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Aeschines (c.390-c.322 BCE):
On the Embassy


[2.1] I beg you, fellow citizens, to hear me with willing and friendly mind, remembering how great is my peril, and how many the charges against which I have to defend myself; remembering also the arts and devices of my accuser, and the cruelty of the man who, speaking to men who are under oath to give equal hearing to both parties, had the effrontery to urge you not to listen to the voice of the defendant. [2.2] and it was not anger that made him say it; for no man who is lying is angry with the victim of his calumny, nor do men who are speaking the truth try to prevent the defendant from obtaining a hearing; for the prosecution does not find justification in the minds of the hearers until the defendant has had opportunity to plead for himself and has proved unable to refute the charges that have been preferred.

[2.3] But Demosthenes, I think, is not fond of fair argument, nor is that the sort of preparation he has made. No, it is your anger that he is determined to call forth. And he has accused me of receiving bribes--he who would be the last man to make such suspicion credible! For the man who seeks to arouse the anger of his hearers over bribery must himself refrain from such conduct.

[2.4] But, fellow citizens, as I have listened to Demosthenes' accusation, the effect upon my own mind has been this: never have I been so apprehensive as on this day, nor ever more angry than now, nor so exceedingly rejoiced. I was frightened, and am still disturbed, lest some of you form a mistaken judgment of me, beguiled by those antitheses of his, conceived in deliberate malice. And I was indignant--fairly beside myself at the charge, when he accused me of insolence and drunken violence towards a free woman of Olynthus.[1] But I was rejoiced when, as he was dwelling on this charge, you refused to listen to him. This I consider to be the reward that you bestow upon me for a chaste and temperate life.

*1. Demosthenes in his speech (Dem. On the False Embassy .196 ff.) had told in detail the story of the abuse of a well-born Olynthian captive by Aeschines and others at a banquet in Macedonia.

[2.5] To you I do, indeed, give praise and high esteem for putting your faith in the life of those who are on trial, rather than in the accusations of their enemies; however, I would not myself shrink from defending myself against this charge. For if there is any man among those who are standing outside the bar--and almost the whole city is in the court--or if there is any man of you, the jurors, who is convinced that I have ever perpetrated such an act, not to say towards a free person, but towards any creature, I hold my life as no longer worth the living. And if as my defence proceeds I fail to prove that the accusation is false, and that the man who dared to utter it is an impious slanderer, then, even though it be clear that I am innocent of all the other charges, I declare myself worthy of death.

[2.6] But strange indeed did that other argument of his seem to me, and outrageously unjust, when he asked you whether it was possible in one and the same city to sentence Philocrates to death because he would not await trial and so condemned himself, and then to acquit me. But I think that on this very ground I ought most certainly to be cleared for if the man who condemns himself by not awaiting trial is guilty, certainly he who denies the charge and submits his person to the laws and to his fellow citizens is not guilty.

[2.7] Now, fellow citizens, as regards the rest of his accusations, if I pass over any point and fail to mention it, I beg of you to question me and let me know what it is that you wish to hear about, and to refrain from forming any judgment in advance, but to listen with impartial goodwill. I do not know where I ought to begin, so inconsistent are his accusations. See whether you think I am being treated in a reasonable way. [2.8] it is I who am now on trial, and that too for my life; and yet the greater part of his accusation has been directed against Philocrates and Phrynon and the other members of the embassy, against Philip and the peace and the policies of Eubulus; it is only as one among all these that he gives me a place. But when it is a question of solicitude for the interests of the state, one solitary man stands out in all his speech--Demosthenes; all the rest are traitors! For he has unceasingly insulted us and poured out his slanderous lies, not upon me alone, but upon all the rest as well

[2.9] and after treating a man with such contempt, later, when it suits his whim, he turns about, and as though he were accusing an Alcibiades or a Themistocles, the most famous men among all the Greeks, he proceeds to charge that same man with having destroyed the cities in Phocis, with having lost you the Thracian coast, with having expelled from his kingdom Cersobleptes, a friend and ally of the city.

[2.10] and he undertook to liken me to Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, and vehemently and with loud cries he called upon you to be on your guard against me; and he related the dream of the priestess in Sicily.[1] Then, after all this exaggeration, he begrudged me the credit even for what he had slanderously charged me with accomplishing, and ascribed it all, not to my words, but to the arms of Philip.

*1. Neither the comparison with Dionysius nor the story of the dream was retained by Demosthenes when he revised his speech for publication.

[2.11] When now a man has shown such trickery and effrontery, it is difficult even to remember every single thing, and in the face of danger it is not easy to answer unexpected slanders. But I will begin with those events which I think will enable me to make my presentation most clear and intelligible to you, and fair; these events are the discussion that took place concerning the peace, and the choice of the ambassadors. In this way I shall best remember his charges and best be able to speak effectively, and you will be best instructed.

[2.12] There is one thing, at any rate, which I think you all yourselves remember: how the ambassadors from Euboea, after they had discussed with our assembly the question of our making peace with them, told us that Philip also had asked them to report to you that he wished to come to terms and be at peace with you. Not long after this, Phrynon of Rhamnus was captured by privateers, during the Olympian truce, according to his own complaint.[1] Now when he had been ransomed and had come home, he asked you to choose an envoy to go to Philip in his behalf, in order that, if possible, he might recover his ransom money. You were persuaded, and chose Ctesiphon as envoy for him.

*1. Shortly before the time for the Olympic festival in each quadrennium, heralds were sent out by the Elean state to carry to all Greeks the invitation to the festival and to proclaim a sacred truce between all warring Greek states. Phrynon claimed that Macedonian pirates had violated this truce.

[2.13] When Ctesiphon returned from his mission, he first reported to you on the matters for which he was sent, and then in addition he said that Philip declared that he had gone to war with you against his own will, and that he wished, even now, to be rid of the war. When Ctesiphon had said this and had also told of the marked kindness of his reception, the people eagerly accepted his report and passed a vote of praise for Ctesiphon. Not a voice was raised in opposition. Then it was, and not till then, that Philocrates of Hagnus offered a motion, which was passed by unanimous vote of the people that Philip be allowed to send to us a herald and ambassadors to treat for peace. For up to this time even that had been prevented by certain men who made it their business to do so, as the event itself proved.

[2.14] for they attacked the motion as unconstitutional,[1] subscribing the name of Lycinus to the indictment, in which they proposed a penalty of one hundred talents. When the case came to trial Philocrates was ill, and called as his advocate Demosthenes, not me. And Demosthenes the Philip-hater came to the platform and used up the day in his plea for the defence. Finally Philocrates acquitted, and the prosecutor failed to receive the fifth part of the votes.[2] This is matter of common knowledge.

*1. On the indictment for proposing an unconstitutional measure, see Aeschines: Against Ctesiphon, Introduction.

*2. A prosecutor who failed to receive one-fifth part of the votes of the jury was subject to a fine of 1,00drachmas and disability to bring such a suit in the future.

[2.15] Now about the same time Olynthus was taken, and many of our citizens were captured there, among them Iatrocles, brother of Ergochares, and Eueratus, son of Strombichus. Their families naturally made supplication in their behalf, and begged you to provide for them. Their spokesmen before the people were Philocrates and Demosthenes, not Aeschines. So Aristodemus the actor is sent as envoy to Philip, as being an acquaintance of his, and of a profession that naturally wins friends.

[2.16] But when Aristodemus returned from his mission, his report to the senate was delayed by certain business of his, and meanwhile Iatrocles came back from Macedonia, released by Philip without ransom. Then many people were angry with Aristodemus for having failed to make his report, for they heard from Iatrocles the same story about Philip.[1]

*1. The same story that the Euboean ambassadors and Ctesiphon had brought, that Philip was ready to discuss peace.

[2.17] Finally Democrates of Aphidna went before the senate and persuaded them to summon Aristodemus. One of the senators was Demosthenes, my accuser! Aristodemus appeared before them, reported Philip's great friendliness toward the city, and added this besides, that Philip even wished to become an ally of our state. This he said not only before the senate, but also at an assembly of the people. Here again Demosthenes spoke no word in opposition, but even moved that a crown be conferred on Aristodemus.

[2.18] Next Philocrates moved that ten ambassadors be chosen to go to Philip and discuss with him both the question of peace and the common interests of the Athenians and Philip. At the election of the ten ambassadors I was nominated by Nausicles, but Philocrates himself nominated Demosthenes--Demosthenes, the man who now accuses Philocrates.

[2.19] and so eager was Demosthenes for the business, that in order to make it possible for Aristodemus to be a member of our embassy without financial loss to himself, he moved that we elect envoys to go to the cities in which Aristodemus was under contract to act, and beg in his behalf the cancelling of his forfeitures. To prove the truth of this, take, if you please, the decrees, and read the deposition of Aristodemus, and call the witnesses before whom the deposition was made, in order that the jury may know who was the good friend of Philocrates, and who it was that promised to persuade the people to bestow the rewards on Aristodemus.

Decrees
Deposition

[2.20] The whole affair, therefore, from the beginning originated not with me, but with Demosthenes and Philocrates. And on the embassy he was eager to belong to our mess--not with my consent, but with that of my companions, Aglaocreon of Tenedos, whom you chose to represent the allies, and Iatrocles. And he asserts that on the journey I urged him to join me in guarding against the beast--meaning Philocrates. But the whole story was a fabrication; for how could I have urged Demosthenes against Philocrates, when I knew that he had been Philocrates' advocate in the suit against the legality of his motion, and that he had been nominated to the embassy by Philocrates?

[2.21] Moreover, this was not the sort of conversation in which we were engaged, but all the way we were forced to put up with Demosthenes' odious and insufferable ways. When we were discussing what should be said, and when Cimon remarked that he was afraid Philip would get the better of us in arguing his claims, Demosthenes promised fountains of oratory, and said that he was going to make such a speech about our claims to Amphipolis and the origin of the war that he would sew up Philip's mouth with an unsoaked rush,[1] and he would persuade the Athenians to permit Leosthenes to return home,[2] and Philip to restore Amphipolis to Athens.

*1. The job would be so easy that he would not have to stop to soak the rush fiber and make it pliable. A proverbial expression.

*2. Leosthenes was an Athenian orator and general, who had been condemned to death in 361 because of the failure of his campaign in the northern waters; he was now in exile in Macedonia. The recovery of Amphipolis would mollify the anger of the Athenians against him

[2.22] But not to describe at length the overweening self-confidence of this fellow, as soon as we were come to Macedonia, we arranged among ourselves that at our audience with Philip the eldest should speak first, and the rest in the order of age. Now it happened that the youngest man of us was, according to his own assertion, Demosthenes. When we were summoned--and pray now give especial attention to this, for here you shall see the exceeding enviousness of the man, and his strange cowardice and meanness too, and such plottings against men who were his own fellow ambassadors and his messmates as one would hardly enter into even against his bitterest enemies. For you remember he says [1] it is the salt of the city and the table of the state for which he has most regard--he, who is no citizen born--for I will out with it!--nor akin to us.[2]

*1. See Dem. On the False Embassy 189 ff. Aeschines had protested that Demosthenes, in attacking his fellow-ambassadors on their return from Macedonia, was violating the common decencies of life, which demanded that men who had sat at table together should treat one another as friends. Demosthenes replied that the table and the salt, even, in the case of the prytanes and other high officials who ate together at a common official table, gave no immunity to the wrongdoer; his fellow-officials were free to bring him to punishment. If the public table of the prytanes did not protect the guilty from attack by his fellow-officers, the table and the salt of the group of ambassadors should be no protection to Aeschines against Demosthenes' attack.

*2. In Aeschin. Against Ctesiphon 171 f., Aeschines declares that the maternal grandmother of Demosthenes was a Scythian.

[2.23] But we, who have shrines and family tombs in our native land, and such life and intercourse with you as belong to free men, and lawful marriage, with its offspring and connections, we while at Athens were worthy of your confidence, or you would never have chosen us, but when we had come to Macedonia we all at once turned traitors! But the man who had not one member of his body left unsold, posing as a second Aristeides "the Just," is displeased, and spits on us, as takers of bribes.

[2.24] Hear now the pleas that we made in your behalf, and again those which stand to the credit of Demosthenes, that great benefactor of the state, in order that I may answer one after another and in full detail each one of his accusations. But I commend you exceedingly, gentlemen of the jury, that in silence and with fairness you are listening to us. If, therefore, I fail to refute any one of his accusations, I shall have myself, not you, to blame.

