Aeschines and Athenian Politics by Edward M. Harris

By Edward M. Harris

Filling an enormous hole in scholarship, this can be the 1st full-length examine of the Athenian baby-kisser Aeschines. in addition to Isocrates, Aeschines used to be essentially the most admired Athenian politicians who encouraged pleasant ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. even though overshadowed by means of his recognized rival Demosthenes, Aeschines performed a key function within the decisive occasions that marked the increase of Macedonian energy in Greece and shaped the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic interval. 3 lengthy speeches by way of Aeschines, all added in courtroom battles along with his opponent Demosthenes, were preserved and supply us with worthy information regarding Athenian politics in the course of a tremendous turning element in Greek historical past. This learn of Aeschines' political occupation examines the reliability of courtroom speeches as historic proof and exhibits how they assist exhibit how democratic associations really functioned in Athens whilst confronted with the increase of Macedonian energy.

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Aeschines and Athenian Politics

Filling a tremendous hole in scholarship, this can be the 1st full-length learn of the Athenian baby-kisser Aeschines. in addition to Isocrates, Aeschines was once essentially the most fashionable Athenian politicians who encouraged pleasant ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. although overshadowed via his recognized rival Demosthenes, Aeschines performed a key function within the decisive occasions that marked the increase of Macedonian strength in Greece and shaped the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic interval.

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Eubulus exercised great influence in public through his control of the Theoric Fund. This fund was ostensibly created for the inauspicious purpose of making small grants to citizens to enable them to attend major religious festivals. Sometime in the 350s, however, Eubulus and Diophantus persuaded the Athenians to have all the surplus revenues from the public budget paid into this fund, a move which gave those in Family, Early Career, and Start in Politics 39 control of the fund the power to initiate expensive construction projects.

Nor could he afford to have the Athenians as his enemies when his own borders remained vulnerable. To gain their friendship, Macedonian ambassadors were sent to Athens with the message that Philip was willing to withdraw his claim to Amphipolis if the Athenians would make peace with him. The Athenians welcomed the proposal, and peace was concluded, leaving Philip free to deal with the Paeonians and the Illyrians. It may have been at this time that the Athenian ambassadors Antiphon and Charidemus suggested to Philip that he help the Athenians retake Amphipolis in exchange for Pydna.

Demosthenes provides this information when accusing Aeschines of failing to perform liturgies despite his ability to do so. Since Demosthenes was speaking for the defendant when he made the charge, it is impossible to know how Aeschines would have responded to it. Demosthenes may have invented the legacy or inflated its value to make Aeschines' failure to perform liturgies appear to be the result of lack of public spirit and not his lack of means. Yet Philon's ability to bequeath such a large amount must have appeared plausible.

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