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Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

Ian Worthington

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199931958
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980628 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931958.001.0001
Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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Demosthenes' resolute and courageous defiance of Philip II of Macedonia earned for him a reputation as one of history's outstanding patriots. He also enjoyed a brilliant and lucrative career as a speechwriter, and is regarded as Greece's greatest orator, as proved by the rhetorical style of his surviving speeches. Yet he was a sickly child who suffered from several physical and speech impediments, had an interrupted education, and was swindled out of much of his family estate by unscrupulous guardians. His story is certainly one of triumph over adversity. Demosthenes has been lauded as Greece's greatest patriot and condemned as an opportunist who misjudged situations and contributed directly to the end of Greek freedom. This book aims to determine which of these two people he was: self-serving cynic or patriot—or both. The book discusses Demosthenes' troubled childhood and youth, the obstacles he faced in his public career, his successes and failures, and even his posthumous influence as a politician and orator. The book offers new insights into Demosthenes' motives and how he shaped his policy to achieve political power, set against the history of Greece and Macedonia. The book gives extensive quotations in translation from his speeches to sum up their main points and help to illustrate his rhetorical style, which the book also discusses.

Keywords: Demosthenes; Athens; Philip II of Macedonia; Alexander the Great; Aeschines; Greek history; Greek oratory

Book.  384 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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Table of Contents

Preamble in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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Demosthenes, Son of Demosthenes in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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Greece and the Awakening of Macedonia in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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Into the Public Eye in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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The Aspiring Politician in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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Swaying the Assembly in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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An Uneasy Peace in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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Resisting Philip in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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“Speeches Like Soldiers” in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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The End of Greek Freedom in Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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