Aeschines and Athenian Politics by Edward M. Harris

By Edward M. Harris

Filling an incredible hole in scholarship, this can be the 1st full-length research of the Athenian baby-kisser Aeschines. in addition to Isocrates, Aeschines used to be some of the most fashionable Athenian politicians who recommended pleasant ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. notwithstanding overshadowed through his recognized rival Demosthenes, Aeschines performed a key position within the decisive occasions that marked the increase of Macedonian strength in Greece and shaped the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic interval. 3 lengthy speeches by means of Aeschines, all added in court docket battles together with his opponent Demosthenes, were preserved and supply us with worthy information regarding Athenian politics in the course of an enormous turning element in Greek background. This examine of Aeschines' political profession examines the reliability of courtroom speeches as historic facts and indicates how they assist display how democratic associations really functioned in Athens whilst confronted with the increase of Macedonian energy.

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Nicias was able to maintain Family, Early Career, and Start in Politics 35 public favor by his unstinting generosity, most notably by his benefactions to the sanctuary of Apollo on Delos. 50 Another way to start on a political career was through the courts. Since there was no public prosecutor in Athens, it was possible for anyone to prosecute someone whom he suspected of a public crime. Several ambitious men took advantage of this opportunity to accuse prominent politicians of various crimes against the community, such as treason or embezzlement.

Every man whom a politician brought into court would become his sworn enemy. The more one prosecuted, the more numerous one's enemies became. Each one of these enemies, not to mention their many relatives and friends, would be eager to retaliate by launching prosecutions of their own. Nothing demonstrates this better than the example of Timarchus. Together with Demosthenes, Timarchus accused Aeschines of betraying Athenian interests as ambassador to Philip in 346. Before the case came to court, however, Aeschines struck back by accusing Timarchus of having violated the law that forbid male prostitutes to address the Assembly.

There he recounts that he fought at Nemea (366), at Mantinea (362), and in the two campaigns on Euboea (357 and 348). In the second campaign on Euboea his conduct was so valorous that he received two crowns, one at the battle site and another in the Assembly. 32 Where Aeschines is silent, Demosthenes gleefully fills in. To be sure, we must scrutinize his evidence with care. Yet amid the torrent of reckless slander, Demosthenes provides us with some reliable information that sheds light on Aeschines' activities prior to his entry into politics.

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