[2.25] So when the older men had spoken on the object of our mission, our turn came.[1] All that I said there and Philip's reply, I reported fully in your assembly in the presence of all the citizens, but I will try to recall it to you now in a summary way.

*1. The turn of Aeschines and Demosthenes as the youngest of the ambassadors.

[2.26] In the first place, I described to him our traditional friendship and your generous services to Amyntas, the father of Philip, recalling them all one after another, and omitting nothing. Secondly, I reminded him of services of which he himself had been both witness and recipient. For shortly after the death of Amyntas, and of Alexander, the eldest of the brothers, while Perdiccas and Philip were still children, when their mother Eurydice had been betrayed by those who professed to be their friends

[2.27] and when Pausanias was coming back to contend for the throne,[1] an exile then, but favoured by opportunity and the support of many of the people, and bringing a Greek force with him, and when he had already seized Anthemon, Therma, Strepsa, and certain other places, at a time when the Macedonians were not united, but most of them favoured Pausanias: at this crisis the Athenians elected Iphicrates as their general to go against Amphipolis--for at that time the people of Amphipolis were holding their city themselves and enjoying the products of the land.

*1. Amyntas, king of Macedonia, left three sons, Alexander, Perdiccas, and Philip. Alexander succeeded his father, but after a short reign he was assassinated. His mother Eurydice with her paramour Ptolemaeus took the throne. Her power was threatened by Pausanias, a member of a rival princely house.

[2.28] When Iphicrates had come into this region--with a few ships at first, for the purpose of examining into the situation rather than of laying siege to the city-- "Then," said I, "your mother Eurydice sent for him, and according to the testimony of all who were present, she put your brother Perdiccas into the arms of Iphicrates, and set you upon his knees--for you were a little boy--and said, `Amyntas, the father of these little children, when he was alive, made you his son,[1] and enjoyed the friendship of the city of Athens; we have a right therefore to consider you in your private capacity a brother of these boys, and in your public capacity a friend to us.'

*1. Amyntas, hard pressed by his Illyrian and Thessalian neighbors, had at one time been driven from his throne by a rival prince. After two years he was restored to power by the help of Sparta and Athens. It is conjectured that this was the occasion of his adoption of the Athenian Iphicrates, one of the most capable leaders of mercenary troops.

[2.29] After this she at once began to make earnest entreaty in your behalf and in her own, and for the maintenance of the throne--in a word for full protection. When Iphicrates had heard all this, he drove Pausanias out of Macedonia and preserved the dynasty for you." Next I spoke about Ptolemaeus, who had been made regent, telling what an ungrateful and outrageous thing he had done: I explained how in the first place he continually worked against our city in the interest of Amphipolis, and when we were in controversy with the Thebans, made alliance with them; and then how Perdiccas, when he came to the throne, fought for Amphipolis against our city.

[2.30] And I showed that, wronged as you were, you maintained your friendly attitude; for I told how, when you had conquered Perdiccas in the war, under the generalship of Callisthenes, you made a truce with him, ever expecting to receive some just return. And I tried to remove the ill feeling that was connected with this affair by showing that it was not the truce with Perdiccas that led the people to put Callisthenes to death, but other causes. And again I did not hesitate to complain of Philip himself, blaming him for having taken up in his turn the war against our state.

[2.31] As proof of all my statements, I offered the letters of the persons in question, the decrees of the people, and Callisthenes' treaty of truce. Now the facts about our original acquisition both of the district and of the place called Ennea Hodoi,[1] and the story of the sons of Theseus, one of whom, Acamas, is said to have received this district as the dowry of his wife--all this was fitting to the occasion then, and was given with the utmost exactness, but now I suppose I must be brief; but those proofs which rested, not on the ancient legends, but on occurrences of our own time, these also I called to mind.

*1. Ennea Hodoi ( "Nine Roads") was the old name of the place colonized by the Athenians in 436 under the name of Amphipolis.

[2.32] For at a congress [1] of the Lacedaemonian allies and the other Greeks, in which Amyntas, the father of Philip, being entitled to a seat, was represented by a delegate whose vote was absolutely under his control, he joined the other Greeks in voting to help Athens to recover possession of Amphipolis. As proof of this I presented from the public records the resolution of the Greek congress and the names of those who voted.

*1. The "Congress of Sparta," 371 b.c.

[2.33] "Now," said I, "a claim which Amyntas renounced in the presence of all the Greeks, and that not by words alone, but by his vote, that claim you his son have no right to advance. But if you argue that it is right for you to keep the place because you took it in war, if it is true that it was a war against us in which you took the city, you do hold it justly, by right of conquest; but if it was from the Amphipolitans that you took a city which belonged to the Athenians, it is not the property of the Amphipolitans that you are holding, but territory of Athens."[1]

*1. Amphipolis was founded as a colony of Athens in 436, and became one of the most important cities on the northern coast. The Spartans seized it early in the Peloponnesian war, and held it till the close of the war. They then renounced their claim to it, but the people of the city themselves refused to return to Athenian allegiance. Repeated expeditions were sent out by the Athenians to retake the city, but without success. One of Philip's first acts was to seize Amphipolis. It was claimed at Athens that he had promised, if given a free hand, to restore the place to Athens; but this he refused to do, and so began the first war between Athens and Philip. The Athenian claim to the city was therefore one of the most important matters to be presented by the ambassadors whose mission Aeschines is here describing.

[2.34] Now when I had said this and more beside, at last came Demosthenes' turn to speak. All were intent, expecting to hear a masterpiece of eloquence. For, as we learned afterwards, his extravagant boasting had been reported to Philip and his court. So when all were thus prepared to listen, this creature mouthed forth a proem--an obscure sort of thing and as dead as fright could make it; and getting on a little way into the subject he suddenly stopped speaking and stood helpless; finally he collapsed completely.

[2.35] Philip saw his plight and bade him take courage, and not to think, as though he were an actor on the stage, that his collapse was an irreparable calamity, but to keep cool and try gradually to recall his speech, and speak it off as he had prepared it. But he, having been once upset, and having forgotten what he had written, was unable to recover himself; nay, on making a second attempt, he broke down again. Silence followed; then the herald bade us withdraw.

[2.36] Now when we were by ourselves, our worthy colleague Demosthenes put on an exceedingly sour face and declared that I had ruined the city and the allies. And when not only I, but all the rest of the ambassadors were amazed, and asked him his reason for saying that, he asked me if I had forgotten the situation at Athens, and if I did not remember that the people were worn out and exceedingly anxious for peace.

[2.37] "Or does your confidence rest," said he, "on those fifty ships that have been voted but are never going to be manned? You have so exasperated Philip by the speech you have made that the effect of it could not possibly be to make peace out of war, but implacable war out of peace!" I was just beginning to answer him, when the attendants summoned us.

[2.38] When we had come in and taken our seats, Philip began at the beginning and undertook to make some sort of answer to every argument which we had advanced. Naturally he dwelt especially on my argument, for I think I may fairly say that I had omitted nothing that could be said; and again and again he mentioned my name in the course of his argument. But in reply to Demosthenes, who had made such a laughing.stock of himself, not one word was said on a single point, I believe. And you may be sure that this was pain and anguish to him.

[2.39] But when Philip turned to expressions of friendship, and the bottom dropped out of the slander which this Demosthenes had previously uttered against me before our fellow ambassadors, that I was going to be the cause of disagreement and war, then indeed it was plain to see that he was altogether beside himself, so that even when we were invited to dinner he behaved with shameful rudeness.

[2.40] When we set out on our return home after completing our mission, suddenly he began talking to each of us on the way in a surprisingly friendly manner. Why, up to that time I had never so much as known the meaning of words like "kerkops," or the so-called "paipalema," or "palimbolon" [1] but now after acquiring him as expounder of the mysteries of all rascality, I am fully instructed.

*1. We are as ignorant of the particular shades of vulgarity and rascality conveyed by these words as Aeschines says he was before his initiation.

[2.41] and he would take each of us in turn to one side, and to one he would promise to open a subscription to help him in his private difficulties, and to another that he would get him elected general. As for me, he fol- lowed me about, congratulating me on my ability and praising my speech; so lavish was he in his compliments that I became sick and tired of him. And when we were all dining together at Larisa, he made fun of himself and the embarrassment which had come upon him in his speech, and he declared that Philip was the most wonderful man under the sun.

[2.42] When I had added my testimony, saying something like this, that Philip had shown excellent memory in his reply to what we had said, and when Ctesiphon, who was the oldest of us, speaking of his own advanced age and the number of his years, added that in all his many years he had never looked upon so charming and lovable a man, then this Sisyphus [1] here clapped his hands and said,

*1. A proverbial name for a cheat.

[2.43] "But, Ctesiphon, it will never do for you to tell the people that, nor would our friend here," meaning me, "venture to say to the Athenians that Philip is a man of good memory and great eloquence." And we innocently, not foreseeing the trick of which you shall hear presently, allowed him to bind us in a sort of agreement that we would say this to you.[1] And he begged me earnestly not to fail to tell how Demosthenes also said something in support of our claim to Amphipolis.

*1. Demosthenes dared them to do it; they accepted the challenge and wagered that they would.

[2.44] Now up to this point I am supported by the testimony of my colleagues in the embassy, whom he has reviled and slandered from beginning to end of his accusation. But his words on the platform in your presence you yourselves have heard; so it will not be possible for me to misrepresent them. And I beg of you to continue to hear patiently the rest of my narrative. I do not forget that each of you is anxious to hear the story of Cersobleptes and the charges made about the Phocians, and I am eager to get to those subjects; but you will not be as well able to follow them unless you shall first hear all that preceded. And if, in my peril, you allow me to speak as I wish, you will be able to save me, if I am innocent, and that on good and sufficient grounds; and you will also have before you the facts that are acknowledged as you proceed to examine the points that are in dispute.

[2.45] On our return, then, after we had rendered to the senate a brief report of our mission and had delivered the letter from Philip, Demosthenes praised us to his colleagues in the senate, and he swore by Hestia, goddess of the senate,[1] that he congratulated the city on having sent such men on the embassy, men who in honesty and eloquence were worthy of the state.

*1. The hearth of the Prytaneum, the headquarters of the standing committee of the senate, was regarded as the common hearth of the state; a statue of Hestia was in this hall, and in the senate-house was an altar of that goddess.

[2.46] In referring to me he said something like this: that I had not disappointed the hopes of those who elected me to the embassy. And to cap it all he moved that each of us be crowned with a garland of wild olive because of our loyalty to the people, and that we be invited to dine on the morrow in the Prytaneum. To prove that I have spoken to you nothing but the truth, please let the clerk take the decree, and let him read the testimony of my colleagues in the embassy.

Decree
Testimony

[2.47] Now when we presented the report of our embassy before the assembly, Ctesiphon came for ward first and spoke, including in his account the points that he was to make according to his agreement with Demosthenes, I mean about Philip's social accomplishments, his personal appearance, and his doughty deeds at the cups. Next Philocrates and Dercylus spoke briefly; then I came forward.

[2.48] After giving an account of our mission in general, I went on to say, according to the agreement with my colleagues on the embassy, that Philip showed both memory and eloquence when he spoke. And I did not forget what Demosthenes had asked me to mention, namely, that we had agreed that he was to speak about Amphipolis, in case any point should have been passed over by the rest of us.

[2.49] After we had spoken, last of all Demosthenes arose, and with that imposing air of his, and rubbing his forehead, when he saw that the people approved my report and were satisfied with it, he said that he was amazed at both parties, as well the listeners as the ambassadors, for they were carelessly wasting time--the listeners wasting the time for taking counsel, the ambassadors the time for giving it, all of them amusing themselves with foreign gossip, when they ought to be giving attention to our own affairs; for nothing, he said, was easier than to render account of an embassy.

[2.50] "I wish," said he, "to show you how the thing ought to be done." As he said this he called for the reading of the decree of the people. When it had been read he said, "This is the decree according to which we were sent out; what stands written here, we did. Now, if you please, take the letter that we have brought from Philip." When this had been read he said, "You have your answer; it remains for you to deliberate."

[2.51] The people shouted, some applauding his forceful brevity, but more of them rebuking his abominable jealousy. Then he went on and said, "See how briefly I will report all the rest. To Aeschines Philip seemed to be eloquent, but not to me; nay, if one should strip off his luck and clothe another with it, this other would be almost his equal.

