A Commentary on Demosthenes's Philippic I: With Rhetorical Analyses of Philippics II and III

By Cecil Wooten | Go to book overview

Appendix 1: Philippic II

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: D, PHILIP,
AND ATHENS FROM 351 TO 344

The First Philippic seems to have had no real impact on Athenian foreign policy. The next year, 351/50, D delivered the speech On the Freedom of the Rhodians. Like the speech For the Megalopolitans, it is an appeal to the people of Athens to broaden their base of power by accepting alliances with states seeking aid against greater powers. In this speech, D supports an appeal by the democratic party on Rhodes to aid them in freeing the island from the influence of Artemisia of Caria, whose husband Mausolus had brought the island under his hegemony after its revolt from the Athenian confederacy in 357 and had established an oligarchy on the island supported by a Carian garrison. D argues that Athenian help for the Rhodian democrats would be a signal for democratic parties in all the islands to rise up against oligarchies and, consequently, could be the beginning of a renewed Athenian confederacy. D also glances (§24) at Philip of Macedon, who, he feared, would come to the aid of states rejected by Athens, as he had done in the case of the Megalopolitans and Amodocus of Thrace, and thereby extend his influence in the Greek world.

In 349, Athens was offered a golden opportunity to resist Philip’s extension of his power. Olynthus, the most powerful city in the north, appealed to Athens to make an alliance with it against Philip. In the three Olynthiacs D urged the Athenians to accept the alliance. They followed his advice, but (probably because of a lack of funds) sent out only small and ineffectual contingents to aid Olynthus. D realized the necessity for more war funds and in the Third Olynthiac broke completely with Eubulus, who had made his reputation as treasurer of the Theoric Fund, normally used only for grants to citizens so that they could attend the theater during major festivals, by proposing that the laws prohibiting the use of this fund for military purposes be repealed. This was not done, and in 348 Olynthus and all the towns of the Olynthian League fell to Philip.

D realized that Athens was too weak to go to war with Philip, and, when efforts to unify all of Greece against Macedonia failed, he supported a proposal by Philocrates that Athens should send ten ambassadors to Philip to negotiate a peace. D was one of the ambassadors, as was Aeschines, who was to become his most implacable political rival. The ambassadors hastened to Pella and pled Athens’ case before Philip. D spoke last and, according to Aeschines (2.34–35), after stumbling through his proemium, broke down in the middle of his speech.

-123-

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A Commentary on Demosthenes's Philippic I: With Rhetorical Analyses of Philippics II and III
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations and Bibliography xi
  • Introduction- Philippic I 3
  • Structure of the Speech 17
  • ΔHmoΣΘEnoyΣ Kata ΦiΛiΠΠoy A' 19
  • Commentary 37
  • Appendix 1- Philippic II 123
  • Appendix 2- Philippic III 137
  • Appendix 3- The Longer and Shorter Versions of Philippic III 167
  • Historical Index 175
  • Rhetorical Index 177
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