Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication
→ § 8 (Dem. 8).
Craig Gibson, trans., edition of April 30, 2003
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(1) This speech was delivered on behalf of Diopeithes and the things for which he was being accused at Athens. The Chersonese was an ancient holding of Athens near Thrace, and in the time of Philip they sent their cleruchs to it. (2) It was an ancient Athenian custom to send those of their number who were poor and had no land at home as colonists to their outlying cities, and when they were sent they would receive weapons and supplies from the treasury. (3) Now then, this has happened and they have sent colonists to the Chersonese with Diopeithes for a general. Most of the other people of the Chersonese welcomed them when they arrived and shared houses and land with them, but the Cardians did not, saying that the land belonged to them, not to the Athenians. (4) Because of this, Diopeithes made war on the Cardians, but they fled for refuge to Philip, who ordered the Athenians not to harm them, because they were associated with him, but rather to go to arbitration with them, if they believed that they had been harmed in some way. (5) But when the Athenians did not obey these commands, he sent aid to the Cardians. So while Philip was battling the king of the Odrysians in the inland (upper Thrace), Diopeithes angrily went down to seaward Thrace, which was subject to Philip, laid waste to it, went back up to the Chersonese before Philip could get there, and arrived safely. (6) So then, since he was unable to defend himself with weapons, Philip sent a letter to the Athenians accusing the general and saying that he had openly violated the peace. And those among the orators who were on Philip’s side inveighed against Diopeithes and called for his punishment. (7) In opposition to them, Demosthenes makes his stand on behalf of Diopeithes in two ways. For he says that Diopeithes has not behaved unjustly, since Philip long ago violated the terms of the peace and in all likelihood is currently committing wrongs against Athens, and that he was simply carrying out the tasks of war; in addition (he says), it is inexpedient for the Athenians to punish the general and disband the forces under his command, which are now beating Philip back from the Chersonese. (8) In short, he calls for war and strongly accuses Philip of being unjust, breaking treaties, and plotting against both the Athenians and the rest of the Greeks.
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