[2.52] To Ctesiphon he seemed to be brilliant in person, but to me not superior to Aristodemus the actor" (he was one of us on the embassy). "One man says he has a great memory; so have others. `He was a wonderful drinker'; our Philocrates could beat him. One says that it was left to me to speak about our claim to Amphipolis; but neither to you nor to me would this orator be capable of yielding a moment of his time.

[2.53] all this talk of theirs," said he, "is sheer nonsense. But for my part, I am going to move that safe conduct be granted both for the herald who has come from Philip, and for the ambassadors who are to come here from him; also I shall move that on the arrival of the ambassadors the prytanes call a meeting of the assembly for two successive days to consider not only the question of peace, but the question of an alliance also; and finally, that if we, the members of the embassy, are thought to deserve the honor, a vote of thanks be passed, and an invitation be given us to dine tomorrow in the prytaneum."

[2.54] is proof of the truth of what I say, take, if you please, the decrees, that you, gentlemen of the jury, may know how crooked he is and how jealous, and how completely he and Philocrates were in partnership in the whole affair; and that you may know his character--how treacherous and faithless. Call also my colleagues in the embassy, if you please, and read their testimony.

Decrees

[2.55] Moreover, he not only made these motions, but afterwards he moved in the senate to assign seats in the theatre for the Dionysia to the ambassadors of Philip when they should arrive.[1]

*1. It had been expected that the ambassadors of Philip would arrive in time to take up their business before the Great Dionysia; the delay in their arrival necessitated postponing the business until after the festival, a period of about a week.

Read this decree also.

Decree

Now read also the testimony of my colleagues in the embassy, that you may know, fellow citizens, that when it is a question of speaking in the city's behalf, Demosthenes is helpless, but against those who have broken bread with him and shared in the same libations, he is a practised orator.

Testimony

[2.56] You find, therefore, that it was not Philocrates and I who entered into partnership in the negotiations for the peace, but Philocrates and Demosthenes. And I think that the proofs which I have presented to you in confirmation of what I have said, are sufficient. For as to the report we made, you yourselves are my witnesses; but I have presented to you my colleagues in the embassy as witnesses of what was said in Macedonia and of what took place in the course of our journey. But you heard and remember the accusation which Demosthenes made a few moments ago. He began with the speech which I made in the assembly on the question of the peace.

[2.57] and, utterly untruthful in this part of his accusation, he complained bitterly about the occasion of that speech, saying that it was delivered in the presence of the ambassadors whom the Greeks had sent to you; for you had invited them in order that if you must go on with the war, they might join you against Philip, and that if peace should seem the better policy, they might participate in the peace. Now see the man's deceit in a momentous matter, and his outrageous shamelessness.

[2.58] For in the public archives you have the record of the dates when you chose the several embassies which you sent out into Hellas, when the war between you and Philip was still in progress, and also the names of the ambassadors; and the men themselves are not in Macedonia, but here in Athens. Now for embassies from foreign states an opportunity to address the assembly of the people is always provided by a decree of the senate. Now he says that the ambassadors from the states of Hellas were present.

[2.59] Come forward, then, Demosthenes, to this platform while I have the floor, and mention the name of any city of Hellas you choose from which you say the ambassadors had at that time arrived. And give us to read the senatorial decrees concerning them from the records in the senate-house, and call as witnesses the ambassadors whom the Athenians had sent out to the various cities. If they testify that they had returned and were not still abroad at the time when the city was concluding the peace, or if you offer in evidence any audience of theirs before the senate, and the corresponding decrees dated at the time of which you speak, I leave the platform and declare myself deserving of death.

[2.57] and, utterly untruthful in this part of his accusation, he complained bitterly about the occasion of that speech, saying that it was delivered in the presence of the ambassadors whom the Greeks had sent to you; for you had invited them in order that if you must go on with the war, they might join you against Philip, and that if peace should seem the better policy, they might participate in the peace. Now see the man's deceit in a momentous matter, and his outrageous shamelessness.

[2.58] For in the public archives you have the record of the dates when you chose the several embassies which you sent out into Hellas, when the war between you and Philip was still in progress, and also the names of the ambassadors; and the men themselves are not in Macedonia, but here in Athens. Now for embassies from foreign states an opportunity to address the assembly of the people is always provided by a decree of the senate. Now he says that the ambassadors from the states of Hellas were present.

[2.59] Come forward, then, Demosthenes, to this platform while I have the floor, and mention the name of any city of Hellas you choose from which you say the ambassadors had at that time arrived. And give us to read the senatorial decrees concerning them from the records in the senate-house, and call as witnesses the ambassadors whom the Athenians had sent out to the various cities. If they testify that they had returned and were not still abroad at the time when the city was concluding the peace, or if you offer in evidence any audience of theirs before the senate, and the corresponding decrees dated at the time of which you speak, I leave the platform and declare myself deserving of death.

[2.60] Now read also what is said in the decree of the allies,[1] in which it stands expressly written, "Whereas the people of the Athenians are deliberating with regard to peace with Philip, and whereas the ambassadors have not yet returned whom the people sent out into Hellas summoning the cities in behalf of the freedom of the Hellenic states, be it decreed by the allies that as soon as the ambassadors return and make their report to the Athenians and their allies the prytanes shall call two meetings of the assembly of the people according to law, and that in these meetings the Athenians shall deliberate on the question of peace; and whatever the people shall decide, be it voted that this decision stand as the common vote of the allies." Now please read the decree of the synod.

*1. A decree of the confederate synod, sitting in Athens. The states referred to in the preceding paragraph were outside this Athenian league.

Decree of the Synod

[2.61] Now in contrast with this, read, if you please, the decree moved by Demosthenes, in which he orders the prytanes, after the celebration of the City Dionysia and the session of the assembly in the precinct of Dionysus,[1] to call two meetings of the assembly, the one on the eighteenth, the other on the nineteenth; for in thus fixing the dates, he saw to it that the meetings of your assembly should be held before the ambassadors from the states of Hellas should have arrived. Moreover, the decree of the allies, which I acknowledge I also supported, prescribes that you deliberate concerning peace--nothing more; but Demosthenes prescribes the subject of an alliance also. Read them the decree.

*1. A meeting regularly held at the close of the City Dionysia to act on any matters growing out of the conduct of the festival.

Decree

[2.62] You have heard both decrees; by them Demosthenes is convicted of saying that the ambassadors were here, when they were still abroad, and of having made void the decree of the allies, when you wished to comply with it. For it was their judgment that we should wait for the ambassadors from the other states of Hellas but Demosthenes is responsible for having prevented your waiting for them, not only by his words, most shamelessly shifty of all men, but by his act and his decree, in which he required us to make our decision immediately.

[2.63] But he has said that at the first of the two meetings of the assembly, after Philocrates had spoken, I then arose and found fault with the resolution for peace which he had introduced, calling it disgraceful and unworthy of the city; but that again on the next day I spoke in support of Philocrates, and succeeded in sweeping the assembly off its feet, persuading you to pay no attention to those who talked of our fathers' battles and trophies, and not to aid the Greeks.

[2.64] But that what he has laid to my charge is not only false, but a thing that could not have happened, he himself shall furnish one proof, a witness against himself; another proof all the Athenians shall furnish, and your own memory; a third, the incredibility of the charge; and the fourth, a man of repute, who is active in public affairs, Amyntor, to whom Demosthenes exhibited the draft of a decree, asking him whether he should advise him to hand it to the clerk, a decree not contrary in its provisions to that of Philocrates, but identical with it.

[2.65] Now, if you please, take and read the decree of Demosthenes,[1] in which you will see that he has prescribed that in the first of the two meetings of the assembly all who wish shall take part in the discussion, but that on the next day the presiding officers shall put the question to vote, without giving opportunity for debate--the day on which he asserts that I supported Philocrates in the discussion.

*This is not the draft of a decree just spoken of, but that decree in which Demosthenes had provided for the two meetings of the assembly.

Decree

[2.66] You see that the decrees stand as they were originally written, whereas the words of rascals are spoken to fit the day and the occasion. My accuser makes two speeches out of my plea before the assembly, but the decree and the truth make it one. For if the presiding officers gave no opportunity for discussion in the second meeting, it is impossible that I spoke then. And if my policy was the same as that of Philocrates, what motive could I have had for opposing on the first day, and then after an interval of a single night, in the presence of the same listeners, for supporting? Did I expect to gain honor for myself, or did I hope to help Philocrates? I could have done neither, but would have got myself hated by all, and could have accomplished nothing.

[2.67] But please call Amyntor of the deme Herchia and read his testimony. First, however, I wish to go over its contents with you: Amyntor in support of Aeschines testifies that when the people were deliberating on the subject of the alliance with Philip, according to the decree of Demosthenes, in the second meeting of the assembly, when no opportunity was given to address the people, but when the decrees concerning the peace and alliance were being put to vote,

[2.68] At that meeting Demosthenes was sitting by the side of the witness, and showed him a decree, over which the name of Demosthenes stood written; and that he consulted him as to whether he should hand it to the presiding officers to put to vote; this decree contained the terms on which Demosthenes moved that peace and alliance he made, and these terms were identical with the terms which Philocrates had moved. Now, if you please, call Amyntor of the deme Herchia; if he does not come hither voluntarily, serve summons upon him.

Testimony

[2.69] You have heard the testimony, fellow citizens. Consider whether you conclude that it is I whom Demosthenes has accused, or whether on the contrary he has accused himself in my name. But since he also misrepresents the speech that I made, and puts a false construction on what was said, I have no disposition to run away, or to deny a word that was then spoken; I am not ashamed of what I said; on the contrary, I am proud of it.

[2.70] But I wish also to recall to you the time and circumstances of your deliberations. We went to war in the first place over the question of Amphipolis. In the course of the war our general succeeded in losing seventy-five allied cities,[1] which Timotheus, the son of Conon, had won over and made members of the synod--I am determined, as you see, to speak right out, and to seek safety in frank and truthful speaking; if you are otherwise minded, do what you will with me; I cannot prevaricate--

*1. Aeschines chooses to speak as though the war with Philip were one and the same with the other, contemporaneous war, in which a large part of the Athenian allies broke off from the naval league.

[2.71] and a hundred and fifty triremes which he took from the dockyards he failed to bring back, a story which the accusers of Chares are never tired of telling you in the courts; and he spent fifteen hundred talents, not upon his troops, hut upon his tricky officers, a Deiares, a Deipyrus, a Polyphontes, vagabonds collected from all Hellas (to say nothing of the wages of his hirelings on the bema and in the popular assembly), who were exacting from the wretched islanders a contribution of sixty talents a year, and seizing merchant ships and Greek citizens on the high seas.

[2.72] and instead of respect and the hegemony of Hellas, Athens had a name that stank like a nest of Myonnesian [1] pirates. And Philip from his base in Macedonia was no longer contending with us for Amphipolis, but already for Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros, our own possessions, while our citizens were abandoning the Chersonese, the undisputed property of Athens. And the special meetings of the assembly which you were forced to hold, in fear and tumult, were more in number than the regular meetings.

*1. Muonnêsos, "Mouse-island", was a little island off the coast of Thessaly, notorious as a nest of pirates.

[2.73] The situation was so precarious and dangerous that Cephisophon of Paeania, one of the friends and companions of Chares, was compelled to make the motion that Antiochus, who commanded the dispatch boats, should sail immediately and hunt up the general who had been put in charge of our forces, and in case he should happen to find him anywhere, should tell him that the people of Athens were astonished to learn that Philip was on the way to the Chersonese, Athenian territory, while as to the general and the force which they themselves had sent out, the Athenians did not even know what had become of them. To prove that I am speaking the truth, hear the decree and recall the facts of the war, and then charge the peace, not to the ambassadors, but to the commanders of our arms.

Decree

[2.74] Such was the situation of the city, such the circumstances under which the debate on the peace took place. But the popular speakers arose and with one consent ignored the question of the safety of the state, but called on you to gaze at the Propylaea of the Acropolis, and remember the battle of , Salamis, and the tombs and trophies of our forefathers.

[2.75] I replied that we must indeed remember all these, but must imitate the wisdom of our forefathers, and beware of their mistakes and their unseasonable jealousies; I urged that we should emulate the battle that we fought at Plataea, the struggles off the shores of Salamis, the battles of Marathon and Artemisium, and the generalship of Tolmides, who with a thousand picked men of the Athenians fearlessly marched straight through the Peloponnesus, the enemy's country.

