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olives, fenced nearly round with a wall, where lie was exposed to the missiles of the enemy. Here he surrendered, towards evening, on condition of the lives of his soldiers being spared.
His own was not. In confinement at Syracuse Nicias and he were once more united, and were together relieved by a speedy death. Such was the unworthy decree of the Syracusan assembly, against the voice, say Diodorus and Plutarch, of Hermocrates, and contrary, says Thucydides, to the wish of Gylippus, who coveted the glory of conveying the two great Athenian commanders to Sparta. (Thuc. vii. 42—87 ; Diod. xiii. 10—33 ; Plut. Nicias, 20-28.) Timaeus, adds Plutarch, related that Hermocrates contrived to apprize them of the decree., and that they fell by their own hands. Demosthenes may be characterized as an unfortunate general. Had his fortune but equalled his ability, he had achieved perhaps a name greater than any of the generals of his time. In the largeness and boldness of his designs, the quickness and justice of his insight, he rises high above all his contemporaries. In Aetolia the crudeness of his first essay was cruelly punished ; in Acarnania and at Pylos, though his projects were even favoured by chance, yet the proper result of the one in the reduction of Ambraeia was prevented by the jealousy of his allies; and in the other his own individual glory was stolen by the shameless Cleon. In the designs against Megara and Boeotia failure again attended him. In his conduct of the second Syracusan expedition there is hardly one step which we can blame : with the exception of the night attack on Epipolae, it is in fact a painful exhibition of a defeat step by step effected over reason and wisdom by folly and infatuation. It is possible that with the other elements of a great general he did not combine in a high degree that essential requisite of moral firmness and command : he may too have been less accurate in attending to the details of execution than he was farsighted and fertile in devising the outline. Yet this must be doubtful: what we learn from history is, that to Demosthenes his country owed her superiority at the peace of Nicias, and to any rather than to him her defeat at Syracuse. Of his position at home among the various parties of the state we know little or nothing: he appears to have been of high rank : in Aristophanes he is described as leading the charge of the Hippeis upon Clecn (Equit&s^ 242), and his place in the play throughout seems to imply it. [A. H. C.]
DEMOSTHENES (A^o^e^s), the greatest of the Greek orators, was the son of one Demosthenes, and born in the Attic demos of Paeania. Respecting the year of his birth, the statements of the ancients differ as much as the opinions of modern critics. Some of the earlier scholars acquiesced in the express testimony of Dionysius of Halicarnassus (JEp. ad A mm. i. 4), who says that Demosthenes was born in the year preceding the hundredth Olympiad, that is, 01. 89. 4, or b. c. 381. Gellius (xv. 28) states that Demosthenes was in his twenty-seventh year at the time when he composed his orations against Androtion and Timocrates, which belong to b. c. 355, so that the birth of Demosthenes would fall in b. c. 383 or 382, the latter of which is adopted by Clinton. (F. H. ii. p. 426, &c., 3rd edit.) According to the account in the lives of the Ten Orators (p. 845. D.) Demosthenes was born in the archonship of Dexitheus, that is, b. c.
385, and this statement has been adopted by most modern critics, such as Beeker, Bockh, Wester-mann, Thirl wall, and others ; whereas some have endeavoured to prove that b. c. 384 was his birth-year. The opinion now most commonly received is, that Demosthenes was born in b. c. 385. For detailed discussions on this question the reader is referred to the works mentioned at the end of this article.
When Demosthenes, the father, died, he left behind him a widow, the daughter of Gylon, and two children, Demosthenes, then a boy of seven, and a daughter who was only five years old. (Plut. Dem. 4 ; Dem. c. Apkob. ii. p. 836 ; Aeschin. c. Ctesiph. § 171 ; Boeckh, Corp. Inscript. i. p. 464.) During the last moments of his life, the father had entrusted the protection of his wife and children and the care of his property, partly capital and partly a large sword manufactory, to three guardians, Aphobus, a son of his sister Demophon, a son of his brother, and an old friend Therippides, on condition that the first should marry the widow and receive with her a dowry of eighty minae ; the second was to marry the daughter on her attaining the age of maturity, and was to receive at once two talents, and the third was to have the interest of seventy minae, till Demosthenes, the son, should come of age. (Dem. c. Apkob. i. pp. 814, 816, ii. 840.) But the first two of the guardians did not comply with the stipulations made in the will, and all three, in spite of all the remonstrances of the family, united in squandering and appropriating to themselves a great portion of the handsome property, which is estimated at upwards of fourteen talents, and might easily have been doubled during the minority of Demosthenes by a prudent administration. But, as it was, the property gradually was so reduced, that when Demosthenes became of age, his guardians had no more than seventy minae, that is, only one twelfth of the property which the father had left. (Dem. c. Aphob. i. pp. 812, 832, 815, c. Onet. p. 865.) This shameful conduct of his own relatives and guardians unquestionably exercised a great influence on the mind and character of Demosthenes, for it was probably during that early period that, suffering as he was through the injustice of those from whom he had a right to expect protection, his strong feeling of right and wrong was planted and developed in him, a feeling which characterizes his whole subsequent life. He was thus thrown upon his own resources, and the result was great self-reliance, independence of judgment, and his oratory, which was the only art by which he could hope to get justice done to himself.
Although Demosthenes passed his youth amid such troubles and vexations, there is no reason for believing with Plutarch (Dem. 4). that he grew up neglected arid without any education at all. The very fact that his guardians are accused of having refused to pay his teachers (c. Aphob. i. p. 828) shews that he received some kind of education, which is further confirmed by Demosthenes's own statement (de Coron. pp. 312, 315), 'though it cannot be supposed that his education comprised much more than an elementary course. The many illustrious personages that are mentioned as his teachers, must be conceived to have become connected with him after he had attained the age of manhood. He is said to have been instructed in philosophy by Plato. (Pint. Dem, 5, Vit. X Oral.