Aeschines and Athenian Politics

Synopsis

Filling a major gap in scholarship, this is the first full-length study of the Athenian politician Aeschines. Along with Isocrates, Aeschines was one of the most prominent Athenian politicians who advocated friendly ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. Though overshadowed by his famous rival Demosthenes, Aeschines played a key role in the decisive events that marked the rise of Macedonian power in Greece and formed the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic period. Three long speeches by Aeschines, all delivered in court battles with his opponent Demosthenes, have been preserved and provide us with valuable information about Athenian politics during a major turning point in Greek history. This study of Aeschines' political career examines the reliability of court speeches as historical evidence and shows how they help reveal how democratic institutions actually functioned in Athens when faced with the rise of Macedonian power.