[2.76] But I urged that we should take warning from the Sicilian expedition, which was sent out to help the people of Leontini, at a time when the enemy were already in our own territory and Deceleia was fortified against us; and that final act of folly, when, outmatched in the war, and offered terms of peace by the Lacedaemonians, with the agreement that we should hold not only Attica, but Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros also, and retain the constitutional democracy, the people would have none of it, but chose to go on with a war that was beyond their powers. And Cleophon, the lyre-maker, whom many remembered as a slave in fetters, who had dishonourably and fraudulently got himself enrolled as a citizen, and had corrupted the people by distribution of money,1 threatened to take his knife and slit the throat of any man who should make mention of peace.

*1. Aristot. Const. Ath. 28 tells us that it was Cleophon who introduced the two obol donation from the treasury to provide a free seat in the theatre for every citizen who applied for it. This was the beginning of the Theorika, recognized in the time of Aeschines as one of the greatest abuses in the democracy.

[2.77] Finally they brought the city to such a pass that she was glad to make peace, giving up everything, tearing down her walls, receiving a garrison and a Lacedaemonian governor, and surrendering the democracy to the Thirty, who put fifteen hundred citizens to death without a trial. I admit that I urged that we should guard against such folly as that, and imitate the conduct shortly before described. For it was from no stranger that I heard that story, but from him who is nearest of all men to me.

[2.78] for Atrometus our father, whom you slander, though you do not know him and never saw what a man he was in his prime--you, Demosthenes, a descendant through your mother of the nomad Scythians--our father went into exile in the time of the Thirty, and later helped to restore the democracy; while our mother's brother, our uncle Cleobulus, the son of Glaucus of the deme Acharnae, was with Demaenetus of the family of the Buzygae, when he won the naval victory over Cheilon the Lacedaemonian admiral. The sufferings of the city were therefore a household word with us, familiar to my ears.

[2.79] But you find fault with my service as ambassador to Arcadia and my speech before the Ten Thousand [1] there, and you say that I have changed sides--yourself more slave than freeman, all but branded as a runaway! So long as the war lasted, I tried so far as in me lay to unite the Arcadians and the rest of Hellas against Philip. But when no man came to the help of our city, but some were waiting to see what was going to happen, and others were taking the field against us, while the politicians in our own city were using the war to subsidize the extravagance of their daily life, [2] I acknowledge that I advised the people to come to terms with Philip, and to make the peace, which you, Demosthenes, now hold disgraceful, you who never had a weapon of war in your hands--but which I declare to be much more honourable than the war.

*1. The national assembly of the Arcadians. Aeschines appeared before them in 348 in the attempt to counteract the work of Philip's agents among them.

*2. For this use of chorêgon see the note on Aeschin. Against Ctesiphon 24 (chorêgeis) of the Speech against Ctesiphon.

[2.80] You ought, fellow citizens, to judge your ambassadors in the light of the crisis in which they served your generals, in the light of the forces which they commanded. For you set up your statues and you give your seats of honour and your crowns and your dinners in the Prytaneum, not to those who have brought you tidings of peace, but to those who have been victorious in battle. But if the responsibility for the wars is to he laid upon the ambassadors, while the generals are to receive the rewards, the wars you wage will know neither truce nor herald of peace, for no man will be willing to be your ambassador.

[2.81] Now it remains for me to speak of Cersobleptes and the Phocians, as well as the other matters in which I have been slandered. For, fellow citizens, both on the first and on the second embassy I reported to you what I saw, as I saw it; what I heard, as I heard it. What was it then in either case: what was it that I saw and what was it that I heard about Cersobleptes? I, as well as all my colleagues in the embassy, saw the son of Cersobleptes a hostage at Philip's court; and this is still the case.

[2.82] now it happened on the occasion of our first embassy, that at the moment when I was leaving for home with the rest of the ambassadors, Philip was setting out for Thrace; but we had his promise that while you were deliberating concerning peace, he would not set foot on the Chersonese with an armed force. Now on that day when you voted the peace, no mention was made of Cersobleptes. But after we had already been elected to receive the oaths,[1] before we had set forth on the second embassy, an assembly was held, the presidency of which fell by lot to Demosthenes,[2] who is now accusing me.

*1. The same ambassadors who had negotiated the preliminaries of the peace were appointed to go back to Macedonia and receive the ratification of the peace by Philip and his allies.

*2. A board of nine senators presided over the meetings of the assembly; one member of the board was chosen by lot as chief presiding officer for the day.

[2.83] in that assembly Critobulus of Lampsacus came forward and said that Cersobleptes had sent him, and he demanded that he should be allowed to give his oath to the ambassadors of Philip, and that Cersobleptes be enrolled among your allies.[1] When he had thus spoken, Aleximachus of the deme Pelex handed to the presiding officers a motion to be read, in which it was written that the representative of Cersobleptes be permitted to join the other allies in giving the oath to Philip.

*1. The peace that had just been negotiated was to be between Philip and his allies, and Athens and her allies. By the allies of Athens were meant the members of the Athenian naval league, whose synod, sitting at Athens, had ratified in advance whatever action the Athenian people might take as to the peace. Cersobleptes was not a member of this league, but sought to be admitted at the last moment, in order to gain the protection of the peace. Demosthenes, feeling that his admission would endanger the success of the negotiations for peace, attempted to prevent his admission, by insisting on the irregularity of the procedure; Cersobleptes should have presented his credentials to the senate and obtained from them a resolution advising the assembly to hear his plea; and this should have been done at an earlier meeting.

[2.84] When the motion had been read--I think you all remember this--Demosthenes arose from among the presiding officers and refused to put the motion to vote, saying that he would not bring to naught the peace with Philip, and that he did not recognize the sort of allies who joined only in time, as it were, to help in pouring the peace libations; for they had had their opportunity at an earlier session of the assembly. But you shouted and called the board of presidents to the platform, and so against his will the motion was put to vote.

[2.85] To prove that I am speaking the truth, please call Aleximachus, the author of the motion, and the men who served with Demosthenes on the board of presidents, and read their testimony.

Testimony

You see, therefore, that Demosthenes, who just now burst into tears here at mention of Cersobleptes, tried to shut him out of the alliance. Now on the adjournment of that session of the assembly, Philip's ambassadors proceeded to administer the oaths to your allies in your army-building.

[2.86] and my accuser has dared to tell you that it was I who drove Critobulus, Cersobleptes' ambassador, from the ceremony--in the presence of the allies, under the eyes of the generals, after the people had voted as they did! Where did I get all that power? How could the thing have been hushed tip? If I had really dared to undertake such a thing, would you have suffered it, Demosthenes? Would you not have filled the market-place with your shouts and screams, if you had seen me, as you just now said you did, thrusting the ambassador away from the ceremony? But please let the herald call the generals and the representatives of the allies, and do you hear their testimony.

Testimony

[2.87] Is it not, therefore, an outrage, gentlemen, if one dares utter such lies about a man who is his own--no, I hasten to correct myself, not his own, but your--fellow citizen, when he is in peril of his life? Wisely, indeed, did our fathers prescribe that, in the trials for bloodshed which are held at the Palladion,[1] the one who wins his case must cut in pieces the sacrificial flesh, and take a solemn oath (and the custom of your fathers is in force to this day), affirming that those jurors who have voted on his side have voted what is true and right, and that he himself has spoken no falsehood; and he calls down destruction upon himself and his household, if this be not true, and prays for many blessings for the jurors. A right provision, fellow citizens, and worthy of a democracy.

*1. This court was for cases of unintentional homicide.

[2.88] For if no one of you would willingly defile himself with justifiable bloodshed, surely he would guard against that which was unjustifiable, such as robbing a man of life or property or civil rights--such acts as have caused some men to kill themselves, others to be put to death by decree of the state. Will you then, fellow citizens, pardon me, if I call him a lewd rascal, unclean of body, even to the place whence his voice issues forth, and if I go on to prove that the rest of his accusation about Cersobleptes is false on the face of it?

[2.89] You have a practice which in my judgment is most excellent and most useful to those in your midst who are the victims of slander: you preserve for all time in the public archives your decrees, together with their dates and the names of the officials who put them to vote. Now this man has told you that what ruined the cause of Cersobleptes was this: that when Demosthenes urged that we should go to Thrace, where Cersobleptes was being besieged, and should solemnly call on Philip to cease doing this thing, I, as leader of the ambassadors and influential with you, refused, and sat down in Oreus, I and the rest of the ambassadors, busy with getting foreign consulships for ourselves.[1]

*1. Athenian citizens were employed by foreign states to represent their interests at Athens and aid their citizens there. Demosthenes asserted that the ambassadors were intent on getting such appointments for themselves.

[2.90] Hear now the letter which Chares sent to the people at the time, saying that Cersobleptes had lost his kingdom and that Philip had taken Hieron Oros [1] on the twenty-fourth of Elaphebolion. And it was Demosthenes, one of the ambassadors, who was presiding in the assembly here on the twenty-fifth of that month.

*1. This was an important post on the Thracian coast, and had been held by an Athenian garrison, in the interest of Cersobleptes.

Letter

[2.91] Now not only did we delay all the rest of that month, but it was Munichion [1] when we set out. As witness of this I will present the senate, for there is a decree of theirs which commands the ambassadors to set out in order to receive the oaths. Please read the decree of the senate.

*1. The next month after Elaphebolion.

Decree

Now read also the date of the decree.

Date

[2.92] You hear that the decree was passed on the third of Munichion. How many days before I set out was it that Cersobleptes lost his kingdom? According to Chares the general it occurred the month before--that is, if Elaphebolion is the month next before Munichion! Was it, then, in my power to save Cersobleptes, who was lost before I set out from home? And now do you imagine that there is one word of truth in his account of what was done in Macedonia or of what was done in Thessaly, when he gives the lie to the senate-house and the public archives, and falsifies the date and the meetings of the assembly?

[2.93] and is it true, Demosthenes, that you at Athens tried to exclude Cersobleptes from the treaty, but pitied him when you got to Oreus? And do you today accuse me of having taken bribes, you who were once fined by the Senate of the Areopagus for not prosecuting your suit for assault, that time when you indicted your cousin Demomeles of Paeania for the cut on your head that you gave yourself with your own hand? [1] And do you put on airs before these jurymen, as though they did not know that you are the bastard son of Demosthenes the cutler? [2]

*1. The reference is to a family quarrel which grew out of the suit of the young Demosthenes against his guardian.

*2. A bastard in the sense that his mother was of a Scythian family, and so debarred from legitimate Athenian wedlock. See on Aeschin. 2.22.

[2.94] But you undertook to say that I at first refused to serve on the embassy to the Amphictyons,[1] and later went on the embassy and was guilty of misconduct, and you read the one decree and suppressed the other.[2] I was, indeed, chosen one of the ambassadors to the Amphictyons, and even as I had shown myself zealous in reporting to you the embassy from which I had returned, so now, although I was in poor health, I did not refuse the new mission, but promised to serve, if I should have the strength. But as the ambassadors were on the point of setting out, I sent my brother and his son with my physician to the senate, not to decline service for me

*1. The embassy was strictly to Philip, but as it was to deal largely with Amphictyonic business in the hands of Philip and allies of his who were in control of Amphictyonic affairs, Aeschines can speak of it as "to the Amphictyons."

*2. The reference is to events after the return of the second embassy. After their report was accepted, a third embassy was appointed to go to Philip, extending the peace and alliance to his descendants, and declaring that if the Phocians would not submit to the Amphictyons, the Athenians would take the field against them. Most of the men appointed on this third embassy had served on the other two. Demosthenes was nominated, but he refused to serve. Aeschines was elected, but finally on the plea of illness he was excused by the senate, and his brother was appointed to take his place. The embassy had gone only as far as Euboea when they received the news that the Phocians had surrendered to Philip; they therefore immediately returned to Athens. The Athenians now reappointed the same men, including Aeschines, to go to meet Philip. Aeschines, now recovered in health, went on this fourth embassy. Demosthenes (Dem. On the False Embassy 126) falsely declares that he went without having been elected. For the whole story from Demosthenes' standpoint, see Dem. On the False Embassy 12l-133. In Dem. On the False Embassy 172, Demosthenes betrays the fact that there really was a reelection for the fourth embassy, and so confirms Aeschines' statement.

