Aeschines and Athenian Politics by Edward M. Harris

By Edward M. Harris

Filling a massive hole in scholarship, this is often the 1st full-length examine of the Athenian baby-kisser Aeschines. in addition to Isocrates, Aeschines used to be the most popular Athenian politicians who recommended pleasant ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. even though overshadowed via 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 through Aeschines, all introduced in court docket battles together with his opponent Demosthenes, were preserved and supply us with precious information regarding Athenian politics in the course of an important turning element in Greek heritage. This examine of Aeschines' political occupation examines the reliability of court docket speeches as old facts and indicates how they assist exhibit how democratic associations truly functioned in Athens whilst confronted with the increase of Macedonian power.

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On the other hand, the magistrates of the city might themselves act as priests and perform sacrifices on behalf of the entire city. The seer was very different from a priest. The seer did not inherit his position, nor was he appointed or elected to it. Instead he learned the skill of prophecy. Although this skill, like many others in Archaic and Classical Greece, was often passed down from father to son, it could theoretically be learned and practiced by anyone in the community. The skill of prophecy consisted of ascertaining the will of the gods by a variety of means, the most traditional one being the interpretation of omens such as the flight of birds.

His aspiration to excel in both arenas defied a contemporary trend. In Phocion's day, the bema or rostrum of the Assembly was monopolized by rhetores, not generals. Despite his unfashionable ambition, Phocion's accomplishments as a speaker never equaled those he achieved on campaign. In fact, none of our sources record an event when a speech of Phocion had a major impact on Athenian policy during Aeschines' years in the Assembly. His eloquence seems to have been more laconic than Attic: all he left behind was a set of blunt epigrams, which delighted Plutarch, but do not appear to have endeared him to his fellow citizens.

It may have been through Phocion that Aeschines struck up an association with Eubulus. Shortly after his awards for bravery, Aeschines made his debut in the Assembly speaking in support of a proposal made by Eubulus. After the Assembly ratified the proposal, Aeschines was elected as one of the ambassadors sent to carry out Eubulus' decree. In subsequent years Aeschines continued to champion Eubulus' policies. In 346 the two men advocated peace with Philip in the Assembly during the meeting of Elaphebolion 18.

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