Athenian political oratory: 16 key speeches by David Phillips

By David Phillips

This publication is designed basically to supply scholars of Greek historical past with a set oftranslated speeches illustrating political advancements among the top of thePeloponnesian struggle (404 B.C.) and the demise of Alexander the good (323 B.C.). Thespeeches during this assortment have been added in Athens: a few within the meeting, others incourts of legislations. All yet one have been written via citizens of Athens; the only real exception, a letterpenned through Philip II of Macedon, was once learn out to the Athenian meeting by way of anambassador. those speeches, for this reason, are assets of first value for Atheniandomestic and overseas politics.

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22] And yet, if his denunciation were not planned, how would the Council not have forced him to name names rather than making a denunciation without names? As it was, though, the following decree was issued. Decree [23] When this decree had been passed, chosen members of the Council went down to the Peiraeus to get Agoratus; they found him in the agora15 and sought to take him away. But Nicias and Nicomenes16 and some other bystanders, seeing that things in the city were not going as well as they could, refused to let them seize Agoratus.

Here’s the proof: most of the men serving on that Council also served on the subsequent Council under the Thirty. Why am I telling you this? So that you know that all the decrees which came through that Council were passed not with good intentions toward you but for the overthrow of your democracy, and so that you pay attention to them as such. [21] So Theocritus went before that Council, in secret, and informed them that men were gathering in opposition to the government then being formed. He said that he would not mention specific names, since he had sworn the same oaths as the men in question; there were others who would name names, but he would never do so.

Believing that we were suffering unjustly or justly? Eratosthenes. Unjustly. [26] So then, you most miserable of all men, you opposed the plan in order to save us, but you took part in the arrests in order to kill us? And when our safety was in the hands of the whole lot of you, you claim that you opposed those who wanted to eliminate us, but when the decision to save Polemarchus or not was in your hands alone, you dragged him off to prison? So, for the fact that (as you say) you opposed the killing, but were of no use, you are asking to be considered a good man, but for the fact that you arrested Polemarchus and killed him you are asking not to pay the penalty to me and to this jury?

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