[2.95] (for the law does not permit men who have been elected by the assembly to decline before the senate), but merely to testify to my illness.When now the ambassadors had been informed of the fate of the Phocians, they returned, and a meeting of the assembly was held. I had by this time recovered and was present. When the people insisted that we who had been originally elected should all go on with the embassy in spite of what had happened, I thought it my duty to speak the truth to the Athenians.[1]

*1. That is, Aeschines felt that he ought now to say frankly that his health was such that he could not decline that service.

[2.96] and when I rendered account of my service on that embassy, you, Demosthenes, preferred no charge, but you proceed against my conduct on this embassy, the embassy that was appointed to receive the oaths. As to this I will make a clear and just defence. For it serves you, as it does all liars, to confuse the dates, but it serves me to give the events in their order, beginning with our journey to receive the oaths.[1]

*1. Aeschines returns to the story of the second embassy.

[2.97] In the first place, of the ten ambassadors (or rather eleven, counting the representative of the allies, who was with us) not one was willing to mess with Demosthenes, when we set out on the second embassy, nor even to lodge at the same inn with him as we journeyed, whenever it could be avoided, for they had seen how he had plotted against them all on the previous embassy.

[2.98] Now not a word was said about making the journey along the Thracian coast; [1] for the decree did not prescribe any such journey, but simply that we should receive the oaths and transact certain other business, nor could we have accomplished anything if we had gone, for Cersobleptes' fate had already been decided, as you heard a moment ago; for there is not a word of truth in what he has said, but, at a loss for any true charge, he resorts to these prodigious lies.

*1. The journey which Demosthenes, in the speech for the prosecution, had said ought to have been made in order to forestall Philip's conquests there.

[2.99] On the journey two attendants followed him, carrying sacks of bedding; in one of the sacks, he assured us, was a talent of silver; so that his colleagues were reminded of those old nicknames of his; for the boys used to call him "Batalos," he was so vulgar and obscene then when he was growing out of boyhood and was bringing against his guardians big lawsuits of ten talents each, he was called "Argas";[1] now, grown to manhood, he has got also the name that we apply to rascals in general, "Blackmailer."

*1. "Batalos" has been thought to mean "stammerer," or perhaps "mamma-baby" (see Aeschin. Against Timarchus 126 and 131), but that explanation would hardly fit this passage. We really have no knowledge as to the derivation of the word. "Argas" was the name of a venomous snake.

[2.100] and he was going with the intention of ransoming the captives,[1] as he said, and as he has just now told you, although he knew that at no time during the war had Philip exacted ransom-money for any Athenian, and although he had heard all Philip's friends say that he would release the rest also, if peace should be made. And he was carrying one talent for many unfortunates--sufficient ransom for one man, and not a very well to-do man at that!

*1. The Athenian citizens who had been captured at the fall of Olynthus, and were now in slavery in Macedonia.

[2.101] But when we reached Macedonia and found Philip returned from Thrace, we held a meeting;1 the decree under which we were acting was read, and we went over the instructions that had been given us in addition to the business of receiving the oaths. But finding that no one mentioned the subjects that were most important, and all were dwelling on minor matters, I spoke words which I must repeat to you.

*1. This was a private meeting of the Athenian ambassadors to discuss what they should say to Philip at the coming audience.

[2.102] and in heaven's name, gentlemen, even as you allowed my accuser to speak as he himself chose, pray so continue to listen quietly to the defence also, in the same manner in which from the beginning you have listened during all my speech thus far. Well, as I just now intimated, fellow citizens, at the meeting of the ambassadors I said that it seemed to me that we were strangely ignoring the most important matter that the people had entrusted to us.

[2.103] "The reception of the oaths, the discussion of the other questions, and the talk about the prisoners, all that sort of thing could have been done, I think, if the city had entrusted it to some of its petty servants and sent them. But to reach a right solution of the supreme question, so far as that is in our power or Philip's,[1] this is now a task for wise ambassadors. I mean," said I, "the question of the expedition to Thermopylae, which you see in course of preparation. That I am not wide of the mark in this matter, I will show you by weighty considerations.

*1. The supreme question of the hour was the settlement of the long continued Phocian war. Whether Phocis was to be defeated and Thebes given a dangerous increase of power depended in large measure on what action Philip and the Athenians should decide to take, either jointly or severally. The Athenians had been unable to persuade Philip's ambassadors to include the Phocians among the states to be protected by the peace, but it was hoped that these ambassadors from Athens would be able to persuade Philip himself to favour Phocis as against Thebes.

[2.104] For ambassadors from Thebes are here, ambassadors from Lacedaemonia have arrived, and here are we with a decree of the people in which it stands written, `The ambassadors shall also negotiate concerning any other good thing that may be within their power.' All Hellas is watching to see what is going to happen. If now our people had thought it wise to speak out plainly to Philip, bidding him strip the Thebans of their insolence, and rebuild the walls of the Boeotian towns,1 they would have asked this of him in the decree. But as it is, by the obscurity of their language they left open a way of retreat for themselves, in case they should fail to persuade him, and they thought best to take the risk its our persons.

*1. The small towns of Boeotia which had been subjugated by Thebes, and were now supporting the Phocians in the hope of regaining their independence.

[2.105] Men, therefore, who are ambitious to serve the state must not assume the function of other ambassadors whom the Athenians could have sent instead of us, and at the same time, on their own initiative, try to avoid stirring up the hostility of the Thebans. Epameinondas was a Theban, and he did not cower before the fame of the Athenians, but spoke right out in the Theban assembly, saying that they must remove the propylaea of the Acropolis of Athens and set it up at the entrance to the Cadmeia."

[2.106] As I was in the midst of these words, Demosthenes protested with a loud voice, as all our colleagues know, for on top of all his other crimes he is for the Boeotians. At any rate words like these came from him: "This fellow is full of quarrelsomeness and rashness. For myself, I confess that I am timid, that I fear danger from afar, but I protest against embroiling the cities one with another; I hold it to be the wise course that we ambassadors refrain from meddlesome conduct.

[2.107] Philip is setting out for Thermopylae; I cover my eyes. No man is going to call me to account for the wars of Philip, but for what I say that I ought not to say, or what I do that I was not instructed to do." The upshot of the matter was that the ambassadors, when asked for their opinion man by man, voted that each of us should say what he thought was to our interests. To show that I speak the truth, please call my colleagues and read their testimony.

Testimony

[2.108] Accordingly, fellow citizens, when the ambassadors were assembled at Pella, and Philip had arrived, and the herald called the ambassadors of the Athenians, we came forward, not in the order of age, as in the former embassy--a procedure which found favour with some, and which seemed to be in accord with the orderly way of our city [1]--but in the way that was dictated by the effrontery of Demosthenes. For he said that he was the youngest of all, but declared that he could not yield the position of first speaker, and would not permit a certain person--hinting at me--to take possession of Philip's ears and leave the rest no chance to speak.

*1. The Athenian "way" in such matters is described in Aeschin. . Against Ctesiphon 2.

[2.109] He began his speech with certain slanderous allusions to his colleagues, to the effect that not all of us had come with the same end in view, nor were we all of one mind; and then he proceeded to review his own previous services to Philip: first, his defence of Philocrates' motion, when Philocrates, having moved that Philip be permitted to send ambassadors to the Athenians to discuss peace, was defendant on the charge of having made an unconstitutional proposal; secondly, he read the motion of which Demosthenes himself was author, to grant safe conduct to the herald and ambassadors from Philip; and thirdly, the motion that restricted the people's discussion of peace to appointed days.

[2.110] To the account he added a conclusion like this: that he had been the first to put a curb on those who were trying to block the peace; that he had done this, not by his words, but by fixing the dates. Then he brought up another motion, the one which provided that the people should discuss an alliance also; then, after that, the motion about assigning the front seats at the Dionysia to Philip's ambassadors.

[2.111] He alluded also to the special attention he had shown them: the placing of cushions, and certain watchings and vigils of the night, caused by men who were jealous of him and wished to bring insult upon his honourable name! And that utterly absurd story, whereat his colleagues covered their faces for shame, how he gave a dinner to the ambassadors of Philip; and how when they set out for home he hired for them some teams of mules, and escorted them on horseback. For he did not hide in the dark, as certain others do, but made an exhibition of his fawning conduct.

[2.112] And finally he carefully corrected those other statements:[1]"I did not say that you are beautiful, for a woman is the most beautiful of all beings; nor that you are a wonderful drinker, for that is a compliment for a sponge, in my opinion; nor that you have a remarkable memory, for I think such praise belongs to the professional sophist." But not to prolong the story, he said such things in the presence of the ambassadors from almost the whole of Hellas, that laughter arose such as you seldom hear.

*1. The statements that his colleagues had made to the assembly on their return from the first embassy, as related in Aeschin. 2.47 and Aeschin. 2.52.

[2.113] But when at last he stopped and there was silence, I was forced to speak--after such an exhibition of ill-breeding and such excess of shameful flattery. Necessarily, by way of preface, I made a brief reply to his insinuations against his colleagues, saying that the Athenians had sent us as ambassadors, not to offer apologies in Macedonia for ourselves, but as men adjudged by our life at home to be worthy of our city.

[2.114] Then after speaking briefly on the subject of the oaths for which we had come, I reviewed the other matters that you had entrusted to us. For the eminent Demosthenes, for all his exceeding eloquence, had not mentioned a single essential point. And in particular I spoke about the expedition to Thermopylae, and about the holy places, and Delphi, and the Amphictyons. I called on Philip to settle matters there, preferably not with arms, but with vote and verdict; but if that should be impossible (it was already evident that it was, for the army was collected and on the spot), I said that he who was on the point of deciding the fate of the holy places of our nation ought to give careful thought to the question of piety, and to give attention to those who undertook to give instruction as to our traditions.

[2.115] At the same time I reviewed from the beginning the story of the founding of the shrine, and of the first synod of the Amphictyons that was ever held; and I read their oaths, in which the men of ancient times swore that they would raze no city of the Amphictyonic states, nor shut them off from flowing water either in war or in peace; that if anyone should violate this oath, they would march against such an one and raze his cities; [1] and if any one should violate the shrine of the god or be accessory to such violation, or make any plot against the holy places, they would punish him with hand and foot and voice, and all their power. To the oath was added a mighty curse.

*1. The city that has violated its Amphictyonic oath can no longer claim the protection of that oath.

[2.116] When I had read all this, I solemnly declared that in my opinion it was not right that we should overlook the fact that the cities in Boeotia were lying in ruins. [1] To prove that they were Amphictyonic cities and thus protected by the oaths, I enumerated twelve tribes which shared the shrine: the Thessalians, Boeotians (not the Thebans only), Dorians, Ionians, Perrhaebi, Magnetes, Dolopians, Locrians, Oetaeans, Phthiotians, Malians, and Phocians. And I showed that each of these tribes has an equal vote, the greatest equal to the least: that the delegate from Dorion and Cytinion has equal authority with the Lacedaemonian delegates, for each tribe casts two votes; again, that of the Ionian delegates those from Eretria and Priene have equal authority with those from Athens and the rest in the same way.

*1. See note on Aeschin. 2.104.

[2.117] Now I showed that the motive of this expedition was righteous and just; but I said that the Amphictyonic Council ought to be convened at the temple, receiving protection and freedom to vote,[1] and that those individuals who were originally responsible for the seizure of the shrine ought to be punished--not their cities, but the individuals who had plotted and carried out the deed; and that those cities which surrendered the wrongdoers for trial ought to be held guiltless. "But if you take the field and with your forces confirm the wrongdoing of the Thebans,[2] you will receive no gratitude from those whom you help, for you could not possibly do them so great a service as the Athenians once did, and they have no memory for that; while you will be wronging those whom you leave in the lurch, and will find them, not your friends in the future, but all the more your enemies."

*1. The Council had been unable to meet while the Phocians were holding the shrine. Aeschines would have Philip' s army occupy Delphi, and so restore the Amphictyons to their rights.

*2. If Philip should help the Thebans to subdue the Phocians, the confirmation of Theban control over the Boeotian cities would naturally follow, as it did in the event.

