at all, but to wake up, pay attention to things, and get ready for war. For he charges that Philip is plotting against the Athenians and the rest of the Greeks, and says that his actions bear witness to this against him. (2) But he also announces that he will reply to some ambassadors who have come, since the Athenians were at a loss as to what they should say. It is left unclear in the speech where these men have come from and why, but it is possible to understand it from the Philippic Histories.4 (3) On this occasion, Philip sent ambassadors to the Athenians, charging that they had been falsely slandering him to the rest of the Greeks for promising many wonderful things to them, but lying about it. For he says that he has not promised them anything and has not lied, and he demands proof of their accusations. The Argives and Messenians sent ambassadors to Athens along with Philip’s, and they accused the people of being partial toward and even cheering for Sparta’s enslavement of the Peloponnese, while opposing their own struggle for freedom. (5) So the Athenians are at a loss as to how to reply to Philip and these cities: <the cities,> because they are in fact partial toward the Spartans and hate and are suspicious of the alliance between the Argives and Messenians, but are not able to prove that the Spartans are behaving justly; to Philip, <because> they have failed to get what they had hoped for, but do not think that they have been deceived by him. (6) For Philip did not make any promises in his letters, nor did he send any guarantees through his ambassadors, but there were some Athenians who had given the people false hope that Philip would save the Phocians and put down the hubris of the Thebans. (7) Therefore Demosthenes mentions what his answers would be and announces that he would give them, but he says that it is just for answers to be demanded from those who have caused all the fuss, the ones who (he says) deceived the people and opened Pylae up to Philip. (8) In these statements he is alluding to Aeschines, “making advanced preparations” (as they say) to prosecute him for the mishandled embassy, which he later did,5 and denouncing him in advance to the Athenians.
page 7 of 58
page 7 of 58