The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.



Phocians were expressly excluded. Philip honour­ed the Athenian ambassadors with rich presents, promised to restore all Athenian prisoners without ransom, and wrote a polite letter to the people of Athens apologizing for having detained their am­bassadors so long. (Dem. De fals. Leg. pp. 394, 405.) Hyperides and Timarchus, the former of whom was a friend of Demosthenes, brought for­ward an accusation against the ambassadors, charging them with high treason against the re­public, because they were bribed by the king. Timarchus- accused Aeschines, and Hyperides Phi-locrates. But Aeschines evaded the danger by


bringing forward a counter-accusation

Timarchus (b. c. 345), and by shewing that the moral conduct of his accuser was such that he had no right to speak before the people. The speech In which Aeschines attacked Timarchus is still ex­tant, and its effect was, that Timarchus was obliged to drop his accusation, and Aeschines gained a bril­liant triumph. The operations of Philip after this peace, and his march towards Thermopylae, made the Athenians very uneasy, and Aeschines, though he assured the people that the king had no hostile intentions towards Athens and only intended to chastise Thebes, was again requested to go as am­bassador to Philip and insure his abiding by the terms of his peace. But he deferred going on the pretext that he was ill. (Dem. Defals. Leg. p. 337.) On his return he pretended that the king had secretly confided to him that he would under­take nothing against either Phocis or Athens. Demosthenes saw through the king's plans as well as the treachery of Aeschines, and how just his apprehensions were became evident soon after the return of Aeschines, when Philip announced to the Athenians that he had taken possession of Phocis. The people of Athens, however, were silenced and lulled into security by the repeated assurances of the king and the venal orators who advocated his cause at Athens. In b. c. 346, Aeschines was sent as irvXayopas to the assembly of the amphic-tyons at Pylae which was convoked by Philip, and at which he received greater honours than he could ever have expected.

At this time Aeschines and Demosthenes were at the head of the two parties, into which not only Athens, but all Greece was divided, and their political enmity created and nourished per­sonal hatred. This enmity came to a head in the year b. c. 343, when Demosthenes charged Aes­chines with having been bribed and having be­trayed the interests of his country during the second embassy to Philip. This charge of Demos­thenes (jrepl Trapa-Trpecroetas) was not spoken, but published as a memorial, and Aeschines answered it in a similar memorial on the embassy (Trepl Trapcwrpea-geias), which was likewise published (Dem. De fals. Leg. p. 337), and in the composi­tion of which he is said to have been assisted by his friend Eubulus. The result of these mutual attacks is unknown, but there is no doubt that it gave a severe shock to the popularity of Aeschines. At the time he wrote his memorial we gain a glimpse into his private life. Some years before that occurrence he had married a daughter of Phi-lodemus, a man of high respectability in his tribe of Paeania, and in 343 he was father of three little children. (Aesch. Defals. Leg. p. 52.)

It was probably in B. c. 342, that Antiphon, who had been exiled and lived in Macedonia,


secretly returned to the Peiraeeus with the inten­tion of setting fire to the Athenian ships of war. Demosthenes discovered him, and had him ar­rested. Aeschines denounced the conduct of De­mosthenes as a violation of the democratical consti­tution. Antiphon was sentenced to death; and although no disclosure of any kind could be ex­torted from him, still it seems to have been be­lieved in many quarters that Aeschines had been his accomplice. Hence the honourable office of ffvvSiKos to the sanctuary in Delos, which had just been given him, was taken from him and bestowed upon Hyperides. (Demosth. De Coron. p. 271.) In b. c. 340 Aeschines was again present at Delphi as Athenian irvhayopas, and caused the second sacred war against Amphissa in Locris for having taken into cultivation some sacred lands. Philip entrusted with the supreme command by the am-phictyons, marched into Locris with an army of 30,000 men, ravaged the country, and established himself in it. When in 338 he advanced south­ward as far as Elatea, all Greece was in consterna­tion. Demosthenes alone persevered, and roused his countrymen to a last and desperate struggle. The battle of Chaeroneia in this same year decided the fate of Greece. The misfortune of that day gave a handle to the enemies of Demosthenes for attacking him; but notwithstanding the bribes which Aeschines received from Antipater for this purpose, the pure and unstained patriotism of De­mosthenes was so generally recognised, that he received the honourable charge of delivering the funeral oration over those who had fallen at Chae­roneia. Ctesiphon proposed that Demosthenes should be rewarded for the services he had done to his country, with a golden crown in the theatre at the great Dionysia. Aeschines availed himself of the illegal form in which this reward was pro­posed to be given, to bring a charge against Ctesi­phon on that ground. But he did not prosecute the matter till eight years later, that is,in b.c. 330, when after the death of Philip, and the victories of Alexander, political affairs had assumed a diffe­rent aspect in Greece. After having commenced the prosecution of Ctesiphon, he is said to have gone for some time to Macedonia. What induced him to drop the prosecution of Ctesiphon, and to take it up again eight years afterwards, are ques­tions which can only be answered by conjectures. The speech in which he accused Ctesiphon in b. c. 330, and which is still extant, is so skilfully ma­naged, that if he had succeeded he would have totally destroyed all the political influence and authority of Demosthenes. The latter answered Aeschines in his celebrated oration on the crown (nepl (rrecpdyov). Even before Demosthenes had finished his speech, Aeschines acknowledged him­self conquered, and withdrew from the court and his country. When the matter was put to the votes, not even a fifth of them was in favour of Aeschines. Aeschines went to Asia Minor. The statement of Plutarch, that Demosthenes provided him with the means of accomplishing his journey, is surely a fable. He spent several years in Ionia and Caria, occupying himself with teaching rhetoric, and anxiously waiting for the return of Alexander to Europe. When in b. c. 324- the report of the death of Alexander reached him, he left Asia and went to Rhodes, where he established a school of eloquence, which subsequently became very cele­brated, and occupies a middle position between the

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of