[2.118] But not to waste time in reciting to you now precisely what was spoken there, I will content myself with this brief summary of it all. Fortune and Philip were masters of the issue, but I, of loyalty to you and of the words spoken. My words were words of justice, and they were spoken in your interest; the issue was not according to our prayer, but according to Philip's acts. Who, therefore, is it that deserves your approval? Is it the man who showed no desire to do any good thing whatever, or the man who left undone nothing that was in his power? But I now pass over many things for lack of time.

[2.119] He said that I deceived you by saying that within a few days Thebes would be humbled; and that I told about the Euboeans, how I had frightened them, and that I led you on into empty hopes. But, fellow citizens, let me tell you what it is that he is doing. While I was with Philip I demanded--and when I returned to you I reported that I thought it right--that Thebes should be Boeotian, and not Boeotia, Theban. He asserts, not that I reported this, but that I promised it.

[2.120] And I told you that Cleochares of Chalcis said that he was surprised at the sudden agreement between you and Philip, especially when we had been instructed "to negotiate concerning any good thing that should be within our power." For he said the people of the small states, like himself, were afraid of the secret diplomacy of the greater. Demosthenes asserts, not that I related this fact, but that I promised to hand over Euboea! But I had supposed that when the city was about to deliberate on matters of supreme importance, no statement from any Hellenic source ought to be ignored.

[2.121] But he falsely declared that when he wished to report the truth, he was hindered by me, together with Philocrates--for he divided the responsibility in that case also. Now I should like to ask you this: Has any ambassador sent out from Athens ever been prevented from presenting to the people an official report of his conduct? And if one had suffered such treatment and had been repudiated by his colleagues, would he ever have made a motion that they be given a vote of thanks and invited to dinner? But Demosthenes on his return from the second embassy, in which he says that the cause of Hellas was ruined, moved the vote of thanks in his decree;

[2.122] and not only that, but when I had reported to the people what I had said about the Amphictyons and Boeotians, not briefly and rapidly as now, but as nearly word for word as possible, and when the people heartily applauded, I called upon him together with the other ambassadors, and asked them whether my report was true, and identical with what I had said to Philip; and when all my colleagues had testified and praised me, after them all Demosthenes arose and said: No, I had not to-day been speaking as I spoke there, but that I spoke twice as well there. You who are going to give the verdict are my witnesses of this.

[2.123] and yet what better opportunity could he have had to convict me than to do it then and there, if I was in any wise deceiving the city? You say, Demosthenes, that while I was in a conspiracy against the city in the first embassy, you were not aware of it, but that on the second you found it out--the embassy in which we find you testifying to my services! And while accusing me for my conduct on the first embassy, you at the same time deny that you accuse me, and direct your accusations against the embassy that was sent to take the oaths. And yet if it is the peace you find fault with, it was you who moved to add the alliance to it. And if Philip did at any point deceive the city, his deception had to do with the peace, for he was maneuvering for the precise form of peace that would serve his own advantage. But it was the earlier embassy that offered the opportunity to accomplish this; the second took place after the thing was already done.

[2.124] How he has deceived you--deceit is ever the mark of the charlatan--see from his own words. He says that I went down the Loedias river to Philip in a canoe by night, and that I wrote for Philip the letter which came to you. For Leosthenes, who had been exiled from Athens through the work of blackmailers, was not competent to write a clever letter--a man whom some do not hesitate to rank next to Callistratus of Aphidna as an able orator!

[2.125] and Philip himself was not competent, against whom Demosthenes was not able to hold his own when he tried to speak in your behalf! nor Python of Byzantium, a man who takes pride in his ability as a writer! but, as it seems, the thing required my help too! And you say that time and again I had private interviews with Philip in the daytime, but you accuse me of paddling down the river in the night--the need of a midnight letter was so urgent!

[2.126] But there is no truth in your story, as those who messed with me have come to testify--Aglaocreon of Tenedos and latrocles the son of Pasiphon, with whom I slept every night during the whole time, from beginning to end; they know that I was never away from them a single night, nor any part of a night. We present also our slaves and offer them for torture;[1] and I offer to interrupt my speech if the prosecution agree. The officer shall come in and administer the torture in your presence, gentlemen of the jury, if you so order. There is still time enough to do it, for in the apportionment of the day eleven jars of water have been assigned to my defence.[2]

*1. Slave testimony was accepted in the Athenian courts only when it was given, or offered, under torture.

*2. A definite time, measured by the water clock, or clepsydra, was assigned to each side. How long a time would be occupied by the running of one amphora of water through the clepsydra, we have no means of knowing.

[2.127] If the slaves testify that I ever slept away from these messmates of mine, spare me not, fellow citizens, but rise up and kill me. But if you, Demosthenes, shall be convicted of lying, let this be your penalty--to confess in this presence that you are a hermaphrodite, and no free man. Please summon the slaves to the platform here, and read the testimony of my colleagues.

Testimony
Challenge

[2.128] Since now he does not accept the challenge, saying that he would not rest his case on the testimony of tortured slaves, please take this letter, which Philip sent. For a letter that kept us busy writing all night long must obviously be full of clever deception of the city.

Letter

[2.129] You hear, gentlemen, what he wrote: "I gave my oath to your ambassadors and he has written the names of those of his allies who were present, both the names of the representatives themselves and of their states; and he says he will send to you those of his allies who were not there in time. Does it seem to you that it would have been beyond Philip's ability to write that in the daytime, and without my help?

[2.130] But, by heaven, the only thing, apparently, that this man Demosthenes cares about, is to win applause while he is on the platform but whether or not a little later he will be considered the greatest scoundrel in Hellas, for that he appears to care not a whit. For how could one put any faith in a man who has undertaken to maintain that it was not Philip's generalship, but my speeches, that enabled Philip to get this side Thermopylae! And he gave you a sort of reckoning and enumeration of the days during which, while I was making my report on the embassy, the couriers of Phalaecus, the Phocian tyrant, were reporting to him how matters stood in Athens, while the Phocians, putting their trust in me, admitted Philip this side Thermopylae, and surrendered their own cities to him.

[2.131] Now all this is the invention of my accuser. It was fortune, first of all, that ruined the Phocians, and she is mistress of all things; and secondly, it was the long continuance of the ten years' war. For the same thing that built up the power of the tyrants in Phocis, destroyed it also: they established themselves in power by daring to lay hands on the treasures of the shrine, and by the use of mercenaries they put down the free governments; and it was lack of funds that caused their overthrow, when they had spent all their resources on these mercenaries.

[2.132] the third cause of their ruin was mutiny, such as usually attends armies which are poorly supplied with funds. The fourth cause was Phalaecus' inability to foresee the future. For it was plain that the Thessalians and Philip were going to take the field; and shortly before the peace with you was concluded, ambassadors came to you from the Phocians, urging you to help them, and offering to hand over to you Alponus, Thronion, and Nicaea, the posts which controlled the roads to Thermopylae.

[2.133] But when you had passed a decree that the Phocians should hand over these posts to your general Proxenus, and that you should man fifty triremes, and that all citizens up to the age of forty years should take part in the expedition, then instead of surrendering the Posts to Proxenus, the tyrants arrested those ambassadors of their own who had offered to hand over the garrison posts to you and when your heralds carried the proclamation of the sacred truce of the Mysteries,[1] the Phocians alone in all Hellas refused to recognize the truce. Again, when Archidamus the Laconian was ready to take over those posts and guard them, the Phocians refused his offer, answering him that it was the danger from Sparta that they feared, not the danger at home.

*1. A provision for the safe conduct of all Greeks, who wished to attend the celebration of the lesser Eleusinian Mysteries, which took place in Attica in the spring.

[2.134] That was before you had come to terms with Philip; but on the very day when you were discussing the question of the peace, the letter of Proxenus was read to you, in which he said that the Phocians had failed to hand over the posts to him; and on the same day the heralds of the Mysteries reported to you that the Phocians alone in all Hellas had refused the sacred truce, and had, furthermore, arrested the ambassadors who had been here. To prove that I am speaking the truth, please call the heralds of the truce, and the envoys Callicrates and Metagenes, whom Proxenus our general sent to the Phocians, and let the letter of Proxenus be read.

Testimony
Letter

[2.135] The dates, fellow citizens, taken from the public archives, have been read and compared in your hearing, and you have heard the witnesses, who further testify that before I was elected ambassador, Phalaecus the Phocian tyrant distrusted us and the Lacedaemonians as well, but put his trust in Philip.

[2.136] But was Phalaecus the only one who failed to discern what the outcome was going to be? How stood public opinion here? Were you not yourselves all expecting that Philip was going to humble the Thebans, when he saw their audacity, and because he was unwilling to increase the power of men whom he could not trust? And did not the Lacedaemonians take part with us in the negotiations against the Thebans, and did they not finally come into open collision with them in Macedonia and threaten them? Were not the Theban ambassadors themselves perplexed and alarmed? And did not the Thessalians laugh at all the rest and say that the expedition was for their own benefit?

[2.137] Did not some of' Philip's companions say explicitly to some of us that Philip was going to reestablish the cities in Boeotia? Had not the Thebans already, suspicious of the situation, called out all their reserves and taken the field? And did not Philip, when he saw this, send a letter to you calling upon you to come out with all your forces in defence of the cause of justice? As for those who are now for war, and who call peace cowardice, did they not prevent your going out, in spite of the fact that peace and alliance had been made with Philip? And did they not say that they were afraid he would take your soldiers as hostages?

[2.138] Was it I, therefore, who prevented the people from imitating our forefathers, or was it you, Demosthenes, and those who were in conspiracy with you against the common good? And was it a safer and more honourable course for the Athenians to take the field at a time when the Phocians were at the height of their madness and at war with Philip, with Alponus and Nicaea in their possession--for Phalaecus had not yet surrendered these posts to the Macedonians--and when those whom we were proposing to aid would not accept the truce for the Mysteries, and when we were leaving the Thebans in our rear: or after Philip had invited us, when we had already received his oaths and had an alliance with him, and when the Thessalians and the other Amphictyons were taking part in the expedition?

[2.139] Was not the latter opportunity far better than the former? But at this later time, thanks to the combination of cowardice and envy in you, Demosthenes, the Athenians brought in their property from the fields, when I was already absent on the third embassy,[1] and appearing before the assembly of the Amphictyons [2]--that embassy on which you dare to say that I set out without having been elected, although, enemy as you are to me, you have never to this day been willing to prosecute me as having wrongly served on it; and we may safely assume that this is not because you begrudge me bodily pains and penalties.

*1. See on Aeschin. 2.94. This was, strictly speaking, the fourth embassy; but as it was appointed to do what had been entrusted to the third, and was made up of the same men, Aeschines speaks of it as the third.

*2. The ambassadors to Philip, while not formally accredited to negotiate with the Amphictyonic Council, which Philip had called together to act on the punishment of the Phocians, were present at Delphi during their meeting, and Aeschines addressed the Council. see Aeschin. 2.142.

[2.140] When, therefore, the Thebans were besieging him with their importunities, and our city was in confusion, thanks to you, and the Athenian hoplites were not with him;[1] when the influence of the Thessalians had been added to that of the Thebans, thanks to your shortsightedness and because of the hostility to the Phocians which the Thessalians had inherited from that ancient time when Phocians seized and flogged the Thessalian hostages; and when, before my coming and that of Stephanus, Dercylus, and the rest of the ambassadors, Phalaecus already made terms and departed;

*1. See Aeschin. 2.137.

[2.141] Then the people of Orchomenus were in exceeding fear, and had begged for peace, on condition that their lives should be spared and they be allowed to go forth from Boeotia;[1] when the Theban ambassadors were standing by, and when it was plain that Philip was threatened with the hostility of the Thebans and Thessalians: then it was that the cause was lost not from any fault of mine, but thanks to your treachery, Demosthenes, and your hired service to Thebes. Of this I think I can furnish important confirmation from what has actually happened.

*1. Orchomenus was one of the towns referred to in Aeschin. 2.104.

[2.142] For if there were any truth in these assertions of yours, the Boeotian fugitives, for whose expulsion I was responsible, and the Phocian exiles, whose restoration I prevented, would be accusing me now. But as a matter of fact they ignore the misfortunes that have come upon them, and satisfied with my loyalty to them, the Boeotian exiles have held a meeting and chosen men to speak in my behalf; and from the towns of Phocis have come ambassadors whose lives I saved when I was representing you before the Amphictyons on the third embassy; for when the representatives from Oetaea went so far as to say that they ought to cast the grown men over the cliffs, I brought the Phocians into the assembly of the Amphictyons and secured a hearing for them. For Phalaecus had made terms for himself and gone, and those who were guiltless were on the point of being put to death; but I pleaded for them, and their lives were spared.

