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Demosthenes (384-322 B.C.) Athenian statesman, recognized as the greatest of ancient Greek orators, who roused Athens to oppose Philip of Macedon and,

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Presentation on theme: "Demosthenes (384-322 B.C.) Athenian statesman, recognized as the greatest of ancient Greek orators, who roused Athens to oppose Philip of Macedon and,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Demosthenes ( B.C.) Athenian statesman, recognized as the greatest of ancient Greek orators, who roused Athens to oppose Philip of Macedon and, later, his son Alexander the Great.

2 363 BC: Lawsuit against Aphobus Demosthenes’ father, a sword maker, died when he was 7. When Demosthenes came of age little of his large inheritance was left. Successfully sued his guardians. Although he received little compensation, it was his first crucial experience as an orator.

3 Logographer Athenians spoke for themselves in the law courts but often hired experts to write their speeches. Demosthenes performance against his former guardians was noted and he was soon acquired wealthy and powerful clients.

4 354 BC: ‘On the Navy Boards’ Demosthenes’ first major speech to the Assembly In the face of a rumoured threat from Persia, Demosthenes urged the Athenians to build up their navy.

5 351 BC: The First Philippic Philip captured Amphipolis, an Athenian possession in Thrace, after hoodwinking the Athenians with promises to protect the city. 354 – Philip took Methone, another Athenian possession. Demosthenes unsuccessfully urged the Assembly to take a stand against Macedonian expansionism.

6 349 BC: The Olynthiacs 3 stirring speeches aimed at eliciting support for Olynthus, a city in the Chalcidice threatened by Philip The city fell to Philip in 348 BC (and did not receive any Athenian help).

7 346 BC: Peace of Philocrates Peace agreement between Philip and the Athenians Demosthenes was one of the ambassadors who met Philip. Philip sidelined Demosthenes and dealt more directly with another Athenian ambassador, Aeschines.

8 346 BC: On the Peace Condemned the treaty with Philip but accepted it had to be honoured

9 344 BC: The Second Philippic Philip had continued his tactic of sewing division between the other Greek city-states. Athenian embassy to the Peloponnesus, including Demosthenes, sought to enlist support against Philip. In response to Philip’s protests, Demosthenes argued Philip had not kept his word and that Aeschines had lulled the Athenians into a false sense of security.

10 343 BC: ‘The False Legation’ Accused Aeschines of rendering false reports, giving bad counsel, disobeying instructions, and being susceptible to bribery. The court, however, acquitted Aeschines.

11 341 BC: The Third Philippic Tension on the Chersonese "Philip is at war with us and has broken the peace.“ As a result of the success of his speech, Demosthenes becomes controller of the navy and could thus carry out the naval reforms he had proposed in 354. Anti-Philip alliance formed with other cities, including Thebes and Byzantium

12 338 BC: The Battle of Chaeronea According to Plutarch, Demosthenes was in the battle but fled after dropping his arms. Demosthenes chosen to deliver the funeral oration over the bodies of those slain in the battle. Athenian defeat although Philip acted with restraint

13 330 BC: On the Crown Aeschines accused Demosthenes’ friend, Ctesiphon, of impropriety for nominating Demosthenes for a gold crown Demosthenes: "Your policies supported our enemy, mine, our country's.“ Aeschines failed to receive even 1/5 th of the vote.

14 324 BC: Exile Accused of taking 20 talents deposited in Athens by Harpalus, a refugee from Alexander. Demosthenes was found guilty, fined 50 talents, and imprisoned. His escape from prison made it impossible for him to return to Athens

15 323/ 22 BC: Recall and Death On Alexander’s death, an anti-Macedonian faction rose up in Athens and recalled Demosthenes. Alexander’s regent, Antipater, descended on Athens. Demosthenes suicided while fleeing Antipater.

16 Demosthenes ( B.C.), James J. Murphy Accessed 16/10/2012 at otes/demosthenes.html otes/demosthenes.html


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