[2.143] To prove that I speak the truth, please call Mnason the Phocian and those who have come with him, and call the delegates chosen by the Boeotian exiles. Come up to the platform, Liparus and Pythion, and do me the same service for the saving of my life that I did for you.

Plea of the Boeotians and Phocians

Would it not, then, be monstrous treatment for me if I should be convicted when my accuser is Demosthenes, the paid servant of Thebes and the wickedest man in Hellas, while my advocates are Phocians and Boeotians?

[2.144] But he dared to say that I am tripped up by my own words. For he says [1] that when I was prosecuting Timarchus I said that his lewdness was a matter of common report, and that Hesiod, a good poet, says, "But Common Report dies never, the voice that tongues of many men do utter. She also is divine." [2] He says that this same god comes now and accuses me, for everybody says, according to him, that I have got money from Philip.

*1. Dem. On the False Embassy 243 f.

*2. Aeschin. Against Timarchus 129.

[2.145] But be assured, fellow citizens, there is the greatest difference between common report and slander. For common report has no affinity with malice, but malice is slander's own sister. I will define each of them specifically: it is a case of common report when the mass of the people, on their own impulse and for no reason that they can give, say that a certain event has taken place; but it is slander when one person, insinuating an accusation in the minds of the people, calumniates a man in all the meetings of the assembly and before the senate. To Common Report we offer public sacrifice, as to a god, but the slanderer we prosecute, in the name of the people, as a scoundrel. Do not, therefore, join together the most honourable and the most shameful things.

[2.146] At many of his charges I was indeed angry, but most of all when he accused me of being a traitor. For to bring such charges as those was to hold me up to public view as a brute, without natural affection, and chargeable in the past with many other sins. Now of my daily life and conduct I think you are competent judges. But facts that escape the public eye, yet are of greatest importance in the opinion of men of character, I will bring into court as my witnesses--facts very many in number and to my credit in the eyes of the law--in order that seeing them you may know what pledges I left at home when I set out for Macedonia on the embassy.

[2.147] For you, Demosthenes, fabricated these charges against me, but I will tell my story, as I was taught to do from childhood, truthfully. Yonder is my father, Atrometus; there are few older men among all the citizens, for he is now ninety-four years old. When he was a young man, before the war destroyed his property, he was so fortunate as to be an athlete; banished by the Thirty, he served as a soldier in Asia, and in danger he showed himself a man; by birth he was of the phratry [1] that uses the same altars as the Eteobutadae, from whom the priestess of Athena Polias comes; and he helped in the restoration of the democracy, as I said a little while ago.[2]

*1. Each of the four Athenian tribes was divided into three phratries. Under the democracy these groups of families had only religious functions. Each phratry had its own place of worship.

*2. See Aeschin. 2.78.

[2.148] It is my good fortune, too, that all the members of my mother's family are free-born citizens; and to-day I see her here before my eyes in anxiety and fear for my safety. And yet, Demosthenes, this mother of mine went out to Corinth an exile, with her husband, and shared the disasters of the democracy; but you, who claim to be a man--that you really are a man I should not venture to say--you were once indicted for desertion, and you saved yourself by buying off the man who indicted you, Nicodemus of Aphidna, whom afterward you helped Aristarchus to destroy;[1] wherefore you are polluted, and have no right to be invading the market-place.[2]

*1. In the spring of 348 Demosthenes was serving on an expedition sent out to Euboea. On the approach of the Great Dionysia he was obliged to return to the city to serve as choragus, a burden which he had previously volunteered to take upon himself, at heavy cost. Personal enemies of his brought, but did not prosecute, a charge of desertion in the field.The murder of Nicodemus by Aristarchus, a young friend of Demosthenes, was a notorious case, but the attempts of Demosthenes' enemies to connect him with it were entirely unsuccessful. See Aeschin. Against Timarchus 172.

*2. A man under indictment for murder was not allowed access to the market-place, for contact with a murderer would pollute innocent men.

[2.149] Philochares yonder, our eldest brother, a man not of ignoble pursuits, as you slanderously assert, [1] but a frequenter of the gymnasia, a one-time comrade of Iphicrates in the field, and a general now for the past three years, has come to beg you to save me. Our youngest brother, too, Aphobetus yonder, who as ambassador to the king of Persia has served you to the credit of the city, who administered your revenues honestly and well when you called him to the department of the treasury, who has gotten him children lawfully--not by putting his wife in Cnosion's bed, as you, Demosthenes, did yours--he also is here, despite your slanders ;for defamation goes no further than the ears.

*1. For Demosthenes' taunts as to the brothers of Aeschines and those of his wife, see his speech Dem. On the False Embassy 237 and 287.

[2.150] But you dared to speak about my wife's family also--so shameless you are and so inherently thankless, you that have neither affection nor respect for Philodemus,[1] the father of Philon and Epicrates, the man by whose good offices you were enrolled among the men of your deme, as the elder Paeanians know.[2] But I am amazed if you dare slander Philon, and that, too, in the presence of the most reputable men of Athens, who, having come in here to render their verdict for the best interest of the state, are thinkingmore about the lives we have lived than what we say.

*1. See Aeschin. 2.152.

*2. Aeschines insinuates that only by some extraordinary favoritism could Demosthenes, with his strain of Scythian blood, ever have been recognized as an Athenian of pure blood, and so enrolled in the citizen-list when he came to manhood.

[2.151] Which think you would they pray heaven to give them, ten thousand hoplites like Philon, so fit in body and so sound of heart, or thrice ten thousand lewd weaklings like you? You try to bring into contempt the good breeding of Epicrates, Philon's brother; but who ever saw him behaving in an indecent manner, either by day in the Dionysiac procession, as you assert, or by night? For you certainly could never say that he was unobserved, for he was no stranger.

[2.152] And I myself, gentlemen, have three children, one daughter and two sons, by the daughter of Philodemus, the sister of Philon and Epicrates; and I have brought them into court with the others for the sake of asking one question and presenting one piece of evidence to the jury. This question I will now put to you; for I ask, fellow citizens, whether you believe that I would have betrayed to Philip, not only my country, my personal friendships, and my rights in the shrines and tombs of my fathers, but also these children, the dearest of mankind to me. Do you believe that I would have held his friendship more precious than the safety of these children? By what lust have you seen me conquered? What unworthy act have I ever done for money? It is not Macedon that makes men good or bad, but their own inborn nature; and we have not come back from the embassy changed men, but the same men that you yourselves sent out.

[2.153] But in public affairs I have become exceedingly entangled with a cheat and rascal, who not even by accident can speak a truthful word. No: when he is lying, first comes an oath by his shameless eyes, and things that never happened he not only presents as facts, but he even tells the day on which they occurred; and he invents the name of some one who happened to be there, and adds that too, imitating men who speak the truth. But we who are innocent are fortunate in one thing, that he has no intelligence with which to supplement the trickery of his character and his knack of putting words together. For think what a combination of folly and ignorance there must be in the man who could invent such a lie against me as that about the Olynthian woman,[1] such a lie that you shut him up in the midst of his speech. For he was slandering a man who is the farthest removed from any such conduct, and that in the presence of men who know.

*1. See Aeschin. 2.4, note.

[2.154] But see how far back his preparations for this accusation go. For there is a certain Olynthian living here, Aristophanes by name. Demosthenes was introduced to him by some one, and having found out that he is an able speaker, paid extravagant court to him and won his confidence; this accomplished, he tried to persuade him to give false testimony against me before you, promising, namely, to give him five hundred drachmas on the spot, if he would consent to come into court and complain of me, and say that I was guilty of drunken abuse of a woman of his family, who had been taken captive; and he promised to pay him five hundred more when he should have given the testimony.

[2.155] But Aristophanes answered him, as he himself told the story, that so far as his exile and present need were concerned, Demosthenes' aim had not been wide of the mark--indeed no aim could have been closer--but that he had entirely misjudged his character; for he could do nothing of the sort. I will offer Aristophanes himself to testify to the truth of what I say. Please call Aristophanes the Olynthian, and read his testimony, and call those who heard his story and reported it to me--Dercylus, of the deme Hagnus, the son of Autocles, and Aristeides of Cephisia, the son of Euphiletus.

Testimony

[2.156] You hear the sworn testimony. But these wicked arts of rhetoric, which Demosthenes offers to teach our youth, and has now employed against me, his tears and groans for Hellas, and his praise of Satyrus the comic actor, because over the cups he begged of Philip the release of certain friends of his who were captives in chains, digging in Philip's vineyard--you remember, do you not, how after this preface he lifted up that shrill and abominable voice of his and cried out,

[2.157] "How outrageous that when a man whose business it is to act the parts of a Carion or of a Xanthias [1] showed himself so noble and generous, Aeschines, the counsellor of the greatest city, the adviser of the Ten Thousand of Arcadia, did not restrain his insolence, but in drunken heat, when Xenodocus, one of the picked corps of Philip, was entertaining us, seized a captive woman by the hair, and took a strap and flogged her!"

*1. Satyrus, the comic actor, would often take slave parts, for which Carion and Xanthias were among the traditional names.

[2.158] If you had believed him, or Aristophanes had helped him out in his his against me, I should have been destroyed under shameful accusations. Will you therefore harbour longer in your midst guilt that is so fraught with doom to itself--God grant it be not to the city!--and will you, who purify your assembly,[1] offer the prayers that are contained in your decrees on motion of this man, as you send your troops out by land or sea? You know the words of Hesiod: [2]

"Ofttimes whole peoples suffer from one man
Whose deeds are sinful and whose purpose base."

*1. The Athenian assembly was regularly opened with a sacrifice of purification and prayer.

*2. Hes. WD 240

[2.159] One thing more I wish to add to what I have said: if there is anywhere among mankind any form of wickedness in which I fail to show that Demosthenes is preeminent, let my death be your verdict. But I think many difficulties attend a defendant: his danger calls his mind away from his anger, to the search for such arguments as shall secure his safety, and it causes him earnest thought lest he overlook some one of the accusations which have been brought against him. I therefore invite you, and at the same time myself, to recall the accusations.

[2.160] Consider, then, one by one, fellow citizens, the possible grounds for my prosecution: what decree have I proposed, what law have I repealed, what law have I kept from being passed, what covenant have I made in the name of the city, what vote as to the peace have I annulled, what have I added to the terms of peace that you did not vote?

[2.161] The peace failed to please some of our public men. Then ought they not to have opposed it at the time, instead of putting me on trial now? Certain men who were getting rich out of the war from your war-taxes and the revenues of the state, have now been stopped; for peace does not feed laziness. Shall those, then, who are not wronged, but are themselves wronging the city, punish the man who was sponsor for the peace,[1] and will you, who are benefited by it, leave in the lurch men who have proved themselves useful to the commonwealth?

*1. Philocrates, the prime mover in the peace had already gone into banishment, afraid to stand trial.

[2.162] Yes, my accuser says, because I joined Philip in singing paeans when the cities of Phocis had been razed. [1] What evidence could be sufficient to prove that charge? I was, indeed, invited to receive the ordinary courtesies, as were my colleagues in the embassy. Those who were invited and were present at the banquet, including the ambassadors from other Hellenic states, were not less than two hundred. And so it seems that among all these I was conspicuous, not by my silence, but by joining in the singing--for Demosthenes says so, who was not there himself, and presents no witness from among those who were.

*1. Dem. Philippic 3 128

[2.163] Who would have noticed me, unless I was a sort of precentor and led the chorus? Therefore if I was silent, your charge is false; but if, with our fatherland safe and no harm done to my fellow citizens, I joined the other ambassadors in singing the paean when the god was being magnified and the Athenians in no wise dishonored, I was doing a pious act and no wrong, and I should justly be acquitted. Am I, forsooth, because of this to be considered as a man who knows no pity, but you a saint, you, the accuser of men who have shared your bread and cup?

[2.164] But you have also reproached me with inconsistency in my political action, in that I have served as ambassador to Philip, when I had previously been summoning the Greeks to oppose him.[1] And yet, if you choose, you may bring this charge against the rest of the Athenian people as a body. You, gentlemen, once fought the Lacedaemonians, and then after their misfortune at Leuctra you aided the same people. You once restored Theban exiles to their country, and again you fought against them at Mantineia. You fought against Themison and the Eretrians, and again you saved them. And you have before now treated countless others of the Hellenes in the same way. For in order to attain the highest good the individual, and the state as well, is obliged to change front with changing circumstances.

*1. See Dem. Philippic 3 9 ff.

[2.165] But what is the good counsellor to do? Is he not to give the state the counsel that is best in view of each present situation? And what shall the rascally accuser say? Is he not to conceal the occasion and condemn the act? And the born traitor--how shall we recognize him? Will he not imitate you, Demosthenes, in his treatment of those whom chance throws in his way and who have trusted him? Will he not take pay for writing speeches for them to deliver in the courts, and then reveal the contents of these speeches to their opponents?[1] You wrote a speech for the banker Phormion and were paid for it: this speech you communicated to Apollodorus, who was bringing a capital charge against Phormion.

*1. Cp. Aeschin. Against Ctesiphon 173.

[2.166] You entered a happy home, that of Aristarchus the son of Moschus; you ruined it. You received three talents from Aristarchus in trust as he was on the point of going into exile;1 you cheated him out of the money that was to have aided him in his fight, and were not ashamed of the reputation to which you laid claim, that of being a wooer of the young man's bodily charms--an absurd story, of course, for genuine love has no place for rascality. That conduct, and conduct like that, defines the traitor.

*1. The occasion was the murder of Nicodemus by Aristarchus. See Aeschin. 2.148, note.

[2.167] But he spoke, I believe, about service in the field, and named me "the fine soldier." But I think, in view of my present peril rather than of his slander, I may without offence speak of these matters also. For where, or when, or to whom, shall I speak of them, if I led this day go by? As soon as I passed out of boyhood I became one of the frontier guards of this land for two years.[1] As witnesses to this statement, I will call my fellow cadets and our officers.

*1. the young Athenian citizen, coming of legal age at eighteen, was required to serve two years in the cadet corps, stationed the first year at the Peiraeus, and on frontier posts the second.

[2.168] My first experience in the field was in what is called "division service,"[1] when I was with the other men of my age and the mercenary troops of Alcibiades, who convoyed the provision train to Phleius. We fell into danger near the place known as the Nemean ravine, and I so fought as to win the praise of my officers.[2] I also served on the other expeditions in succession, whether we were called out by age-groups or by divisions.

*1. When citizens were called out for military service, if it was not necessary to call the whole body of reserves, the men of some specified age were called. e.g. all between the ages of twenty and thirty, or twenty and forty (cp. Aeschin. 2.133). Since the names of the men of a given age were kept in the register under the name of the Archon Eponymos in whose year they came of age, such a levy was called strateia en tois epônumois. If only a part of such an age-group was called out, it was called a division levy (strateia en tois meresin).

*2. In 363 b.c. See Xen. Hell. 7.2.17 ff.

[2.169] I fought in the battle of Mantineia, not without honour to myself or credit to the city. I took part in the expeditions to Euboea,[1] and at the battle of Tamynae [2] as a member of the picked corps I so bore myself in danger that I received a wreath of honour then and there, and another at the hands of the people on my arrival home; for I brought the news of the Athenian victory, and Temenides, taxiarch [3] of the tribe Pandionis, who was despatched with me from camp, told here how I had borne myself in the face of the danger that befell us.

*1. In 357 and 349/8.

*2. The critical engagement of the second of the expeditions to Euboea.

*3. Each of the ten taxiarchs commanded the hoplites of a single tribe.

[2.170] But to prove that I am speaking the truth, please take this decree, and call Temenides and those who were my comrades in the expedition in the service of the city, and call Phocion, the general, not yet to plead for me,[1] if it please the jury, but as a witness who cannot speak falsely without exposing himself to the libellous attacks of my prosecutor.

Decree
Testimony

*1. Phocion will later he called to support the prayer of the defence for acquittal.

[2.171] Since, then, it was I who brought you the first news of the victory of the city and the success of your sons, I ask of you this as my first reward, the saving of my life. For I am not a hater of the democracy, as my accuser asserts, but a hater of wickedness; and I am not one who forbids your "imitating the forefathers" of Demosthenes [1]--for he has none--but one who calls upon you to emulate those policies which are noble and salutary to the state. Those policies I will now review somewhat more specifically, beginning with early times.

*1. See Dem. Philippic 3 16.

[2.172] In former days, after the battle of Salamis, our city stood in high repute, and although our walls had been thrown down by the barbarians, yet so long as we had peace with the Lacedaemonians we preserved our democratic form of government.[1]But when certain men had stirred up trouble and finally caused us to become involved in war with the Lacedaemonians, then, after we had suffered and inflicted many losses, Miltiades, the son of Cimon, who was proxenus [2] of the Lacedaemonians, negotiated with them, and we made a truce for fifty years, and kept it thirteen years.[3]

*1. Aeschines has taken the historical review which he gives in Aeschin. 2.172-176 from the speech of Andocides, On the Peace with the Lacedaemonians (Andoc. 3.3 ff.) , condensing, and changing the phraseology at will, and changing the application of the facts which he cites. This sketch as given by Andocides is characterized by Eduard Meyer (Forschungen zur Alten Geschichte, 2.132 ff.) as a caricature of the actual course of events, valuable only as a convincing proof of the untrustworthiness of oral tradition, and of the rapidity and certainty with which confusion and error as to historical facts develop, even in the mind of a contemporary who has had a prominent part in the events.

*2. The proxenus was a citizen who was employed by a foreign state to represent its interests in his own state.

*3. This was in fact a five years' truce negotiated by Cimon, the son of Miltiades, in 45b c. The truce lasted, not thirteen years, but less than five. The fortification of the Peiraeus belongs more than a quarter of a century earlier.

[2.173] During this period we fortified the Peiraeus and built the north wall; we added one hundred new triremes to our fleet; we also equipped three hundred cavalrymen and bought three hundred Scythians;[1] and we held the democratic constitution unshaken.But meanwhile men who were neither free by birth nor of fit character had intruded into our body politic, and finally we became involved in war again with the Lacedaemonians, this time because of the Aeginetans.[2]

*1. A corps of bowmen, Scythian slaves, owned by the state and used as city police.

*2. The war with Aegina ended before the above-mentioned truce began.

[2.174] In this war we received no small injury, and became desirous of peace. We therefore sent Andocides and other ambassadors to the Lacedaemonians and negotiated a peace, which we kept for thirty years.[1] This peace brought the democracy to the height of its prosperity. For we deposited on the Acropolis a thousand talents of coined money we built one hundred additional triremes, and constructed dockyards; we formed a corps of twelve hundred cavalry and a new force of as many bowmen, and the southern long wall was built; and no man undertook to overthrow the democratic constitution.

*1. The thirty years' peace was in fact made in 446/5, and was kept only fifteen years.

[2.175] But again we were persuaded to go to war, now because of the Megarians. [1] Having given up our land to be ravaged, and suffering great privations, we longed for peace, and finally concluded it through Nicias, the son of Niceratus.[2] In the period that followed we again deposited treasure in the Acropolis, seven thousand talents, thanks to this peace, and we acquired triremes, seaworthy and fully equipped, no fewer than three hundred in number; a yearly tribute of more than twelve hundred talents came in to us; we held the Chersonese, Naxos, and Euboea, and in these years we sent out a host of colonies.

*1. The beginning of the Peloponnesian war, 431 b.c.

*2. The "Peace of Nicias" was negotiated in 421, but its terms were only partially fulfilled from the beginning, and very soon the war was in full operation again. Andocides places in this period, which he falsely assumes to be one of peace, events that belong to the Periclean period.

[2.176] Though the blessings we were enjoying were so great, we again brought war against the Lacedaemonians, persuaded by the Argives;[1] and at last, in consequence of the eagerness of our public men for war, we sank so low as to see a Spartan garrison in our city, and the Four Hundred, and the impious Thirty;[2] and it was not the making of peace that caused this,[3] but we were forced by orders laid upon us. But when again a moderate government had been established, and the exiled democracy had come back from Phyle,[4] with Archinus and Thrasybulus as the leaders of the popular party, we took the solemn oath with one another "to forgive and forget" an act which, in the judgment of all men, won for our state the reputation of the highest wisdom.

*1. Athens entered into alliance with Argos, Mantineia, and Elis in 420. This immediately reopened the war with the Lacedaemonians.

*2. The oligarchy of the Four Hundred was the result of the revolution of 411 b.c. The rule of the Thirty Tyrants followed the surrender of the city at the close of the Peloponnesian war. The Thirty were supported by a Spartan garrison (404-403).

*3. The setting up of the Thirty was dictated by Sparta.

*4. Phyle, a post on the Boeotian frontier, was the rallying point of the band of exiles who began the movement for the expulsion of the Thirty

[2.177] The democracy then took on new life and vigour. But now men who have been illegally registered as citizens, constantly attaching to themselves what ever element in the city is corrupt, and following a policy of war after war, in peace ever prophesying danger, and so working on ambitious and over excitable minds, yet when war comes never touching arms themselves, but getting into office as auditors and naval commissioners--men whose mistresses are the mothers of their offspring, and whose slanderous tongues ought to disfranchise them--these men are bringing the state into extreme peril, fostering the name of democracy, not by their character, but by their flatteries, trying to put an end to the peace, wherein lies the safety of the democracy, and in every way fomenting war, the destroyer of popular government.

[2.178] These are the men who now are making a concerted attack on me; they say that Philip bought the peace, that he overreached us at every point in the articles of agreement, and that the peace which he contrived for his own interests, he himself has violated. And they put me on trial, not as an ambassador, but as a surety for Philip and the peace; the man who had nothing but words under his control they call to account for deeds--deeds that existed only in their own imagination. And the very man whom I exhibit to you as my eulogist in the public decrees, I have found as my accuser in the court-room. And although I was but one of ten ambassadors, I alone am made to give account.

[2.179] To plead with you in my behalf are present my father, whom I beg of you not to rob of the hopes of his old age; my brothers, who would have no desire for life if I should be torn from them; my connections by marriage; and these little children, who do not yet realize their danger, but are to be pitied if disaster fall on us. For them I beg and beseech you to take earnest thought, and not to give them over into the hands of our enemies, or of a creature who is no man--no better in spirit than a woman.

[2.180] And first of all I pray and beseech the gods to save me, and then I beseech you, who hold the verdict in your hands, before whom I have defended myself against every one of the accusations, to the best of my recollection; I beg you to save me, and not give me over to the hands of the rhetorician and the Scythian. You who are fathers of children or have younger brother's whom you hold dear, remember that to me they are indebted for a warning which they will not forget, admonished to live chastely through my prosecution of Timarchus.

[2.181] And all the rest of you, toward whom I have conducted myself without offence, in fortune a plain citizen, a decent man like any one of you, and the only man who in the strife of politics has refused to join in conspiracy against you, upon you I call to save me. With all loyalty I have served the city as her ambassador, alone subjected to the clamour of the slanderers, which before now many a man conspicuously brave in war has not had the courage to face; for it is not death that men dread, but a dishonoured end.

[2.182] Is he not indeed to be pitied who must look into the sneering face of an enemy, and hear with his ears his insults? But nevertheless I have taken the risk, I have exposed my body to the peril. Among you I grew up, your ways have been my ways. No home of yours is the worse for my pleasures; no man has been deprived of his fatherland by accusation of mine at any revision of the citizen-lists, nor has come into peril when rendering account of his administration of an office.

[2.183] A word more and I have done. One thing was in my power, fellow citizens: to do you no wrong. But to be free from accusation, that was a thing which depended upon fortune, and fortune cast my lot with a slanderer, a barbarian, who cared not for sacrifices nor libations nor the breaking of bread together; nay, to frighten all who in time to come might oppose him, he has fabricated a false charge against us and come in here. If, therefore, you are willing to save those who have laboured together with you for peace and for your security, the common good will find champions in abundance, ready to face danger in your behalf.

[2.184] To endorse my plea I now call Eubulus as a representative of the statesmen and all honourable citizens, and Phocion as a representative of the generals, preeminent also among us all as a man of upright character. From among my friends and associates I call Nausicles, and all the others with whom I have associated and whose pursuits I have shared. My speech is finished. This my body I, and the law, now commit to your hands.


Source:

Aeschines with an English translation by Charles Darwin Adams, Ph.D., (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd., 1919. )


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© Paul Halsall, October 1998
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